The first step when seeking work is to write a winning resume and cover letter. These are designed to earn you an interview, but how can you use the interview to get hired? The interview is vital because it is the point where you meet face-to-face and go beyond the text communication you have had so far. This is where you can create a strong first impression and maximize your chances of being hired.
There are many general interview questions you will likely be asked that you should be familiar with. If you are anticipating them and have developed strong answers, you will be able to appear professional and qualified. There will also be questions relating directly to the position you are applying for. These category manager interview questions are especially important. The most successful interviewers are also anticipating these questions. To make the most of your interview, take the time to review the following list of common category manager interview questions and answers and develop your own responses.
6 Category Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. Communication skills are essential for the category manager position. What sort of experience do you have that has developed your communication abilities?
Previously, I held an account executive position in the accounting department. In this position, I had to work with other account managers to make sure each client was being taken care of properly. As the head of the department, it was my responsibility to make sure everything was communicated effectively through emails, over the phone, or in person. I developed significant communication skills through this process that I believe will easily translate to working with clients as a category manager.
2. If hired, you will be managing the effectiveness of suppliers. Have you ever held a position that required you to oversee others' operations?
This is exactly what I was doing on a daily basis as an account executive. I was indirectly responsible for how successful others were when interacting with clients. I quickly developed the skills necessary to manage others and lead a department, so I certainly believe I am qualified to manage suppliers and ensure that we are effectively and efficiently receiving what we need.
3. Market trends change very quickly in our field. What strategies do you employ to remain current and up to date as the field changes around you?
This was also a problem when I was working in accounting. Over the years, I have gotten a lot of practice doing research. I am passionate about human resources, so I frequently look into emerging strategies and practices. Additionally, I subscribe so multiple advanced human resources news sources, so I feel I am very able to remain up to date.
4. You will be facing many unique problems that you must be prepared to overcome. Have you employed problem solving in previous jobs?
One of my very first positions was in reception. I was responsible for solving the problems and issues that many clients would bring to me. In fact, I was practicing problem solving nearly constantly. I gained a reputation in that firm as a problem solver. I continued to develop these skills throughout my long working history, so I believe that I have the critical thinking skills that will be required of me in this category manager position.
5. A big part of the category manager job is performing risk and cost evaluations. What sort of evaluation skills have you developed?
This was a big part of my responsibilities when I worked as an accountant. We would deal with finances directly, so we would always be evaluating how successful different projects were and whether certain other projects were good investments or were too risky. Eventually I became the lead of the department, so I was the one primarily responsible for the evaluations. I was also creating documents to communicate and recommend different directions.
6. You must have adequate cooperation skills to succeed in this position. Describe previous experiences where you worked as a team.
I felt my time as an account executive brought me and my team very close together. We would work together at nearly all times to ensure each and every client was satisfied. I was the leader, but there is no way I would have been able to succeed as I did without the team working behind me.