Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Purchasing?

Old 08-25-04, 11:14 AM
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Purchasing?

So I have an interview for a purchasing job next Monday and I was wondering what exactly to expect in terms of interviewing questions. I was wondering if any otters are in this line of work.

It is going to include various business sectors such as pulp and paper, transportation, sawmills, etc. The job includes procurement of commodities, quotations ,quote analysis, negotiation, purchase order placement.

It is basically a 2 year contract. you are with a negotiating mentor for minimum of 6 months. After that you are exposed to 3 different business units in the remaining 18 months. There is also a chance that you can end up as permanant
Old 08-25-04, 11:20 AM
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I would expect that personality profiling will be an important part of the interview. Make sure you come off as extroverted and high energy. You can't be seen as afraid to make calls.
Old 08-25-04, 03:29 PM
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Do you have any background in the purchasing profewssion (generally) or the industry of the company you are interviewing with?

I manage a purchasing department and have done the job for private companies and governement. If yu have specific concerns, let me know.

If you don't already have familiarity with the commodities you will be purchasing, then your skills need to be well established. The reverse could also be true.

It comes down to the fact that a good buyer should be able to source anything. Likewise someone that has worked in the paper industry for some time could learn the purchasing skills to support their background.

It would be rare for an organization to hire on someone with this responsibility that was lacking in both areas.
Old 08-25-04, 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by Dansize
Do you have any background in the purchasing profewssion (generally) or the industry of the company you are interviewing with?

I manage a purchasing department and have done the job for private companies and governement. If yu have specific concerns, let me know.

If you don't already have familiarity with the commodities you will be purchasing, then your skills need to be well established. The reverse could also be true.

It comes down to the fact that a good buyer should be able to source anything. Likewise someone that has worked in the paper industry for some time could learn the purchasing skills to support their background.

It would be rare for an organization to hire on someone with this responsibility that was lacking in both areas.
The company that I am going to meet with is a very well known company. I do not have any experience with that company or anything that coincides with that position, but I look forward to a challenge and am willing to learn.

With this company, they actually prefer young people fresh out of university and do not actually look for the experience. They like to mold the employees as to how they want you complete your task.

One of the prerequisites for this job was to be a university graduate with a business background from the last 2 years. If you graduated 3 years ago, they wouldn't look at you.

I am going to prepare by going over the job posting again and scanning their website. My friend has a purchasing position at a similar company and he loves it.

I am being interviewed by HR and the GM of the purchasing department.

So dansize, if you do the interviews, what type of questions do you generally ask and more importantly, what do you look for in a candidate.
Old 08-25-04, 05:06 PM
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I want someone that believes in servicing their clients. It sounds weird to some, but it's the truth.

Purchasing is often perceived as the enemy to progress in an organization (black hole for paperwork). I would look for someone that is proactive and meeting with my clients (which would be internal in most cases). Purchasing should not be trapped in an office waiting for work to come to them. If you can get involved in a project early, you can show value to your client. You need to market your skills to your clients to earn trust. If purchaing is relegated to just a destination for requisitions, no one will see the value you can add to the process.

Low price is the driver in most ransactions, but I want someone that will recognize the value of paying more now to get a quality product that will last over time. You want best value, not necessarily best price. Then again, if you are dealing in raw commodities, price may be the only thing you can measure.

Good luck.
Old 08-26-04, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for the advice Dan

Here is the job posting:

If you have graduated from university in the past two years and are interested in a fast pace career that will allow you to use your strong communication skills and negotiation abilities you may be interested in xxxxxxx's Purchasing Development Program.

The Purchasing Development Program will provide successful candidates with an opportunity to gain direct hands on purchasing experience associated with the procurement of commodities, including requests for quotations, quote analysis, negotiation, purchase order placement and expediting. The opportunities span various business sectors including pulp & paper, transportation, sawmills & woodlands, and wholesale & retail.

Successful candidates will be enthusiastic team players and gain exposure to purchasing by spending a minimum of six months with a negotiating mentor in a business unit. Following a period of one and one half years or exposure to three different business units the program participants will become eligible for permanent purchasing opportunities throughout xxxxxxxxx.
Old 08-30-04, 10:23 AM
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Took the interview this morning, wasn't too bad, could have been better, but I think it went fine for the most part. It was about 40 minutes long.

I will know in 2 weeks or less hopefully.

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