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Why this matters:

Most companies use “ISO 9001 certified” processes by the International Organization for Standardization. By training and meeting basic workplace health and safety standards, suppliers and customers will feel more at ease conducting business with the company. Prospective candidates should have knowledge about how to minimize accidents and downtime, while maintaining regulatory compliance.

What to listen for:

  • Understanding of international standards and what can be gained by following them
  • Experience working in an ISO-certified environment and maintaining required documentation
  • Commitment to maintaining a safe, healthy, compliant work environment

Why this matters:

Logistics teams operate efficiently when they are well-staffed, trained, and supervised. Managers use transportation management systems to track key metrics in shipment processing efficiency. They also must have proven methods for objectively overseeing daily operations and discovering areas of opportunity in team building, scheduling, implementing process controls, or automating with technology.

What to listen for:

  • Familiarity with logistics industry software and technology
  • Willingness to conduct interviews and directly supervise on-site productivity
  • Critical thinking skills, attention to detail, and an organized approach to assessing team performance

Why this matters:

Candidates should have a pulse on logistics trends and challenges, which may include material scarcity, changing consumer trends, and fluctuating costs. Logistics managers are tasked with meeting these challenges head-on and coming up with budget-conscious solutions. This question reveals a candidate’s technical background knowledge, as well as their leadership experience and resourcefulness.

What to listen for:

  • Relevant education, training, or informal reading of industry books and news articles
  • Knowledge gained through on-the-job experiences, including leadership roles
  • The ability to discuss challenges in a positive and proactive manner

Why this matters:

Employers often look for job candidates who can bring value to their position by saving time, money, or both. A logistics manager must be resourceful and perform diligent research in order to know what a fair price might be. From there, they must also build strong relationships with suppliers, vendors, and transportation companies to ensure the most favorable rates.

What to listen for:

  • Relevant experience demonstrating critical thinking and communication skills
  • A holistic and organized approach to problem-solving that assesses direct and indirect costs
  • A collaborative approach to relationship-building and seeking win-win partner solutions

Why this matters:

The measurements used to determine success indicate what a candidate values and prioritizes. For some, shipping and delivery time are top concerns, while other companies may place a premium on order accuracy and shipping costs. Companies that have timing down to a science may be looking for next-level improvements in equipment utilization, pick and pack efficiency, or reducing warehouse space.

What to listen for:

  • Knowledge of what key performance indicators are and how they’re used in logistics management
  • Organizational skills and a systematic approach to process improvement
  • Specific experience or familiarity with performance-monitoring software systems and metrics

Why this matters:

To remain competitive, a company’s supply chain management approach must evolve along with relevant technologies. The logistics manager plays an instrumental role in rallying teams to see value in adopting proposed changes and facilitating smooth transitions. Candidates with experience in leading organizational change bring transferable skills that can help the company communicate, adapt, and keep pace.

What to listen for:

  • Experience implementing changes, training, and motivating teams
  • Communication skills to aid before, during, and after times of transition
  • A positive outcome that demonstrates the candidate’s leadership and interpersonal skills

Why this matters:

As shipping delays are common, logistics managers must be nimble and able to adapt to changing circumstances. This may entail having contingencies in place when delays arise, or implementing a vendor compliance program to set expectations and track performance. Negotiating a discount on future shipments, considering other vendors, or drafting supplier agreements are other proactive steps.

What to listen for:

  • Experiences that reflect the ability to adapt and plan for the unexpected
  • Use of systems and tools that aid in proactive tracking and identification of delays early on
  • Commitment to understanding the causes behind the delays and work on a plan with the supplier

Why this matters:

Management efficiency is crucial to maintaining smooth operations and advancing company goals. Logistics managers with excellent organization and time management skills will know how to delegate and prioritize key tasks. Candidates may discuss their personal productivity strategies or tasks and the importance of aligning with company goals to prioritize their workload into manageable, meaningful increments.

What to listen for:

  • Confidence in delegating, eliminating tasks, and assigning urgency
  • Demonstrated ability to set goals, schedule time, focus, and plan ahead
  • The ability to use technology to redirect brainpower to the most valuable uses of time and resources

Why this matters:

Logistics involves countless moving parts that require a flexible individual at the helm. Communication, organization, and problem-solving skills are essential for dealing with stressful situations. A candidate may discuss working long hours, meeting tight deadlines, or making crucial decisions in moments of crisis. Candidates may also describe reduction of stress through emotional intelligence and ideal work conditions.

What to listen for:

  • Experience handling stress
  • Examples of adaptability and resilience
  • Descriptions of ideal work environments compatible with what the company provides
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