4 Common Questions In Job Interviews For The Manufacturing Sector
It always helps to make the necessary preparations before attending any interview, including one in the manufacturing sector. There is nothing more embarrassing than sitting down with the hiring panel without knowing the answers to basic industry-related questions.
Beyond the general questions asked in interviews, here are some other industry-specific questions that are likely to be asked in a manufacturing job interview:
- Have you ever had an unsuccessful or not so successful project? How did you respond?
You probably don’t want to talk about unsuccessful events, especially those that you held a leading position in. However, you should be prepared to talk about your weaknesses and failures in an interview. This question is intended to show the interviewers how you handle bad or unfavourable situations.
It is best to pick a common unsuccessful event that happened early on in your career. It is easy to forgive newbie mistakes. Furthermore, you lay the foundation for talking about what you learned from the incident, and how you have developed since.
The interviewers may also ask you about the lessons you’ve learnt from mistakes on the production job.
- What is the most important aspect in running a factory?
This is a very common interview question in the industry, and the interviewers are looking to see if you know the standard operations of a manufacturing plant, and any priority areas.
To satisfactorily answer this question, you should conduct good research on the company where you’re applying to work. It shows forethought if you can match your skills to their manufacturing activities, and prove yourself as the best candidate for the job.
This question may also be framed differently when asked to “describe a typical week for the production position.”
- How would you handle a difficult supplier?
This question seeks to identify your communication and interpersonal skills that are vital in every industry. A critical step in every product life cycle, manufacturers have to deal with different kinds of professionals, from suppliers of raw materials to packaging and label designers.
There are two things that your response should communicate: First, that you are understanding and sympathetic. Conflicts are a common part of business, and they want to work with someone one who can resolve problems and not make them worse. Second, they want to see if you are assertive when need be, acting in the best interests of the organisation while preserving relationships.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Put another way, the interviewers may ask “what are your aspirations beyond this manufacturing/production job?”
They want to see your ambition, and whether you intend to stay with them long enough to become a future leader. You don’t have to specify job titles. Instead, discuss natural progression, and how the job can grow for the benefit of the organisation. Express your enthusiasm to learn on the job, and use your newly acquired skills to make the organisation better – more productive, more profitable, etc.
Many interview questions are more or less the same. You just need to customise responses to suit the job you are applying for. Research the company, the role you are likely to occupy, the people you’re likely to interact with in your new job, and see how well you fit in. Don’t be tempted to rely on your ability to think on your feet. Anticipate questions and prepare thoroughly to be successful.