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Procurement remains to be one of the fastest-growing professions in the country today. This is because, it is a profession that cuts across numerous industries such as energy, general manufacturing, retail, service sector, building and construction, FMCG, Media, and NGOs among others.
As a procurement professional, therefore, how do you ensure that you stand above the crowd when it comes to job interviews?
1. Tell me about yourself.
For a perfect answer ensure that you identify some of your main attributes and memorize them. Describe your qualifications, career history and range of skills, emphasizing those skills relevant to the job on offer.
“My name is Mary Kaberi, 26 years old, I hold a degree in procurement and logistics with three years experience both in the private and public sector. My most recent experience has been maintenance of procurement files, developing and implementing effective procurement policies. I am interested in this job because it gives me an opportunity to compile a report on all surplus, obsolete and defective equipment and stores for disposal consideration. This is what my previous job did not offer.”
2. What are your strengths?
For this question identify what you are good at i.e. knowledge, experience, skills and abilities. Prepare a list of your strong points and provide evidence for them.
“Over my three years experience I have accumulated extensive knowledge of procurement policies, practices and procedures and also knowledge in tendering procedures and systems. In my previous job I successfully prepared suitable contracts in close consultation with the user departments and I also obtained competitive bids and quality discounts which reduced the company losses by 50% in 2013.”
3. Why are you the right candidate for this job?
This is the time to talk about your job skills, training, and project experiences that make you better than everyone else.
“This job requires me to provide logistical support to the project as needed, including vehicle management, coordinating work permits for expatriate staff, inventory reporting and control which I was perfect at in my previous job. With my dream to be an all rounded procurement professional managing disposal of property and equipment in accordance with EGPAF and USG regulations will gear me towards that.”
4. Why do you want to work here?
It is important to do thorough research on the company and industry. This will make you stand out as an informed employee.
Also, try to look for news articles about the company, their recent successes and challenges, any information in the press about the developments of the industry they work in. Come up with concrete reasons which show your interest and enthusiasm for why you want to work for the company.
“When I visited your website I found out your carrying out project X and with my background in procurement, I think I would be an asset to you and the project by adding value with my knowledge in tendering procedures and systems.”
5. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This question purposes to let the employer know what you as a person value and enjoy doing and whether you’d be the perfect fit for the position.
“I was motivated by the challenge of monitoring the performance of selected suppliers, highlighting areas of concern and recommending alternatives where necessary. This gives me the sense of achievement towards the company goals and to myself too.”
6. What is your expected salary?
In this question do not be too greedy or undervalue yourself. Do a market research before the interview and find out what your position earns.
“Based on my education and experience I expect a salary of about Kshs. 65,000 a month.”
Would you like to prepare for an upcoming interview? Book a mock interview coaching session here and get personalized help.
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