3 months ago Career Advice, Education, logistics6,286

27 Essential Logistics Interview Questions and Answers

Almost every week I get several messages on LinkedIn and other social platforms usually circle coaching and mentoring requests to aid candidates in preparing for next Logistics Interview Questions.

Lots of supply chain and procurement professionals have found my blogs Top 23 Supply Chain Interview Questions and Answers Guide and 21 Authentic Procurement Interview Questions and Answers Guide very useful and given very positive feedback, therefore, I thought I should spend good time in writing a detailed blog on Logistics Interview Questions.

It has taken me 2 months to put this together, and I hope you find it useful. If you do, then please share further to benefits others.

In my opinion, being in logistics it is a tough job because something is always wrong somewhere! Delivery is late, PPE’s are not adequate, its hot in the warehouse, someone has got bad back and should be on light duties, customer services are chasing for overnight or next day deliveries and if this is not enough, Tom (Fake name!) has good night party with his mates last night and he has turned up drunk! What to do?

So I say this often to people when I interview.

“In Supply Chain & Logistics, you either have a bad day or very bad day, so if you are just having a bad day, consider it as a good day!”

…I don’t mean this literally!

Logistics professionals perform several responsibilities and are charged with the implementation of adequate logistics and supply chain plans. With interdependence on different levels of operation, products and services are expected to reach their destination in time.

With several promising prospects in choosing a career as a Logistics professional, the primary question remains, “how can I succeed in an interview?” Well, let’s answer them together.

Interview Questions for Logistics Manager

You have done the hard work and studies Best Supply Chain Resources, you have watched all the YouTube videos on Top Tips to Prepare for the next logistics interview. The anxiety and excitement that follows dream job interview can get you thinking for hours about possible Logistics Interview Questions. Gaining access to answers tips you can revise as well as providing the right answers is key to a successful interview.

Here I have compiled a list of the REAL and must-read Logistics Interview Questions for freshers as well as experienced Logistics professionals. Below is the list of possible interview questions either I will ask in the interview or these questions someone asked me!

Additionally, there are guaranteed possibilities of facing several generic job interview questions too – hopefully, this blog provides resourceful tips on tackling them. Moreover, please watch this awesome interview of The Supply Chain Show to understand what it takes to become Supply Chain TOP TALENT.

Why Should I Read This Blog on Logistics Interview Questions Further?

 

First, we all can agree having access to a comprehensive list of Logistics Interview Questions would greatly aid in preparation. My suggestion is to read this blog and find more insight into:

  • Commonly expected Technical Logistics Interview Questions,
  • Knowledge-based Logistics Interview Questions and Answers,
  • And Personalized Interview Questions for all levels of Logistics Professionals.

So, let’s get started with the questions, answers, and some tips to tackle upcoming interviews successfully.

Q1) In your opinion, what are the Key Competencies for Logistics professionals?

The key logistics competencies for logistics professionals to perform their job function at the highest level include:

  • Distribution Design, Sourcing, and Management
  • Distribution Design, Sourcing, and Management
  • Global Trade Compliance
  • Sourcing and Supplier Selection/Management
  • Supply Chain Continuity Planning
  • Transportation Sourcing & Management
  • Contract Management

Logistics is a broad and far-reaching function with a significant impact on the standard and logistical systems, and there are several other vital logistics competencies to know. Having the right logistics competencies support marketing function, product development, price promotion, as well as new ideas to drive change across the organization.

Competent logistics professionals drive increased revenue, create an opportunity for significant cost savings in operations, and simplify the complexity of distribution networks. To make all this happens, they acquire or should acquire the following logistics competencies

My article on 6 Must-Have Logistics Competencies for Supply Chain Professionals could be a good reference point.

Q2) How will you achieve 99,9% accuracy in the inventory?

To attain 99.9% accuracy in the inventory, Cycle Counting Procedure and Stocktaking Procedure are two procedure models that offer high-level accuracy. These procedures entail several details and can be adapted to solve your peculiar problems.

Cycle Counting Procedure can account for discrepancies amongst the quantities found in stocks and is recommended to maximize the value of audit and minimize the pain in physical count. Stocktaking Procedure also offers an accurate basis for planning and stock control procedures as its process enables you to assess the level of stock loss within your business’ sites.

You can check out my Cycle Counting Procedure Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide and Stocktaking: The Ultimate Guide (Stocktaking Procedure) as a good reference point.

Get Your Cycle Counting Procedure Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide Stocktaking: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Very Own Customised Stocktake Procedure

Q3) What’s the most important thing in warehouse management?

The essential factor in warehouse management is the safety rules. Warehouses with safety as a priority would include wearing appropriate PPE as well as paying attention to warning signs and signals. Such a warehouse Management System provides consistency, efficiency, and quality control to the warehouse process, which helps improves every stage of the fulfillment process.

You can check out my article on 5 Basics Warehouse Activities You Should Focus to Improve as a good reference point.

 

Q4) What type of WMS (Warehousing Management System) or TMS (Transport Management System) or an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) application you have used in the past? What you liked most in that application, and were there any limitations in that application?

WMS, TMS, and ERP are tools (software) that play a crucial role in inventory optimization of a business operation. These tools also help optimize input and output processes alongside slotting, packing, and shipping duties.

There are several variants available today for these tools, thus picking the right one is But is not always easy. WMS comes in three major types (integrated ERP, supply chain execution modules, and standalone warehouse management).

 

Q5) How would you reduce distribution costs?

To reduce distribution costs, the main areas to focus on including Inbound and outbound freight cost, storage cost, indirect cost such as energy, customs & duties, and of course direct manning cost. The purpose of reducing distribution costs is to save up more potential and contribute to the bottom line (profitability) of the business.

 

Q6) Have you launched any “Space management” initiatives to reduce warehouse cost per sq. ft?

The most important thing is Warehouse Space Planning. Planning increases efficiency facilitates proper coordination and maintains good control. When Warehouse Space Planning, the first thing is finding a suitable location. When choosing a location, planners should know how much square footage they will need to store their goods, and how much space will be required.

For detailed reply, you must read Warehouse Space Optimization: 17 Tactics That Can Be Used to Improve Space.

 

Q7 From your past experience, tell us about one or two most complex problems you faced in warehousing/logistics management and what was your contribution to solve them.

OR

Give us an example of one of your most creative contributions during your past experience preferably related to warehousing/logistics.

This is very common amongst the logistics interview questions. This is were you use to think about your experience and scenario and use STAR approach to answer the questions.

 

Q8) What are the most important logistics KPI you have used to drive process improvement?

This is also very common candidates amongst a long list of logistics interview questions, it looks straight forward but it is not! Here you need to think carefully and pick logistics KPI you have used and mentioned the ones you have used to drive continuous improvement in warehouse management.

For example, if you have work on Inventory Reduction then you should use one of the 7 Inventory Management KPIs and explain the approach to how you have achieved inventory reduction. Some nice Inventory Reduction Strategies for you mentioned here!

 

Q9) What would do at first in the department after being hired?

My acquittance Melissa Pertusi suggested the question and should answer as

“The answer usually is not only the first step but all the backbone of a strategy for 6-12 months. That’s also an opportunity to analyze how organized (in thoughts and actions) someone is, given that the role requires a lot from this skill. 

Q10) How to maximize customer-satisfaction, logistics?

The eight “rights” of logistics are the Right Product, The Right Way, The right Quantity, The right Quality, The right Place, The Right Time, The right Customer, and the right Cost. The eight “rights” of logistics need to be appropriate to make the supply chain as efficient as possible and satisfy the customers.

My article on Traveling Salesman Problem & The 8 “Rights” Of Logistics could be a good reference point.

Q11) Who will be key stakeholders if you are successful in this job?

Nowadays, Customer Service Team, Production Team, and Finance Managers are considered Key Supply Chain Stakeholders as the process requires more innovative initiatives, helping create vision and strategy and get involved in employee engagement initiatives. Finance Managers are also essential to provide a good understanding of finance and how this function can contribute to the success of jobs.

You can check out 5 Reasons why Your Finance Manager is Amongst Your Key Supply Chain Stakeholders as a good reference point.

Q12) Have you design and created any Standard Work process in your previous job?

Designing solid standard procedure and supply chain processes are very important to reduce variation in day to day distribution and warehouse activities. It is also one of the four pillars of supply chain strategy. A good sample of logistics processes would be standard work in the pick, pack, and ship, safety rules, packaging instruction, etc.

Q13) What the best approaches to Supply Chain Modelling?

The supply chain modeling process can be approached in 3 ways, and they include network design, ‘rough cut’ methods, and simulation-based methods. To incorporate such decisions, critical areas like location, production, inventories, and transportation, are necessary considerations. Significant efforts have been put into the creation of an ideal supply chain model so that accurate design on improvements in performance can be made.

My article on Supply Chain Modelling – Approaches and Characteristics to Consider could be a good reference point.

 

Q14) How Do I Evaluate a Fulfillment Company?

Following the e-commerce boom, evaluating fulfillment companies would involve taking consideration of a few core areas of differentiation and capabilities that typically characterize their best metrics. These core areas include Define Your Goals, get a Specific Price, Clarify Support and Training, Ask for Guarantees in Writing, and Review Your Warehouse Needs Together.

My article on How to Evaluate a Fulfillment Company could be a good reference point.

 

Q15) Given the experience with COVID-19 what is Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for Warehouse During Crisis?

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for the Warehouse in terms of crisis is only as effective as the planning put in place beforehand. It is critically important to set specific guidelines about who gets directly involved, and which stages everyone gets involved. Engaging the right employees and partners goes a long way in the planning stage, and these create a more transparent, consistent, and more reliable plan.

For businesses with Warehouse (s), the effects of any crisis can be highly damaging, especially to meet customer service expectations. The likely anticipation and preparations through sensible Business Continuity Plan (BCP) require specific vital considerations to help guarantee operational continuity within the shortest possible period.

These key considerations include: Planning, Warehouse/Site contamination, Process/supplier identified for quick decontamination in case of contamination of warehouse/office, Work from Home, Alternative Warehouse location planned/set up in case of contamination, Plan for blue-collar replacement resources in case of sickness/absence, Identify Critical Inventory to duplicate, Operations Disruption, Have a backup Call Center to take customer calls during a crisis, Inbound Routes Planned, Plan of re-routing of incoming shipments, Outbound Routes planned, and Last-mile distribution.

Read  13 Things To Consider in Business Continuity Plan for Warehouse During Crisis could be a good reference point.

 

Q16) To deliver improvements, which Warehouse Activities would you focus on?

In general, warehouse activity consists of receiving, put away, storage, packing, and shipping. Warehouses could have different activities according to product specifications, customer requirements, and service levels ordered. The complexity of the warehouse activities depends mainly on:

  • the number and variety of items to be handled
  • the amount of daily workload to be done
  • the number, the nature and the type of processes necessary to fulfill the needs and demands.

My article on 5 Basics Warehouse Activities You Should Focus to Improve could be a good reference point.

Well Researched Warehouse Audit Tool – To Improve Warehouse Performance

Q17) What are the new set of Incoterms® 2020?

As per January 2020, the new set of Incoterms® 2020 are set of trade terms which describe:

  • Obligations: Who does what in organizing the carriage, insurance of goods, obtaining shipping documents, arranging for export or import licenses;
  • Risk: Where and when the seller delivers the goods, in other words where does the risk transfers;
  • Costs: Which party is responsible for which costs

 

Q18) Is DAT better than DPU?

The use of DAT (Delivered at Terminal) implies the goods were delivered unloaded. For DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded), the seller is responsible for export, but not for any import formality, including post-delivery transit through third countries.

 

Q19) Why do CIP and CIF have different levels of insurance?

The insurance only covers for damages and losses up until to moment of actually arriving at the place agreed. However, the reality is that insurance only covers general average and salvage charges sustained to evade loss from any cause except those left out.

 

Q20) Why is “Bill-of-Lading On-board notation” added for FCA?

For goods carriage by sea, buyers or sellers (or likely banks) may require a Bill-of-Lading (B/L) with an on-board notation alongside FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Nevertheless, delivery under the FCA rule is completed before loading the vessel. Under Incoterms®, the carrier is, under its contract of carriage, bounded and entitled to issue an on-board Bill-of-Lading only when the goods are on-board.

 

Q21) Why do we still need separate maritime terms like FAS, FOB, CFR, and CIF?

Maritime transportation has established extensive set rules and regulations (called Maritime Law) for all harbors and ports. The Maritime Law is conventions, laws, and treaties governing all maritime matters. It also governs several insurance claims involving cargo and ships.

Since the first set of Incoterms® was published and aimed to ease the understanding of these laws, the focus on maritime traffic all carry rules relating to terms like FAS, FOB, CFR, and CIF.

 

Q22) Why is it important how we mention Incoterms®?

Incoterms® are factually standardized international delivery terms, serving as a contract between buyer and seller. The term describes all costs, risks, and tasks related to the transaction of goods globally.  So, Incoterms® are essential as they make up the most important trading conditions.

 

Q23) What are the key challenges in managing foreign trade management?

Knowing the basics of foreign trade management is imperative for logistics providers to meet the required service quality levels. Furthermore, trade management costs for importers and exporters are significant in terms of visible and hidden charges. Know the basics will help the cost reduction and efficient flow of information.

My article on Lifetime Basics Of Foreign Trade Management – 3 Things You Need To Know could be a good reference point.

 

Q24) What is the difference between FIFO and LIFO?

The difference between FIFO (First-In, First-Out) and LIFO (Last-In, First-Out) exists only if the unit costs of a product are decreasing or increasing. The FIFO approach assumes that older products in an inventory are sold first and uses their production costs. The LIFO method assumes the newest products in an inventory are sold first and uses those costs instead.

 

Q25) What are the best Logistics Management Books?

There are different facets and books for Logistics Management; it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing which one to purchase.

My article on 7 Best Logistics Management Books You Should Read could be a good reference point for this question, if ask.

 

Q26) What are the major Supply Chain Trends to consider in today’s market?

Today’s technological disruption is fast and ruthless, and it is transforming most industries, including the supply chain. The major Supply Chain Trends to consider in today’s market includes Big Data, 3D Printing, Internet of Things (IoT) – Industry 4.0, Moving supply chain to “Cloud,” Gamification of the supply chain, Augmented reality (AR), and Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the supply chain.

Read more on  7 Powerful Supply Chain Trends You Should Not Ignore could be a good reference point.

 

Q27) What is your take on Online Logistics Courses?

One of the less likely question to appear in any logistics questions list! But worth taking a note.

Online Logistics Courses provide an excellent platform for logistics professionals to attain international professional qualifications in logistics. These Online Logistics Courses delivered by accredited training providers offer unique benefits and standards to match global demands. The objective of Online Logistics Courses is to enable aspiring logistics professionals to increase their confidence, knowledge, and skills in Logistics.

My article on Top 6 Online Logistics Courses That Can Benefit Aspiring Logistics Professionals could be a good reference point.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Hopefully, you enjoyed the Logistics Questions and learned something new about logistics. The goal and desire of every Logistics Professional are to be better prepared to face possible Questions when facing an interview.

My passion is to create hope for everyone, beginners, or professionals, and I hope the above Questions and answers have done justice to most of the Supply Chain Interview Questions asked. I have created lots of useful supply chain & logistics guides & tools to help you perform better in your jobs and recently a course of Sales & Operations Planning, hope you find them useful.If you have any Logistics Interview Questions or more additions to make, feel free to add them. I am open to learning and welcome new ideas too!!

Lastly, I would strongly recommend watching below embedded YouTube videos to prepare yourself very well in your next Logistics Questions!

Muddassir Ahmed
Summary
27 Essential Logistics Interview Questions and Answers
Article Name
27 Essential Logistics Interview Questions and Answers
Description
If you're the one applying for the logistics jobs, make sure you're prepared to answer these logistics interview questions. All 27, if you could!
Author
Publisher Name
Dr. Muddassir Ahmed
Publisher Logo