Purchasing Agent Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: May 9, 2019

Interviews do not always go the way we want them to.

Nervousness and lack of preparation can spoil our chances of employment even when we are well qualified for a job.


But it does not have to be this way. Interviews are designed to rattle candidates; this information is no secret.

So if you know that you will be asked questions that are sure to throw you off track or catch you off guard, you should be prepared to answer them. Easier said than done? Not really!

When you apply for a job to which you are fully qualified, you know that there is a good chance that you will be interviewed. This is where your preparation needs to begin.


You need to read and understand the job description and also look thoroughly through the skills sections on the job advertisement so that you know what to expect during an interview.

In a sense, interviews are very much like cover letters since both aim to sell candidates’ skills and capabilities to potential employers.

What you need to do is make a list of skills that you possess and another one of the duties that a prospective employer would expect and play a matching game!

See also: Purchasing Agent Resume

So if you are a purchasing agent due to appear for an interview, have a look at the following possible interview questions and answers you could be asked:


Purchasing Agent Interview Questions and Answers

How do you conduct a sourcing initiative before you perform purchasing duties?

One of the most important aspects of a purchasing agent is to conduct research. I perform a series of research activities once I am given purchase order. I employ my own knowledge along with taking benefit of suggested avenues and locate the best possible source for purchase depending on price, quantity, location, and quality.

How do you decide with project needs a purchasing contract?

Purchasing contracts are usually needed for the procurement of materials or equipment for ongoing projects. Contracts with suppliers are a surefire way of ensuring constant and controlled supplies in a timely manner. I work on contracts for larger projects that have constant procurement needs. For shorter projects, contract management is usually a waste of time.

How do you handle situations in which a supplier or a vendor may not be able to perform as you would have liked?

I always have a backup plan. There are some circumstances such as outages and inconsistent materials that are beyond the control of suppliers. I always have another supplier in the pipeline in case something goes wrong with my initial choice.

How would you know that the price of a customized product that you purchase from a supplier is fair?

While it is not easy to determine fair prices of customized products, one can look through the prices of different components that a product has used. Based on this along with tax and legal profit information, one can figure out a fair price even for customized products.

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