20 Material Handler Interview Questions and Answers

Updated: January 27, 2023


  1. Before going to an interview for a material handler position, make yourself presentable by wearing a formal dress.
  2. Try to reach the interview place 15 minutes before the interview time.
  3. Keep yourself relaxed during the interview – you are in fact in a high position.

See the questions and answers below to get a basic idea about expected interview questions and appropriate responses.

Material Handler Interview Questions and Answers

1. Why should we hire you as a material handler?
I am an organized person who has a demonstrated ability to maintain the warehouse in a clean and arranged manner while adhering to all safety procedures. Moreover, I am highly skilled in loading, unloading, and transporting merchandise, correctly identifying the material, breaking down material, and noting discrepancies per SOPs. These qualities make me a perfect candidate for the material handling position.

2. Which kind of machinery/equipment can you use?
I am adept at operating forklifts, pallet jacks, wire-cutting equipment, and shrink-wrap machines. Also, I can drive the light van and delivery vehicles.

3. Do you have a working driver’s license? How many, if any, traffic tickets have you received?
Yes, I possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.

4. What kind of skills and knowledge should be possessed by a material handler to work effectively?
A material handler should know about necessary warehouse procedures. Moreover, he must possess a computer, mathematical, communication, and reading skills to get his job done most effectively.

5. Are you working as a material handler full-time somewhere at present?
For the past two years, I have worked as a part-time Merchandise Handler at The True Value Company which is a renowned chain of independent hardware stores for Do-It-Yourself products.

6. At your previous place of work, what was your role in the whole procurement process? What were you accurately responsible for?
My role isn’t limited to one specific task in the procurement process as far as the merchandise or material handler job description is concerned. My duties cover a broad spectrum of tasks including:
• Selecting and picking finished products for shipment according to shipping labels or purchase orders, while verifying and also matching the quantity mentioned on the purchase order.
• Maintaining and verifying goods’ records (received/shipped) facilitating the flow of goods through the factory and the warehouse.
• Performing cycle and location count with a Cherry Picker material handler
• Using Scan Guns and warehouse management system (WMS) programs like Fourth Shift and Visibar for making system adjustment entries
• Operating material handling equipment efficiently and also following preventative maintenance programs on assigned material handling equipment

6. Do you have experience in coordinating GPM shipments?
Yes, I have been coordinating shipments with carriers and freight companies, and warehouse picks through WMS. I have been carrying out efficient placard and shipment preparations, closing system orders, and managing document storage and retention.

7. What is the nature of goods you handle at work as a ‘merchandise handler’?
It depends on the shipment. Sometimes huge cartons and boxes of the True Company’s DIY merchandise and sometimes packs of individual hardware shipment material including wooden, metal, and plastic products.

8. What do PPE and MSDS stand for?
PPE stands for Personal Protection Equipment, and MSDS stands for Material safety data sheet.

9. Do you have any specializations in material handling?
Yes, I am specialized in asbestos and steel handling.

10. What kind of warehouse equipment/machinery are you familiar with?
I am well-versed in operating forklifts, pallet jacks, transfer carts, conveyors, cherry picker material handlers, scan guns, cantilevered cranes, and industrial trucks.

11. Tell me about your PC and software skills.
I am well-versed in all MS-based programs especially excel. I am also proficient in various warehouse management software including Visibar and Fourthshift

12. What knowledge is must-have for a material handler?
Knowledge regarding safety procedures to be followed in material handling, OSHA workplace safety guidelines, and equipment operation procedures is a must for a material handler.

13. Do you have any experience in material buying?
I have experience in selecting and picking products for shipment based on purchase orders after inspecting each unit and verifying the ordered quantity.

14. What basic precautions must you take while handling hazardous material?
To ensure the safe handling of hazardous material, a material handler must always use PPE and pay special attention to MSDS details. Using all materials only for their intended purpose, ensuring proper storage of all materials, and remaining alert and vigilant also count.

15. Give me an example of where you resolved a conflict within your team.
Last year we had huge consignments to ship, and two members of the team who were in charge of manual scanning of the material were not working as hard and fast as they were required to. I suggested in the weekly meeting to switch some duties to enhance the productivity of the team and volunteered to be shifted to manual scanning. The supervisor reallocated tasks for everyone, assigning more preferred tasks to the two underperforming workers which resolved the issue.

16. Do you possess the physical stamina demanded by this job?
Definitely! I can lift up to 70 lbs unaided and up to 150 lbs with the help of wheeled Lories. I have excellent eye-hand coordination and also bring a track record of working effectively in difficult weather conditions.

17. How much weight can you lift and carry for around 100 yards easily?
I can carry fifty to seventy pounds very quickly and move it around. At work, I have also been lifting these weights from the floor to five feet high shelves and even carrying them up and down the stairs. I can stand and walk 8 to 10 hours per day while lifting, carrying, handling, rotating, etc. continuously.

18. Speaking of safety, how would you react if you saw someone doing something unsafe within the warehouse?
Each person within a warehouse is responsible for ensuring that all duties are handled carefully. If I see someone doing something unsafe, I would not hesitate to point it out and assist him or her in making sure that whatever was being done, is done according to warehouse safety rules.

19. Why is accuracy important in your work as a material handler?
Since each order pulled and dispatched comes with specific instructions – down to the number of items – it is important for us to be able to follow the instructions properly. One item less or more means that we have failed in our work.

20. What is the most challenging part of working as a warehouse material handler?
The physical exertion that one must go through is quite challenging. On very hot or cold days, it becomes difficult to push, lift or cart heavy shipments from one place to another, even with the warehouse temperature in control.