Category manager Interview Questions
Category managers focus their efforts on the sales, pricing, visual merchandising and management of a certain product category within a store. Their expertise helps drive accessibility, appeal and visibility. When interviewing for a category manager role, you may answer questions about your retail experience and categories.
Top Category Manager Interview Questions & How to Answer
Here are three top category manager interview questions and tips on how to answer them:
Question No. 1: Describe your experience in supply chain management.
How to answer: The supply chain impacts on category managers, as it determines when products become available. When facing a question about supply chain management, outline specific processes you follow to track products, manage supply chain concerns and work as a team player.
Question No. 2: What sources do you use to find consumer trends?
How to answer: Category managers must know the consumer trends in the product categories they manage, as this data indicates what customers want and what they are willing to pay. Some of the best resources for consumer trends include historical data, consumer interaction and feedback, and reviewing competitor setups. Describe how you find and analyse the data.
Question No. 3: Have you ever negotiated with a product vendor? What was the outcome?
How to answer: Since category managers specialise in a particular area, they often work with specific vendors offering products in their area of expertise. Across all niches of the industry, retail has tight profit margins, so management often looks for ways to cut prices. Use this question to describe a specific situation when you negotiated in your role and how that situation benefitted the store.
HR person surprised me when asking if I had my presentation ready when she took me to the interview room. I asked her what she was talking about, and she said her email had advised me that I'd need to create and present an catman example to my interviewers, and that I was supposed to have hard copies for them. (I subsequently checked my emails, and confirmed that there was no mention of a presentation). After the interviews, she told me that she double checked her records, and that this position did not require a presentation.3 Answers
That sounds like a mind game.
I have heard that before.. lot of companies like to throw you a curve just to see how you will respond… Less
My response to the HR person was that I'd not noticed anything in her email about a presentation, and that I could talk about anything they wanted based on my experience. I think the purpose of the question was to see how candidates respond under stress, and how easily they can rebound. The key is to not miss a beat or get flustered. Less
This is a similar type of question: At 10:00 AM train A left the station and an hour later train B left the same station on a parallel track. If train A traveled at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour and train B at 80 miles per hour, then at what time did train B pass train A?2 Answers
For sure I got it wrong! (I think they want to see how you behave under stress)
The answer will be 2:00 pm. 80 t = 60 ( t + 1) t - number of hours till B will catch the A train It will take the B train 3 hours to catch the A train. But because the train B started one hour later (11 am), the time will be 2 pm Less
I never really had any difficult questions unless but one I found hard was about labor laws, and how the breaks are given. For example "If I work 5 hours what is my break supposed to be?" no manager had any real calrification.2 Answers
In Michigan it is supposed to be a half an hour anything under 4 hours is 15 minutes. Less
If someone works 5 hours it's a mandatory 30 min break
Pretty standard behavioral questions for the role. Most unexpected (and, in my opinion, most inappropriate) questions "What did your father do for a living?" followed by "and what about mom?"2 Answers
I was a little shocked at the irrelevancy of the question about my parents given my 20+ year work history. After that question, I decided I would not want to work for the organization or this team in any case, but politely completed the interview process. These interviewers could greatly benefit from a class in behavioral based interviewing, understanding appropriate interview questions, and allowing the candidate to finish the answers before interrupting. Less
Given your 20+ work history, it's surprising you were asked this question. I've known this to be a typical question for someone with less experience. The reasoning I've always heard for asking this question is that it's surprising how many people actually don't know and understand what their parents work entails. Depending on how in detail you can discuss the profession, it is supposed to indicate how inquisitive you are. I've heard of a few I-Banks and consulting companies will ask, though its usually because they're looking to see if you were handed everything or if you actually had to work for what you wanted. (Though I would argue successful parents doesn't always equate to children who have never worked.) Less