15 Inventory Control Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Inventory Control skills will be used.

Inventory control is a critical function in any business that relies on physical goods to operate. An inventory control specialist is responsible for ensuring that a company has the right amount of stock on hand at all times, and that that stock is properly organized and accounted for.

If you’re applying for a job in inventory control, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your skills and experience. In this guide, we’ve compiled some of the most common inventory control interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next job interview.

1. What is inventory control?

Inventory control is a key skill for an inventory manager. It’s important to show the interviewer that you understand what this job entails and how it relates to your previous experience. In your answer, define what inventory control is and explain why it’s important in your field.

Example: “Inventory control is the process of monitoring the amount of goods or materials available at any given time. Inventory managers use software programs to track their company’s stock levels and make sure they have enough supplies on hand to meet customer demand. This helps businesses avoid running out of products and incurring additional costs.”

2. Why do companies need to use inventory controls?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of inventory controls and how they can benefit a company. You can answer this question by explaining the benefits of using inventory controls, such as increased efficiency and accuracy in tracking inventory.

Example: “Inventory controls are important because they help companies keep track of their inventory levels at all times. This allows businesses to know when they need to order more products or reorder existing ones. Inventory controls also allow companies to monitor their costs and profits so that they can make adjustments if necessary. Using inventory controls helps ensure that companies have accurate information about their inventories, which can save them time and money.”

3. How does an inventory control system work?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of inventory control systems and how they work. You can answer this question by explaining the basics of how an inventory control system works, including its functions and processes.

Example: “An inventory control system uses a barcode scanner or RFID reader to scan products as they’re received into stock. The information from these scans is then uploaded to a database where it’s stored for later use. When I’m working with an inventory control system, I usually enter data manually when scanning items that don’t have a barcode or RFID tag. This data includes the product name, quantity on hand and cost per unit. From there, the system automatically calculates the total value of all products in stock.”

4. What are the advantages of using inventory control?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you understand the benefits of inventory control and how it can benefit their company. Use examples from your previous experience or explain what you believe are the advantages of using inventory control software.

Example: “Inventory control has many advantages, including increased efficiency, reduced costs and improved customer service. For example, I used inventory control at my last job to reduce the time it took for me to complete a task by 50%. This allowed me to spend more time on other important tasks like identifying ways to improve our processes and creating reports.”

5. What’s the difference between periodic and perpetual inventory systems?

This question tests your knowledge of inventory control systems. It also helps the interviewer determine whether you’re a good fit for their company’s specific processes and procedures. Use examples from your experience to explain what each system is, how it works and when you’ve used them in the past.

Example: “Periodic inventory systems are typically used by businesses that have large inventories with many items. They require an organization to count all of its inventory at regular intervals. Perpetual inventory systems are more common among smaller companies because they don’t require as much time or resources to maintain. These systems use software to track inventory levels so there’s no need to physically count everything.”

6. Can you explain how to calculate holding costs with a formula?

Holding costs are the expenses associated with storing inventory. Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to use formulas and calculations in an inventory control role. In your answer, explain how you would complete a holding cost calculation using a formula.

Example: “I have experience calculating holding costs for my previous employer. Holding costs include all of the expenses related to storing inventory, including rent, insurance, utilities and depreciation. To calculate holding costs, I first determine the total value of inventory on hand at any given time. Then, I subtract the current market value from that amount to find the total cost of goods available for sale. Finally, I divide the cost of goods by the number of days it takes to sell those items to get the average daily cost.”

7. What are some common techniques used in inventory control?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of inventory control techniques and how you apply them to your work. You can answer this question by naming several common techniques used in inventory control, such as cycle counting, perpetual count and ABC analysis.

Example: “There are many different methods for inventory control that I have learned throughout my career. Cycle counting is a technique where you count all items in an inventory at regular intervals. This helps me ensure that there aren’t any missing or extra items in the inventory. Another method is perpetual count, which involves keeping track of each item’s location so you know when it needs to be counted. Finally, ABC analysis is a way to categorize inventory based on its age, usage and cost.”

8. What is ABC analysis?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of inventory control. It also shows the interviewer that you can apply what you know about inventory control to real-world situations. In your answer, explain what ABC analysis is and how it’s used in inventory management.

Example: “ABC analysis stands for activity-based costing. This method helps businesses determine which products are most profitable and which ones aren’t. To do this, I first identify all the costs associated with each product. Then, I assign each cost to one of three categories—A, B or C. Category A represents fixed costs, category B represents variable costs and category C represents non-production costs. After calculating these costs, I can see which products are most profitable.”

9. What is XYZ Analysis?

This question tests your knowledge of inventory control. It is a basic concept that many employers want to see in their employees, so they ask this question to make sure you know how to use it. When answering this question, define what XYZ Analysis is and give an example of when you used it.

Example: “XYZ Analysis is the process of analyzing sales data for products or services by location, time period and customer type. I have used this method at my previous job to determine which products were selling well in certain locations during specific times of the year. This helped me create more accurate forecasts for our company’s inventory.”

10. What is FSN analysis?

Inventory control requires a variety of skills, and the interviewer may ask you this question to see if you have experience with one in particular. FSN analysis is an inventory management process that involves analyzing the frequency, size and nature of items on hand. Your answer should show that you know what FSN analysis is and how it can be used to improve inventory management processes.

Example: “FSN analysis stands for Frequency, Size and Nature analysis. It’s a method I use when conducting inventory audits to determine whether certain products are more important than others. For example, I recently worked at a retail store where we had over 1,000 different types of shoes available for sale. Using FSN analysis, I was able to sort through all of the shoe brands and styles to find which ones were selling best. This helped us decide which shoes to restock and which ones to remove from our inventory.”

11. What is EOQ?

EOQ stands for economic order quantity, and it is a method of inventory control that helps businesses determine the optimal amount to order. This question allows you to show your knowledge of inventory management by explaining what EOQ is and how it can be used in business.

Example: “EOQ is an acronym for economic order quantity. It’s a mathematical formula that determines the number of units a company should order at one time based on the cost of ordering more or less than this amount. For example, if I am working with a client who needs 100 widgets per month, I would use EOQ to calculate the most economical way to order these widgets each month. If the price of ordering 200 widgets is $100 lower than the price of ordering 100 widgets, then I would recommend my client order 200.”

12. What is VED analysis?

This question tests your knowledge of inventory control. It is a basic concept that many employers want to see in their employees, so they may ask this question to make sure you have the necessary skills for the job. When answering this question, it can be helpful to define what VED analysis is and how it helps businesses with inventory management.

Example: “VED stands for value-added versus non-value added costs. This method of analyzing inventory involves determining which products are most profitable for a company and which ones aren’t as profitable. For example, if I am working at a clothing store, I would look at each item’s sales history to determine whether it has been selling well or not. Then, I would use that information to decide which items we should keep on hand and which ones we should get rid of.”

13. What is HML analysis?

This question tests your knowledge of inventory control. HML stands for high, medium and low. It’s a common method used to analyze inventory levels in a warehouse or storage facility. Your answer should show that you understand the purpose of this analysis and how it can be applied effectively.

Example: “HML is an effective way to determine what items are selling well and which ones need more attention. The process involves sorting all products into three categories based on their sales volume. High-selling items have a quantity of stock that is less than 30% of its total sales. Medium-selling items have between 30% and 70% of their stock remaining. Low-selling items have more than 70% of their stock left.”

14. Are there any inventory management standards that organizations should follow? If yes, what are they?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your knowledge of industry standards and practices. It’s important to show that you’re familiar with these standards, as they can help you perform inventory control more efficiently. In your answer, list two or three standards and explain why they are important.

Example: “There are several standards organizations should follow when it comes to inventory management. One standard is using perpetual inventory records, which means keeping track of all inventory at all times. Another standard is having an automated system for tracking inventory, such as barcode scanners or RFID tags. Finally, another standard is performing physical counts every month.”

15. What’s your opinion on lean management for inventory control processes?

This question is a great way to see how you apply your knowledge of inventory control processes. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of lean management and can explain why it’s beneficial for businesses.

Example: “I think lean management is an excellent strategy for inventory control because it allows companies to reduce waste, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. I’ve used lean management in my previous role as an inventory specialist, where we implemented many strategies to help us achieve our goals. For example, we reduced the amount of time it took to complete tasks by 50% through implementing continuous improvement techniques.”


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