Shipping & Freight Jobs

Common interview questions & how to answer them

Okay, so some interview questions are easier to answer than others & whilst you can’t predict exactly what you’ll be asked, any question has the potential to make you stumble – unless, of course, you’ve prepared in advance.

To help give you an idea of what could come up, here’s our list of common interview questions, and how we recommend you answer them:

  1. What are your weaknesses

One of the most difficult questions to be asked, which leaves many stumbling – handle this question by minimising your weaknesses and emphasising your strengths. Keep it professional and don’t concentrate on personal ones.

Plus, don’t say No – I don’t have any. We’re all human and we all have them.

An example would be:

I used to find it difficult to manage a number of shipments at the same time, preferring to finish one job before making a start on the next. I raised this with a manger, and I have since completed a time management course which has made it a lot easier for me to multi task and efficiently manage a number of job files at once.

  1. Why should we hire you?

This is the time for your sales / elevator pitch. Summarise the key benefits you’d bring to the role & why you think you’d be perfect.

Maybe something like: With 5 years of freight forwarding experience, having managed a number of large key accounts, ensuring high client satisfaction & retention rates, whilst also ensuring maximum profitability on each file, I feel I would make a great addition to your company.

Don’t say – I need the money!

  1. Why do you want to leave your current job?

Don’t talk about how your boss is difficult. Don’t talk about how you don’t get along with other employees. Don’t bad-mouth your company.

Instead, focus on the positives a move will bring. Talk about what you want to achieve. Talk about what you want to learn. Talk about ways you want to grow, about things you want to accomplish.

  1. What are your salary expectations?

Be realistic – what is the role paying? What are you currently earning? Have a look on the job boards and jobs with agencies to see how much companies within the same sector & geographic location are paying for someone who possesses similar skills to yourself. For a similar level role, the average increase is £1K to £2K pa. If you are on £24K, don’t ask for £30K for a similar role, you will just price yourself out the game.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

An old favourite still very much being used. What the interviewer really wants to see, is that you’ve thought about your future and gauge your ambition. They want to ensure that you are not just seeing this role as a stop gap. Although responses to this question should differ depending on the type of company, the type of role etc…. Be passionate about the industry and tie in your career goals with the company’s objectives.

Just don’t say – sitting in your seat.

SDW specialise in recruiting within the shipping, freight forwarding & supply chain sector. We have offices in both Southampton & Felixstowe, but recruit throughout the UK. If you are looking for a new role within the industry, it would be our pleasure to represent you and you can be assured that everything we do will be purely in your best interests, the communications lines will always be open, and we will always be at hand to offer, straight talking & honest advice. If you are looking for your next job within the logistics industry, contact one the team on 023 8033 6633 or 01394 330003 or email