woman(Who is Dana?  Dana – Media Planner and Buyer with 4 years experience seeking Marketing PR Specialist role)

Terry: Great, thank you.  Clearly, you’ve had experience working with vendors.  We really have a problem here, what would you do if a vendor wasn’t delivering what was needed?  Either the quality was off or it was completely the wrong stuff or a combination thereof, you know all kinds of things could potentially go wrong.  What would you do if you had a vendor that really wasn’t earning their money?

Dana: Obviously, since I feel that I am a great communicator I know how to reach out to people, I would definitely try to communicate what it was.  That what they had given us was incorrect or we need to change things or it needed to be edited and just make it clear to them, you know just kind of reiterate what I had asked for at the first request.

Just to go over that again, to make sure they felt comfortable and if they had questions or concerns to absolutely, you know, communicate those questions or concerns with me, just to make sure that were both on the same page with what we were trying to accomplish.

To open the paths of communication and make sure that they felt comfortable coming to me if they had a question.  Then we’d just kind of work it out that way and go back and forth until the final product was what we had anticipated.

Terry: So how would you actually get them to address…  I mean I hear that you would look out to them for what their questions or concerns were, but in this particular scenario, they’re not doing what we need them to do.  How would you approach it with them?

Dana: I mean I would definitely set a timeline for them to get back to me with the information.  It would definitely be over email and a phone call. Just reiterate the fact that we value our relationship as their being our vendor.

We don’t want to jeopardize the business relationship that we have, but we just want to make sure that they’re going to meet the requirements by (X) time or (X) day, depending on the particular project.

Terry: Have you had any situation in the past where you actually have had to deal with a vendor that wasn’t performing that you could give me a specific instance of what you did in that case?

Dana: I’ve definitely been in that position.  With media planning and buying everything is on a very tight deadline and we’re under pressure from the client and the team, so there’s definitely been times where I’ve been put in that situation.

I’m trying to think about an individual situation that I could give you an example for.  I mean this was a day-to-day thing that I dealt with at my previous job, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to pick up the phone and call a vendor just to let them know that we really needed this information and we need it by this time.

They were always willing to work with me and get me what we needed in order to accomplish the project.

Here’s how I would rate this answer . . .

Q8. What would you do if . . . – DANA QUICK RATING – D

Not as strong an answer, could have been more comprehensive initially on all the steps you would take as a progression if needed rather than stopping with just the first one, also you sounded so nice in your approach that wasn’t sure you would have the strength to be really assertive if the work with them didn’t get us what we needed, or perhaps you could describe a specific instance where you did have to use multiple steps.

This Guide will help you with samples and complete how to answer training for even more questions you face in your job interviews.

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Terry Kozlowski

Seen on TV nationally as a Career Strategist and Interview Expert on NBC, Fox News, heard on radio stations across country, contributed to or been profiled in print media including The Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune.