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When you are preparing for an interview as a Bid Manager, even with a wealth of experience, interviews can be daunting prospect. Your performance during an interview can impact the outcome on whether you secure the role.
One of the main reason’s candidates are unsuccessful in securing a role is their performance in the interview.
We have pulled together some helpful tips and answers samples for you to keep-in-mind during an interview to help you secure the role. We recommend you build upon the answers where possible based on your own experiences.
If you’re a business and looking to hire whether it be the first time, these questions may help you ask the right questions and establish the candidate experience. If you require help recruiting your next bid manager, contact our resourcing team who can assist in hiring your next manager.
1. As a bid manager, what is your management style?
Tip – Try and avoid labels, an understanding of what the employer is looking for is critical. Say what makes you different, have you put a team together in difficult circumstances with positive results?
In my experience allocating responsibility is key. Any team needs the ability to develop and grow as both individuals and a whole.
When building a team each member should be clear on their role, knowing where they fit in and knowing that they can depend on other team members, teamwork is imperative. Being open and approachable will encourage ownership and accountability this will also help motivate the team. Real-time feedback is important as if a member of the team does something wrong, they need feedback on how to improve or better understand what they have done incorrectly.
2. What experience do you have with respects to this BID MANAGER position?
Tip – Speak about the specific aspects of the role you are applying for and what experience you should demonstrate the key attributes of the role. If this role is the next step towards progressing your career you should plan for this question ahead of time to ensure you can suitably answer this question.
Use specific examples to demonstrate your achievements and bring your answer to life.
I have been working as a Bid Manager for several years, developing my skills as a not only a team leader but an effective communicator. In my last role I delivered a large complex bid which involved co-ordinating and managing a number of stakeholders from across the organisation to ensure we produced high quality responses that represented our ability to deliver the contract.
3. Our field is always changing. As such, what have you done with regards to personal development when it comes to our posted BID MANAGER POSITION in the last 12 months?
Tip – This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your diversity of skills and what you accomplished in your professional and personal life. Plan for this question and have a set of examples ready. Employers are looking for individual who’s self-motivated and goal oriented.
I have a keen interest in volunteer work and my current organisation actively supports several charities where I have been lucky enough to be involved in different campaigns. These experiences have taught me the importance of coming together and delivering something back to my local community and understand the impact this can have on individual’s life.
This also brings additional perspective when developing bids as I have hands on experience of on what could be considered within Social Value responses (at a tactical level).
In a previous role, the organisation I worked for actively targeted bids in the Public Sector, therefore I have undertaken some Public Contract Regulations training to increase my understanding of the regulations to ensure I am equipped to develop the type of responses required within this sector.
4. Tell me about yourself?
Tip – Through researching different organisations this is one of the most frequently asked questions, this is most likely to be at the start of the interview to make you feel more at ease. You should bare this in mind before the interview and ensure you are prepared; however, you want to come across so try to memorise a few points that you can build upon naturally in the conversation.
Focus on work experience, your educations and any relevant hobbies or interests.
As I mentioned earlier, I have worked for a number of charities, most recently I worked with (for example) BridgetoAid which gives essential dental care to people in developing countries. This made me appreciate not only how lucky I was, but how important it is to help others have access to this type of service which is often taken for granted.
5. Why should we hire you?
Tip – This is a relatively easy question to answer, however you must not try to undermine the other candidates or assume their skillset. Don’t try and discredit the other candidate’s attributes and focus on your own talents and skills that you can offer. Back up your skills with examples where you can!
Don’t talk about why the role will help you, talk about how you will benefit the organisations.
I like the sound of the company ethos; it resonates which me as an individual therefore I think I would be a good fit for the organisation.
I also believe I have the skill set required to do the job, but I also welcome any learning opportunities and I am open to change and develop to ensure the needs of the organisation are met. I appreciate there will be a period of getting up to speed and I always welcome the challenge but this is a good time to review current practice and see where I can add value and make suggestions based on my own experiences to enhance the current bid management offering.
6. Why are you leaving your last role?
Tip – This question is innocent enough however is answered incorrectly can have serious consequences on the outcome of the interview.
You should avoid salary for being a reason as it doesn’t show loyalty, the interviewer won’t want to risk hiring someone that will leave for better pay in a few months’ time.
If you are currently employed or leaving a role at your own accord, craft a response that describes your career and demonstrate where you have excelled, whilst explaining how you are excited for new challenges.
If your employer is downsizing be honest and positive. If you have been fired give an honest brief of why that happened and don’t drag the employer into any simmering drama.
Prepare to give more answers to this as there maybe follow up questions.
I was in my last role for several years; I really enjoyed the environment and the people, however, I feel as if I have outgrown the role and there are not enough opportunities to further develop the skills I have learnt. I have gained lots of experience in my current position and this new role would allow me to continue to develop in this field by broadening my capability as it focuses on a new sector.
7. What are your strengths?
Tip – Of course, this is the best question to really give a detailed description of why you’re not only suited for the role but a good employee overall. You want to demonstrate how you will benefit the employer.
- Problem solver
These are all key attributes that employers are looking for.
I have always worked well in a team, I try and always take everyone’s abilities into account, it’s easier to know someone’s potential if you know what they are capable of. I always try to keep positive an encourage the team even when things are going wrong. I believe that with the right motivation any team can do great things this has a lot to do with communication which I pride myself on. I have also been loyal to my last company for 5 years and have always done everything I can to make improvements wherever possible.
8. What challenges have you faced?
The function of this question is to determine not only how you view and evaluate yourself but how you respond to challenges and find solutions
Tip – Think of this in advance, what have you found difficult in the last twelve months and what action did you take to solve this. Looking back on the challenge, would you do anything differently.
After a few years working on low value, fairly transaction bids I was given the opportunity to lead a more complex response to a national framework. This mean I went from working with one or two people to managing a large, cross functional team. At first, I was a little overwhelmed, however I went back to basics and developed a detailed plan which incorporate the communications plan with clear roles, responsibilities and deadlines. Quite simply, I was then able to manage to plan (taking into the account the variations that happen when bidding) to ensure I was able to response on time.
In addition to managing the number of stakeholders, I found the way I communicated needed to be different dependent on who I was engaging with. This is now something I consider at the outset to ensure I build relationships quickly and effectively to get the best possible results.
9. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Tip – This question is all about commitment, this can establish to the interviewer if you job hopping or committed. The interviewer is looking for candidates that has vision, goals, loyalty and demonstrates commitment.
No interviewer is expecting you to stay at the organisation forever. Answer this question in a way that show the progression of your careers.
I would hope that my career has progressed to the point where I oversee large organisational bids. I would like to develop my leadership skills and look to consider a more senior position within the organisation.
10. What are your salary expectations?
Tip – The way to ensure the best response to this question is to do you research into your industry and determine base rates of pay.
A safer way is to simply ask the interview about the salary range. Or to avoid the question say, ‘money isn’t a key factor’ and your primary goal is career advancement.
Could you confirm the salary bracket you are working within and where you see me within that bracket? I also appreciate the role gives me opportunity to learn and grow as an individual therefore I would be happy to discuss this in more detail if offered the position.
11. Any questions?
Tip – This question is guaranteed to be asked. By asking questions you demonstrate initiative, that you’ve been listening during the interview and that you care about the job enough to have some questions ready. Focus on areas that show you skills.
Ask about the next step of the hiring process and when you will hear about the results.
- If successful what is your introduction programme?
- Do you support career development?
- What do you (interviewer) see as the most important aspect of the role?
There are many different characteristics that an interview will look for here are a few examples and how you should approach them to demonstrate your skills.
Have an example ready of when you changed your actions in order to adjust into a situation.
Think of a specific situation where you have made and extra effort for a client. Give reasons as to why this was needed and how you provided exceptional service.
Give an example of when you have had to pay close attention to a certain task, what did you do to further develop an understanding of the message.
What was your organisations values and principles? Describe how you utilised your organisations principles to achieve your goals whilst advancing the organisation.
Planning and Prioritising
When have you made a significant impact on the direction of the organisation?
Problem Solving and Judgment
Have an example of when you’ve had to make a crucial decision or solved a problem that required care thought and deliberation.
What times have you enriched results by changing your daily activities or standard procedures
Have you ever helped create a team and got people to effectively work together?
Give an example that you have provided constructive feedback to someone about their performance.
Impact and Influence
Have you ever assisted an individual or group to do something beneficial?
Describe a time that you recognised a new, unusual or different approach for addressing tasks or projects
Give an example of when you have successfully led a team.
How do you build and maintain rapport with colleagues and clients?
Demonstrate when you’ve dealt with resource management issues regarding people, materials or assets.
How have you dealt with the changes and stresses within your role and how did you manage it.
Strategic Thinking / Strategy
When have you used strategy and your business knowledge to understand business objectives?