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Interview Questions for a Loss Prevention Manager

by Kristine Tucker

A loss prevention manager has two main goals -- incorporating prevention loss strategies into the company and supervising employees who monitor and report loss. Depending on the type of business and the location, some loss prevention managers focus on internal and external theft issues. Others focus on merchandise damage issues, transportation and shipping discrepancies and internal auditing concerns. Prevention loss is a priority for companies who primarily sell products rather than services and need to maintain safe, viable inventories. Job interviewers often ask questions that evaluate candidates' trustworthiness, leadership style and effectiveness at preventing loss.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Hiring managers often ask loss prevention managers about their strategies for preventing loss, damage or theft. They might ask, "What steps do you take to ensure employees aren't stealing or misrepresenting sales?" or "How do you create and implement policies that help workers prevent loss?" Because you have experience in the industry, it's best to use examples of how you incorporated loss prevention practices into previous organizations. You might answer, "I hosted 30-minute mandatory weekly meetings with employees and discussed loss-prevention strategies," or "I installed state-of-the-art security systems in all dressing rooms." You might also say, "I incorporated electronic inventory systems and computerized software programs into the company so I could quickly and effectively track lost, stolen or damaged goods."

One Tough Cookie

Some loss or damage is accidental, so there's always a small percentage of loss that is expected, understandable and explainable. Even the best employees accidentally break glassware, damage electronic components or lose small items, such as costume jewelry or hair accessories. However, some loss is preventable. The job interviewer might ask, "How do you confront employees who are careless with merchandise or neglect to track inventory carefully?" or "How do you handle internal or external cases of theft?" Assure the hiring manager that you expect employees to be responsible and aren't afraid to politely but firmly reprimand irresponsibility or fire employees who aren't trustworthy. You might state that you notify law enforcement agencies of internal and external theft issues, especially those that are repeat offenses or include high-ticket items.

Security Tips

Because the role requires the creation and implementation of prevention strategies, the interviewer might ask about your methods for upholding security standards. She might ask, "How do you maintain a high level of safety awareness?" or "What steps do you take to ensure selling floor security standards are upheld?" You might mention that you had security tags installed on valuable items and hired security guards to monitor the store, especially on weekends and holidays. You might also state that you required floor associates to check dressing rooms every hour and installed bell systems to notify employees when patrons entered dressing rooms.

The Three Ps: Profitable Payroll Policies

Some loss prevention has nothing to do with the theft, loss or damage to goods -- it directly relates to payroll. The interviewer might ask, "How do you manage payroll expenses?" or "What steps do you take to ensure your payroll is accurate and you have the needed workforce in place?" By ensuring that employees don't cheat on their time cards, you help reduce unnecessary outgo. You might also state that you always monitor payroll expenses by making sure workers aren't getting unwarranted overtime, they aren't taking lengthy paid break times or lunches, and you only schedule enough workers to meet the store, company or organization's needs.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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