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Welcome to the Capital Area Purchasing Association (CAPA)!

CAPA is the premier organization for public procurement professionals in and around the heart of Virginia.  Here, procurement experts collaborate, learn, and share ideas in all areas of government purchasing to help maximize taxpayer spend and sustain the Commonwealth's financial stability.

Our members represent procurement-related careers in state and local government, higher education, and other public bodies across Central Virginia.  CAPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).

Thanks for visiting our site, and for helping us "Capitalize Purchasing Professionals"!

 


 Showers of Information

At the April Business Meeting, members discussed being prepared for the interview.  Here are the responses we promised to share with you.

Top procurement related interviewing questions you should be able to answer:

  1. Methods of Procurement

  2. Body of Knowledge

  3. Five (5) Parts of a Contract

  4. Examples of past work, including IFB and RFP

  5. Describe the worst contract you have encountered and how did you handle it.

  6. Dollar threshold amounts

  7. What makes a valid contract?

  8. Mandatory Sources

  9. General Terms and Special Terms, and the difference between the types.

  10. Knowledge of the APSPM or the governing legislation for a locality.

  11. Strengths and weaknesses

  12. Know your acronyms (i.e., FOIA, ARMICS, SPCC/PCard, TCC, APSPM, VPPA, etc.).

  13. What is a responsive and responsible bidder?

  14. Procurement Cycle

  15. The differences between a Bid and RFP

  16. What is a protest?

  17. What is considered a FOIA request?

  18. How to use eVA (if applicable).

  19. Examples of dealing with a non-compliant vendor

  20. How do you prioritize your work?

  21. What does NIGP say about Ethics in Public Procurement?

  22. Differences between policy and procedures.

  23. Small Purchase Charge Card limits

  24. Centralized vs Decentralized Procurement

 

Top things you should do to prepare for an interview:

  1. Get directions.

  2. Research the agency, including staff size and organizational structure.

  3. Research eVA to see procurements completed by the entity.

  4. Pick out appropriate clothing.

  5. Read the job description thoroughly.

  6. Proofread your application and résumé for errors.

  7. Prepare questions to ask the interviewing panel.

  8. Get a good night’s sleep.

  9. Review procurement basics.

  10. Have a prepared résumé.

  11. Check the agency website.

  12. What are your strengths and weaknesses.

  13. Be able to explain procurements that you have handled, including your most complex procurement.

  14. Be able to answer how you are working on weaknesses you may have.

  15. Be prepared to answer why you want to work there.

  16. Be prepared to answer what you can bring to the agency.

  17. Know your strengths.

  18. Know procurement terminology and concepts.

  19. Brush up on the APSPM, the Vendor’s Manual, and the VPPA.

  20. Be on time.

  21. Refresh yourself on your experience to answer behavioral questions.

 

Top entity specific things you should find out prior to the interview:

  1. Organization structure (Director and Organizational Chart)

  2. Organization’s Mission, Vision (including goals and objectives)

  3. Contracts and Bids

  4. Business hours

  5. Work location

  6. Job duties

  7. Company history

  8. Company culture

  9. Governance

  10. Policy and Procedures

  11. Frequently Purchased Items

  12. Budget

  13. Future Procurements

  14. Top commodities agency procures on competitive basis

  15. Agency retention rate

  16. Find out whom you will be working

  17. Agency’s delegated authority, annual expenditures and purchase volume

  18. Talk to peers about agency reputation

  19. How much is the job paying?

  20. What associations are the staff members of and how is the membership and other activities paid.

 

Top things that will help you stand out in your interview:

  1. Send a thank you note.

  2. Write down and ask questions thoroughly.

  3. Make eye contact.

  4. A firm handshake.

  5. Be confident.

  6. Dress appropriately.

  7. Be on time.

  8. Smile.
  9. Be mindful of body language.

  10. Give clear and concise answers.

  11. Say you do not know the answer if you do not know the answer.

  12. Use yes and no.

  13. Be prepared.

  14. Examples of procurement experience that matches the needs of the agency.

  15. Are your certifications current.

  16. Show your years of procurement experience and knowledge through your answers.

  17. Know your current association memberships and certifications.

  18. Talk slowly, clearly and answer the question.

  19. Do not B. S. (Yes, this was a response.)

  20. Do not forget credentials to access buildings.

 


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