Whenever you are interviewing for a supervisory position- you may get asked the tough question- "describe the characteristics of a successful manager." During your interview- interview questions may also be- "do you think you are a good manager?" or "tell me about a supervisor whom you achieved success with." Whenever the hiring manager asks common questions like these- he or she is simply trying to figure out if you have the right qualities that are needed to be a leader.
The hiring manager is also trying to understand your qualities as an employee- what your work habits are like with a team and how you react to your supervisors. The best thing to do when answering this question is to stay positive when discussing previous managers and always turn the focus back on your own work style. Discuss how a previous supervisor helped you reach company goals. If you stay upbeat and focused- you can make yourself stand out from other candidates.
How to Answer the 'Describe the Characteristics of a Successful Manager' Interview Question
Give an Example: For these kind of interview questions- the best strategy for giving a great answer is to use a specific situation. Before you go into your interview- take some time to think about an example of when your manager brought out the best in you. Reflect upon the problem that was presented and how you and your supervisor worked together to create a viable solution. List the setbacks and achievements you and your manager experienced during the process. When you discuss this in your interview- talk about how your solution helped push the company forward. Most of all- it's important to choose positive examples that present both you and your former manager in a good light.
Make Yourself Shine: While this question may appear to be asking about your former supervisor's work habits- it's really about you. Even if you're not specifically interviewing for a management job- you want to answer this question as if your own future management style is under the microscope. A thoughtful answer should communicate a deep understanding of the dynamics of working with a team. When you give an answer describing the general qualities you admire in a manager- you can also communicate to your interviewer how your management style may look. Don't be afraid to be honest about what an effective leader should be doing in order to motivate the team to achieve results.
Don't Overdo the Details: While it is essential to use lots of details whenever you are part of an interview session- you also need to know when to end your thought. Once you have provided the main points of what a good supervisor does for a company and have given an example of a situation demonstrating this- it's time to stop talking. One or two powerful examples should be enough to get your point across about the best types of leaders. Your answer won't be as effective if you continue to ramble on with even more examples. You want to make sure the hiring manager is left with the powerful impression of what your possible work or management style may be like.
Sample 'Describe the Characteristics of a Successful Manager' Interview Answers
1. In my opinion- the best type of leader is one who has a strong vision and a good understanding of the individual aspects of a company. In my previous job- my supervisor helped the company achieve goals by focusing in these two important factors. This manager was consistent in communicating the main goal of the organization to the team- however- she was also excellent at assigning responsibility to specific individuals. When we worked on a project- I found myself working hard to meet the company objectives- yet I also had a clear understanding of my specific contribution to this goal.
2. A good leader is someone who can motivate members of a team to do their best. It's also important for a successful leader to have a complete comprehension of the different steps needed in order to solve various company problems. I think the best leaders are more successful when they accept feedback for solutions from other members of the team. Leaders should know that it's okay to delegate different jobs to others. For example- my previous supervisor was open to ideas from everyone in order to solve problems. On one project- I made a useful suggestion- and my supervisor recruited me to help resolve a frustrating issue. After everything was finished- we had come up with a better process that helped lead to a reduction in expenses.
The next thing to do is to start getting ready to wow your interviewer during this essential part of the job process. With this important information- you can now feel fully prepared to not only answer the interview questions completely and properly- but also show how your skills and qualifications can benefit the organization.