Management Interview Question – How Will Your Subordinates View You As a Supervisor?
The effectiveness of a manager is measured by the effectiveness of the staff under their supervision. It does not matter if you have the greatest managerial skills the world has ever known if your subordinates don’t do their job. They can love you. They can hate you. They can buy you cute little Japanese trinkets to show their appreciation of your leadership. If they don’t do their job, you are not doing a good job as manager.
Everyone has their own management style. The question is not the way you are a leader, but rather how your subordinates will view your approach. That is why a common manager interview question is “How will your subordinates view you as a supervisor?”
“I hope they see me as a buddy. One of them. My goal is that they think of me as their friend, and see my leadership as they would see advice from anyone that they like and respect.”
“The staff and I need to have a shared respect. While I may be the ultimate decision maker, they need to feel themselves free to suggest alternate courses of action, so I will work hard to ensure they see me as open. But at the same time, I will make sure that they see me as a leader. Ultimately, my subordinates will see me as strong but fair.”
This type of answer is not bad. In most cases it may even get the job done. However, it ignores a basic aspect of the human experience, and it is unlikely to be seen as an “inspired’ answer. Rather, it is just a plain, old, regular answer.
“I try to institute an adaptive management style, which means that each staff member is going to see me differently. If someone is an amazing independent worker and a true go getter, then they will see me as the gentle hand to guide their way. If someone requires a more stern voice, they’ll see me as a little bit more of a taskmaster, but hopefully one that they respect. Each staff member is going to see me as the leader that is best for their specific circumstance.”
There we go. That is an answer that the employer is not expecting, and one that encompasses true leadership. We mentioned before that the answer to “what is your management style” should be something like “adaptive.” The answer above does not sway from that idea.
You can give a mediocre answer and you will probably not harm your chances of getting the job, but you will not improve them either. A more original answer like the one above should put you in a much better place with the company.
Take Away Interview Tips
- If you said you would be an adaptive manager, your subordinates should see you as such.