You may have all the characteristics of becoming a fine supervisor in whatever field you’re in. Probably, you may even have been one, in your previous job. But a new job always requires you to start from the scratch. You may possess striking leadership quality to lead your team, you may have excellent communication skills to make your team follow directions, you may have strong motivational skills to motivate your team in order to strive for the best, you may also have strong social skills to deal with everyone in a courteous way, and you may be self disciplined, efficient, adaptable, accountable, knowledgeable, and fair but, the only way for a recruiter or interviewer to know about you is an interview, and none of your skills would mean anything if you mess up in your job interview. Some of you like to go the impromptu way but always remember you’re not the only one, for interviewers too can decide to go the impromptu way and fire questions at you that you were least expecting or weren’t expecting at all. What to do then? You can try err-ing and umm-ing but know that it won’t be of any help. While we can’t update you on what impromptu questions the interviewer may throw at you as we are no mind readers, but rest assured, the interviewer will definitely try to read your mind with questions designed to test your technical and behavioral skills in your respective field. Below are some sample questions with answers to help you get started.
Sample Supervisor Interview Questions And Answers
What, according to you, are the most important qualities a supervisor should have?
You can most certainly expect this question to be asked in your interview. Although it is just to ease you into rest of the interview, it is also designed to test how well and how confidently you respond to the question. Skills like planning, organizing, controlling, decision making, communicating, motivating, problem solving, accountability, fairness etc should be your immediate reply. However, the reply shouldn’t be too immediate to make the interviewer feel that you may have mugged the answer. Reply with ease!
What is your supervisory style? Describe it!
For heaven’s sake, don’t repeat the above mentioned skills! Each individual has a style of his/her own and even the interviewer is aware of it. Just remember that there is no right or wrong answer to this question and the way you deal with people varies with the person in front of you. Just describe your style for what it is. If you have work experience, provide examples of how you dealt with people in the situations that were at hand. And if you are a fresher, using hypothetical situations demonstrate how you would manage the situation if it were to arise.
Describe a situation when your work was criticized.
This question is specifically asked to assess how you took to the criticism and how well you managed the situation from there on. Accepting criticism and moving forward is the key, however don’t give out an impression that you shunned your senses to it and kept working ahead. Let the interviewer know how you managed to work your way out of the situation that was less favorable to you and that you worked to make things right with whatever was going against you. Try to end the answer on a positive note that implies that you can handle criticism and that it doesn’t get in the way of doing what’s right.
What actions did you take when there was a mistake made from an employee or a conflict within your team?
This is a situational question designed to test your attitude towards difficult situations and it requires you to answer openly, making the best of your communication skills. Tell the interviewer what the mistake was or what the conflict was all about. Make him/her understand that you dealt with the employee in a constructive way and tried to find the root cause of the conflict. Discuss about how you described the mistake to be a learning opportunity for the concerned employee and encouraged him/her to continue to perform at best. Discuss about how opinions and grievances of the team were well attended by you and that the target towards which the team was working on was more important and would end all conflicts if rightly achieved. In short, in spite of a mistake or conflict, you tried to motivate your employee and team to perform at best.
Describe about a time when you had to implement or introduce a change.
Change is the only thing that is constant, and people, in general, are resistant to it. A working environment is not spared by it either. The question is to test your ability to motivate and influence your team to accept the change and encourage them that it was for the best. Tell the interviewer the extent to which you were able to achieve the desired result by how well you gave support to the ones who were most resistant to change and how well you listened and responded to their concerns throughout the process. Even if the result was not in your favor, don’t go off blaming your team but put forth the thought that you performed to the best of your strengths and tried well.
Apart from these questions, there are many others that you can encounter. Note that the interviewer is good enough to judge when you’re not being honest so just remember to be true to yourself and answer with confidence. All the very best!