Supervising Employees & Interview Questions


A supervisor is a trained worker who watches over a group of employees in a company or department. A supervisor differs from a manager, as a supervisor often simply ensures that the employees complete the work given to them by a manager or business owner, while a manager is able to answer questions, lead employees and provide feedback to individual workers. Therefore, supervisor interview questions must focus on supervising skills and styles.

Supervisory Style

While some supervisors have a hands-on style when helping employees in the workplace, others are less detached in their style. The recruiter may ask you to define your supervisory style, so he can determine whether it matches the company’s internal community and method of doing business. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong style, so you should be honest in how you supervise others, as it can be exactly what the recruiter is looking for. To provide a solid and strong answer, provide different examples of how you supervise in certain settings, such as hardworking employees, during a conflict between employees, or when a project is not going as expected.

Motivating Employees

While some employees are self-motivators and work hard despite the situation in the office, other employees need some motivation from supervisors to keep working continuously when things get difficult. The recruiter may want to know how you motivate workers when they are not as excited about their tasks as expected. This can include being a mentor and setting realistic goals for the individual employees, so they can work toward short goals to reach larger goals, such as a deadline.

Welcoming New Employees

A single department may receive several new employees, so the supervisor is responsible for easing the new employees into the work and the department. The recruiter might want to know how you welcome new workers, especially if the department you are interviewing for has new employees on a frequent basis. Provide examples of welcoming strategies or packages you would create to make them feel at home.

Outside Perspective

The recruiter may have interpreted your answers as those signaling a confident supervisor, so he may ask you to describe yourself from an outside perspective. Another question similar to this is to describe how old employers and employees would rate your supervising skills and style in the office. Be honest about your skills and abilities, as the recruiter may make a reference call to your old employer, and he may reveal facts about your style you have omitted in the interview.

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