50+ Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

Supervisor interview questions and answers. When interviewing for a supervisory or management role, you can be asked questions that you would not encounter when applying for other employment. Understanding the kind of questions that a hiring manager could ask might help you prepare for an interview more effectively.

supervisor interview questions

Additionally, it can provide an opportunity for you to examine your talents and most significant accomplishments in order to boost your chances of receiving the position.

Prepare for these common job interview questions when interviewing for any type of supervisor or management position.

Related: Job interview questions

General supervisor interview questions

General questions are ones that hiring managers or other interview participants can ask in order to gain a better knowledge of a candidate's personality. They can pertain to any position within the company or in order to gain a better understanding of a candidate's personality. Several examples of general questions that can be asked during a supervisor interview include the following:

  • What, in your opinion, are the necessary characteristics of a competent supervisor?
  • What work responsibilities do you anticipate of a supervisor?
  • What are the top three things that you believe contribute to teamwork and success?
  • What salary or compensation do you anticipate for this position?
  • When are you available to begin work in this position?
  • How many years have you been a supervisor?
  • Why do you believe you are the most qualified applicant for this position?
  • Why did you resign from your previous position?
  • In five years, where do you see yourself?
  • What adjectives would you use to define your personality?
  • How many hours per week are you willing to work?
  • What's your reason for leaving your last job?
  • What do you think makes a good supervisor?
  • Exactly what type of management style do you prefer?
  • How would you embrace company culture?

Background supervisor interview questions

Hiring managers can ask about a supervisor's past job experience or history in a particular industry in order to gain a better understanding of the skills they currently possess and how that knowledge can benefit them in a new capacity. Several of these sorts of inquiries can include the following:

  • How would you characterize your leadership or management style?
  • What are your supervisory strengths?
  • What variables do you consider when evaluating a team member's performance?
  • Describe your planning procedure in detail.
  • Which work environment has provided you with the most success?
  • Have you ever laid off, dismissed, or furloughed an employee?
  • How do you onboard and acclimatize new employees?
  • What method do you use to delegate work?
  • How can you set a positive example for your teammates?
  • Outside of work, do you develop personal ties with your subordinates?
  • How many individuals have you previously supervised?
  • What cost-cutting measures have you used in past supervisory positions?
  • Have you ever negotiated a contract?
  • What sort of equipment or software are you familiar with?

Related: Interview tips

Supervisor questions about management

Hiring managers can ask detailed questions in order to get more situational, less scripted replies regarding a supervisory candidate's experience and personality. These inquiries frequently need the telling of a tale or the provision of particular instances. Several detailed inquiries can include the following:

  • Describe an instance in your previous supervisory capacity when you implemented a significant change to your team.
  • Describe a situation in which you coached or trained an employee to do a task.
  • What skills and experiences have you gained in previous employment that have prepared you for this particular supervisory role?
  • Describe the most difficult obstacle you've faced as a supervisor and how you overcome it.
  • Is there anything you would modify regarding our organization's supervisory positions?
  • Describe a time when you thought you required assistance to overcome a supervisory problem.
  • Describe a moment when you encountered difficulty communicating a message to a team member and how you overcome the obstacle.
  • Describe a time when your personal life interfered with your employment and how you addressed the matter.
  • Describe a circumstance in which you disagreed with a team member's perspective and how you addressed the matter.
  • Describe an instance in which you made a mistake or mismanaged a situation, and how you rectified the problem.
  • Give an overview of your management philosophy.
  • Describe your most noteworthy accomplishment in your previous role.

Related: Final interview questions

Supervisor interview questions and answers

Utilize the following example interview questions and answers to have a better understanding of why a hiring manager is requesting particular information and how you can prepare to share the most critical information with them:

1. Have you employed a staff member?

If the supervisory position for which you are interviewing requires you to participate in the recruiting process for other workers, hiring managers can want to know if you have previous experience with this duty. They can assess your ability to evaluate possible candidates or to form a cohesive team. When responding to this question, be candid about your experience managing the hiring process. Describe the process you use to select candidates and invite them to interviews.

Related: Phone interview tips

Example: "In my present capacity, I've assisted the human resources department in hiring three new account managers. I prefer to begin by doing a phone interview with each prospective candidate in order to learn more about the corporate culture and job position. I then conduct a second in-person interview to get further information about the candidate's abilities."

2. As a supervisor, what is one of the most critical choices you've made?

Hiring managers can use this question to ascertain your level of comfort in making decisions for your team in the absence of express directions from owners or anyone higher up in the management structure. How you respond can demonstrate that you've previously had decision-making responsibilities and are confident in your decision-making process. Consider a specific circumstance in which you had to make the final call on a project or endeavor while answering this question. Share the variables that influenced your choice and the end result.

supervisor interview questions

Example: "As a marketing manager in my previous work, my team spent a significant amount of time researching and generating content for a new vegan restaurant promotion. Following the launch, the customer informed us that they discovered that several of their offers were not vegan at all. I had to determine how to handle modifying previously published text and dealing with the retraction. I eventually addressed the issue immediately on the client's social media platforms and website, and along with the client, we developed updated content with source lists and links to maintain consumer trust."

3. How would you define your supervisory style to your direct reports?

Hiring managers can use this sort of question to compel you to consider your supervisory activities through the eyes of your team members. Additionally, it can assist them in determining whether you are a cultural match for the new company. How you respond to this question demonstrates your self-awareness and your willingness to solicit feedback and constructive criticism from your staff.

Related: Preparing for an interview

Example: "My staff perceives me to be helpful, with high but realistic expectations, based on feedback from performance assessments." I encourage everyone to give it their all and to set goals that make them feel accomplished. I have weekly team meetings to receive reports on their progress and to hear about the obstacles they face. I also urge team members to contact me directly at any time to discuss personal matters, create objectives, or discuss methods to improve their work environment's comfort level."

4. Has your manner of supervision evolved over time?

This question can assist hiring managers in determining whether you are responsive to the requirements of your team members and make appropriate adjustments based on their input. When responding, evaluate the growth you've through in order to give the finest advice possible to your team members. To show the modifications you've made, provide particular examples from your past and present procedures.

Example: "Initially, I had monthly team meetings but discovered that we weren't resolving issues quickly enough. We've shifted to more regular, shorter weekly sessions to cover the most critical and pressing issues. Additionally, I used to have fixed visiting hours during which workers could drop in without an appointment and discuss any element of their job in privacy. I discovered that those hours did not fit everyone's schedule and that others who did not require counseling felt forced to go. I altered the policy to allow for personally planned visits on an as-needed basis."

Related: Thank you email after interview

5. What are some of your most effective motivational techniques?

Hiring managers can use this question to ascertain how you maintain your employees motivated and enthusiastic about their work. By providing examples, you can demonstrate that you are adept at boosting team spirit, listening to your colleagues' needs, and adapting your approaches as necessary.

Example: "I attempt to motivate my staff in a variety of methods in order to best fit their personalities." We utilize competitions, brag boards, monetary incentives, and end-of-the-year goal recaps to address each of our folks' unique motivational touch points."

6. How do you resolve staff conflicts?

Hiring managers can use this question to elicit information about how you've resolved issues between team members in the past. When responding, emphasize how you've successfully mediated conflicts and share your mediation techniques. This can assist demonstrate your compatibility with the company's culture.

Example: "When I become aware of a conflict within the team, I visit with each employee to ascertain their perspective on the matter. I take notes and compare accounts to see whether the matter is a miscommunication. Then, with all parties present in the same room, we hold a mediation session to arrive at solutions that work for everyone."

7. How do you deal with underperforming employees?

Hiring managers can use this question to ascertain your comprehension of the critical nature of educating employees how to define and accomplish objectives and standards. When responding, underline your familiarity with dealing with individuals and your ability to leverage people's unique abilities to handle their production and performance concerns.

Example: "I had a long-serving team member lately who got consumer complaints. She became unresponsive to contact, missed deadlines, and began taking time off work. I organized a meeting with her to ascertain the situation. During our discussion, she revealed that the court system chose her to be a foster mother and that the procedure was exhausting. We devised a strategy to decrease her account load and established weekly update sessions to assist her in balancing her commitments. Within a month, she was back to her normal production levels."

supervisor interview questions

8. How do you determine your managerial success?

Hiring managers can determine if you are aware of how your performance affects your team and how their performance affects you by asking this question. When responding, emphasize areas that demonstrate joint successes.

Example: "I believe that my success as a manager is determined by the performance of my team. If my team members achieve their personal and collective goals, are enthusiastic about coming to work each day, ask questions, and work effectively together, then I am fulfilling my supervisory responsibilities."

9. How do you reprimand a coworker?

Hiring managers might use this question to determine if you communicate clearly about repercussions and hold staff accountable. Consider the disciplinary system you employ with your teams when responding.

Example: "As a shift commander, I saw that one employee was perpetually late. I met with her to ascertain her personal reasons for being late, but she had none. I drafted a list of penalties outlining how we would act if she failed to go to work on time."

10. How do you ensure that production targets are met?

Hiring managers can determine your commitment to the larger company-wide purpose of creating or delivering for stakeholders or consumers by asking this question. This might provide light on your management style and ability to plan.

Example: "I convene a team-wide meeting with all relevant individuals at the outset of each new project to review expectations, timetables, and potential obstacles. I assign individual duties throughout this meeting. Then, I meet regularly with each member to review progress and with the customer to offer feedback."

Common questions from job seekers

Questions job seekers have before job interviews.

What makes a good supervisor?

Supervisors should be empathic and approachable; a supervisor's connection with his or her workers should be one of mutual respect and trust. Be organized: a supervisor must be able to problem-solve and deal with time constraints in a calm manner.

What are leadership skills?

Leadership skills include strategic thinking, planning, and implementation, human resource management, change management, communication, and persuasion and influence.

These qualities are important in any supervisor position. Communication skills are another skill to mention. Use the STAR method to describe how communication skills influenced your previous job performance.

supervisor interview questions

Related Hiring Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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