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Feb 12, Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

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Sample supervisor interview questions with practical answer help.

Whether
the job is for a sales supervisor, a production supervisor, a warehouse
supervisor or a team leader the same basic competencies and supervisor
skills are required to successfully carry out the duties and
responsibilities in the supervisory role.

Feel confident about your job interview by knowing which interview
questions to expect for supervisor jobs.

Prepare winning interview
answers and impress as the right job candidate. 

11 Essential Supervisor Interview Questions

1. What are the essential qualities of a good supervisor?

In
your interview answer include these key competencies or supervisory skills that
apply to all supervisor jobs.

  • planning and organizing
  • problem-solving
  • decision-making
  • delegating
  • motivating
  • influencing
  • communicating
  • managing conflict

2. What do you consider to be the role of a supervisor?

«The primary role of the supervisor is to plan, coordinate and oversee a group or team of people to efficiently use available resources and maximize productivity in order to achieve set objectives.»

3. Describe your supervisory style.

When
answering supervisor interview questions around your personal
supervisory style remember that there is no wrong or right supervisory
style.

The only criteria is that it should be appropriate to the situation.
Your ability to adapt your style to the demands of the person you are
dealing with, the task at hand and the circumstances is key to success
as a supervisor.

Provide examples of how you have had to adapt your
supervisory style to meet different needs.

Leadership styles

4. What are your strengths as a supervisor?

This complete list of employee strengths will help you answer this common interview question. Make sure you highlight those strengths that are relevant to the job opportunity.

5. How do you motivate your employees/team members?

The more your employees or team members understand about their jobs and responsibilities the more motivated they are. Show how you ensure each subordinate has clarity about his or her role and responsibilities.

  • discuss how you set clear, specific and realistic targets that are agreed on rather than dictated
  • focus on how you involve employees by asking for suggestions, ideas and feedback

6. Tell me about a time an employee made a significant mistake. What action did you take?

This is a behavioral or situational interview question. You are expected to provide an example of how you successfully managed a difficult employee or team member. Find out more about handling the behavioral interview.

In your answer to this supervisor interview question focus on your ability:

  • to communicate openly to understand the cause of the mistake
  • to discuss with the employee how it can be prevented from happening again
  • to view the mistake as a learning opportunity to improve future performance

7. Describe a time you had to introduce important change in your last job.

Your ability to persuade and influence your employees or team members to accept change is key.

Show
how you were able to gain support and commitment from them:

  • by using the
    appropriate communication style
  • by listening and responding to
    concerns and questions
  • by asking for their help and commitment
  • by
    providing support

8. Describe a time you had to manage conflict within your department/team/group.

Your
example can show how you identified the source of conflict, used the
conflict situation as a constructive process to exchange opinions and
ideas and clarify roles and responsibilities.

Discuss how you kept the
focus on the desired outcome rather than on personal grievances.

9. Tell me about a time you had to coach an employee to perform a task.

Coaching
and developing others is part of the supervisor function.

Supervisor
interview questions about the development of employees should include
your ability to:

  • agree on the outcomes and methods of coaching with the
    employee
  • explain and demonstrate task performance
  • observe and
    provide constructive feedback

10. Tell me about a short term plan you developed for your department/team/group.

These
supervisor interview questions explore your ability to plan and
organize. Your interview answer should demonstrate your ability to:

  • set
    priorities
  • establish objectives and milestones
  • schedule activities and
    plan proper use of resources

11. When evaluating an employee or team member’s performance what factors are most important to you?

This
question is designed to assess your performance standards. Show:

  • how you
    set high work standards for yourself and your subordinates
  • how you
    communicate your expectations
  • how you monitor performance

You will also find these pages useful for your supervisor interview

Supervisor interview questions will also include common job interview questions. Find out how to answer frequently asked interview questions.

Questions to ask the employer

Prepare some good questions to ask in your supervisor interview. Candidates who have a list of insightful questions ready to ask the interviewer demonstrate their commitment and interest in the position.

Use the list at smart job interview questions to ask to help you with this.

Questions to Ask after the interview

Submit a winning supervisor job application

What are the main responsibilities of a supervisor?

A comprehensive list of the tasks, duties and responsibilities of a typical supervisor is provided in these job descriptions.

Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

Management Job Descriptions

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