Spot A Good Manager By Asking These Questions

May 28, 2019 The ExecuSearch Group

Throughout your job search, it can be easy to rely solely on sites like GlassDoor or Great Place To Work to spot a great company to work for. However, many job seekers forget to focus on identifying whether the person they’d be reporting to would actually be a good manager.

Since your relationship with your supervisor can be just as, if not more, impactful on your overall experience with the company than the culture, it’s important to ask smarter questions during your interviews. Doing so will not only give you a better sense of the company and your role within it, but can also help you determine if you would work well with your prospective manager.

Here are a number of topics and questions you can focus on throughout your interviews to better evaluate if your prospective manager would be the best fit for you:

Questions about company culture

It’s no secret that company culture can make or break your decision to accept an offer. As a result, learning about the company culture through the eyes of your prospective manager is one way to get a feel for whether or not your personalities would mesh well together. Ask:

  • How would you describe your company culture in a few words?
  • What are some career development opportunities offered to employees?
  • What do you personally enjoy most about working here?

Questions about management and leadership

To determine whether the person you’re meeting with will be a good manager, it’s important to be aware of how different management styles can impact your performance at work. Getting a feel for the management style of your prospective supervisor can give you an idea of what a working relationship could look like. Ask:

  • How would you define your management style as it relates to your team?
  • How often do you check in with your team either individually and/or as a department?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an underperformer? What did you do?

Questions about team dynamics

Having a general idea of the qualities that make up your team will help you determine where your skills might be utilized and how your role fits in to the bigger picture. Be sure to pay close attention to your interviewer’s response time, as a good manager who has a strong relationship with their team should easily be able to provide answers to these questions. Ask:

  • What is one habit your best team member(s) practice that you expect in new hires?
  • What was the last team achievement that was celebrated?
  • How do you envision a new hire contributing to the team?

Questions about work ethic

Learning about your manager’s work ethic can give you the chance to gauge how your work will be evaluated if you were to be hired. These questions are especially important as they provide you with a clear picture of what will be expected of you as a new team member. Ask:

  • How do you measure individual performance? How are those metrics determined?
  • What does a typical workday/week look like for someone in this role?
  • What will I be expected to accomplish within my first six months in this role?

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