One of the most important parts of the recruitment process is to ask the right questions at an interview. Rather than sticking to the standard interview questions which you will get standard answers to, take some time to think about what you want from your manager. What kind of person do you want them to be and do you need the to be a big thinker? Think about what the priorities are in your company. Then tailor your questions to the specific role. 5 ideas are listed below to get you started.
1) How would you deal with an employee who was under-performing?
You do not want a candidate to tell you how they will discipline the employee and how tough they will be. You need a constructive and positive response from this question. You want to get a sense that the candidate can see that the situation may not be that black and white. That everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Maybe this employee has been poorly matched to a role. The candidate should express that they have observed and interacted enough with the employee to know if they are a hard worker and if their skills lie elsewhere. Maybe the answer is to review the role and change the responsibilities of the individual.
This will not only make the employee happier it will also improve work rate and quality. You will also want a response to this question which will show the candidate will think through a situation thoroughly and display high quality communication skills to work through a problem with an employee. They must pin point problems and solutions, exploring an employees positives and negatives and finding out exactly how they feel and if there are issues.
2) Simple pre interview tests:
Exchange a fair amount of correspondence with them before their interview. You can in this way test their professionalism, response time, telephone manner and command of the English language. You can get a good insight in this way into how they work. You may also wish to set them some sort of writing task that is based around the company’s activities to test their enthusiasm, writing skills and attention to detail. You could ask them to email something over within an agreed timescale. No matter what type of company you work for, checking these basics will help a manager command authority.
3) How do you ensure all work is carried out correctly and to the highest standard?
This question should help you to see if your manager is a control freak and if they know when to delegate. A good answer would be to build up relationships and trust with co-workers so a manager has full knowledge of their abilities and strengths. When they first start the job one approach would be to check some of their work and take an interest in what they are doing. They should then be able to teach employees how jobs should be done and how to improve. They will then know at an early stage if further checks are required. This question may also give you an idea as to if the candidate will be good at delegation. If a candidate says they would check every single piece of work on an ongoing basis, you know they are not going to be utilising all of their skills and not building good relationships.
4) What do you think makes a good manager?
With this question, you want to hear that the candidate understands the need to be firm when required and the need to command respect, but also to be approachable. You want to know that the candidate has the confidence to call people up when they are in the wrong, and to be taken seriously but also be someone that will want to guide others to be the best that they can be and inspire them to want to make the company better.
A good manager is someone who takes an interest in all their workers and takes the time and effort to communicate with them all effectively to help them discover their strengths and weaknesses and utilise these effectively.
5) What are your interests?
A simple and unoriginal question, but you can use this to see how your candidate makes conversation and how they interact with you. You can try and envisage if this is someone others will relate to and if they will fit in easily in any team. This question gives your candidate the option to let their guard down a bit and relax. You can use this to make a better overall assessment.