You could be asked interview questions for management or supervisory positions that you wouldn’t be asked if you were applying for other jobs. You can prepare for an interview better if you are aware of the kind of questions a hiring manager could ask. In order to improve your chances of landing the job, it could also be an opportunity for you to assess your qualifications and most noteworthy achievements. In order to assist you in preparing for your interview, we at founderactivity have reviewed 37 supervisor interview questions and provided sample responses.
Supervision is an opportunity to bring someone back to their own mind, to show them how good they can be.– Nancy Kline
Who is a supervisor?
A supervisor is crucial to the administration of a business. Their presence in a company is essential to ensure that operations go without a hitch when a management is not there. If you are seeking to recruit a supervisor for your business, it is essential to choose someone with the qualifications and experience needed to thrive in the position. Get to know the characteristics of a good supervisor, particularly with regard to their position and day-to-day duties.
How to Prepare for a Supervisor Interview
Planning beforehand and doing your homework are two of the finest methods to distinguish yourself as the top candidate during an interview.
First, carefully study the job description and advertisement to have a full understanding of what the supervisor position entails.
For instance, be on the lookout for:
- How many individuals will you be in charge of?
- What is the chain of command between you, your team, and your superior?
- Will you frequently be required to put in extra time? Whether or not I get paid?
Research your employer next. This demonstrates respect, wisdom, and excitement for the sector.
Finally, prepare any responses to supervisor interview questions you could receive by thinking about the details of the position posted.
Supervisor Interview Questions
1. Tell me a little about you.
The first supervisor interview questions frequently causes people to ramble on and contain little information that is pertinent to the task at hand.
This supervisor interview questions seeks to understand why you believe you are qualified for the position. Why are you the perfect candidate? What benefits can you provide the company and the supervisor position?
Your response must be brief and pertinent. Mention your current location, provide a brief account of your development to this point, and then list your experience, talents, and credentials that make you the perfect candidate for the supervisor position.
2. What previous supervisory experience do you have?
The second supervisor interview questions will be asked, so be prepared with an excellent response. Maintain eye contact and mention how your previous supervisory experience connects to what they are seeking while deciding how you will react.
Keep in mind that the interview is all about them, not you. Show that you can meet their demands and provide solutions to their issues.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “I had the chance to manage various software development projects in my previous work. In order to keep the project on track, I had to coordinate the work of cross-departmental teams, communicate modification requests, keep an eye on the budget, and take other related actions.
I also got a special chance with the subsequent assignment. One of their developers faced an unforeseen challenge, and they were unable to come up with a workable solution. Although I have programming skills and probably could have resolved the situation myself, I viewed this as an opportunity to support a colleague in her attempts. I put on my coach’s hat and engaged with them, asking incisive questions intended to encourage them to view the issue differently.
I was able to lead them through a process of problem-solving that produced a solution by using that strategy and a supportive tone. It finally strengthened their critical thinking abilities while also enhancing their technical proficiency, enabling them to independently solve a different problem during the following assignment.”
3. What qualities should an ideal supervisor possess?
This supervisor interview questions seeks to determine if you have a solid understanding of both the duties of a supervisor and the characteristics of the ideal candidate.
Not all of the duties and responsibilities listed in the job description should be included in your response. Give an explanation of the kind of person you believe would make the ideal supervisor instead.
You should specify in your response:
- Being able to work with different personality types, skill sets, age groupings, and backgrounds
- The capacity to adjust to changing circumstances, solve issues, and take team-wide choices
- Good communication abilities with their team, boss, or other supervisors, for example, at all company levels
- The capacity to comprehend, inspire, and lead their group
- Organizing abilities
- The capacity to integrate team members’ tasks into a larger strategy and assess success across the team and individually
4. What is one critical decision you have had to make as a supervisor? Why was it important?
Even if they report to a department manager, supervisors nevertheless need to feel confident in their ability to make judgments. By answering this supervisor interview questions, the applicant can demonstrate their readiness to stand up and make crucial decisions when necessary. What to search for in a response:
- Confirmation that they are at ease making independent judgments
- Evidence that over time, kids have become increasingly responsible for making decisions
- Confidence in their capacity to make important decisions.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “In my present position at Amco Marketing, I recently had to decide whether to remove a significant piece of content from the editorial calendar of one of our clients. We had previously invested a lot of resources in it, but in the end it didn’t correspond with the client’s brand. I decided that we could still reach the deadline if I wrote a new piece on an accelerated schedule to replace it.”
5. Why do you want to work as a supervisor?
Irrespective of your lack of supervisory experience, you should emphasize the value you can bring to their business as a supervisor as well as your talents and personal qualities that make you a strong candidate for the position.
You may begin by stating that throughout the years, working under various supervisors, you have learnt the difficulties of the job and how to handle various issues that could arise in any working team on any given day. Additionally, you are familiar with the details of the laborers’ (manual workers’) jobs and will be ready to assist them if necessary or demonstrate how to resolve any issues they may experience while at work.
After that, you can continue by outlining your abilities and character attributes. Say that you can handle a variety of personalities, resolve disagreements, and earn the respect of your employees. You also have outstanding observational and organizing abilities. Additionally, you might highlight your communication abilities and conclude by stating that you think you possess the suitable temperament for the position.
6. How do you imagine a typical day as a first time supervisor?
Although your job description might assist you comprehend what you will be doing specifically, I advise you to keep in mind two words: proactive attitude. You should constantly be present at work to ensure that everyone is performing their duties and to take early action when anything does not go as planned. They are looking for an individual with that mentality for the first supervisory position.
In the event that one of the employees fails to show up to work or perhaps the team is running behind schedule and has a deadline to fulfill, you may also mention that you are open to performing manual labor. Tell them you do not care about getting your hands filthy if that is what is needed.
7. Have you hired an employee? Describe the factors you think are important when hiring someone.
While some employers assign recruiting authority to supervisors, others delegate it to department heads and HR. If the applicant has not hired someone before, this supervisor interview questions will show how they would manage the situation if they did. What to search for in a response:
- Evidence that they are aware of what makes a good hire
- Knowledge of the procedures needed to form a strong team
- Signs that they are eager to participate in the recruiting process
SAMPLE ANSWER – “Yes, I was in charge of assisting to interview and employ two account managers at my previous company. I like to screen candidates first via the phone, where I can thoroughly explain the fundamentals of our corporate culture and the job role and assess their level of enthusiasm. In addition to finding out more about their level of skill, I assess candidates during a second in-person interview by looking for traits like enthusiasm for the field and long-term ambitions.”
8. How would your previous co-workers describe your supervision style?
A supervisor’s performance at your organization might depend on how well they get along with their staff. If they are a strong cultural match for a supervisory post, this in-depth question will show it. What to search for in a response:
- Self-awareness of how others view them in the workplace
- Signs that they have gotten input from their direct reports
- An adherence to your business’ culture
SAMPLE ANSWER – “My staff could claim that I am encouraging but not intrusive. I’ve discovered that monthly check-ins are sufficient to keep me aware of any difficulties they may be experiencing. Of course, I’m always here to assist them with problems as they arise. This allows me to maintain perspective on the larger picture and offers my team the freedom to develop their own decision-making skills.”
9. What would you do if you were not reaching your goals?
The focus of this topic is problem resolution, especially how you will address the issues raised by the company. Your response should support the following:
- You can look further to determine what caused the issue.
- You may isolate the performance of each team member in addition to having a good overall perspective of the team’s performance.
- You’re able to change with the environment.
- You can evaluate your performance since you comprehend your team and know how to inspire them.
- You can implement a strategy to address the issue.
If you can, include instances of how you have dealt with similar circumstances in the past.
10. What are the successful ways you have been able to motivate employees?
Keeping other employees motivated and ready to give their all every day is one of the biggest contributions a manager can make to your team. You may learn a lot about a candidate’s readiness for the position by watching how they handle this activity. What to search for in a response:
- Evidence that they oversaw winning teams
- Ability to change their motivational strategies as necessary
- Recognizing their responsibility as a supervisor in terms of morale
SAMPLE ANSWER – “Different sorts of motivation are needed for various types of employees. A few of my direct subordinates react well when their ideas are recognized and applauded in public. Contests or tournaments with a modest prize have proven to be the most motivating for some of my other staff. I do my best to take into consideration each employee’s unique personality.”
11. How do you resolve disputes between employees?
To prevent escalation, supervisors are frequently asked to manage conflicts amongst their direct reports. This supervisor interview questions examines the core of a candidate’s capacity for team conflict resolution. What to search for in a response:
- Evidence that they have previously managed employee conflicts
- Evidence that they have been successful in resolving problems on their prior teams
- A resolution approach that fits your organization’s culture
SAMPLE ANSWER – “Every story, in my experience, has at least two sides. Before I take any action, I always seek opinion from all parties about the problem. I’ve discovered that it’s beneficial to gather everyone in one place and act as a mediator to determine how we can resolve the conflict. I make sure that everyone has a copy of the written agreement, along with their respective roles in it.”
12. Have you ever had to discipline a worker? If so, how did you handle it?
You must exhibit both your supervisory power and your communication abilities in response to this supervisor interview questions.
Pay attention to:
- How you interacted with the worker
- How the disciplinary action was carried out by you
- What might be discovered about the circumstance
The company wants to know that you can manage a team of employees in a variety of situations, including ones that are hard, just like they did with the previous two questions.
13. Have you ever fired an employee? If so, how did you handle it?
In many managerial positions, it is necessary to fire workers for a number of reasons. Here, the hiring manager is interested in knowing more about how you handle this maybe difficult circumstance.
Although this supervisor interview questions demands an example, even if you have never dismissed an employee, you may still respond by discussing how you would potentially handle the situation. Just be certain to be truthful about your lack of expertise before answering the supervisor interview questions by acknowledging that you have never had to deal with a termination.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “I did have to terminate one person in a previous position. There were well-documented, persistent attendance concerns in addition to performance shortcomings. Because they were inefficient and underperforming, they were hurting overall production.
I took the employee’s privacy into consideration by inviting them to a meeting in my office. The performance problems were then described using a fact-based method, along with how efforts to fix the problem were failing. I then described the attendance issues and the relevant corporate policy in that regard.
Once I was finished, I apologized to the employee but I had to fire them. I continued by saying that the termination was effective right away and offered to bring them to their workspace so they may gather their belongings and get any corporate property before accompanying them out of the building in accordance with company policy.
Although it was difficult, maintaining composure and focusing on the facts allowed me to explain why the firing was taking place. It went rather well as a consequence.”
14. Please describe a time when you disagreed with a decision made at work and how you handled the situation.
This supervisor interview questions is meant to evaluate your level of workplace maturity, your ability to communicate effectively, and how you handle disagreement.
Do not criticize the other side in your response to this supervisor interview questions. Indicate the basis for your disagreement, the manner in which you voiced it, any steps you took to find a solution, and your reaction to the result.
15. What kind of salary are you looking for this supervisor position?
Now is the pivotal point. How good are you at bargaining? After all, if you are unprepared, this is the type of supervisor interview questions that has baffled even the best of us.
A figure that is too high might result in you talking yourself out of a position. If you give a figure that is too low, though, you can get employed at that pay scale and be underpaid. To learn how much other supervisors in your region are paid, you need conduct some research beforehand.
You can have numbers to refer to during the talk by completing some pay research. However, it’s wise to be a little unclear while answering this supervisor interview questions. Remember, this is only a job interview and not an official employment offer.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “Normally, I would rather wait to talk about pay until I’ve had a chance to understand more about the details of the employment. I do, however, have a rough idea in mind based on what has been revealed thus far in the job advertising and during this meeting.
After some investigation, it becomes evident that supervisors in the region who perform comparable jobs often make $65,000 to $75,000 annually. Would you say that is within the scope of what your business is willing to provide?”
16. What is the largest number of people you have supervised at one time?
Overall, it appears to be rather simple to respond to this supervisor interview questions. The recruiting manager is only asking for one number, after all.
It’s preferable to elaborate on it further in your response to this supervisor interview questions, though. Your response would be stronger if you additionally included details about the circumstances under which you oversaw those workers and other relevant information.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “In my previous position, I oversaw a group of 16 workers. This includes a number of people working in front-line customer service positions, such cashiers and customer service representatives, as well as a few people in support positions, like stockers. As a result, I gained extensive knowledge of each job and learned how to inspire and train people with various personalities, both of which I feel will be useful to me in the future.”
17. Why should we hire you above all other applicants?
Usually, applicants find it difficult to respond to this supervisor interview questions because it is rather unpleasant by nature. The hiring manager is essentially asking, “What makes you so special?” towards the conclusion.
Most of the time, you have to strike a balance between humility and self-promotion. Although it’s a tight line to walk, you can do it provided you adopt the proper approach. In a perfect world, you would concentrate on differentiators and outcomes, quantifying the specifics whenever you could. In this manner, you might set yourself out a little from the opposition.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “I am certain that at this stage you have a thorough understanding of my relevant experience and essential supervisory qualities, like delegation, time management, communications, and other aptitudes that are likely shared by all applicants who made it to the interview.
I do, however, think that I can contribute something special to your business. I currently work as a volunteer for a program that helps disturbed youth. The advantage of that is that I’ve learned not just effective coaching techniques, but also how to modify my style to meet the needs of people—many who were in distress.
I’ve assisted 26 teenagers in all to transition from failing classes and contemplating quitting out to distinction list students active in extracurricular activities. It’s been a test of perseverance and tenacity, but it’s also taught me a great deal about the effectiveness of praise, acknowledgment, active listening, and these other techniques. I think my leadership style has been significantly affected by this event, probably in a way you won’t find in other applicants.”
18. Tell me about the boss or supervisor that you like the least. How has that experience influenced your leadership style?
Many applicants think this supervisor interview questions is a little sketchy, primarily since it might lead you to criticize a former boss. However, if you approach it correctly, you may provide a thoughtful response without being judgmental or negative.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “I have worked under a manager whose management style didn’t fit my requirements. Their main strategy was essentially micromanaging. Even if it wasn’t the most effective manner, they preferred things done that way. They also tended to become too engaged, asking for updates more frequently than required, and generally finding excuses to criticize everyone’s performance, even when the assignment was completed in the intended manner and with a high level of quality.
In the end, that experience taught me how that kind of leadership may be damaging to morale. I thus make a concerted effort to stay away from the pitfalls of trying to manage a team. Instead, I embrace the power of recognition, give my staff some autonomy, demonstrate trust by allowing them room to breathe while yet providing updates on the status of their work at regular intervals. That, in my opinion, makes me more successful since it enables me to help and lead a team without entering the realm of micromanagement.”
19. How would you start managing a new group? Would you make any changes right away?
Here is a supervisor interview questions that aids the recruiting manager in anticipating how your first day on the job could go. You may use a previous job experience as an example of when you first started managing a new team. It is acceptable to use hypothetical language.
SAMPLE ANSWER – “I normally do not make any big adjustments when I start working with a new team. Instead, I take the time to get to know each person and learn about the dynamics of the team as a whole. In order to avoid disrupting a useful process, I also pay close attention to the problems, barriers, and hurdles they frequently face that I might be able to remove.
I don’t even think about making adjustments until after that evaluation. By doing so, I may concentrate on areas that could actually use better while avoiding making change requests simply for the purpose of making change.”
20. Do you have any questions for me?
The majority of interviews finish with this question. Rather than simply shrug your shoulders and mumble, “Not really,” to get up to leave. The interviewer could assume that you are simply anxious to go and are not genuinely interested in the supervisor post. Make the most of this opportunity. With these five questions, you may turn the tables on them:
21. Which of the team’s current main challenges would you prefer the next manager to address?
22. What is the present team dynamic like?
23. What type of management approach was used by the previous manager in this role? Do you think it was successful?
24. Will the new hire in this position have to guide the team through any future changes?
25. How will you evaluate your performance in this role?
In-depth Supervisor Interview Questions
In-depth supervisor interview questions can help hiring managers learn more about a supervisory applicant’s background and personality by getting replies that are more situational and less predetermined. These supervisor interview questions frequently call for stories or examples that are particular. Some detailed supervisor interview questions may be:
26. Describe an instance in your previous supervisory position when you made a significant difference to your team.
27. Describe an occasion when you guided or trained a worker to finish a project.
28. Which abilities and experiences from your prior employment best prepared you for this particular supervisory position?
29. Describe the most difficult problem you had as a manager and how you handled it.
30. Do you have any suggestions for improvements for our organization’s supervisory positions?
31. Tell me about a time when you thought you required assistance to overcome a barrier in your supervisory role.
32. Describe a situation in which you found it difficult to get your point through to a member of the team and how you solved it.
33. Describe a circumstance in which you let your private life to interfere with your work and how you handled it.
34. Describe a moment when you didn’t agree with a teammate’s viewpoint and how you tackled it.
35. Describe an instance when you failed or handled a situation poorly and how you overcame it.
36. Describe your approach to management.
37. What was the highlight of your previous position?
Summary of a Supervisor
A supervisor is the person immediately behind management who is in charge of supervising and controlling how employees within a corporation carry out their assigned tasks. They specifically monitor the day-to-day operations of a small group, team, or department. A supervisor can suggest or enforce punishment, promotions, incentives, and hiring. They also carry out many other tasks that increase a business’ productivity. A supervisor’s position is common in business and administrative contexts as a result.
Requirements for a Supervisor
The function of a supervisor requires a lot of work, therefore it is important to select a candidate who can manage the responsibilities of the position. When seeking for a suitable supervisor, you could have the following expectations:
Duties and responsibilities
A competent manager should be able to carry out a variety of daily tasks and responsibilities, including:
- Achieving departmental goals through personnel management and process organization
- Putting processes, procedures, and policies in place and enforcing them
- Assessing worker output and giving them constructive criticism and training
- Establishing performance targets that are in line with the strategies and goals of the organization
- Ensuring adherence to statutory requirements and corporate rules and regulations
- Communicating with employees and higher management to share information
- Managing client concerns that could become more serious and call for supervisory intervention
- Helping with employee recruiting and dismissal
- Controlling budget data, monitoring differences, and taking necessary action
To be a successful supervisor, a person must possess a number of talents, including the following:
- Excellent body language and communication skills are necessary for offering consumers and staff feedback.
- Possessing effective conflict resolution skills will increase organizational efficiency
- Strong leadership abilities to build an engaging and supportive workplace
- A purposeful team culture may be identified and established with good interpersonal skills.
- Excellent time and prioritization management to handle heavy workloads and short deadlines
- Understanding of diversity concerns and how they affect the workplace
- the capacity to choose appropriate answers and solve issues effectively
Education, training and experience
A competent and well-trained supervisor is ensured by meeting the essential standards of education, training, and experience. You should search for the following qualities in a qualified candidate:
- The minimum educational requirement for a supervisor is a high school diploma or GED. For a more informed individual, several businesses prefer a bachelor’s or associates degree in business administration or management.
- A supervisor has to have a lot of experience, especially when managing teams. They have to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the responsibilities and pursuits of a manager, potentially with prior experience in leadership.
- To help their supervisors develop crucial management and communication skills, the majority of businesses prefer that they get front-line management training. Additionally, search for applicants that have received legal and standard corporate policy training.
Average Salary for a Supervisor
In the United States, supervisors make an average salary of $53,902 per year, or $25.91 per hour. The poorest 10% of supervisor salaries, or $31,000 annually, are on that range, while the highest 10% earn $92,000 annually.
The major duty of a manager is to make sure the team performs as well as it can. Beyond whatever responsibility they may have had as a team member, this kind of accountability is unmatched. It is crucial to seek for someone with strong communication and leadership abilities who can handle these tasks because the function also entails having responsibility and management support to handle personnel on behalf of the management.
In conclusion, although it might be a little intimidating to answer supervisor interview questions, you can benefit from the prior advice. Review the question and sample responses. Start coming up with your own answers after that.
Practice is the only way to improve in interviews. To make it simpler to come up with remarkable solutions, just make sure you conduct some researching along the route. You have a foot in the door after all. You must complete the remaining openings.
Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.