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Supervisor Interview Questions

Arjun Kulkarni
The job of a supervisor is a decidedly important one. So companies get the best candidate in that position by chucking these interview questions at the applicants to find someone with all the required qualities. Same goes for anyone applying for this post as well.
A supervisor performs a pretty important task in the company. Depending on whether the employer is a big company or a tiny startup, the duties may vary.
In bigger companies, he acts as a mid-level manager, who looks after a single process and has a team anywhere between 5 to 50 people reporting to him directly. On the other hand, in smaller companies, he pretty much runs the show in the absence of the owner or the CEO.

Frequent Interview Questions

When you sit down to ponder upon what sort of questions you would want to ask a candidate for this job, obviously, the first thing that comes to your mind is attack the candidate on two fronts - the knowledge front and the real life scenarios, so that you know whether the candidate will be able to perform the responsibilities well enough or not.
He/she needs to be adept at whatever the team does, so that in case any problem should arise, he/she should be able to fix it. Secondly, he/she should be a good manager and be able to extract as much out of his team as he possibly can.

Basic Questions

  • How long have you worked as a supervisor?
  • How many people did you have directly reporting to you?
  • What were the exact duties and responsibilities at that workplace?
  • Tell us a major achievement from your previous job, where you showed good sense of leadership?

Specific Questions

  • Describe your strengths and weaknesses as a manager.
  • How would you deal with an underperforming employee? What method have you adopted in the past and was it successful?
  • What kind of work environment and management style do you prefer?
  • What do you feel is the most crucial aspect of organizational culture?
  • Have you ever handled a situation of employee unrest? How have you or how would you handle it?
  • What method of training do you prefer and why?
  • How would you inculcate leadership values in employees?
  • The job of a supervisor is to manage the workforce and ensure that you can get the best out of them. What method would you employ to ensure that the organizational goals and employee targets are achieved on a consistent basis?
  • Have you ever worked with an errant employee? What kind of problems came up and how did you address them?
  • What employee rewards scheme do you prefer?
  • Describe 3 qualities you possess that make you a good candidate for the job.
  • How would you describe your personality?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Name one takeaway from your last job.
  • What would you say was a bad experience in your career as a supervisor? What one decision do you regret taking or not taking?
In addition to these, you can also add some more questions that are specific to the industry you operate in, so that you know whether the applicant has a sound knowhow of the system which you work with. All these questions ought to help you judge the overall quality of the candidate well enough, to know whether or not he or she is fit for the job!