Hiring managers want to know if a candidate will work well with the work culture, so interviewees should be prepared to answer something along the lines of: “What qualities should a successful manager possess”
If you are offered the position, then the person interviewing you might be your future manager. The purpose of this question is to see what your relationship with past managers has been like and to see if you would pose any potential problems if brought onboard. Answering this question poorly could be a huge red flag if it is indicated that you may have difficulty acclimating to this new work climate.
Points to Emphasize
This question is an opportunity for you to talk about your relationship with previous managers and to highlight how great they were.
- Talk about how you made your manager look good through what you did
- Discuss your relationship with past managers
- Focus on qualities of past managers that produced great results
- If you had a great manager, reference them
The interviewer is asking what a successful manager should have, so keep your response positive and only focus on the good things of your past jobs. Now is not the time for gossip.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Talking about previous places of employment can be tricky, so watch your step and avoid falling into these common pitfalls.
- Don’t say you work best when the manager leaves you alone
- Don’t simply list off qualities without giving examples
- Avoid speaking negatively of a past employer
- Do not give a non-committal answer
It is okay to give a little pause before answering to show that you are actively thinking of a response. If you are being interviewed for a managerial position, talk about how you possess the qualities that make a great manager.
A good response to a question about being a successful manager should go something like this:
I believe a successful manager needs to have a clear vision of a project and keep the team focused on the objectives ahead. For example, my last manager was great at keeping us motivated on the task at hand. Due to her encouraging persona and clear-thinking, I would make solid contributions to the company every week.
The way you performed in past jobs will give the hiring manager a very clear idea of how you will perform in this new position. Interviewers want to know that you have worked well with previous managers because it indicates you will most likely be able to work well with your manager at this new job.