How to interview with those you will be managing?
January 27, 2011 12:49 PM   Subscribe

I landed a second interview with a manufacturing company that I'd really like to work for. I am meeting with three potential direct reports who will be interviewing me (I'm applying to be their boss). What are some good questions to ask to help win them over?

I am interviewing to be the director of customer relations and will be speaking with three senior level agents. I have a feeling that they hold much of the decision power. What are some effective approaches to show them that I'm the right person for the job?
posted by ieatwords to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Knowing what their jobs are and having informed questions about their department structure, day-to-day workloads, and customer base might be a good way to impress upon them that you're someone who would be a good fit.
posted by xingcat at 12:54 PM on January 27, 2011

Ask them questions about what is working and what isn't in the department. People like to feel as though their bosses, especially new bosses, respect their input and won't mess with systems that work, but will back them up and help them fix things that are not working. Ask them what they think the biggest challenge will be for the person coming into this job.
posted by decathecting at 1:06 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Let them speak - you listen.
If they show interest in something, ask a follow-up question about it.
Get their names right - and address them by their names.
Make them feel important - and do it sincerely.
Be positive and confident - and smile.
posted by Flood at 1:36 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

How do you like to be managed?

What is important for me to know about you in order to help you perform at your best?

What do you need to know about me in order for us all to be able to do our best?

What's one piece of advice you'd give to me about working here?

Listen more than you speak. Don't pretend to be something/someone that you're not in the interview, it only leads to disappointment later.

I hope you get the job!
posted by MT at 2:02 PM on January 27, 2011

Since they're also customer relations I'd ask them what are their biggest challenges with their customers, and find out their philosophy for dealing with them currently/under old boss. I'm in Quality, and under the Old Boss the philosophy was 'Tell the customer it wasn't our fault!' under the New Boss it's 'It's our fault until proven otherwise.' It's made a big difference in customer perception.
posted by Caravantea at 2:05 PM on January 27, 2011

Good managers (in my experience) give their subordinates the tools to succeed and the space to fail; however, that might not be to everyone's taste. Telling the difference between those who want lots of space and those who want lots of guidance is no small feat, but it's crucial. Which sort of manager are you? What sort of employees are you likely to work with best, and how do you reach out to the other sort? I'm not going to presume to tell you what you should ask or say, but these seem to me worth thinking about.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 5:16 PM on January 27, 2011

Some variant of, "What do I need to know about this place that *my* managers probably wouldn't tell me?"

It shows that you are savvy to the tendency of upper management to spout a lot of overly optimistic crap and signals that you are not like that.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:19 AM on January 28, 2011

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