Job Interview - People Mgmt.

I’m interviewing for a job this Friday that I have almost all the qualifications for, except strong experience managing people. My history there is pretty limited. What can I say during the interview that will make me seem like I’d be good at being a boss?

You might consider examples of you interpersonal skills in other areas.

Consider -

Times when you had to negotiate - car or home purchases, dealing with complaint depts

Committees you may have leading roles

Responsibility situations - child care, assisting elderly etc

Situations where you diffused arguments of others - family, church, PTA situations where you worked with people to help find common solutions.

Difficult decisions that weren’t popular with others -

Ex: I once had to deal with a very gruff person who did not want to give me a refund for a faulty product. He was very used to getting into shouting matches with dissatisfied customers. I told him calmly that I didn’t think it would help either one of us to get angry and that I felt strongly enough about my position that I would continue to contact him or anyone else in his company and plead my case until I either got a return or a a satisfactory explanation as to why I wouldn’t. He blew me off. He blew me off the second day. He refunded my money on the third. He told me that he could scream at me for weeks but my being nice just threw him off balance.

You can show some management skills right there during the interview. Tell him or her to, “Just sit there and listen up.” Or “Listen carefully, I don’t want to explain this again.”

They can’t help but be impressed.

Maybe even insult their intelligence a little. That oughta do it!

Tell us about your actual supervisory experience. Supervisory skills do not always involve negotiation. Things like planning, follow up, and accountability are bigger issues. Few workplaces are democracies, I always dealt with my crew at the amusement park as if I was asking them to do things not ordering most of the time this worked better. "Would you please perform TaskX, and let me know when it is complete, thank you, “we need” instead of “I need”.

Every so often you come across someone who needs “ordering” to do anything, they usually didn’t last very long.

One of the current buzz-phrases in the business world is:
“You don’t manage people, you lead people.”

Sit down and shut up, you’re having a quiz on this presentation after I’m done talking. I’ve already written it down in big letters on this here piece of paper, but just in case one of you morons is illiterate, I’ll read it for you: I AM THE NEXT BOSS. YOU WILL HIRE ME. Thank you for your time.

What? It’ll go over perfectly.

I can say that I manage freelancers and vendors. Without knowing very much about the department or situation yet, I’m guessing from the phone interview that the person who would be my boss wants someone between him and the people that would report to this new postion he’s hiring for. I think he needs a lighter load and wants someone else to deal with negotiating raises, divying up projects, vacation requests, etc.

To throw another kink into it, I was planning on wearing a super chic business suit to look more “managerial” but was just told that Friday’s are casual so no need for a suit. How am I supposed to look like Ms. Executive Boss Lady in khakis and a polo shirt?

Say that you appreciate the people that you work with, acknowledge that you’re all working toward the same purpose, and that you lead by example. (I’d go ahead and wear the suit, too.)

I’d wear the suit.

Wear the suit. It’s only casual Friday for people who already work there. They shouldn’t bring it up (why did you ignore what we said?) but if they do, you’re respectful of the process and importance of meeting with them.

You might want to feel out in more detail what kinds of things he is trying to move to this position. Vacation, raises, etc., yes, but is there some overall set of issues he is avoiding? This might be a second interview kind of question so you know better what you are getting into.

Another person agreeing that you should wear the suit.

At my new job (starts August 13th!! I can hardly wait), they wear jeans in the office, and only wear suits when they go to court (a law office, BTW). Still, I showed up for all 3 interviews in a suit. Always better to overdress then to be too casual.

42nded. Wear the suit. :smiley: Always better to be over- than underdressed. Besides, that suit will make you feel good!

And congrats to Atomicktom on your new job!

Won’t I seem like I can’t follow instructions if I choose the suit even after the email said no suits necessary on Friday’s? Or is this one of those tests? You know, the kind that you fail either way.

I was thinking wear the suit and make some kind of joke about my momma raisin’ me to suit up for an interview, even if the position is trash collector.

And say something, “What precisely are we asking here?”

They said it’s not necessary, but that doesn’t mean you’d be doing anything wrong wearing one. Again, it’s a measure of respect for the importance of what you’re doing.You could possibly relax it a little by wearing a blazer and skirt/pants rather than an all-out suit, but I wouldn’t go any more casual than that.

No need to refer to it at all unless they bring it up, which they shouldn’t. I could see myself making a joke about not being able to resist wearing the suit to an interview or something, but don’t liken their job to garbage collector. :wink:

Tell them you’re a key witness in a high-profile murder trial, and you just came from testifying. Anytime they ask something you don’t want to answer you can say “I saw a man’s head blown off right in front of me and you’re asking about X???”

Wear the suit… definately… If they ask about it tell them “Well, I have/had some other Interviews today… I am sure you understand…” (and move on)

Go to your library, do a bit of reserach on 1) the company… Learn the name of the person who founded it, and praise any notable accomplishments.

Also look/skim some current managment books. Get a few “Buzzwords”… Drop them.

Them “What would you bring to this position?”

“ABC Corporation , I feel, offers an outstanding example of excellence. In 1922, William H Madeupname invented the Gizmo, and changed the way that Americans think about carrot peelers! Since then, they have contriuted hugely to the techgnological advance in root vegitabvle epidermal removal systems! My backgroun and experience will allow me to help advance ABC Co. by utilizing JIT Strategies in goal realisation, in both preplanning and acute activity managment. A leader doesn’t lead, he find which way people are marching and gets in front of them…yadda yadda yadda”

Think “sound bite” in all of your answers… No more than 15 seconds. Maintain eye contact, and act as if you expect the interviewer to thank you for your imput.

Take notes.

Assume you “have the job”, IF you like thier offer.

Best of luck

Go Get em, cowboy!


A lot of managing people is about prioritizing, delegating, working as a team toward an end product/result/goal, and understanding people’s strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to your(team’s) best advantage. So try to think of a few good examples of those things from your prior experience(whether in an actual job setting or not) to trot out at the interview, when they ask.

Good luck!

If you have no experience formally managing people as their superior you need to be able to show or describe examples where you have been in similar roles.
Any group project or task where you took the lead and delegated or led what was happening counts.
Ever train a task to someone? Ever assist someone with a question? Ever become the go-to person for certain things?
Managing is about how well you can communicate information down to people, how well you can delegate tasks to others, how well you can follow up with people, how well you can assist others below you, etc.
And examples of these can show how well you “manage” the “people” around you.