Interview Questions About Supervising Employees

Management Style and Conflict Resolution

Businessman Having Interview with two people
Adie Bush/The Image Bank/Getty Images

When interviewing for a position supervising other employees, it's important to show the interviewer that you are an effective leader and problem solver. Here are some typical interview questions about supervising, and a few suggested answers to help springboard your own.

What Makes a Good Supervisor?

Your answer gives the interviewer a sneak peek into your management style. Draw on experiences that show your leadership and use an anecdote to illustrate your response.

“In my previous role managing retail employees, I determined that if you purposely show that you respect the staff, they will work harder for you. This instills them with a sense of ownership and a desire to produce great results. While I do delineate the line between supervisor and friend, my door was always open and they understood we were on the same team, trying to achieve the same goal."

How Do You Solve Conflicts Among Employees?

Employees from various backgrounds and with different personalities are sure to experience some conflict, and your attempts at resolution demonstrate the kind of supervisor you are.

"I've certainly encountered people on a team who clash. If it's a miscommunication, I will act as mediator and we will work through it together in my office. If it's a larger drama on a personal level, I tend to approach each person individually and ask that they leave their personal baggage at home."

How Do You Deal With Poor Employees?

Supervisors need to understand that not every employee is an ideal fit; or perhaps they were a good fit when they were hired but now the company has evolved and the employee didn't change along with the organization and now he's flailing. A strong supervisor will encourage the employee, offer mentoring, and won't easily give up.

“When an employee's work is questionable, I assume we saw something in him in the first place that's simply not manifesting now. I begin by arranging a meeting to determine what issue might be. Sometimes it's a personal issue affecting the employee at work. In that case, I let them know I sympathize and I'm on their side, but we need to work out a plan as to how they can balance their personal life so it doesn't interfere with work. If the issue is work related, I may suggest retaking certain training or tell the employee that perhaps the job is no longer a good match for his skills."

Additional Questions About Supervising Employees

Tell me about your management style. How has evolved over time?

What makes someone a good manager?

What would you say is the single most important quality for an effective supervisor?

How do you motivate employees and encourage your team?

What would the employees who you supervised have said about you?

In what work environment did you achieve the most success?

Have you ever fired someone? Please explain the steps you took to carry out the dismissal.

What's your strategy for welcoming and acclimating new employees?

How do you measure your success as a manager?

How do you delegate work?

Administrative Interview Questions and Answers
More administrative interview questions and sample answers.

More Interview Questions and Answers
Questions you'll be asked when interviewing, how to prepare answers to interview questions, along with sample answers to typical job interview questions.