Supervisor Interview Questions

Sample supervisor interview questions with practical answer help.

Whether the job is for a sales supervisor, a production supervisor, a warehouse supervisor or a team leader the same basic competencies and supervisor skills are required to successfully carry out the duties and responsibilities in the supervisory role.

Feel confident about your job interview by knowing which interview questions to expect for supervisor jobs. Prepare winning interview answers and impress as the right job candidate. 

What do you consider the essential qualities for a supervisor?

In your interview answer include these key competencies or skills that apply to all supervisor jobs. Planning and organizing, problem-solving, decision-making, delegating, motivating, influencing, communicating and managing conflict.

Describe your supervisory style.

When answering supervisor interview questions around your personal supervisory style remember that there is no wrong or right supervisory style.

The only criteria is that it should be appropriate to the situation. Your ability to adapt your style to the demands of the person you are dealing with, the task at hand and the circumstances is key to success as a supervisor. Provide examples of how you have had to adapt your supervisory style to meet different needs.

How do you motivate your employees/team members?

Supervisor in office

How do you motivate your employees/team members?

The more your employees or team members understand about their jobs and responsibilities the more motivated they are. Show how you ensure each subordinate has clarity about his or her role and responsibilities. Discuss how you set clear, specific and realistic targets that are agreed on rather than dictated. Focus on how you involve employees by asking for suggestions, ideas and feedback.

Tell me about a time an employee made a significant mistake. What action did you take?

This is a behavioral or situational interview question. You are expected to provide an example of how you successfully managed a difficult employee or team member. Find out more about handling the behavioral interview.

In your answer to this supervisor interview question focus on your ability to communicate openly to understand the cause of the mistake. To discuss with the employee how it can be prevented from happening again. To view the mistake as a learning opportunity to improve future performance.

Describe a time you had to introduce important change in your last job.

Your ability to persuade and influence your employees or team members to accept change is key.

Show how you were able to gain support and commitment from them by using the appropriate communication style, by listening and responding to concerns and questions, by asking for their help and commitment and by providing support.

Describe a time you had to manage conflict within your department/team/group.

Your example can show how you identified the source of conflict, used the conflict situation as a constructive process to exchange opinions and ideas and clarify roles and responsibilities. Discuss how you kept the focus on the desired outcome rather than on personal grievances.

Tell me about a time you had to coach an employee to perform a task.

Coaching and developing others is part of the supervisor function. Supervisor interview questions about the development of employees should include your ability to agree on the outcomes and methods of coaching with the employee, to explain and demonstrate task performance, to observe and provide constructive feedback.

Tell me about a short term plan you developed for your department/team/group.

These supervisor interview questions explore your ability to plan and organize. Your interview answer should demonstrate your ability to set priorities, establish objectives and milestones, schedule activities and plan proper use of resources.

When evaluating an employee or team member's performance what factors are most important to you?

This question is designed to assess your performance standards. Show how you set high work standards for yourself and your subordinates, how you communicate your expectations and how you monitor performance.

Supervisor interview questions will also include common job interview questions. Find out how to answer frequently asked interview questions.

Prepare for standard management interview questions.

Get a full understanding of how to answer the behavioral or competency based interview questions that explore common competencies required in a supervisory role. 

Prepare some good questions to ask in your supervisor interview. Use the list at which job interview question to ask to help you with this.

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