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.
1. What are the essential qualities of a good supervisor?
In your interview answer include these key competencies or supervisory skills that apply to all supervisor jobs.
2. What do you consider to be the role of a supervisor?
"The primary role of the supervisor is to plan, coordinate and oversee a group or team of people to efficiently use available resources and maximize productivity in order to achieve set objectives."
3. 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.
4. What are your strengths as a supervisor?
This complete list of employee strengths will help you answer this common interview question. Make sure you highlight those strengths that are relevant to the job opportunity.
Relevant supervisor workplace strengths include:
You may be asked which areas you would like to improve on as a supervisor. This list of common workplace weaknesses can help you with this.
You may be asked the What motivates you interview question. Find top example answers to this tricky question to help you prepare.
5. 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.
6. 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:
7. Tell me about a time an employee made a significant mistake. What action did you take?
This is a behavioral supervisor 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:
8. 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:
9. 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.
10. 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:
11. 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:
Good time management interview questions and answers
These are the type of interview questions a first-time or new supervisor may be asked.
Why do you want to be a supervisor?
A supervisory role is the logical next step in their career path for many candidates. In your interview answer:
How have your previous roles prepared you for a supervisory role?
In your interview answer to this first-time supervisor interview question focus on those skills and competencies you have gained in your career to date and that you bring to the supervisory role. How have you have used these skills in the workplace? Discuss your experience of working in a team and the challenges and problems you have overcome and what you have learned.
Why do you think you will make a good supervisor?
What strengths do you have that would make you a competent supervisor? Supervisory competencies and skills include:
What do you consider the main challenges for a first-time supervisor?
This supervisor interview question is designed to evaluate your insight into the supervisory role. Common challenges a first-time supervisor faces include:
Go on to explain how you would address these challenges in your new supervisor role such as:
Prepare for these typical customer service supervisor interview questions:
Find a comprehensive guide to the Customer Service Supervisor Interview
Prepare for common retail supervisor interview questions including:
The complete Retail Supervisor Interview guide.
Prepare for typical call center supervisor interview questions including:
The complete Call Center Supervisor Interview guide
Supervisor interview questions will also include common job interview questions. Find out how to answer frequently asked interview questions.
Prepare some good questions to ask in your supervisor interview. Candidates who have a list of insightful questions ready to ask the interviewer demonstrate their commitment and interest in the position.
Use the list at smart job interview questions to ask to help you with this.
Questions to Ask after the interview
A comprehensive list of the tasks, duties and responsibilities of a typical supervisor is provided in these job descriptions.