Top Supervisor interview questions with answers that you must prepare for job



A supervisor’s role is a leader’s role and hence questions which center on ability to manage and organise people to bring out their best will be asked during a Supervisor’s Interview Questions. While questions specific for supervisors will be asked, the regular Job Interview questions will also be expected.

Supervisors are expected to possess Leadership skills and competencies that will enable them handle their responsibilities and duties successfully. The supervisor interview is streamlined to evaluate the prospective supervisor for competencies that will make him a successful supervisor.

The interviewee should bear this in mind and prepare beforehand to confidently produce an interesting interview and land the supervisor job. Here are some questions a supervisor interviewee should expect at a Supervisor Job Interview

supervisor interview questions with answers

What do you see as the vital qualities a supervisor should possess?

Answer: A supervisor is expected to lead others and so should possess the qualities of good leaders. They are good decision-making, Planning, Organising, Delegating, problem solving, influencing, Good Team player, managing conflicts and motivating. A supervisor should be very good at adequately managing his emotions.

You could cite an example of how you used one of the above mentioned qualities, for instance; Good Team player. This is a good case for a good-team-player supervisor, “At my previous role as supervisor, I discovered that if employees are respected, they will respond by respecting you and work extra hard for you. As I maintain an open-door approach with my employees, which means   they feel free meeting me with any challenge they are have. This gives them a feeling of ownership in the job which has yielded great results. Though I try to separate supervisor from friend, I see the need to let them know we are all part of the team, working for one goal”

What can you say about your supervisory style?

Tip: There exists no right or wrong supervisory style and so there is no wrong or right answer to the question. However, it is important to note that the way one deals with the person in front of him is different from the way would deal with people.

Key word is adaptability, ability to adapt your style to the circumstance, demands of the task and person involved is what defines a supervisory style. Supervisory style should be particularly appropriate to the situation at hand.

If you have examples, you can cite them to buttress your point.

How did you take a situation when the work you did was criticized?

Tip: This is a test of how you respond to criticisms that are thrown at you as a leader, does it break you down or improve your work and character. A supervisor should expect his or her work to be criticized, it should be accepted and the work improved upon.

Let the interviewer know that you accepted it positively and reviewed what was done. It didn’t break you down but instead fired you up knowing that eyes are watching what you do. Make him understand that you view criticism as a means of checking the quality of what you do. Be positive with your answer about criticism and the people who criticized your work whom you view as essential stakeholders in the job process.

Tell us what happened when you had to implement or initiate a change.

Answer: People in a work environment can be resistant to change just as people tend to want to maintain the status quo. By telling the interviewer this you have informed him of the hard work you did. Describe how you influenced them to see the good reasons why you want to implement the change and the great results that await the employees and the company when they all accept the new idea.

Also tell the interviewer how you went to drum up support for the change and how it pulled through. As a supervisor you didn’t let the change divide your team between the deferring sides, you carried everyone along and achieved great results everyone was proud of.  

How did you respond when an employee made a mistake or when there was conflict within your team?

Tip: The interviewer asks this question to know your approach to uneasy situations and you need to be as clear and as possible without mincing words because supervisors are bound to face these situations at work.

Answer: Mention the mistake made by the employee and how you constructively managed it while getting to the remote cause of the mistake and turning it to a learning point to the employee and to those who were aware of it. Discuss the conflict and how you resolved it without creating a rift in your team. Make the interviewer understand that you motivated the team adequately in spite of the conflict or mistake, ability to motivate and move the team in times of hitches makes for a fine supervisor. 

Have you coached an employee to carry out a task? If yes how did you do it?

Tip: Supervisors are expected to develop and coach other employees to perform a task.  Discuss how you effectively communicated the task and the expected result to him or her. Describe how the employee was adequately monitored and progress objectively rated to ensure that the task was successful. Also discuss how you handled a situation when the employee made a mistake along the line, how you set milestones and used constructive feedback to see out the task to a great result.

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.

Describe a short term plan you created for you team or department

Tip: This is a test of how competent you are in planning and organizing both human and material resources. In your answer describe your ability to create objectives and milestones, set priorities, feedback mechanism and adequate use of available resources.

Also include how you intend to monitor the plan when absent or present and how you involved other employees to see the actualization of the plan.

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