What Does Being a Manager Mean to You?
The interview process can be vast and tricky sometimes; it often includes a wide range or series of questions. While some of these questions are unpredictable, others are predictable and expected. A good example of a predictable interview question is-what does being a manager mean to you? Predictable interview questions are asked to test your skills, abilities, and capabilities. Interestingly, hiring managers and employers ask job seekers the same predictable question to compare their answers and expertise against each other. This helps to make the selection process a bit easy. The response to such questions will allow the interviewer to discern between an outstanding candidate and a normal candidate.
Similarly, to want to become a manager isn’t a bad thing; as long as you go about it the right way. Many managers today had to bide their time, work hard, earn promotions, and perform excellently and outstandingly. The hiring manager arguably wants to know the kind of person you are, as well as your personality by asking the question what does being a manager means to you? Are you the hardworking type? Do you see being a manager as a right or a privilege? Are you strong and patient enough? Do you have the personality to want to attain or reach the apex of your career? Do you believe in doing and achieving things the right way? Are you too ambitious? Or do you prefer going through the corner to get what you want? All these and more is what the hiring managers want to know when they asked this question.
Admittedly, you can answer this question in different ways; however, your response should be devoid of arrogance and ambition. You shouldn’t give your potential employers the impression that you are ready and willing to skip the laid down procedure and processes just to get to the apex of your career. Instead, make them realize that you believe in your ability and skills to patiently attain the height of your career. Therefore, this article will briefly explain who a manager is, why the question is asked, and the best way to answer the question.
Who is a manager?
A manager can be defined as a person who is in charge of something. Managers can control departments in companies or guide the people who work for them. Also, managers often decide things in the department, unit, or organization. The manager is responsible for overseeing and leading the work of a group of people in many instances. The manager is also responsible for planning and maintaining work systems, procedures, and policies that enable and encourage the optimum performance of its people and other resources within a company or business unit.
Why Do Hiring Managers Ask the Question-What Does Being a Manager Mean to You?
The following are some of the reasons why hiring managers ask the question during an interview;
- The hiring manager wants to see confident and well-prepared candidates who can take up leadership roles in the future.
- The employer wants to see job candidates that can offer or add value to the company.
- The interviewer is looking for candidates with leadership skills.
How to Answer the Interview Question- What Does Being a Leader Mean to You?
Your answer to the question should be made up of the following;
- Talk about the leadership skills needed
- Mention the benefits of hiring you to the organization
- Provide specific examples when answering
- Discuss Management styles
- Demonstrate empathy and regard for colleagues
- Show interest in the company’s processes
Talk about the leadership skills needed: As mentioned earlier, the hiring manager wants you to show that you possess the hard and soft skills needed to be a great leader. Even if you don’t have some of the skills, show your potential employer that you are willing and able to learn and acquire them over time. Examples of the leadership skills needed to be a good manager include respect for others, decisiveness, trustworthiness, conflict management and resolution, authenticity, organization skills, effective communication skills, stress management, delegation skills, open-mindedness, empathy, and understanding. You should talk about these skills when answering and connect them to how it affects you as an individual.
Mention the benefits of hiring you to the organization: It is undeniable that every company wants to hire employees who can add value to them. Therefore, you should identify a value you would bring to the organization as both an employee and a manager. In addition, you should try and tie the value you can add to one of the leadership skills or qualifications of a manager. For example, you can say “I will be honored to use my experience in analytics to help improve the marketing team’s digital success rate”.
Provide specific examples when answering: As with most interview questions, you should give specific examples when answering. While some hiring managers might ask you for examples, most will not; they expect you to use your initiative and provide such examples. Giving a specific example of how you carried your team members along in a project or how you showed empathy to a colleague or schoolmate, for instance, will help convince the hiring managers of your leadership qualities and invariably help to explain what being a manager mean to you. Also, you should quantify the success you achieved by applying one of the leadership skills if possible. A good example will be “a manager needs to be highly organized. In my last role as an assistant manager, I helped to create and maintain the work schedule for 24 employees in our unit (customer service unit)”.
Discuss management styles: It is important to talk about the management styles when answering the question. You should define and explain the effects a particular management style has had on you and how you intend to use it if you ever become a manager. Relatively, make sure that you give examples of how the identified management style would propel you to success as a manager. For example, you can say” The marketing department of this organization would benefit from a mentorship program. If hired, I would try and ensure that my colleagues and I learn from senior members of the team.”
Demonstrate empathy and regard for colleagues: Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. In other words, empathy is the capacity to place oneself in another person’s shoes or position. Empathy and regard for other members of staff are some of the important qualities of a good leader or manager. Therefore, show the hiring managers that you will be an empathetic manager by discussing how you would handle any social or emotional issues that might arise between colleagues or personal stressors. For instance, you can say “As a former retail assistant, I know the importance of scheduled breaks and coworker support. I would make sure I meet the needs of the retail staff to ensure an extraordinary customer experience”
Show interest in the company’s processes: Finally, you should demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have a genuine interest in the company’s processes when answering. No employer wants to hire employees that would alter the organization’s policies and processes at the onset. Remember, management positions often involve streamlining and delegating processes for improved efficiency and functionality. Hence, show you have a concrete and sincere interest in improving those processes in your answer.