So, it has finally happened. You’ve been invited to a job interview for the managerial position you’ve had your eye on for years. After you congratulate yourself, you will need to think long and hard about the position you may be assuming. Managers and supervisors are held to a higher standard than other workers, so you don’t want to be taken off-guard by anything during your first couple of weeks. If you are in the market for a manager job, here are 8 questions to ask that will help you adapt to the rarefied air of management’s upper echelons.
Jump to Section:
1. Why Did the Previous Manager Quit?↴
2. How Much Control Will You Have?↴
3. How Will My Performance Be Evaluated?
4. How Much Will I Be Compensated?↴
5. What Does a Normal Day Look Like?↴
6. Are there Advancement Opportunities Available?↴
7. Can You Describe the Culture of This Company?↴
8. What Are the Primary Working Hours?↴
1. Why Did the Previous Manager Quit?
You can’t do your job effectively if your bosses refuse to provide you with the support you need to be successful in your new managerial role. For this reason, it is always in your best interest to find out why the previous manager left. Sure, they may have wanted to find a higher paying job, or maybe they simply got bored, but if they left because of a more pressing, organizational issue, you may want to find out more about the issue before you assume the same position.
If the departure was rather quick, it could be because the company has an unrealistic timeline. Some companies will be comfortable with you slowly learning your position over time, but others will expect you to jump right in and start producing results immediately. Also, if a position has high turnover or has been vacant for an extended time, it may simply be unpleasant or too stressful.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking such a question, don’t hesitate to visit the LinkedIn profile of the previous manager to learn more about their qualifications and professional history. You may even want to consider contacting them directly if possible.
2. How Much Control Will You Have?
There are certain things to know before accepting a job, especially a managerial job. Before assuming a supervisory position, you must find out how much power you will have. Some managers simply function as managers, while others have a significant amount of power over day-to-day operations. Higher-powered managers are often tasked with hiring and firing employees, so you should certainly find out how much control you will have if you don’t feel fully comfortable making major decisions on the spot.
When discussing power and control, be sure to ask the following questions:
- “Will I be responsible for evaluating the performance of employees?”
- “Am I allowed to make certain decisions without consulting higher-ups?”
- “Will I be responsible for hiring and firing?”
- “Who will I be held accountable to?”
By answering the questions listed above, you can gain a significant amount of insight into the role you will assume.
3. How Will My Performance Be Evaluated?
As a manager, you will probably be responsible for evaluating the performance of your employees. You may even be responsible for hiring and firing employees. With so many potential responsibilities falling on your shoulders, you must remember that your performance will be evaluated at some point. Before accepting a managerial position, you should be sure you understand how your professional performance will be rated and evaluated.
Some companies focus exclusively on revenue or other markers when evaluating a supervisor. Others use a more well-rounded approach that involves employee and client feedback. Many people find the first approach to be impersonal while others are comfortable being graded solely on results. If company expectations are too high or timelines too unrealistic, you may want to consider another position. You should also find out how your performance will have an impact on your compensation in any way.
4. How Much Will I Be Compensated?
No matter how fancy of a title you are offered, the company you wish to work for should not have a problem discussing your compensation. If they do, you may want to consider working elsewhere.
When discussing salary, be sure to consider the full package, not just the yearly salary you will be paid. You should feel comfortable discussing health benefits, stock options, vacation days, retirement, and other aspects of your compensation to get a bigger picture of what you will be taking home at the end of the month. When the time to negotiate your salary arrives, be reasonable, but don’t underestimate your worth and experience.
5. What Does a Normal Day Look Like?
Everyone has a different time-management style, so it can be immensely helpful to find out what your typical day will look like. Will your day primarily consist of meetings or will you be working side-by-side with your staff? Is your day jampacked with activities or more laidback? How much control will you have over your day-to-day schedule? Be sure to ask such questions before assuming a new managerial position.
6. Are there Advancement Opportunities Available?
Once you obtain the job of your dreams, you will still dream. In other words, even though you will finally be a manager, you will probably still want access to promotions and the ability to assume greater responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager about potential advancement opportunities and how you can prepare yourself for them. If there are little to no advancement opportunities, you must decide whether you are comfortable in such a role.
7. Can You Describe the Culture of This Company?
Every company has its own unique culture and professional goals. In other words, every company essentially has a personality, and not everyone will find every personality agreeable. If you envision yourself making a difference in the world, you may want to work for a company that places a significant amount of emphasis on community outreach and charity. If you prefer to work for a company that emphasizes innovation and the future, you should take time to find the right place.
In general, it can be difficult to do your best on a regular basis if you don’t agree with your employer’s values or goals. It can also be difficult to fit in at a company where you don’t understand or support the culture.
8. What Are the Primary Working Hours?
Are you looking for a nine-to-five job or would you prefer non-traditional hours? Before assuming a job, you should take the time to ask about the schedule. Will you be on-call at times? Will be you expected to take work home? Be sure to ask such questions before giving a definitive “yes.”
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