When creating interview questions, it is important to be aware of certain important facts. Some people have argued that the best interview questions are those that seek to establish how a candidate has behaved in the past. The candidate’s past performance is then used to predict his or her future actions.
This paper discusses the characteristics and experiences that are desirable for the job of the services division manager based on the information provided by the vice president of the services division. Later, a list of probable interview questions is presented.
Desired Job Characteristics
For the candidate to succeed on this job, he or she has to be self motivated and must be able to work without any form of supervision. A self motivated person will take time to understand the business goals and develop strategies to that will lead to the achievement of the goals (Vercillo, 2011). It is also very important for the candidate to possess good leadership skills.
Bearing in mind that customer service is very significant to the growth of any business the candidate must be very skilled at dealing with customers. Although customers will mostly interact with the rest of the employees, any difficult problems encountered in the process of dealing with customers, will usually be directed to the manager who is expected to calm down the situation before things get out of control.
It is therefore very critical for the business to employ a manager who will be able to make all customers happy. This includes the most difficult ones. By handling customers well, the business will be able to retain its existing customers while endeavoring to win more (Vercillo, 2011).
Another desirable characteristic is integrity and trustworthiness. Although it may be quite a challenge to determine these characteristics during an interview, asking the right questions can help to generate some useful facts. The employer needs to be assured that the employee can be trusted (Vercillo, 2011).
Dependability is also a very essential character of a service division manager. With a dependable manager in charge of affairs, an employer does not need to worry. This manager will report to work on time, will not sleep on the job and can be available when required to attend to urgent matter or even stay back after official working hours to complete pending work.
The employer also needs assurance that when manager is asked to do something, it is as good as done. It is also helpful for the service manager to be a trusting person. He should all that is necessary to empower his or her subordinates (Vercillo, 2011).
The candidate must also possess effective communication and listening skills. Besides communicating with employees within and outside the department, the manager will be required to deal with external customers. It is common for customers to get irritated when asked to repeat a request and hence the need for effective listening skills.
Being able to recap what the customer said is one way of telling them that you care (Curtis, 2009). It is therefore indispensable for the candidate to be a good listener. The candidate should also be a good problem solver and must also be able to manage others employees. According to Vercillo (2011), the candidate must also be able to remain calm during rough times, knowledgeable about the industry and optimistic.
Looking at the desired characteristics for the job, the preferred candidate must be experienced in a number of areas. Before anything else, the candidate must have previously worked as a manager and preferably in a similar service industry.
To inspire staff in the newly formed services department, the candidate must also be good at team building as well as managing people. The candidate must have had opportunities to work with being supervised and must be an outstanding leader. There must also be evidence of the candidate being entrusted with vital responsibilities.
Questions to Determine if the Candidate Can Take Charge
There are various questions that can be asked to check if a candidate is suitable for the job. In the given scenario, the following questions may be useful:
Have you ever led a department, a project or any activity in a previous job? Explain you performed as a leader and how the team responded to your leadership.
This question can be asked to establish if the candidate has the desired leadership qualities (Heathfield, 2011). The service department has just been established and according to the vice president of the services division, a good leader is required to strengthen it.
What is your leadership style like?
This question aims to find out if the candidate is familiar with the different leadership styles (Schwartz & Dropo, n.d). A candidate who knows his or her leadership style is likely to make changes whenever as is necessary so as to meet the demands of the job. It is about activity in an appropriate way to respond to a given situation.
Have you ever set goals in the past? Did you achieve them set?
This question will help to check the ability of a candidate to set achievable goals ands follow through to accomplish them. It also intends to find out if the candidate is self motivated and whether he or she can work without supervision.
Given that the successful candidate will be managing a team of other employees in the service division, the vice president will not be pleased with a manager who has to be pushed around to do his or her work. The manager should have a clear vision of how to grow the department (Schwartz & Dropo, n.d). Good planning is essential and this question will also help to test whether or not the candidate can plan well.
What do you understand by the concept of employee empowerment? What crosses your mind when you think about empowered employees?
A manager can not succeed alone. The support of his juniors is a vital component of his success. This question is therefore meant to determine to what degree the candidate is able to trust his or her subordinates with work responsibilities (Heathfield, 2011). Will he or she feel threatened by the thought of an empowered employee? A confident manager will be proud of the successes of his or her juniors.
What in your opinion is effective communication? Describe a job experience whereby you had to speak up so as to be convinced that others understood perfectly what you your thoughts and feelings were.
With this question, the employer can find out if the candidate is an effective communicator. The successful candidate will interact with fellow staff and customers. The employer needs to know that the manager will handle all communication properly (UCSF, n.d).
An urgent project is soon coming to an end and you have been given a number of tasks to be completed within a very short period. Explain how you would establish priorities.
Time and again, the service division manager will be faced with tight deadlines to be met and good tact is needed to ensure successful delivery. This question is therefore meant to check how effective the candidate will be in executing his or her job tasks (UCFS, n.d).
Describe a scenario that tested your problem solving skills. What did you do?
Problem solving is one thing that a manager can not run away from. The problems may be either internal or external. With this question, the employer will be able to determine if the candidate is good at analyzing and solving problems. A good problem solver is a great asset to the business (UCSF, n.d).
Have you ever had innovative ideas at work? Did you manage to implement them? Why do you consider them to be innovative?
Situations often come about that require a manager to think outside the box. This question is therefore meant to check the conceptual skills of the candidate. How good is the candidate at acting exceptionally?
Have you ever worked with others in a team? Was the team successful in achieving its objective? Describe the part you played on the team and its success.
The manager will be required to motivate his team. An effective motivator is also a good team player. This question will be useful in determining if a candidate can lead a team successfully (UCSF, n.d).
Curtis, L. (2009). Ten Tips to Good Customer Service. Andover, MA: Helium, Inc. Retrieved on 29th August, 2011 from:
Heathfield, S. M. (2011). Leadership Job Interview Questions. New York: About.com. Retrieved on 29th August, 2011 from: < http://humanresources.about.com/od/leadership/a/leader_question.htm>.
Schwartz, A. E. & Dropo, C. (n.d). Tools for Becoming a Successful Manager. Colorado, US: The Trainers Direct. Retrieved on 29th August, 2011 from: < http://www.trainersdirect.com/resources/articles/ManagementSkills/ToolsForBecominganEffectiveManagerSchwartz.htm>.
Vercillo, K. (2011). 10 Good Traits and Characteristics of a Successful Manager. San Francisco, CA: HubPages Inc. Retrieved on 29th August, 2011 from: < http://kathrynvercillo.hubpages.com/hub/10-Traits-of-a-Successful-Manager>.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). (n.d). Samples of Appropriate Interview Questions. San Francisco, CA: University of California, San Francisco. Retrieved on 29th August, 2011 from: < http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/index.php/staffing/article/samples-of-appropriate-interview-questions/>.