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What do you think about your manager?


Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > What do you think about your manager?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also


The question

What do you think about your manager?

How well do you get on with your manager?

How effective are the senior managers in your company?

Is your manager a good leader?

Would you say that managers in your current organization are particularly good?

What they are looking for

In asking your views about managers within your company, the interviewer is asking about both your perception and your willingness to talk about managers.

This will also tell them something about your understanding of management. A person who talks about 'managers' as a species betrays their mental models of what managers are like. A person who talks about a specific manager also shows expectations about what managers should do.

This may also be used to determine your loyalty to your manager. A person who is loyal is less likely to criticize and will be more supportive. This could be probed by deliberately asking you about things that the manager has done wrong.

How to answer

First show that you understand the pressures and difficulties of managers, particularly in more senior positions than you are seeking.

Managing at our company is not an easy job as we run on tight timescales and limited budgets.

Then show that you respect your manager (and, by implication, managers and the chain of command in general).

I have learned a lot from my manager. She is good at setting goals and ensuring there is nothing stopping me from achieving them. She also gives good feedback. This is not always easy to take, but it usually is valid and useful.

If you want to show spirit, you can say that you do not always agree with your manager, but be careful to frame this in a positive way.

My company has a value of challenge and when my manager asks me to do something I think about it and sometimes question it. This may lead to an argument but it always results in clear objectives to which we are both fully committed.

See also

Leadership, Leadership vs. Management

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