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Mock interview of supervisor and aspiring manager

Interview two individuals (boss, co-worker) on the subject of supervision. If they are supervisors now, ask them what are their biggest challenges and what tools help them be successful in their job. If they are aspiring managers, ask them what skills they think are the most important and how they plan to develop those skills. Comment on how their advice affects you in your quest to be a good supervisor.

Solution Preview

Mock interview format:

Introduction (supervision background)
Body (responses to questions)
Summary ("What do you think?")

I. Mock interview from the perspective of a current supervisor

Step 1: Introduction

Question: Are you now or have you ever been a supervisor?

Response: I have training and experience as a supervisor. I majored in Business Administration in college with an emphasis on Management. The management courses included numerous courses in organizational management, leadership and supervision. I was able to use what I learned in college in my job as an Administrative Assistant/Office Manager at a local high school where I supervised the support staff that worked in the front office, finance office, Library, and Registrar's offices. Even though I no longer supervise, the skills I learned are helpful to me as a leader in the classroom and other areas of my life, so once you develop as a supervisor/manager, you can always use what you learned.

Step 2: Body

Question: What were your biggest challenges as a supervisor?

Response: One of the challenges I found as a supervisor was in representing upper management to those I supervised. I was often in the middle and I have to please my superiors while at the same time empathizing with the problems of my subordinates.
Another challenge in supervising was to be fair to everyone I supervised. I had to make sure the work was distributed evenly among the team, and make sure I did not show favoritism to one employee over another.

Discipline is another challenge when there is an employee who is not carrying their fair share of the workload for a number of reasons. I had to make sure I was providing appropriate training and giving employees performance expectations from the beginning so they knew what satisfactory performance was and how to meet it.

As a supervisor I was challenged to be a manager and a leader so that the things that my bosses required of me were done while at the same time I could inspire my subordinates to want to do a good job and fulfill the mission of our school.

Keeping lines of communication open between me and the people I supervised was a challenge. Employees needed to feel their opinion and ideas had value, so I had to make sure I was creating a comfortable atmosphere where they felt free to share their ideas and opinions with me. Often their ideas and opinions were very helpful in completing tasks and projects and were things I may not have thought of on my own.

Another challenge for me was learning to delegate work and responsibility to my subordinates. Being able to delegate and let subordinates take more responsibility for tasks and assignments not only frees up the supervisor ...

Solution Summary

This 1,960-word step-by-step solution includes a "mock" interview of a current supervisor and of an aspiring manager that provides detailed real-world responses to each of the questions posed in this problem. Along with examples it also includes a summary of findings from each interview that the student can use to formulate an opinion on the perspective of a present supervisor and an aspiring manager. This solution can be used when the student needs to complete an interview assignment and no one is available to interview.