It’s one thing to delegate tasks and tell your staff members what to do. It’s another to be standing over them the whole time, breathing awkwardly down their neck about it as you push them to get their tasks done.
Most companies are well aware of how management style plays an important role in job satisfaction. When you’re in charge of delegating tasks, companies want to know that you:
- Don’t scare away/annoy really good employees.
- Make sure each employee does what they are supposed to do
It’s a balancing act, but being good at delegating requires that you know how to navigate that wire successfully.
Behavioral Interview Question: When delegating tasks and responsibilities, how do you decide how much instruction and supervision is required?
Although some interviewers may have a particular answer in mind, especially if someone in the position in the past struggled or excelled with supervision, most interviewers will not. What they are looking for is awareness. After all, a manager that doesn’t watch their employees is going to let things fall through the cracks, while those that watch them too much are going to push skilled people out of the company.
Some middle ground should be your answer, but perhaps even more important is that it should have purpose, and display some level of trust in your staff.
“That’s a great question but it doesn’t always have an easy answer. There are times when I can tell that the work is challenging to others, and times when it’s clear I can take a hands off approach. I always try to adjust my management style to suit each team members development needs.
What I try to do is give employees ample ways to show me that they need help if that is the case, but otherwise I trust them to do the job. I do this by creating micro-goals. These are little accomplishments that they need to complete along the way, and if they don’t complete them it’s a warning sign that they may need help and greater supervision. I also keep a spreadsheet that I have my staff fill out every day or every other day, and if I see they’re not making much progress that is when I get involved.
Finally, I just try my best to be aware. I ask myself have I given someone the task before and did they do a great job? If so, I will be much more hands off, and just let them know I’m available. If it’s something new, I may do the task with them for a short while to make sure that they have what they need.”
The key point when answering is to make sure that the employer knows you understand your role, and that you are more than capable of adjusting your management approach depending on the needs of your team members. If you have any real world examples, make sure to throw them in there.
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