As soon as you decide to put someone in charge of a task, it’s your responsibility to make sure that they complete it. They are the ones working on the project, but you’re the one in charge of the process.
Companies want to know that you watch over your employees. They also want to know that you’re not over-controlling, and that you give the employees space to work independently. That’s why questions about follow up to task delegation are going to be very common, in order to make sure you’re not only delegating to employees – you’re also aware of what it takes to manage them effectively.
Behavioral Interview Question: Give me an example of a time when you have delegated a task and monitored the person’s progress regularly.
A lot of managers and supervisors micro-manage. You don’t want to do that if you can help it. It’s important to try your best to have trust, otherwise you spend all your time monitoring other people, and no time doing other tasks that help the company.
But there are times when you need to go in there and help the employee with their role, as well as monitor their progress. With this type of question, though, try to stay away from anything that makes it sound like the employee was problematic. Focus instead on the reasons why you decided to help them, and what you actually did.
“Once I’ve worked with a team long enough and understand their strengths and weaknesses, I find I can trust them to work independently. But I do recall a time where we had a new employee working on a marketing program that I knew they were not overly familiar with. I didn’t want them to feel like I was constantly monitoring them, so instead I told them I wanted to work on it with them in order to understand where the bottlenecks were in the process so that I could them make some improvements to the work flow process. This allowed the employee to feel like they were working independently and it also gave me the opportunity to observe how they worked and understand their experience level.”
This doesn’t make the employee look bad, but it does make you look good, and there was no overt micromanaging here. Overall it’s a solid style of answer that should get positive feedback from most interviewers.
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