Uncommon Interview Question – Have You Ever Had the Experience of Working for More than One Boss (or Manager)?
The organizational hierarchy in some companies requires that you report directly to multiple bosses and managers. For example, if you are the web programmer for the marketing department, you may have to report to both the IT manager and the marketing manager, and both of those supervisors are considered your direct superiors. This can be an odd, frustrating scenario, because one boss may tell you to do one thing, while another boss tells you to do another. Companies that recognize this structure may ask you if you have experienced it before.
How to Answer
If you have not experienced it before, simply answer with “No, I have not. But I feel that as long as there was great communication between myself and the multiple supervisors, I do not expect it to affect productivity or efficiency.”
If you have, then you should describe the experience, and make sure that you remain positive. Ideally, you should describe how you ensured that the work was done completely, and that you communicated well with all of the managers.
“Yeah, I have. It was fine.”
“Yes, at my last job at TechCorp I had three separate managers directly above me, due to the overlap in tasks and corporate structure. In order to ensure good communication, I started a task sheet on the server with priority labels, and requested that my supervisors use the task sheet as a basis for both conversing with each other and organizing priority. This way if one supervisor wanted me to work on a project, and they noticed that I had a short deadline for another project during the same timeframe, they would either contact the other supervisor and see if I could shift priority, or see if someone else was available before contacting me and discussing how to move forward with the work needed.”
Your answer does not need to be this long, but you should try your best to communicate what you did to make sure that your work went smoothly, and above all remain positive. It is important that you at least pretend that all of your bosses got along and there were no difficulties with having multiple bosses.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Discuss what you did to organize and prioritize.
- Remain positive.