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Interview Questions: Are You Manageable?

Knowing the technical aspects of your job isn’t enough to convince an interviewer you are the best person for the job. Interviewers evaluate your candidacy in a broader sense. They assess who you are as a person and whether you are manageable—that is, whether you have the traits that make you an easygoing and effective team member.

To make this determination, interviewers ask questions geared to your manageability. Below are a few questions that may be asked of you during an interview, along with a sample response for each.

Q. Give me a recent example of when you needed the assistance of your manager.

The interviewer wants to know if you handle issues that arise on your own and whether you exhaust every alternative before informing your manager of a potential problem. Most managers look for employees who manage problems on their own or at the very least, brainstorm possible solutions before bringing the problem to the manager’s attention. To prepare for this type of question, take note of your problem-solving skills and mention the steps you take when resolving issues.

Sample Response: “Since I have comprehensive experience in this industry, it is rare that I approach my supervisor to solve a problem for me. I usually draw upon past experiences to determine the best course of action. This method works 99% of the time. If I’m presented with a scenario I’ve never encountered, I come up with several options and present each to my manager. Together, we discuss the pros and cons of all the possible scenarios and come up with a workable solution.”

Q. How would your current/previous employer describe your work ethic?

An excellent way to gauge your manageability is by gaining insight on how others perceive your performance. When answering this question keep your response focused on the good qualities your manager sees in you.

Sample Response: “My performance reviews always have been outstanding. In my most recent one, my manager indicated that my dependability and loyalty as an employee is evident by the fact that I always show up to work on time, and when needed, make myself available for overtimeľmaking me an asset to the department.”

Q. What kind of manager do you find most difficult to work for?

Instead of providing a laundry list of qualities you dislike in a manager, focus your response on the management style that brings out the best in you.

Sample Response: “Since I am a self-starter, I work best in a situation where the supervisor provides instructions and then allows me to carry them out. I’m not one that needs to be micro-managed. In fact, my previous managers can attest that I always go above and beyond what is expected and can be depended upon to keep my commitments.”

The way you answer interview questions will be the determining factor on whether or not you are extended a job offer. Be prepared to answer interview questions that focus on your ability to be managed.

- Linda Matias

Certified in all three areas of the job search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda Matias is qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance. She is also the author of How to Say It: Job Interviews (Prentice Hall Press) which can be found at or your local bookstore. You can contact Linda Matias at or visit her website for additional career advice and to view resume samples.

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