Do you want to be a supervisor?

By February 5, 2020 No Comments

Taking on that first supervisory position is always a challenge – especially if you are assuming managerial responsibility for former peers. Such challenges are well met by people who truly aspire to leadership and apply their talents in that direction. Some things to consider:

Be yourself

Don’t try to be your predecessor or to emphasize your difference from your predecessor.

Start slowly

Don’t be a “new broom” that immediately tries to sweep away all previous procedures. Keep it “business as usual” until you get a clearer idea of what is needed.

Gather information

Observe, ask questions, be a good listener, solicit input.

Be visible

Move around among your staff. Find ways to get to know them and establish good two-way communication.

Review written materials and policies early

Don’t depend on others to give you information that is already available to you.

Emphasize teamwork

Early on, your staff probably knows more than you about many aspects of the job. While you will need to establish your authority, also empower your staff as members of the team.

Be evenhanded and fair

Discover for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of your staff.

Provide good communication in both directions

Let your staff know that you will keep them informed whenever possible, and build trust. Let your staff know you care about them, and that when they speak with you they are heard.

Make your own decisions

You are the new kid on the block, and people may expect to influence you. Be clear that when you seek information and advice, you aren’t handing over the reins. You’re gathering data for use in your decision-making process.

Prepare for your interview

Homework: It’s Not Only for School

The interview date is set and your resume is done. Now it is time to get ready with some preparation drills.

Understand the role

Never interview for a job you know nothing about. Do your homework on the opportunity—the experience, education, and skills required, responsibilities and work environment.

Know the company

Carefully research the company to understand business direction, competitors, products/services and major news announcements.

Practice your story

Develop “PAR” stories to highlight your achievements:

Problem: situation or project

Action in response to situation/project

Results measured or company benefits.

Confirm can do/will do

Know your capabilities and limits in advance. Will you travel? How much? Do you mind long hours? Have a clear idea of what you want from a job before the interview.

Perform interview question drills

While you can’t predict all the questions you will be asked, you can guess quite a few. Formulate answers to typical interview questions and prepare creative, clever responses. Practice out loud to increase your poise and reduce anxiety.

Prepare for tough questions

Be ready to address reasons for a job change (better opportunity, more challenge, etc.)

Bring extra resumes

You should bring three to four copies in the event that you are asked to meet with additional company representatives. It is always better to be prepared.

Dress “one level above”

Based on the company dress code, dress one level above company policy. For example – if the company environment is “business casual”, wear dress slacks/skirts. Don’t overdress where being casual is the preference.



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