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What are the qualities of a successful manager?

The interviewer will probably ask this if you’re up for a management role, and even if you’re not. Management qualities apply to managing departments, projects, yourself, and even interacting with other people. Two key management qualities, at least one of which the answer should include, are leadership and vision, but management includes other important qualities:

• Communication
• Patience
• Humor
• Work Ethic
• Honesty

Some research on the company, as well as on some successful managers there, if possible, will help direct this answer. It’s a good idea to include examples, either from your own career or better yet from a manager who mentored you, or managed you.

Hard Work:
“A good manager is a good leader, they have to motivate people who work for them. I think the best motivation is a positive example. At my last job, my manager rolled up his sleeves and worked – every project included tasks for him. People respected that and worked harder.”

Avoid negatives, such as for the last example: “A manager who sits around, or who appears to do nothing, leaves people scratching their heads and wondering why they should put in extra effort.” Who knows, maybe the interviewer, as a manager, just had a run in with an employee who accused her of being lazy. It’s best to avoid any criticism, even in a general sense.

“It’s important for a manager to look ahead, to drive their group to achieving better things, or doing work in better ways. That includes understanding that even someone who isn’t pulling their weight may need some encouragement to find their niche. We had a salesman who wasn’t meeting his goals, but the dealership owner found out the guy was a good mechanic. Instead of being fired, now this guy is the garage manager.”

“Sometimes things get tense in a work environment. When I first started work, our manager was a real task master. But one day with a big deadline approaching everyone was tense, and work was at a standstill. He called us into the lunch room and started a big cream pie fight. We were all laughing, and even though we couldn’t get all that whipped cream off ourselves, it was like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders, we met the deadline.”

One of the most innovative answers reported for this question was “An excellent team.”

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