Recruitment consultants Matthew Slaney and Farhat Khan at Loblaw Companies Limited tell us how best to answer an interview question about your manager.

What qualities do you look for in your manager in order to help you be successful in your job?

I would like my manager to be someone who can provide clear directions when needed but also allow me autonomy in performing the tasks assigned to me, or I would like my manager to provide quick feedback and corrective coaching at the right time and not wait until the annual performance appraisal.

Reason why you are asking this question

This question will allow recruiters to determine an ideal fit between the candidate's needs and what the manager wants. If the job they are applying to today does not work out perhaps the recruiter will think of the candidate for a future opportunity.

Advice

Be honest in answering the questions, as it would help the recruiter in getting the right fit for you to succeed. When looking at the job description, try to find clues as to the qualities that the job requires. (Example: independent work or training provided.) If you struggle to think of qualities you would like or need, try to think of a previous manager that you really enjoyed working with. Perhaps that will help you realize what you need to be successful.

How not to answer the question

Don't be generic. It is not recommended to say I need my manager to be knowledgeable. This may hint to the recruiter that you yourself are not knowledgeable in your job. Try to keep your answer positive and refrain from referring to negative experiences with previous managers.