I work for a startup company. I found out that my current supervisor has tasked me to interview a candidate who could end up being my manager.

My current supervisor is on vacation but he left me a list of requirements for the position. I am familiar with interviewing people at my level (data engineers) but I have never interviewed people for leadership positions.

I can interview this person on his technical skills for the position but how can I tell if he is a good fit for our environment? How can I determine he and I will work well together, since I may have to report to him?

In our work environment, leadership is 100% approachable. From both founders of the company on down to department heads. I have never found a manager/supervisor unwilling to listen to issues. Issues are openly discussed and solutions hashed out. I personally enjoy the "family" atmosphere here at work.

What should I be on the lookout for in this interview? Red Flags? Indications that this is a good fit?

  • 1
    Alan, your question seems quite broad. Perhaps you could narrow your question to some specific points of interviewing or qualities that your supervisor mentioned?
    – curt1893
    May 30, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    Entire books have been written on the subject. Please narrow the scope of your question. As it stands, it is too broad for an answer. May 30, 2017 at 18:03
  • @RichardU Edited post. My apologies for the lack of clarity.
    – Alan
    May 30, 2017 at 18:07
  • @Alan could you add some details about the work environment? It would help us answer May 30, 2017 at 18:15
  • @Alan no problem, we try to help new arrivals to The Workplace. Welcome. May 30, 2017 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


You want to gear your questions around the current environment.

If, as you said, that management is 100% approachable, then you want to phrase your questions to pull out his attitude towards being approachable.

"How would you deal with too many employee concerns?"

"How would you resolve a dispute between two valued employees?"

"An employee has requested time off to attend a wedding, but granting it would leave us short staffed, how would you handle it?"

"What is your personal philosophy for management?"

"Tell me a good joke"

et cetera.

The red flags to look for are anything that might indicate a lack of openness, a confrontational approach as opposed to a collaborative approach and anything that indicates that he is not approachable on a personal level.

  • @JoeStrazzere Under most circumstances, yes. But this is for a management position where they are supposed to be approachable and have a family atmosphere. I've been asked this one myself, actually. May 30, 2017 at 20:18
  • @RichardU Accepted. Thank you. I can't vote up since I don't have enough reputation.
    – Alan
    May 30, 2017 at 20:31
  • I'm not sure what being able to tell jokes has to do with being approachable...?
    – Erik
    Jun 1, 2017 at 13:24
  • "Tell me a joke" tests only a candidates joke telling ability. It says nothing about how approachable a person is. There are many examples of great comedians who, off-stage, were angry and unapproachable. Jun 1, 2017 at 13:36

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