interviewing for a managerial role - what organizations want in the ideal candidate

imageOrganizations perceive managers as problem solvers, more than anything else. A manager’s job responsibilities are different from that of a front line worker’s, as they involve supervision of the performance of his/her team, while also enabling them  to perform more efficiently. Recruiters look for candidajobtes who not only have the capability to understand the job, but also the ability to communicate it effectively to others. While leading professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn help candidates prepare for job interviews with their preparation-specific tools and most-commonly asked job interview questions list, there are some specific set of skills/attributes that candidates must know of, when applying for a managerial role. 

Here are four most sought after skills that modern organizations look for in their potential managers. 

1. Communication skills - Ability to listen, understand and share information

When looking for an effective manager, recruiters assess whether the candidate has good communication skills or not.  Understanding what the senior management expects from your team and communicating the same effectively to them is one of the most important requisites of a good manager. Right articulation and precision, when giving instructions is crucial to both setting the goals and achieving them. Monster ranks ‘communication skills’ as one of the top soft skills, because employers consider the ability to communicate clearly crucial for an employee’s productivity.  

2. Cognitive skills – technical skills to perform individually as well as guide the team

In a time when technological innovations are reshaping work processes as well as work environment, organizations expect their managers to be a step ahead in the game. Having the right set of technical skills for a particular role is not enough, as a good manager is expected to be aware how the latest technology is disrupting the industry and what measures are being taken by forward-looking firms to adapt to the change. Therefore, it is recommended that you not only brush up your basics, but also stay abreast with the latest developments in your industry. Google ranks ‘having key technical skills to help advise the team’ as one of the top behaviors that make a good manager. 

3. Critical thinking and analysis - Ability to make sound decisions

As a manager, you are expected to solve problems - whether it’s by making tough and timely decisions or by driving innovation for your organization. At the same time, the growing use of data and analytics for decision-making requires most potential managers to be adept analysts. With the industry undergoing a massive transformation at a rapid pace, modern-age managers need to be able to adapt quickly to new business models, product innovations, flexi work style and fluid job profiles, while also preparing their teams to be proactive. Therefore, companies assess their managerial candidates on attributes such as critical thinking, problem solving ability and analytical thinking. To no surprise, the 2018 Future of Jobs Report identifies critical thinking and analysis as the top trending skills for 2022. 

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4. Emotional intelligence – Ability to manage change, create an inclusive work environment 

As automation brings about a huge shift in the nature of work, industry experts hint to a rise in the need of capabilities specific to humans. The 2018 World Economic Forum survey indicated that 75 million jobs may be displaced by trends emerging in the industry 4.0. While job displacement is one probable outcome of the fourth industrial revolution, increase in emerging professions is another. Across industries, new professions are expected to grow from 16% to 27% by the year 2022. Given the scenario, companies will rely hugely on their managers to communicate this change to their teams, and manage it by making the best use of their emotional faculties. Candidates who exhibit high emotional intelligence and empathy towards their colleagues along with technical skills are likely to emerge as top contenders for managerial roles in the modern work cultures, as they are more likely to create a diverse and inclusive work environment. 

When testing an applicant for a managerial position, recruiters look for a good balance of technical skills and behavioral qualities. When interviewing for such a role, make sure you prepare for an increased job responsibility that concerns not just your own performance, but also makes you answerable for other’s efficiency as well. In today’s work environment, most competitive firms prefer to hire managers who show promise in terms of being a good coach while being an eager learner at the same time.