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Ramp Agent Supervisor Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 25

Have you ever been involved in the hiring process of new staff? What factors would you take into consideration if hiring new Ramp Agents in this role?

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Ramp Agent Supervisor Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Have you ever been involved in the hiring process of new staff? What factors would you take into consideration if hiring new Ramp Agents in this role?

      Joining the airline as a Ramp Agent Supervisor will immediately put you in the position to be a hiring manager where you'll screen applicants, interview candidates, and hire/onboard new staff to your team. While your interviewer is looking for you to have some experience of hiring processes as a leader, don't fret if you don't have immediate experience. If you do have the experience, be sure to talk about it in detail. But more importantly, talk about how you would look to hire the best people to work as Ramp Agents by doing your research on the role you would be directly supervising.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, I do screen applications, conduct phone interviews with candidates, and am part of a larger interview panel. I am a firm believer that past performance is a key indicator of future performance, so I am sure to check references and conduct background checks. Similar to what I do in my current role, I would discuss a candidate's related prior work experience and key skills and abilities that are required for success as a Ramp Agent during the interview process. I am also big on diversity and finding the right fit for the team, when hiring new staff."

  2. 2.

    What area of supervising a team would you consider yourself to need more training and development in?

      This question is very similar to the 'tell me your greatest weakness' interview question, but really delves into your ability to handle the actual supervisory duties of being a Ramp Agent Supervisor. We are all human and all have weaknesses on the job, so your interviewer is looking to hear you take an open and honest approach, in your answer to this question. From your end, as the candidate being interviewed for the role, the most important pieces are that you discuss how you are trying to learn and grow as a leader to become more skilled or proficient in the area where you feel you need it the most. As long as you can point out how you are continually trying to better yourself in this area, your answer will be successful.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a very successful foreman and supervisor throughout my career, the one are of leadership that still remains uncomfortable for me is having those difficult conversations with my staff. I remember having to terminate a couple of employees early in my career and having sleepless nights the night before having to do so. Throughout my career, I've been coached and read some great literature on having these difficult conversations, and to this day, I have been told I have them in a very professional and straightforward manner. I still take advantage of learning more to improve in this area."

  3. 3.

    Do you have experience operating heavy equipment at any point during your career?

      While work as a Ramp Agent Supervisor doesn't require operating machines that a Heavy Equipment Operator would, the job still entails work on several types of large vehicles and machines. While your interviewer will be able to tell a lot about your work history from your resume/application, they want to hear firsthand from you any experience that you do have. If you don't have experience working on tractors, front-end loaders, or other large equipment, try to relate to other large or heavy pieces of equipment in your personal or work history. These can include forklifts, large industrial trucks or other pieces, as you see fit. As you answer, make sure you discuss your ability to train on any equipment that you work with and the confidence you have in doing so.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While I don't have direct experience working on traditional heavy equipment like road construction equipment, I currently operate a large Towmotor forklift. Each year, I am required to retest my skills to operate the forklift safely, and I've found that picking up on the machine in a safe and efficient manner was very easy. Also, I have experience operating a Bobcat loader that my father-in-law owns and am very comfortable operating that safely, as well."

  4. 4.

    Our Ramp Agent Supervisors are required to work outside in the elements at all times of the year. Are you prepared to do this in this role?

      Ramp Agent staff with any airline are required to work outside during all weather conditions. These conditions can include extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, sleet and any other conditions. Your interviewer will simply be looking to hear that you understand this aspect of the job, and that you are confident in your ability to perform under any condition on the job. As you reiterate to your interviewer that you understand and are able to handle working in any weather conditions, don't hesitate to talk about any experience you have in doing so.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have always enjoyed work in the outdoors and am an avid outdoor enthusiast in my personal time. As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last five years working outside over all four seasons. The key to being able to work effectively in any condition, whether it is cold, heat, or precipitation is watching the weather forecast and being dressed and prepared for the conditions each day. In the summer, hydration is key, and I would take the time to ensure my staff is well hydrated in the heat."

  5. 5.

    Our Ramp Agent Supervisors need to have a sharp focus on the details when inspecting cargo to follow the FAA regulations. What techniques do you use to ensure that you stay focused on the details of your work, even on the busiest of days?

      Attention to detail is one of the most important skills to have in a job with an airline and it is of utmost importance for success as a Ramp Agent Supervisor. Airlines must follow very strict protocols on the type of cargo that they transport, and the entire Ramp Agent crew needs to be extremely detailed when inspecting baggage and cargo boarding each flight. On the busies of days, it can be easy to take shortcuts and not do your due diligence, but your interviewer needs to hear that you are resourceful, organized, and efficient in your work to be as detail orientated as possible. The techniques they are ideally looking to hear will hit at these three points. To top your answer off, don't hesitate to talk about a specific job you've held that required a strict attention to detail.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Throughout my career, I've demonstrated my ability to be very detail oriented in every position that I've held. In my current role as a manager in the manufacturing industry, attention to detail is extremely important for all of the staff I supervise. The assembly team needs to ensure that all of the right components are in place before a product is shipped. Our paint and finishing team needs to work slowly to ensure a job well done, even if the line behind them is getting backed up. As the manager, I display a keen attention to detail by showing my team that I can be efficient when working with them on the floor and by looking to improve work processes to give more time for inspection."

  6. 6.

    Our Ramp Agent Supervisors need to have strong computer skills to be the go to for our cargo handling software program. How would you rate your computer skills?

      As the person responsible for managing and tracking all cargo coming through the airline, you are expected to be a master of the cargo handling software program, to the point where you know the program well and can train other staff on it as well. While you point out how you would rate yourself on your computer skills, talk about prior experiences working on and mastering different software programs. If you have had experience training others on those systems, be sure to bring that up as well. In the end, your interviewer needs to be comfortable with your ability to step into this role and train quickly on the airline's software to hit the ground running upon hire.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I rate my computer skills very high. Having been interested in computer programs since an early age, I find myself being able to pick up any new programs with ease. In my current role, I was required to master our inventory tracking software when I started six years ago and did so very quickly. Within just a few months of working with the program, I was able to train our staff on running reports within the system and continue to do so today. As a supervisor in the department, I also spend two hours of classroom training with new employees on the software program."

  7. 7.

    Talk about a time you had to respond to an emergency situation in the workplace. How did you react to the situation to make sure the best possible outcome?

      An emergency situation in the workplace is a very subjective thing. It can mean reacting to a medical or safety emergency or it can mean handling a late requested deadline that was requested of you. Any way that you choose to answer this question, your interviewer is simply looking to hear how you reacted to the situation and that you took a calm, cool, and collected approach to ensuring a great outcome in the end. Answer by describing the situation, your thought process in reacting, and how you fought to ensure the best possible results. Make sure your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you can be comfortable and successful in any emergent situation in this role.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A few years back, we had two people from our five man crew get seriously ill for a two day period to end the week when we had a few major deadlines to hit. Knowing that we would absolutely be strapped for time, I spent the Thursday working hand in hand with the other three remaining members of the team on the job, knowing that my supervisory duties would have to be pushed back to the weekend. Late on Thursday afternoon, I knew that we would need help from one other individual the next day, and I called around to other leaders to see if we could use the situation as a flex assignment for a great employee. One of my close colleagues obliged and we had a fifth member to help us get the job completed by the end of the day on Friday. I was more than happy to take some work home with me on the weekend and take care of it in the evenings because the situation simply called for it."

  8. 8.

    Our Ramp Agents can experience some pretty daunting days on the job. How would you motivate a crew for a tough day ahead?

      Due to heavy travel seasons and heavy shipping times of the years, Ramp Agents know when the stressful times of year are coming, and your job as the supervisor of the team will be to ensure that your team is motivated and ready to work during those times. What your interviewer is ideally looking to hear is that you take a smart approach with your staff that involves clear and specific duties and goals and that you have open lines of communication with your staff and allow them to be a part of the planning process.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I fully understand coming into this role that there are going to be some extremely busy work days, and I would make sure that my staff is fully planned ahead of time for those days. When it comes to scheduling, I would ensure that my team has a say in how we schedule the work for the day; I would plan to do this with them weeks in advance. I would also ensure that my best team members are in the roles that best fit their skills on busy days. I truly believe that a team is most invested and motivated in their work if they are a part of brainstorming new ideas and allowed to provide feedback. That is the kind of leader I would be for the team."

  9. 9.

    How would you handle an employee experiencing a sudden lack of on-the-job performance?

      Great employees can go sour at times, and your interviewer is asking this question to gauge your ability to diagnose an issue and address it in a way that helps build the morale and confidence of an employee who may be experiencing some trouble on the job. With this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear the interpersonal skills you would use to connect with the employee and your comfort level in being able to address any performance issues, if hired for this role. If you can, reach back into any experience you have that proves your ability to have this difficult conversation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "First, I would make sure that my first step is to have some documented evidence of the lack of performance, prior to speaking with the employee. If this was a time where a typically well-performing employee suddenly turned, my approach would be pretty straightforward in talking about their drop in performance, and I would really try to leave most of the conversation in their hands to let me know why the drop in performance is happening. From there, problem solving becomes key and course of action would really be dependent on the situation with the employee. I had a situation like this with a team member of mine and it turned out that some troubling things in his home life were negatively impacting his work. I facilitated conversations between the employee and our HR department and some FMLA time was granted."

  10. 10.

    We fully expect our next Ramp Agent Supervisor to promote a great team atmosphere among their staff. How would you go about doing this, upon hire?

      If your interviewer is asking this question during the interviewer, they are aware that the Ramp Agent team you will be leading is full of bold personalities, and they'll be looking to you to help create a positive team environment, if hired for this role. As you answer the question, remain focused on things that you would do in the position to promote happiness, well-being, and communication among your staff. Don't hesitate to use an example or two of how you've helped foster a positive atmosphere in your past work, to really sell your interviewer on your ability to do this in this job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I was offered and accepted the supervisor position that I currently hold, I was a senior member of the team and had witnessed how the prior supervisor's conducting of team meetings made for an atmosphere that didn't promote teamwork. In my first days on the job, I changed morning meetings to be shorter and had the team take turns each day giving updates on their work to help open lines of communication. I also implemented some fun production and safety-based incentives to help promote some friendly competition, and I was commended for how these helped develop more productivity and friendships among my team. If hired for this role, I would look to be very creative in promoting a fun and happy atmosphere for my entire team to work together in."

  11. 11.

    In your own words, how would you describe your managerial style in leading a large team?

      Pinpointing a management style in one or two words is very difficult and doing so in an interview, based off of a blog you read, won't make you look very genuine in your interview. Rather, try to talk about how you would define being a great Ramp Agent Supervisor based on your preparation and research for this job. Your answer to this question will set you apart from your competition for the job, if you effectively make the case that you are the right person for the job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a supervisor, my style in leading the Ramp Agents here would be to give clear direction to the team and let them work independently, without me looking over their shoulder the entire day. I am a firm believer in empowering my staff. But, I would also be ready to jump in and help when needed, showing that I can lead by example and work hand in hand with my team to help gain their trust and respect."

  12. 12.

    How would you sell an unpopular idea to your Ramp Agent crew, if hired to be our next supervisor?

      As a leader in a fast paced environment, you will often be faced with making tough decisions at the snap of a finger, and there may be times when these decisions are not popular with some, or even all, of your staff. This question allows your interview some insight into how you would use your communication and interpersonal skills to ensure that your team buys into your decision and follows your lead as their supervisor. As you answer, focus on your thought process and your approach with your team and speak with confidence in how you would approach this situation. If you have experience in leading staff through unpopular changes or decisions in the past, don't hesitate to explain that experience as you answer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Last year, the management team at my current organization found out that staff were going to be required to begin using a call-in timecard service due to the prior difficulty in managing manual time sheets for staff all over the state. The administrative burden that the company was taking on was getting to be too much, and the work to complete timecard reporting for hourly staff was now in their hands. While I know this change seems pretty simple, people in the workplace really do buck change and this bucking can be contagious. Knowing I had to discuss this new method with my staff quickly, I decided to first approach the two senior member of my team to let them know of the change and give them the hard sell on the ease that this would provide for staff. My idea was if they bought in to the change, the rest of the staff would follow. The plan worked great, as in the weeks following the change, only one staff member had some minor issues in remembering to report their time worked at the end of each day."

  13. 13.

    What is your preferred method of communication with staff that you work with? In person? Phone? Email or messages?

      Any time that your interviewer is asking a communication related question, they are ultimately testing your ability to communicate properly with different people in different situations while on the job. As a Ramp Agent Supervisor, your ability to connect with both your staff and other leaders throughout the airline is paramount. How you answer this question can be tricky because ultimately, your interviewer wants to hear that your preferred method of communication is face to face contact, but they'll also want to hear that you have the skills and abilities to communicate by any means necessary on the job. As you answer, give specific experience you have in communicating using all methods, and explain why each method was necessary, given the situation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If given the opportunity, I prefer any communications that I have to be in person. Speaking to someone face to face is the most personable approach and allows for a more free flowing conversation. When needed, I am very effective at communicating through email and over the phone, as well. In my current role as a supervisor, I make every effort to have both informal and formal conversations with my staff in person. If I have emergent needs for conversation with my team and I'm not on site with them, I don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call them. With my director and other supervisors whom I communicate with, we have a lot of communication through email, and I always maintain a professional tone in my business communications to them."

  14. 14.

    Do you have a valid driver's license and a clean driving record?

      Working as a Ramp Agent Supervisor will require you to operate cargo carts, tugs, service trucks and belt loaders at times. Some pieces of equipment may require you to hold a valid driver's license. Prior to the interview, be sure to read the job description to understand the requirements around holding one. As you answer this question, let your interviewer know that you do possess a valid license, and then be open and honest about your driving record. If you are hired for the position, there is a high likelihood that the company will run a background check that includes driving violations, and it is best for your interviewer to learn of any driving violations from you personally during the interview process.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I do hold a valid state driver's license and also hold a class B commercial license from my time operating a box truck. I am proud to say that I have never had an at-fault accident, both in my personal time and work time, while driving. Two years ago, I did receive a speeding violation on my personal time that resulted in a simple fine for going 10 miles per hour over the posted limit."

  15. 15.

    How do you foresee yourself handling the physical requirements of this job?

      Prior to submitting your application for this position, you should have a good idea of the physical demands of working as a Ramp Agent Supervisor. The job will require long hours on your feet while being able to walk a lot during the work day. Heavy lifting of cargo and baggage is also a requirement of the job, and the ability to lift up to 100 pounds will be asked of you. As you answer this question, speak with confidence in your ability to meet the physical requirements of the job, and don't hesitate to give examples of your prior work experience that prove your ability to handle these requirements.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I pride myself on being active and in shape and have always loved working in positions where I'm on my feet and active all day. In my current job, lifting heavy boxes that can weigh over 100 pounds is required, and I'm able to handle these duties with ease."

  16. 16.

    What experience do you have directly supervising other individuals?

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  17. 17.

    The work environment that you would be coming into is filled with many occupational hazards. How would you help promote a safe work environment for our Ramp Agent team?

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  18. 18.

    Part of this role will require an ability to troubleshoot mechanical issues with equipment. Do you have experience troubleshooting mechanical issues on the job?

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  19. 19.

    What is the highest level of math that you have completed during your schooling?

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  20. 20.

    Most of the work you would oversee as a Ramp Agent Supervisor is very time sensitive. How would you manage and reprioritize continually changing deadlines in this role?

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  21. 21.

    Talk about a time you had to solve a problem quickly but didn't have all the information about the situation in hand. How did you handle this situation?

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  22. 22.

    Successful Ramp Agent Supervisors with our airline have the ability to delegate duties within their team. What thought processes do you use when delegating assignments among your team?

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  23. 23.

    What do you feel is the best way for new staff to receive training?

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  24. 24.

    Talk about a time you had to mediate a conflict among two employees. What did you do to help alleviate that situation?

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  25. 25.

    What leadership qualities do you have that can help benefit our entire Ramp Agent team?

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