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Shift Leader Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

Tell me about a time when your boss told you to do something that you disagreed with.

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Shift Leader Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time when your boss told you to do something that you disagreed with.

      Give a straightforward and concise answer. Show how you would handle the situation and make sure that you add that you're capable of following orders that you don't agree with.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I'll explain to the boss very quickly why I disagree with it, specifically regarding the negative impacts I think his or her decision will have. I'll provide an alternative. Once my boss understands those concerns, I'll send a follow-up email to make sure that he is 100% clear on my opinion and recommendations. I'll carry on with the orders that he decides. At the end of the day, I have to have faith that he has more information and experience to make a better decision than I can."

  2. 2.

    Do you find that people listen to you when you request something of them?

      Assess yourself honestly. If the answer is 'no', then contrast present ability with your future potential. If the answer is 'yes', then explain how you're able to achieve those results.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Before I learned about leadership, I might ask someone to do something in a loosely defined way. Now, I'm learning to be more specific. For example, I make sure that my requests include a time frame and a quick reason why it needs to be done."

  3. 3.

    Tell me about your long term career goals. What is your ideal career path or position?

      Some people take lower-paying positions as a 'foot in the door' to a better-paying position in the company. Some others might see it as a way into a higher position. The pathways to certain positions may not necessarily be there.

      Imagine if the company only hires managers externally and there is no path to be promoted into a management role. Now imagine that you said that you're looking to be promoted into a management role. You have now given the interviewer cause to dismiss you as a viable candidate.

      Therefore it is best to maintain an ambitious tone without giving a specific path to a position unless you are certain that it is possible in that organization. Instead, focus on aspects of the industry that you enjoy and the skills you're looking to develop.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The future is unpredictable, and I've learned that the real world has a way of dismantling long term plans. So I don't have a specific path that I'm defining for myself. Throughout my career, I've always looked for opportunities to do a better job, to build my leadership skills, and to provide excellent customer service. I plan to keep doing that and I'll take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves. At the end of the day, I just want to be a customer service rockstar and to influence others to do the same. On the way, I'd like to find a mentor as well."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I intend to be a certified PMP. I also want to have a master's in process engineering in the next three years. I want to be perfect in the shift leadership role so that I will be ready for more responsibilities in the next three to five years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are excellent goals, and very specific! A perfect response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  4. 4.

    Do you enjoy the challenge of more responsibilities?

      Give your interviewer confidence in you by expressing your enthusiasm for challenges and explaining your process for overcoming challenges. This is a good chance to show off a solid work ethic. Leaders are expected to be well-aligned with the company's needs.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love having more responsibilities because it means that I can have a bigger positive impact on the company. I see challenges as ways for me to grow and add value to the company."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I enjoy the challenge of more responsibilities. It makes me feel a sense of dependability, trust, commitment, and career development."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It is great that you get so many fantastic feelings from gaining more responsibilities. Try telling a brief story of a time when you were recently given more responsibilities on the job. I have provided an example below.

      "I enjoy the challenge and career development that comes with more responsibility in the workplace. Recently, I was given the opportunity to (insert your story or example). This situation made me feel like I was depended on, trusted, that my commitment to the company was valued."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)
  5. 5.

    Tell me about a time when you took a risk to achieve a goal. What was the outcome?

      The most appropriate level of risk tolerance to show will depend on the organization. In general, it's safer to show a moderate amount of risk instead of a high amount. This way the interviewer will be able to see ambition and use of good judgment.

      Choose an example when the outcome was positive and when the risk was not something that was irreversible. Explain what the problem was that you had to overcome. Explain what risk you were taking—sometimes it'll be useful to think of what you were not supposed to do and do it anyway. Then explain how your actions led to a positive outcome that benefitted the company.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There was a time when I was responsible for a team of graphic designers. We were late on a really tight deadline and one of the graphic designer's laptop in the office broke down. I'm supposed to ask for approval for purchases over $200, but I took the risk and went out and got a laptop for $800. This led to us finishing the project on time and keeping a client happy. Even though that client was a small client at the time, they were impressed with our ability to keep our promises and they became our most loyal client and spent over $X with us over the years."

  6. 6.

    Do you have any management experience? Tell me about the largest team that you have managed.

      A straightforward answer will suffice. If you feel that your previous experience had less responsibility than this position, give an example of a time when you influenced others to achieve a positive outcome. If this isn't possible, then explain a technique you use to lead people.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The largest team that I've managed is five team members. I think that I'm ready to take on more responsibility though because right now I'm able to manage a team of five very easily and I've really defined my leadership ability. For example, [describe a leadership process/technique]..."

  7. 7.

    Describe a major change that occurred in a job that you held. How did you adapt to this change?

      You'll need to show that you can adapt to the organization's needs. Choose an example where you successfully overcame the change and actually enjoyed it. Possible examples include a change in leadership or a change in a process. Briefly explain what changed, the actions you took to adapt to the change, and why you're happy with it.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There was a time when our department was moved under the director of workforce management. Not only did my bosses change, they made major changes to how we did things. I kept up with the changes by communicating frequently and clearly with my boss in the very beginning of the change. I always asked her for feedback on my work and checked in with her to see how frequently she would like me to report to her, and with what information. I like change because change means that we're trying to do something better, and I'm always looking for ways to improve."

  8. 8.

    Describe a time where you had to deal with an irate customer. How did you handle the situation and were you able to make the customer happy in the end?

      Choose an example where the outcome was positive. Start with what the customer was unhappy about and give some context. Then describe the step-by-step actions you took. If applicable, mention the negative impacts on your staff and how you remedied the situation, as well as any ways that you demonstrated empathy.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One time, there was a woman who was complaining that she didn't get her order yet and that she had been waiting for 40 minutes. She was really yelling at the top of her lungs, which naturally stressed me and my staff out. I stayed calm though and reminded myself that nobody should have to wait that long and that I wouldn't want my mother waiting that long.

      I apologized to her and asked her what the problem was. I acknowledged that it should never have happened, and then I gave her what she needed. On top of that, I gave her a credit on her next order, that way she'll be encouraged to come back and give us another chance to give her good service."

  9. 9.

    Are you experienced in handling customer payments and being responsible for large amounts of cash?

      A direct response is sufficient. If the answer is yes, then tell the interviewer what position you held when you were responsible for that. If the answer is no, offer an example when you were entrusted with something of a sensitive nature.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "No, but I have been responsible for over $10,000 worth of inventory when I was the [position] at [company]."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have not done this before, but I have been entrusted with handling company assets other than money. I have done this well, so I believe that I will do well if given this responsibility."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer is very confident; it's perfect!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  10. 10.

    What are you hoping to achieve from this position, and our company?

      Having well-defined career goals gives the interviewer confidence that this decision to apply for the position was a well-considered one.

      Explain how this position fits into your overall career goals. Talk about reasons that you like the company. When possible, speak on the culture and values of the company and give precise examples. Most of the time, a company will readily have such information on their careers website.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I see this as an opportunity to further solidify my leadership ability. I've demonstrated my ability to lead in the past, and I'm looking for more challenges to prove that I can add value to the company by leading my direct reports. If I can prove that I can consistently do this, it'll open up the door for me to even more impactful roles.

      I'm choosing to apply at Winsome Corporation because..."

  11. 11.

    Do you enjoy customer service?

      Affirm that you do and justify why it's natural to you by talking about your character traits.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Yes, I absolutely love customer service. I'm naturally a very positive person, and I'm very empathetic. If someone feels sad, then I'm sad, and if they're happy then I'm happy. That's why I love customer service and why I'm really good at it."

  12. 12.

    Give me an example of when you led by example.

      'Leading by example' is a broad concept. Whether or not it involves a task, your outlook and mindset is the key to successful leadership.

      Choose a scenario where you were able to take actions for your team members to model. Describe the situation. Then talk about the actions you took and how you turned the situation into a teachable moment. If possible, follow through with a positive long-term outcome, such as a change in the team member's performance.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One time, a team member was getting frustrated at a customer. I noticed the expression on his face, so I politely stepped in. I positioned myself across from my team member so that he could see me talking to the customer. I made sure to have very positive body language: I had a smile on my face, I had a relaxed and open posture, and my tone of voice was friendly and caring.

      After the customer was taken care of, I had a chat with the team member. I approached it as positive teaching moment. I also found out that he was having issues in his personal life. I was able to help him out with that in a small way and I earned his loyalty and respect, which led to him being a much more enthusiastic team member."

  13. 13.

    Do you have experience with inventory and order management?

      If you have experience, answer with a very brief example of what you have done. If you don't have any experience, start by mentioning your primary competency and then move on to related tasks or achievements that utilize related skills. Inventory and order management requires strong organization skills.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I mostly have experience with customer service because inventory was handled by another person in my last job. I am very good at keeping good records and am very systematic at organizing things though. For example, at my last job, I would..."

  14. 14.

    Describe a time when you facilitated a creative solution to a problem between two employees.

      Depending on the organization's culture, you may wish to focus on the creative aspect of a solution. Use your best judgment. If you don't have a creative solution to talk about, then simply highlight your conflict resolution ability.

      Do this by laying out the two employees' stances: what were they in conflict about? Show the actions you took, making sure to mention your judicious use of listening. End with the resolution you arrived at and the lasting impact on the team.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "We had two team members who were accusing each other of being the one who got the whole team in trouble for not cleaning up after themselves in the break room. They were the only two people who last used the break room. To encourage teamwork, I told them that they had to come to an agreement on a next step: [list options]. I told them they had 15 minutes to come to an agreement. They couldn't come to an agreement, so I had both of them clean the break room with me for a week."

  15. 15.

    As a shift leader you must have great communication skills. What would your previous manager or supervisor say about your communication style?

      Give 2-3 qualities that describe your communication style and give a brief example of what you would say in order to demonstrate those qualities. In general, a leader should give clear directions to ensure that the team members can be held accountable.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "She would say that I'm very concise and clear. I give directions to my team by stating the outcome I need and by when. I also check in to see if they understand how to do it. That way, if something isn't done, I can hold them accountable."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Fantastic! It is one of the qualities that got me promoted from field operator to shift supervisor."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Awesome! Good for you :) Were there any defining moments that led to the promotion, or was it your communication style in general?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
  16. 16.

    What will you offer us, as a shift leader, that others may not?

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  17. 17.

    In your opinion, what are the 3 most important skills to have as a shift leader?

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  18. 18.

    What would your previous supervisor say about your time management skills.

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  19. 19.

    It is important to be able to multitask on the job as a shift leader. Tell me about your multitasking abilities.

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  20. 20.

    How would you define good customer service?

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  21. 21.

    Tell me about a time when you didn't do so well on something as a leader.

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  22. 22.

    Have you ever taken any courses or workshops related to customer service or sales?

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  23. 23.

    What are your short term career goals?

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  24. 24.

    As a shift leader, you will be on your feet a lot during the day. Are you ready and willing to accept a physically demanding job?

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  25. 25.

    As a shift leader you may be asked to work overtime, weekends, evenings and even holidays. Do you have flexibility in your availability?

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  26. 26.

    Tell me about your favorite job or manager. What made this person/position so great?

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  27. 27.

    Tell me how you would run a weekly team meeting.

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  28. 28.

    What is the most common complaint you receive from customers in your current role? What would your recommendation do to improve that customer experience?

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  29. 29.

    Tell me about how you delegate effectively.

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  30. 30.

    Can your subordinates rely on you? Tell me about a time that you went over and above in order to pull a task together for your team.

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