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Shift Leader Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Food Service    
Question 1 of 30
Do you enjoy customer service?
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How to Answer
Affirm that you do and justify why it's natural to you by talking about your character traits.
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Answer Examples
1.
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."
2.
How would you define good customer service?
When possible, research the company's values. In general, good customer service involves the satisfactory resolution of a customer's issue in a timely fashion. State your definition and give a brief example of the outcome that you think meets that definition.

Rachelle's Answer
"I think that good customer service exceeds the customer's expectations in both quality of service and the speed that the service is delivered. For example, a customer might be unhappy and is trying to get a refund. We want to make sure that they spend more time being happy than unhappy. So I need to make sure that the customer is taken care of quickly. I need to apologize to them and give them something in return for the bad experience, like a gift certificate."
3.
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."
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."
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5.
As a shift leader you may be asked to work overtime, weekends, evenings and even holidays. Do you have flexibility in your availability?
If you're willing to do so, express positivity about the opportunity. If there are any potential obstacles, such as the need for childcare or any other reasons why you wouldn't be able to commit to that level of availability, explain how you can overcome those obstacles. Make sure to anticipate the employer's concerns and address them without being prompted.

Example answer. "Yes, it's not a problem because I have a great support network. My mother can pick up the kids. I don't mind being away from my kids because they need a strong role model and it makes the time that we do have that much more precious."
Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, it's not a problem because I have a great support network. My mother can pick up the kids. I don't mind being away from my kids because they need a strong role model and it makes the time that we do have that much more precious."
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.
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.
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8.
Tell me about a time when you didn't do so well on something as a leader.
We all make mistakes. What's most important is how we make the most of the mistake and learn from it so that we minimize the likelihood of it happening again.

Choose a time when you made a mistake in the way that you related to a team member. Describe the circumstances that influenced you in a negative way, what mistake you made, why it was the wrong thing to do, and the actions you took to remedy the situation. Sum up with the lesson that you learned."

Rachelle's Answer
"

Example answer: "
9.
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."
10.
In your opinion, what are the 3 most important skills to have as a shift leader?
Do you research about the company's values and check sites like Glassdoor for interviews from people who accepted a position. This will give you a clue as to what is important.

In general, a leader needs to provide direction and motivation to his or her direct reports. A leader also needs to be dependable. At the supervisor level (as opposed to managerial level) you will be expected to have direct knowledge of how to perform the tasks your direct reports are responsible for.

Rachelle's Answer
"A good leader needs to provide the team members with good training, clear direction on how to put that training into use, and motivation to do a great job. For optimum performance, a team should have no weak links, and it's my responsibility as a team leader to provide training, direction, and motivation as its needed."
Anonymous Answer
"The three most important skills I have are strong leadership, communication skill, and the ability to motivate others."
Rachelle's Answer
Great start! Try to expand on this and discuss how you put these skills into action as a shift leader. If you can, use a real-life example.
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11.
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."
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.
Tell me about how you delegate effectively.
Effective delegation is based on clear, concise, and thorough communication. You must define the task and the desired outcome, as well as the timeframe in which it must be done. You should then ask the person to explain the task in their own words to ensure understanding. If appropriate, ask the person to check in with you a quarter of the way through the task so that you can provide feedback on whether or not they're headed in the right direction.

Rachelle's Answer
"I would tell my team member what they need to achieve and why, then I'd tell them how to do it and when they need to do it by. I'll ask them to explain the task back to me. If they got it right, then I'll tell them to check in with me after doing some of the work, so that I can see if they're doing it right. If they are, then they can go full speed ahead."
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.
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?
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More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
Assistant Manager
Cashier
Crew Member
Kitchen Manager
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30 Shift Leader Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Do you enjoy customer service?
  2. How would you define good customer service?
  3. Describe a major change that occurred in a job that you held. How did you adapt to this change?
  4. Do you enjoy the challenge of more responsibilities?
  5. As a shift leader you may be asked to work overtime, weekends, evenings and even holidays. Do you have flexibility in your availability?
  6. Do you have any management experience? Tell me about the largest team that you have managed.
  7. Tell me about your long term career goals. What is your ideal career path or position?
  8. Tell me about a time when you didn't do so well on something as a leader.
  9. 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?
  10. In your opinion, what are the 3 most important skills to have as a shift leader?
  11. Tell me about a time when your boss told you to do something that you disagreed with.
  12. Give me an example of when you led by example.
  13. Tell me about how you delegate effectively.
  14. Describe a time when you facilitated a creative solution to a problem between two employees.
  15. As a shift leader you must have great communication skills. What would your previous manager or supervisor say about your communication style?
  16. What will you offer us, as a shift leader, that others may not?
  17. What would your previous supervisor say about your time management skills.
  18. What are you hoping to achieve from this position, and our company?
  19. It is important to be able to multitask on the job as a shift leader. Tell me about your multitasking abilities.
  20. Do you find that people listen to you when you request something of them?
  21. Tell me about a time when you took a risk to achieve a goal. What was the outcome?
  22. 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.
  23. Tell me how you would run a weekly team meeting.
  24. Tell me about your favorite job or manager. What made this person/position so great?
  25. Are you experienced in handling customer payments and being responsible for large amounts of cash?
  26. 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?
  27. What are your short term career goals?
  28. Have you ever taken any courses or workshops related to customer service or sales?
  29. What is the most common complaint you receive from customers in your current role? What would your recommendation do to improve that customer experience?
  30. Do you have experience with inventory and order management?
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