SEATTLE BUS101 assignment 4 Interview a Manager


Interview a Manager

Assignment: Interview a manager. Write up your interview, and include an

analysis of how this manager implements functions of planning, organizing,

leading and controlling.

Good managers are made, not born. Ask any manager, and
you’ll no doubt hear of a
journey they had to take to learn effective skills.

II. Once again, I’m driving you away from your computer and out into the

trenches for information. I want you to hear ?rst-hand of the challenges of

managing others, and how it compares to your interview with the business

owner you had in a previous week’s assignment.

I. Choose a manager to manager.

This can be your manager at your job, a friend or family member in a management

position, or the manager of a business you frequent. The
rule is: the person you
interview must supervise at least one other person–the more, the merrier.

II. Contact the manager,

Explain your project, and ask if s/he will spend an hour or so with you talking about the

their job. Don’t be afraid to cold call. Almost everyone is willing to help students with a

class project. Be polite and respectful of the manager’s
time. Most managers are
extremely busy–you will need to meet at the their convenience.

III. Prepare for the interview.

• Read through chapter 6 in your text, “Managing for Business Success.”

• Do as much homework as you can BEFORE the interview about the company.

• See Questions for Managers:

IV. Have the interview with the manager.

• Again, most managers are very busy—be punctual and respectful of their time. They

may only be able to spare you an hour or so.

• Know that you are a representative of this school and are making an impression for

better or for worse–this person may be a valuable contact later. This includes conduct

and appearance.

• You may ?nd it useful to tape the interview—with the manager’s permission, of course.

• On the following pages you will ?nd suggested questions to ask. You’re looking for

ways this manager performs the four functions of management (planning, organizing,

leading, controlling), and their observations about the role of a manager.

• This information will form the core of your write-up.

1 BUS 101 – Introduction to Business• AVOID QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCE. Don’t ask the manager what sales are, what

their salary is, what employee salaries are, etc.. These may seem academic to you,

but this information is very personal.


PRY INTO CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS MATTERS, and to let you know if a question

is inappropriate in any way.

• ALL information about employees is protected by law, so any speci?cs about an

employee must be avoided.

• A brief, handwritten thank-you note to the manager following the interview is entirely

appropriate. It will set you apart and leave the door open should you need to contact

the manager again for any clari?cation or follow-up questions. If you can’t manage

pen and paper, a thank-you e-mail is the minimum. This is a skill that will serve you

well in your career.

V. Write up your ?ndings.

• Two pages should be suf?cient, but longer is OK.

• Your write-up should be in narrative form (i.e., not a checklist or question-and-answer

format) of about 2 pages.

• Include an introductory paragraph, the body of the information, and a concluding

sentence or paragraph. Include a brief paragraph comparing
this interview to the
interview you had with a business owner in

• Pay attention to proper word usage, spelling and grammar.

Suggested Questions for Interviewing a Manager

? Background

• What products and services does your company offer?

• What is your position in the company?

• How many subordinates do you supervise?

• How many years of management experience do you have and how has the

experience affected your approach to management?

• What formal business education or training programs have you received? Has this

education and training helped you to manage more effectively?

? General

• What are some of the typical issues or problems that you must deal with? How do

you try to develop solutions to these problems?

• What’s your favorite part of the job? Least favorite?

? Planning

• What planning processes are used at your organization and what is your role in the

organization’s planning?

2 BUS 101 – Introduction to Business• What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of this planning process?

? Organizing:

• What is your role in determining the company organization?

• Do you allocate/assign of people, time and equipment? At what level?

? Leading

• What have you found are good approaches for motivating employees? What have

you found are bad approaches for motivating?

• What do you think are effective and ineffective approaches to leadership?

• What do you believe are keys to effective communications?
What obstacles exist
to effective communications and how do you try to overcome these obstacles?

? Controlling

• How do you evaluate employee performance?

• Is there any type of formal assessment process, and, if so, how is the assessment

process used?

? Conclusion

• What advice would you give to a college graduate about how to perform well as a


• Thank the manager PROFUSELY for their time.

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