Unless you apply for a job of a lighthouse keeper, or a night watchman, you will always have some colleagues, and a manager (or supervisor) you will report to. They will certainly have some expectations on you, set weekly or monthly goals you’ll have to meet, and define rules and polices you’ll have to adhere to in work.

In better companies, however, communication isn’t a one way traffic. You can have some expectations on your managers–be it the way the two of you interact, cooperate, or simply share the responsibilities in the workplace. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question.

I purposely include different answers, each one expressing a different attitude when it comes to cooperation with your superiors. You should be able to find in the list one that reflects your values and expectations, and an attitude you want to present in the interviews.


7 sample answers to “What do you expect from your manager or supervisor?”

  1. I expect an open and honest communication between the two of us. In my opinion, it is important that our superiors share their feedback on our work with us, telling us what we should do better. At the same time, however, they should be receptive to the feedback from their subordinates, because we see things from a different perspective, and may sometimes notice something they fail to spot. I believe that when feedback flows freely in all directions in a company, or in a team, we will achieve the best productivity.
  2. I expect them to lead me and mentor me during the first weeks in the job. Speaking honestly, I am new to this field of business. And though I have confidence in my skills and my ability to eventually handle the job on my own, I will definitely need a helping hand at the beginning. Other than that, I do not have any special expectations.
  3. To be honest, I have high expectations on one person only–on myself. You have excellent hiring processes in place, and I am sure that managers here know what they are supposed to do, including their duties in relation to new hires.  Hence I try to focus on my role in the process–being receptive to their feedback, attentive to their feelings and emotions, trying to be the best employee and the best colleague I can be. If I succeed to do that, I have no doubt that things will work fine in the team.
  4. Before anything else, I expect them to give me a chance to prove my skills. I will be a new force in the company, not knowing anyone, and I am sure that it will take some time until I blend into the team, and find my exact role in the sales department. As long as they give me the chance to get into the role, and won’t expect extraordinary results from day one, I think I won’t disappoint them.
  5. The most important thing for me is to set clear rules with my manager. They should tell me exactly what they expect from me, in terms of work, but also in terms of reporting. Because in my last job this wasn’t clear, and hence I sometimes didn’t deliver a report they expected me to deliver, which resulted in conflicts that we could have avoided, if we had set clear rules. Other than that I hope to have a good professional relationship with them, with everything that belongs to it.
  6. I expect to have a certain level of independence in my work. I’ve been working under an autocratic leader for two years in my present job, and I haven’t really had a chance to realize my creativity, to demonstrate what I am capable of as a marketer. I really hope to get more room for my creativity, and that’s one of the reasons why I am looking for a new job.
  7. My only expectation is that they treat me as an employee, and as a human being, and not as a tool, or as a slave. Because that’s exactly what happened to me in my last job of a waitress. The manager did not stick to the rules in the contract. I was working more and getting paid less, and they even tried to touch me several times. In my opinion, it is an unacceptable behavior. Managers should not take advantage of their position, or of our position, when we struggle with money and have to accept basically any job. To sum it up, I expect a fair and professional treatment.


You aren’t the only one competing in the interviews

Job interview is a sales talk, but you aren’t the only one selling something. If you apply for an IT or engineering job, you can often find yourself in an enviable position. 

Many companies struggle with hiring engineers, and as long as you have the required qualification, show right attitude, and do not expect them to pay you as much as you’d earn doing the same job at Google, they will try their best get you onboard.

In such a case, it is actually a good idea to show some expectations–be it on your future manager, or on anything else. Because you are in a position to make some demands, and they will try their best not to disappoint you…

* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!

The quality of a relationship always depends on both parties

It is fine to expect something, but you should also ensure the hiring managers that you want to play your role on building a productive relationship with your supervisor, or manager. Do not hesitate to say that you will try to be attentive to their words and feelings, that you won’t ignore them.

Sure, you have some expectations on your next manager, but you are also aware that they will have some expectations on you. And you want to try your best to meet or exceed their expectations, and, at the same time, build a good relationship with your superior.


Prepare also for other tricky interview questions

Questions about your expectations on your future managers isn’t the only tricky question you will face in an interview for any decent job. They will ask you about dealing with pressure, meeting deadlines, overcoming obstacles, and about other tricky situations that happen in every workplace.

Continue your interview preparation with us, checking 7 sample answers to one of the following questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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