6. Influencing skills
Q: Tell us about a time when you used your influencing skills to alter someone’s point of view and get buy-in?
A: Influencing skills are extremely useful in business – there may be times when you are relying on people in the business to support an objective or project and you’ll need the specific skills and knowledge of people that don’t report to you or sit in your team. You’ll need to get the support from the management and then influence people to contribute to the successful completion of that project.
Influencing skills requires a high level of confidence and the ability to communicate a compelling rationale and business case. To help you think of relevant examples consider times at work when you’ve obtained approval for a new project, made recommendations for improving a process, suggested solutions to a problem, resolved a conflict or convinced someone to see things from your point of view.
7. Implementing Strategy
Q: Give us an example of when you were tasked to implement a strategy and how you translated this information to the team objectives?
A: When you hear the word strategy you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking that’s for the leaders of the organisation, the board members or the CEO’s responsibility. However, implementing strategy is everyone’s responsibility. Great managers know that they need their teams to understand and to buy in to the organisations strategy and how the team’s objectives align to the overall strategy or direction of the company.
The role of the manager is to communicate an often high level statement and translate into an understandable and workable set of priorities for the team. Make sure you craft an example that covers understanding the company’s strategy, translating into a workable document, cascading important company information down to the team and working with the team members to delivery against the aims of the business.
8. Managing Change
Q: Talk us through step by step how you managed a team through a major change? What was the change? What was your part in the change and what was your approach?
A: It goes without saying these days that the only constant thing in business is change and organisations hire individuals that can prove they have successfully managed change in their previous roles (this doesn’t necessarily mean in a management role). You may have survived a business transformation, a department restructure or an organisational design project.
In your example include how you understood the rationale for the change and how you designed a communication plan to ensure everyone affected by the changes were fully up to speed on the reasons and the impact of such a change. Particularly for a management position recruiters will want to gather evidence of how you have involved those individuals affected by the change (planning, implementing and embedding the changes.) They will also be looking for evidence of what those phases involved – mapping out the “AS IS” and “TO BE” processes, data cleansing and data integrity activities, training etc. Interviewers may also want to understand how you got the buy in from the individuals and how you think this impacted the outcome of the changes.