1) Why do you want to be a manager?
I want to be a manager because of the level of responsibility that comes with the position. You are responsible to direct your team and lead the members of the team in a way that allows them to perform to the best of their ability. As a manager, you get to help your team evolve and grow.
For me, the most amazing feeling is the one that you get in knowing that you were there to help a person grow.
2) What is your management style?
I can describe myself as a Motivational manager: I encourage my team to be the best they could possibly be. Actually, I see it as my responsibility to get the best out of each of the members of my team.
I set high standards for my team, a clear common goal for each sprint for the team, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the team.
Each person is different, so I work with each one individually, inspiring, motivating, and influencing him to achieve the objectives of the company, by setting clear-achievable goals for each member of the team.
3) Tell me about a time when your leadership skills had a positive outcome.
It was decided that all the contractors will be removed from the project because of the new company’s policy. So, I built a new team, we hired 4 devs on different levels and I provided them with the knowledge needed.
As a result, we were up to speed very soon and the users didn’t face any issue in the quality of the features we were delivering or any serious delay.
4) Give an example of a tough decision you had to make.
The management ask me to assign a member of my team to another project that just started. I decided to assign the most senior member of my team, as he was part of the team for so long, so it would be good for him to develop some new skills in building a project from scratch and taking many decisions on the structure and setup of the project. I knew that this decision might affect the quality of work of all the members, but I had to put the organization’s needs above all.
Proactively to avoid any depression in the team, I explained to the other members of my team that this was an opportunity for another member to step into his boots.
5) How would you handle conflict in a team?
Dealing with it right away. I believe if you ignore the conflict, then it could become a bigger problem. Also, there will always be persons in the team who notice the conflict but won’t say anything about it and if they see you as their manager not tackling it, then I believe that is weak from a management perspective.
Firstly, I will ask the team members who are involved in the conflict, 'I’ve noticed that you two are having some issues, Are you able to resolve them?’. I would expect them as responsible employees to sort things out themselves.
However, if I notice that the conflict doesn’t go away, I would call them to a private meeting and explain how they need to solve the conflict. I will ask them questions, give them both the opportunity to speak about the conflict and I would encourage them to reach a compromise going forward. I would explain to them also that they have a responsibility to work harmoniously within the team because we have targets to work towards and objectives to achieve.
6) Describe a time when you led by example.
Recently I was in a management meeting where an Architect suggested a quick dirty solution to fix an issue. I explained that this will save us time but it’s not a correct solution as it’s inconsistent with the rest APIs and this will cause us issues in the future. In the end, it was decided to do the quick fix and create a feature to fix it properly and remove the quick fix in the UI after the demo to the client.
7) What is your biggest weakness as a manager?
Historically, there have been times when I would find myself jumping in to fix a problem. Unfortunately, jumping in like that would often leave my team members feeling demotivated. They felt that I didn’t trust them to solve the problem.
This is the trap that everyone has when moving from being responsible for the work - as a developer , to being responsible for the people that are responsible for the work - as a development team leader.
I have learned my lesson. Now I always let team members some time at completing a task before I start helping. Allowing them some time means that they feel that I have confidence in their ability to complete the task and at the same time makes them feel supported if they are struggling with something. They know that they can ask me for help when they are struggling and I will clear my calendar to help them.
8) What methods do you use to motivate your team?
- Create team values
- Set high standards.
- Communicate clearly the team goal for each sprint.
- Conduct 1–1 meetings with each one of my team members and find out about their strengths, their weaknesses and how we can improve their weaknesses, and about their future career plans as well. So that gives me enough knowledge of that team member, and how I can direct him to achieve the team’s goal.
- Have regular team meetings where everyone can contribute in a positive and open manner, and give ideas on how we can move forward as a team and achieve the team goals.
- Praise the members of my team that did the extra mile and achieve something worth mentioning, and on the other hand, have 1–1 meetings with the members that I notice to have low motivation.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and could take away something with you. I would really love to hear your opinion on 5 Lessons I’ve learned as a Beginner Developer.
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