How to Secure Your First Management Position

How to Advance Your Career


If you're intent on climbing the corporate ladder, sooner or later you'll reach an entirely new rung: management. When you get there, your ability to ascend will hinge on your ability to convince an executive or hiring manager that you're management material. And that might not be as easy as you think.

"The interview process may be slightly different than what you have been used to," explains Glassdoor Blog contributor Amy Elisa Jackson. "Interviews for management roles are likely to focus more on your leadership style, interpersonal communication skills and your ability to navigate difficult situations. In addition to detailing your skills and experience, interviewing for your first management role is as much about your background as it is about your ability to inspire and motivate a team."

If you want to master a management interview, you should focus on a few things, according to Jackson. First among them: past leadership experience.

"While you may not have had the title of manager in your previous roles, the best way to show recruiters and hiring managers that you are able to take this jump is to demonstrate how you have exercised leadership in other areas of your life," explains Jackson, who says relevant experiences include serving in the military, coaching sports teams and leading projects.

Also important is showcasing your ability to stay cool, calm and collected. "Part of being a manager is multi-tasking with ease and displaying a sense of calm control during times of uncertainty," Jackson says. "This is important to both your future direct reports as well as your boss-to-be."

Finally, come with lots of anecdotes in your back pocket. Concludes Jackson, "In the interview, be ready to share tangible examples of how you worked with a team member or demonstrated leadership."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.