Guidelines for the “Interview with a Manager” paper
MGMT 301 – Fall 2021
This paper is intended to give you a sense of what it’s like to manage. For this paper you will find a manager, preferably above the first-line, and conduct a personal interview to obtain their perspectives on management.
You may interview a family member or your current employer. Identify yourself as a student in this class and ask if they have the time and interest to be interviewed; if so, make an appointment for the interview. Of course, be professional and polite at all times.
You can conduct this interview in-person, by phone, of via Zoom (or another similar application.) Avoid meeting someone in person whom you don’t know well, for safety’s sake.
Do not just email a list of questions to the manager to answer. You should be conducting a verbal interview with all the give-and-take that entails.
You may write in a narrative format or a question-and-answer format. A certain number of pages is not required, but be sure to include the following:
• Name of manager, name of organization, job title, date interviewed, method of interview (in-person; Skype, phone, etc.)
• How do you know this manager?
• Biographical information – place of birth; childhood; early adulthood; education; career (where have they worked and what did they do.)
• How did this person become a manager?
• Current company structure, organization chart if available, where this manager fits in.
• To whom does this manager report? Who (by function, not by name) reports to him/her — directly and indirectly (solid line, dotted line, matrix)?
• How does this manager carry out the four main functions of management?
• What big project is this manager expected to accomplish this year?
• What three main things or metrics does this manager track at all times? (e.g., sales; return on investment; inventory turns; market share; maintenance issues; cash flow; new product pipeline)
• From what source does this manager update knowledge about the practice of management (e.g., on-the-job training; university course; company training or seminars; trade or professional organization, personal reading, other)
• Did this manager have a mentor or mentors as he/she progressed in his/her career? If so, who was his/her mentor (not necessarily by name) and what did he/she learn from this relationship?
• If you had to pick one theory we studied to describe this manager, what would you say it is and how does it apply to this manager?
• What is this manager’s greatest challenge at this time?
• What advice would he/she give to a person starting out in management?
• What did you learn from this interview?