This question is a Cake Walk, right? All you have to do is pick a supervisor you would enjoy catching a game or grabbing a drink with… Not quite. When determining who was your favorite manager and why you must approach this question correctly as it is a fairly easy opportunity to shine!
Choose one of your references
Picking one of your references should help instill confidence with the employer as he can validate your response if necessary. If you did not already have your favorite manager on your reference list, add them! Whether or not this person is in a relevant industry to the position you’re applying for, it is OK to use one of your references to validate your character rather than the job description.
Don’t ever talk about a previous manager/supervisor in a negative way. Even if what you say is true, the hiring manager will immediately classify you as a negative employee. Not to mention, why would you be speaking negatively about your favorite manager?!
You should take this same approach when answering Why Are You Leaving Your Job?
Add your accomplishments
Although you are discussing another person, this is a great opportunity to highlight your accomplishments while working under this manager. Whether this manager helped you hit your sales quotas or allowed you independence, fit that in your response. Pick accomplishments you can quantify by adding percentages or dollar figures as that is what employers love to hear!
Relate your response to the job description
Picking character traits that are needed in the job description of the position you are applying for is a great move! This will again indirectly highlight your qualifications for the position. You can relate this to the question by stating that your favorite manager was the one who taught you these relatable traits. Even if you need to stretch the truth a little to make this happen, that is fine. Just make it believable!
Bonus: If you can add something that involves the company culture of the company you are applying for, that is great as well!
Don’t forget to close
As long as you keep this professional and relate your response to the open position, you should crush this question! Don’t explain why a manager was one of your friends, but more why they were a mentor to you. Clichés are terrible for a reason so don’t open with “Well, George was a really friendly guy and we had great conversations at the water cooler…”.
Plan out your answer ahead of time and modify it so that it relates to the current company you are applying for. Good Luck!