Tough Interview Questions for Managers: How Do You Determine What Goals and Milestones You Set With Your Team?

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

This is another tough interview question that someone at a manager level or above might be asked.

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This is one of those tough interview questions for managers and leaders that you are likely to be asked somewhere along the line. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I’m a career and leadership coach. People hire me for no BS career advice. That’s what it really comes down to. And let me kind of walk you through how to answer this question.

It starts off with understanding what the department’s goals are, what the company’s goals are and how your team fits into that, and what you’re supposed togoals accomplish during the course of this period of time that will allow you to serve the organization’s goals. From there, you establish SMART goals– specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-limited, so that you’re accomplishing it with the end in mind, of your part of what the organization’s goals are.

You create an action plan for each one to be met. So that deals with the measurable part of the SMART system, you’re creating milestones, and allowing employees to set department and individual goals, or group and individual goals– you know, setting out the milestones for them to hit, and from their being able to share their progress with teammates in order to get support. You track everything. Tracking is so important because otherwise, surprises happen. As you know, from your previous experiences, surprises are rarely good, right?

Lastly, you follow up. It’s so important to follow up. And when people accomplish what their goals are, give them a reward. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be praise, public praise, a lot of people like that. If they want something quiet, it’s in a meeting with you in your office, where you’re able to praise them personally for their contribution to accomplishing the goal.

When answering this kind of a question, what they’re trying to do is to get a sense of how you think, how you would run the department, run the group. And I’m not saying this is the perfect way. This is a framework from which you can extrapolate using your own special sauce that will help you deliver the message to an organization you’re interviewing with.

Hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. Visit my website, There’s a ton in the blog that’ll help you. In addition, you can schedule time for a free discovery call, schedule time for a coaching session with me, and find out about my courses, books, and guides. There’s just a lot there that will help you.

Also connect with me on LinkedIn at Mentioned that just saw this. I like knowing I’m helping some folks. And if this isn’t the right time for you to do all this stuff, just put that website address in your phone– this week and come back to me later on  especially if in the notes, you put the phrase job search blog, right? Hope you have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, 

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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