Production managers play a key role in ensuring customer expectations are surpassed and customer products are received on time. In this role, it is imperative to have an individual with a strong background and skill set. When choosing individuals to interview for your next production manager position, they must have the ability to manage a high workload and have previous experience to go along with this.
Furthermore, it is wise to analyze a candidate's soft skills during the interview process to ensure they have what it takes to be a successful production manager in the long term.
Below is a list of 6 soft skills to look for when interviewing your next production manager candidate:
Confidence is arguably the most important soft skill a manager in any position should have. If someone does not have confidence in their abilities, their capacity to enhance their leadership skills could be stifled.
Confidence helps individuals make decisions, control their emotions, adapt to new situations, take on additional responsibilities, and more. If someone is lacking confidence in their overall professional presence, all other skill development can be impaired.
2. Organization and Efficiency
Managing large teams with projects in various stages can be overwhelming. There are many moving parts to manage when ensuring quality standards are met at every step of production. Therefore, it is important to select someone for your production manager role who has a strong sense of organization and lives by their processes.
If someone does not have a system in place to keep them organized, pieces of your process will quickly fall apart - resulting in increased production downtime and potential fines.
3. Problem Solving
High performing production managers will want to find a resolution to a situation or problem. Success in this role requires developing and executing effective solutions to production issues in as little time as possible.
Someone who can think creatively, quickly identify the source of an issue, and execute an effective resolution will quickly become an indispensable member of your business.
Inquiring about a candidate's soft skills ensures a well-rounded production manager sits at the helm of your production team
4. Communication Skills
Oftentimes, production managers are tasked with managing a team. In these situations, effective communication with clear direction and expectations is critical. Additionally, production managers work with other department heads and are required to communicate business goals clearly and precisely; for this, an articulate communicator is necessary.
Production departments work with multiple business divisions daily. As a consequence, production managers must be able to work with a variety of personalities and individuals at all levels of your organization; the ideal production manager will see everyone within your organization as working toward a common goal.
Someone who not only cares about their department but every individual within the organization will work with team members throughout your business to create positive solutions for everyone involved.
6. Tech Savvy
A production manager develops an individual workflow process that works best for him/her. However, if you have a production manager whose processes are a bit more analog than the times, and they are resistant to use your business' software and reporting programs, this could mean major efficiency roadblocks for your organization.
A technically savvy production manager who is familiar with software and machinery will be able to understand the "why" behind these technical support tools and demonstrate their value to others –increasing your production team's efficacy overall.
Putting the Pieces Together
Selecting a high-performing production manager is imperative for any organization. During the interview, a candidate will undoubtedly speak on their experiences and skillset, but for a production manager to be successful long term, it is important to have interview questions focusing on their soft skills. This way, you can be certain a well-rounded individual sits at the helm of your production team.