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Going For A Management Job

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A job has recently come up which I really believe I could do and do well but it involves managing a small team and I have no management experience. It is also at a different organisation to the one I work for, so they have no prior knowledge of me. Despite the current jobs market I believe I have a decent chance of getting my foot in the door as the role involves specialised knowledge that few people have. I have had an interview for a similar job at a different organisation before (but not the one I am planning to apply to now) which also called for management experience so I don't think this is a requirement necessarily carved in stone. Nevertheless this was a weakness that got homed in on in the interview and I want to ensure their initial from the paperwork is as good as possible. However in order to get the interview I need to pass the application stage which involves a personal statement. To my mind there are three ways to play the statement

(i) Simply don't mention management experience at all - to my mind a crap idea as it would mean I am not addressing something critical in the job spec

(ii) Come up with some examples when I have led a process

(iii) Describe what I feel makes a strong manager and explain why I have the necessary skills/personality traits to succeed.

What I am worried about is writing something like "Although I have no direct management experience I...." because I feel that sounds apologetic and lame whereas saying "I have strong management skills" then giving examples that do not include direct management experience sounds delusional.

Any advice from any managers/recruiters out there?

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Have you ever had any experience of manageing anyone doing anything ? I imagine most people have. Therefore you have 'management' experience. You don't have to technically have been their 'boss'.

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A lot of people with management experience couldnt actually manage their way out of a paper bag they just delegate everything and cause agro.

Dont be negative on the application, just highlight why you can do the role.

Theres no difference managing something to just being part of it other than responsibility, if you are happy to be responsible for projects etc then you can do the role.

Im summary go for it, worst case scenario they turn you down at which point you can say "i didnt want it anyway ;) " best case you move your career forward. So nothing to lose

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A lot of people with management experience couldnt actually manage their way out of a paper bag they just delegate everything and cause agro.

Dont be negative on the application, just highlight why you can do the role.

Theres no difference managing something to just being part of it other than responsibility, if you are happy to be responsible for projects etc then you can do the role.

Im summary go for it, worst case scenario they turn you down at which point you can say "i didnt want it anyway wink.gif " best case you move your career forward. So nothing to lose

Exactly. I always get confused as to why people get so nervous with interviews. You cannot walk out with less than you walked in with*. It is a win win situation that takes up half an hour of your life. Interviews should be enjoyed rather than feared IMO.It is just a big game afterall.

* Unless it is an interview to keep your job but that is a different story.

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(i) Simply don't mention management experience at all - to my mind a crap idea as it would mean I am not addressing something critical in the job spec

(ii) Come up with some examples when I have led a process

(iii) Describe what I feel makes a strong manager and explain why I have the necessary skills/personality traits to succeed.

Personally, I think (ii) is your best option here. I would word it as managing rather than leading a process, focussing on the management aspects of it and the benefits that arose from it. With respect to (iii) this may lead to problems as your ideas may not agree with theirs. It is probably something best addressed at the interview stage where you can decide if you could work in that management culture.

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Have you ever had any experience of manageing anyone doing anything ? I imagine most people have. Therefore you have 'management' experience. You don't have to technically have been their 'boss'.

Yes. It sounds like that it is only managing people that you have little experience with. What about in your private life? Do you organise a club, or a sports team, for example?

You sound like you are confident you could do the job.

Emphasise your experience in organising, leading, having responsibilty. Your specialist knowledge places you in a position to lead others.

There are formal management qualifications, although the worthwhile ones take a good while to attain, so may not be relevant to this case.

If they focus on a lack of experience, tell them you are ready and keen to progress.

Good luck.

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Guest happy?

A job has recently come up which I really believe I could do and do well but it involves managing a small team and I have no management experience....

Is it local government as this is viewed as a positive trait - particularly if you have no relevant professional experience either.

If it turns out you can't manage people anyway but can crib from others you might consider management consultancy work.

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Is it local government as this is viewed as a positive trait - particularly if you have no relevant professional experience either.

If it turns out you can't manage people anyway but can crib from others you might consider management consultancy work.

I'd say you sound bitter and twisted - but then this is HPC

Yes. It sounds like that it is only managing people that you have little experience with. What about in your private life? Do you organise a club, or a sports team, for example?

You sound like you are confident you could do the job.

Emphasise your experience in organising, leading, having responsibilty. Your specialist knowledge places you in a position to lead others.

There are formal management qualifications, although the worthwhile ones take a good while to attain, so may not be relevant to this case.

If they focus on a lack of experience, tell them you are ready and keen to progress.

Good luck.

Sadly I don't organise anything out of work. But thanks for the pointers and best wishes

Personally, I think (ii) is your best option here. I would word it as managing rather than leading a process, focussing on the management aspects of it and the benefits that arose from it. With respect to (iii) this may lead to problems as your ideas may not agree with theirs. It is probably something best addressed at the interview stage where you can decide if you could work in that management culture.

Good point. Cheers for that

A lot of people with management experience couldnt actually manage their way out of a paper bag they just delegate everything and cause agro.

Yeah - there's a manager in my office who fits that description beautifully.

Exactly. I always get confused as to why people get so nervous with interviews.

I am not particularly nervous at interviews, I'd just like some ideas of how to play it to give myself the best opportunity. The problem is it is HE and there is a bit of a box ticking mentality with interviews. I have found interviews for private companies much easier - they are willing to take a chance on someone or in one case I had a company that said they felt I didn't have the skills yet for the role that I had applied for, but then offered a job a rung below. That wouldn't happen in HE - you get it or you don't.

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I would say that managment experience does not make you a good manager by default. It is very hard to learn a lot of the aspects of good management becuase they are linked to people's personalities (approachability, genuineness, strength of character, etc).

I would suggest doing a google search for what makes a good manager. Take any one of the links like this (Wiki Good Manager) and read about the characteristics and skills that are important. Try to think which skills you have, and even better examples where you have used those skills.

In an interview you can then say that although you don't have direct experience you feel you do have an understanding of what is required, and then explain that you have those required characteristics. A nicely worded logical answer should go down well, as managing a small team is nothing difficult anyway !

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I would say that managment experience does not make you a good manager by default. It is very hard to learn a lot of the aspects of good management becuase they are linked to peoples personalities (approachability, genuineness, strength of character, etc).

I would suggest doing a google search for what makes a good manager. Take any one of the links like this (Wiki Good Manager and read about the characteristics and skills that are important. Try to think which skills you have, and even better examples where you have used those skills.

In an interview you can then say that although you don't have direct experience you feel you do have an understanding of what is required, and then explain that you have those required characteristics. A nicely worded logical answer should go down well, as managing a small team is nothing difficult anyway !

I would think that you are either a good manager or you are not. Yes people can be taught things and learn stuff but they will still be the same person. As you say above personalities and the 'type' of person you are must be the most important things.

I can tell you one thing that management, and in fact people in general in the UK are very poor at, organisation.

I am honestly considering putting that as a key skill on my CV. It is sorely lacking in 90% of the people I work with.

They couldn't manage a *****.

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Use the phrase 'going forward' as much as possible.

They'll deduce from this that you are an experienced manager and leader of men.

Hope that helps.

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Use the phrase 'going forward' as much as possible.

They'll deduce from this that you are an experienced manager and leader of men.

Hope that helps.

Ok, but what about blue skying solutions?

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Is it local government as this is viewed as a positive trait - particularly if you have no relevant professional experience either.

If it turns out you can't manage people anyway but can crib from others you might consider management consultancy work.

Oh, the bitterness, the bitterness! :lol:

BTW I work in the private sector thankfully.

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Use the phrase 'going forward' as much as possible.

They'll deduce from this that you are an experienced manager and leader of men.

Hope that helps.

Or use this. Saves me hours when writing reports.

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A job has recently come up which I really believe I could do and do well but it involves managing a small team and I have no management experience. It is also at a different organisation to the one I work for, so they have no prior knowledge of me. Despite the current jobs market I believe I have a decent chance of getting my foot in the door as the role involves specialised knowledge that few people have. I have had an interview for a similar job at a different organisation before (but not the one I am planning to apply to now) which also called for management experience so I don't think this is a requirement necessarily carved in stone. Nevertheless this was a weakness that got homed in on in the interview and I want to ensure their initial from the paperwork is as good as possible. However in order to get the interview I need to pass the application stage which involves a personal statement. To my mind there are three ways to play the statement

(i) Simply don't mention management experience at all - to my mind a crap idea as it would mean I am not addressing something critical in the job spec

(ii) Come up with some examples when I have led a process

(iii) Describe what I feel makes a strong manager and explain why I have the necessary skills/personality traits to succeed.

What I am worried about is writing something like "Although I have no direct management experience I...." because I feel that sounds apologetic and lame whereas saying "I have strong management skills" then giving examples that do not include direct management experience sounds delusional.

Any advice from any managers/recruiters out there?

Despite the many non-managers who assume all managers have no skills there will be a set of skills necessary for this management role. They will probably be a small subset of all management skills.

Do you understand what these skills are? Do you think you have them or the potential to develop them? If you can demonstrate this in the interview you will have gone a long way to getting over the 'management experience' hurdle.

Conversely if the interviewer concludes that you don't even know what is involved in being a good manager they will do what they do with any candidate who doesn't have the skills for the job - reject them.

So which parts of being a manager are necessary to manage this small team?

What people skills will be required? Will you be responsible for reviewing the performance of others, coaching and developing others - or will you simply have to assign tasks amongst the team while somebody higher up does this. While strategic planning is a management skill will it be part of this role? OTOH organisational ability, to coordinate disparate parts of a team to deliver results on time could well be essential. Will you be required to recruit further team members, and have you ever been involved in recruiting people? And so on.

Split the role into bits. Identify some of the specific management functions necessary. See where you can credibly claim appropriate skills. Discuss how other skills may provide analgous experience. discuss how your personality might make you a quick learner of the skills you don't have. feel confident, many others applying will not have all the management skills either. Those who can claim the experience may not have been any good at it.

This will give the interviewer a decision. Take you and trust you can grow into the management or take management skills and trust the specialist knowledge isn't needed after all. In that one you've a good chance.

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Coming across like some breathless but rather stupid Apprentice contestant seems to be the done thing in management these days. Pepper your language with drivel about how you will get things 'signed off,' 'actioned', 'think big, 'touch base offline' go for 'low hanging fruit' and 'quick wins', 'receive 360 degree feedback' - really nail it with allusions to NLP and transactional analysis psychodrivel.

If you come across as a competent, intelligent individual keen to simply get a job done you will be seen as the wrong sort of character.

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Coming across like some breathless but rather stupid Apprentice contestant seems to be the done thing in management these days. Pepper your language with drivel about how you will get things 'signed off,' 'actioned', 'think big, 'touch base offline' go for 'low hanging fruit' and 'quick wins', 'receive 360 degree feedback' - really nail it with allusions to NLP and transactional analysis psychodrivel.

If you come across as a competent, intelligent individual keen to simply get a job done you will be seen as the wrong sort of character.

Yeah not wishing slag all managers - but the poster above has a point - I suppose its the nature of management since its all very political.

There are so many people who want to be managers - but don't actually lead at all they spend all their time ducking decisions, avoiding difficult issues, annoying staff, sucking up to their bosses above them and trying to impress clients. They use this mantra of being everyone proactive and we should all manage our careers - which basically means they avoid having to show any leadership and show their staff any support whatsoever. They are thrown into a job with minimum support - I realise thats probably how their bosses treat them.

The problem is that in corporate life that they spend all their time thinking about their next career move.

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This will give the interviewer a decision. Take you and trust you can grow into the management or take management skills and trust the specialist knowledge isn't needed after all. In that one you've a good chance.

cheers for the advice - much appreciated

If you come across as a competent, intelligent individual keen to simply get a job done you will be seen as the wrong sort of character.

Dammit, you've found my weakness!

"I haven't got any experience but if I'm sh1t3 you can sack me within a year"

It's higher education - very hard to sack people.

Thanks for all the responses everyone - much appreciated

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