When you’re hiring a new manager, the stakes are high. You need someone who can effectively lead people, manage a budget, liaise with upper management — and, usually, do it from day one. But what if a potential hire doesn’t yet have a track record in all of the above? An important thing to look for in this situation is the person’s awareness of the nature of management. Moving into a management role requires giving up some individual contributor tasks and taking on new duties as a team leader. A good way to gauge whether a candidate understands the role is to ask what they think management is about, and what specifically they would strive to do in managing a particular team. It can also be helpful to ask what other management experiences they have had outside of work: leading an athletic team, a school literary magazine, a squad of volunteers? They may have gained a very useful view of effective management in any of these former roles.
Adapted from “How to Know If Someone Is Ready to Be a Manager,” by Anna Ranieri