Job Description for a Food Manufacturing Company Production Manager

The production Manager job advertised for a food manufacturing company entails working towards ensuring that manufacturing processes are run efficiently and reliability. The incumbent works on the production floor and in the office most of the time, performing several functions around technical management, control, and supervision of manufacturing processes that take place in the organization (Target Jobs, 2019). Some of the specific responsibilities of the production manager include production planning and scheduling, project and resource needs assessment, budget estimations and negotiations, ensuring that all the organizational demands for occupational safety and health are met, determining and communicating quality control standards to the teams, oversight of the production process, renegotiating time schedules and plans where necessary, organizing for the routine maintenance of production related equipment, organizing relevant staff training sessions, and supervision of the junior staff (Target Jobs, 2019). Additionally, the production manager will be expected to perform a series of administrative functions related to the department including production reporting, inventory documentation and management, and reporting. The production manager roles are monitored based on the management expectations and the key performance indicators associated with the position. The incumbent will report to the general manager of the company.

For this role, the appropriate candidate should have at least a Bachelors’ degree I industrial chemistry, food science and technology, and chemical engineering or any other related course. He/she should also have 2-5 years experience e working with food manufacturing companies especially in production supervisory related role (Target Jobs, 2019). Membership to a professional body related to the production management will be am added advantage.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Attitudes

The incumbent will be required to possess a various features of knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes (KSAAs). Due to the importance of the reporting function for the production manager, the incumbent should have adequate IT and numerical functioning skills. These skills will help in data collection, analysis and reporting for better performance. Secondly, the candidate should have good leadership and interpersonal skills. As a manager, the position implies that the incumbent will have people working under him/her and will be expected to make strategic decisions that influence operations in a positive way (Target Jobs, 2019). They will also be required to have technical skills. To be able to provide guidance to those working underneath him/her, the production manager should have a strong understanding of the technical operations going on in the production department. The variety of work done in the department also requires the candidate to have administrative skills including record keeping, budgeting, operations planning, monitoring, and scheduling. All these are required for effective advance communication with the team. Workload management is another skill that the production manager should have. The production department is often characterized by varying, heavy and complex roles that require adequate work planning, efficient time management and effective role monitoring at all times. Without good workload management skills, it would be impossible for the incumbent to hack all the roles associated with the production manager job. Lastly, the production manager has to have independent working abilities, which would enable them to make decisions, give directions within their mandate, and solve problems independently.

Behavioral and Situational Leadership Questions

When conducting an interview for the production manager position, several questions could be asked to help gauge the qualifications of the interviewed candidates. For adequate IT and numerical reasoning skills, the first question will be to describe his/her experience with reporting and creating schedules (Doll, 2018). This would help determine whether they have used technology before in reporting and schedule creation, with specific focus on the specific applications used. Another question would be to describe how they have used technology based data in the past to detect issues in production operations and how that helped to improve processes. Additionally, they would be asked to describe what they would do in case the production data they have for the last 2 months is mistakenly deleted from their personal computer. This would help to determine whether they are conversant with data back-ups as well as whether they can keep their hard copy data safely for a suitable amount of time for verification.

The second KSAA, good leadership and interpersonal skills, will be evaluated by asking both situational and behavioral questions (Doll, 2018). The first would be to describe the most challenging scenario they have ever handled in relation to production and how their leadership skills enabled them to achieve the required output. This can help to determine the effectiveness of their decision-making and strategic thinking capabilities. They would also be asked to describe their experiences working with contract employees and how it affected performance. Another question would be to describe how they would handle a situation whereby 5-6 staff have called in sick, they have production orders to fulfill within a very strict deadline, and/or there is a machine failure that limits performance. This will help gauge the candidate’s ability to handle work related stress and also their capacity to provide guidelines and make decisions as leaders. They could also be asked to describe a situation in which they handled a dispute among personnel and the impacts of their involvement. They could be asked to follow up on this question by describing how they felt, what they thought they could do better in future, and whether they felt their intervention was timely and effective.

Thirdly, the candidates would be tested for their administrative skills. According to Chamorro-Premuzic (2015), administrative skills are important in a production environment because they affect all forms of operations and interactions. The first question that would be used to evaluate administrative skills is to describe the process they have used in the past to create effective budgets for the department and how those budgets affected financial decision making (Maurer, 1997). This question aims at assessing the candidate’s awareness of the processes that can be used to assess expected production related costs, their negotiation skills that can help them get good deals with vendors and their ability to use certain technological tools for effective calculation and reporting. Secondly, they would be asked the types of production related reports that have previously shared across an organization and how their reporting skills affected their performance. This is particularly important for the role as production reports need to be sent out daily, weekly and even monthly. The question therefore assesses the data collection, record keeping and reporting skills of the candidate. They would also be asked to share their experiences particularly in a situation where they had helped their organization reduce production related budgets significantly. This would help to assess their rationalizing skills and their ability to seek for alternative solutions.

Further evaluation would be made of the candidates’ technical skills. According to Katz (1974), technical skills reflect the proficiency of the candidates in the processes, activities, techniques and methods entailed in performing certain kinds of duties. The first question in this category would be to describe a situation in which they used their academic capabilities in whatever profession they are trained in to solve a work related problem and what the outcomes of their actions were. Secondly, they would be asked to suggest how they would address specific work related issues for instance, inconsistencies in product quality. This would help understand their ability to customize their technical capabilities to the situation at hand to solve existing problems. They would also be asked to describe moments in which they have felt that they could contribute further to the achievement of department or organizational goals and did not have the opportunity. The last question here would be to describe what they would do when faced with a task they felt they have insufficient skills for within strict deadlines. This would help to determine whether the candidates had the capability to ask for assistance rather than wasting time when aware they could not deliver the specific set objectives.

In the assessment of workload management efficiency, the first question would be to describe situations in which they felt overwhelmed with work in the production department and how they managed to accomplish all the tasks. This would help to evaluate their ability to prioritize tasks, to focus effectively on every individual task through to completion, and to ask for assistance where needed. The second question would be to describe a situation in which they had to delegate, how they chose the person to delegate to, and how that helped them accomplish other responsibilities. In leadership, delegation is an essential aspect of workload management as it frees time to engage in other activities. By building delegation capabilities, the production manager also builds the skills of other team members, making them more efficient and better performing. Another question would be related to the product quality and safety and how they can be managed within the available system. The candidates would be asked to describe some of the critical control points in their previous workplaces and how those points affected production performance. Additionally, they may be asked to describe their perception of manufacturing equipment maintenance and how effective maintenance affects production performance. The assessment is aimed at determining whether the candidate understands the importance of routine maintenance in production.

Independent working capabilities will also be evaluated based on the own reports of the candidates. Questions in this KSAA will include: to report a situation in which the candidate demonstrated effectiveness in independence in problem solving; to describe how he/she manages his/her time effectively and how the time management skills have contributed to exemplary performance; and to describe their probable responses to changes in the work environment.

Interview Plan

The structured interview plan has been created based on the template provided by Janz, Hellervick, and Gilmore (1986). The first step in the interview process is greeting the interviewee and offering them a seat. The interviewer would then welcome them for the interview, inform the candidate that the interview is for a production manager position in a food manufacturing company, and ask the candidate to confirm that  they had applied for the job. The interviewer would then inform the candidate that they would be taking notes and would ask for clarifications where necessary. He/she would also make the candidate aware that they can ask questions in case of any.

Once the candidate is settled and the interview is initiated, the interviewer should ask general questions aimed at determining job suitability. These were derived from Roskind and Contessa (2017).

Before we begin the interview, I would like you to give me your yes or no answers to the following questions.

  • Can you work flexible schedules such as shifts?
  • Are there any restrictions to your work schedule?

For these questions, the interviewer will indicate the yes/no answers to each question against the interview form for the candidate. The production manager job requires the incumbent to work flexible schedules and anyone incapable of working such would be automatically disqualified.

The production manager job entails production scheduling and planning, ensuring that all maintenance activities are done effectively and in a timely manner, budgeting for the department, and identifying training needs among staff. Other duties and responsibilities are detailed in the job description that had been shared with you. I will be asking you questions to gauge various knowledge, skills, abilities and attitude areas that had been shared with you as part of the job description. Please answer as accurately as possible.

Structured Questions

  1. Describe who you are professionally and in terms of personal attributes.

 

  1. Why do you want to change your career path?

IT and Numerical Reasoning Skills

  1. Please describe what your experience has been creating and reporting production related work schedules in your previous workplace.

 

  1. Describe how you have used technology-based data to detect production issues in the past and how that data helped to improve production processes.

 

 

  1. Assuming you have 2 months worth of production data stored on your desktop and that data gets deleted unexpectedly today, what would you do given that you still need the data?

 

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the strongest capabilities in IT and numerical skills, use of technology, data collection and analysis, as well as reporting; 5 –Poor understanding of the required skills, inability to collect meaningful data, report or analyze the data, inability to use technology effectively)

Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

  1. Describe the most challenging scenario you have ever handled in production and how your leadership skills enabled you to achieve the intended objectives.

 

  1. Have you ever worked with contract employees before, what were the challenges and was the experience worthwhile?

 

 

  1. Assuming you come into work at the beginning of your shift and you realize that operational elements are quite complicated namely, you have 5-6 staffs who have called in sick; you have a production order that should be going out the same day and there is a machine breakdown that may limit performance. What would be your next course of action? How would you ensure your goal is achieved? How did you feel?

 

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the strongest capabilities in leadership, managing others, reporting and handling work stress; 5 –Poor understanding of the leadership skills required for the job, inability to manage teams effectively, and poor decision making skills .)

Administrative Skills

  1. As a production manager, you will be expected to develop department level budgets frequently. Which processes have you used before and how did they affect financial decision making?

 

  1. In your previous workplace, explain the different types of production related reports that you have previously shared across the organization and how the reports affected performance.

 

 

  1. Describe a situation in which you helped your organization reduce production related budgets, and how this affected production operations in general.

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the strongest understanding of budgetary process; cost control initiatives and reporting standards; 5 –Poor understanding of the budgetary process; cost control initiatives and reporting standards)

 

Technical Skills

  1. Describe a situation in which you used knowledge acquired through your academic training as a {candidate profession} in solving a work related problem. How did you feel?

 

 

  1. Assuming your department has had several quality related concerns over the last few months and you are facing pressure to improve. How would you address the situation? What would be the skills required to get the right outcome?

 

  1. Describe a situation in which you felt your technical skills could help solve a problem in the work place but were not given the opportunity to give your input. What was your reaction?

 

 

  1. Assuming your line manager instructs you to perform a task you believe you have insufficient skills for within a strict deadline, what would your response be?

 

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the strongest understanding activities, processes, requirements and expectations for the role; 5 –Poor understanding of the activities, processes, requirements and expectations)

Workload Management

  1. Describe a situation in which you felt overwhelmed with your workload and how you reacted to it?

 

  1. Describe a situation in which you had to delegate a responsibility, what was the task, who did you delegate to, how did you choose who to delegate to, and how the delegation affected your performance?

 

 

  1. Describe some of the critical control points in your previous workplaces and how those points affected production performance.

 

  1. Describe your perception of manufacturing equipment maintenance and how effective maintenance affects production performance.

 

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the good understanding of work planning, prioritization and time management requirements; 5 –Poor understanding of work planning, prioritization and management requirements).

 

Independent Working Capabilities

  1. Demonstrate a situation where you independently solved a workplace problem.

 

  1. How do you manage your time?

 

 

  1. Assuming the company intends to make some changes such as in the operations targets. What would be your response?

 

Rating : From 1 to 5 (1- reflects the strongest understanding of time management, problem solving capabilities and response to change; 5 –Poor demonstration of time management, problem solving capabilities, and response to change)

Please note that this will be the end of our interview. Do ask any questions if you feel there is need.

Thanks for attending our interview. In case you qualify and you are rated the best among our pool of candidates, we will communicate to you within the next week.

We really appreciate your time, and wish you good luck.

 

References

Alonso, P., & Moscoso, S. (2017). Structured behavioral and conventional interviews: Differences and biases in interviewer ratings. Revista de Psicologia del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones, 33(3), 183-191. Retrieved from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1576596217300427

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2015). Ace the assessment. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from hbr.org/2015/07/ace-the-assessment

Doll, J.L. (2018). Structured interviews: Developing interviewing skills in human resource management courses. Management Teaching Review, 3(1). Retrieved from journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2379298117722520

Janz, T., Hellervick, L., & Gilmore, D.C. (1986). Behavior description interviewing: New, accurate, cost effective, 1st ed. Prentice Hall.

Katz, R.L. (1974). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from hbr.org/1974/09/skills-of-an-effective-administrator

Maurer, S.D. (1997). The potential of the situational interview: Existing research and unresolved issues. Human Resource Management Review, 7(2), 185-201. Retrieved from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S105348229790022X

Roskind, A., & Contessa, C. (2017, March 13). The perfect answers to 10 common job interview questions. Career Builder. Retrieved from www.careerbuilder.com/advice/the-perfect-answers-to-10-common-job-interview-questions

Target Jobs (2019). Production manager: Job description. GTI Media Ltd. Retrieved from targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/278211-production-manager-job-description