Sam Literature Paper on Discipline Interview

Sam Literature Paper on Discipline Interview



Discipline interview is a way of obtaining information about something that an interviewer might be interested in through putting questions to someone who has necessary knowledge. I am a student who has a huge interest in becoming a business manager in future. I have always liked the job that business managers do due to the integral nature of their role in bringing together all functions and resources of an organization and then focusing them towards a common objective. I have known people who hold managerial positions in different organizations and I am interested in interviewing one of them to learn about what their role entails and what qualifications I need to serve at a similar capacity in future.

On March 31, 2017, I interviewed Mr. Alex, a senior manager at Verizon Wireless. He is in charge of operations management at the company. He has been working in the operations management for the last 20 years starting from the positions of a lower-level manager in different companies and getting promoted to the level of a senior manager. He gave me a lot of insights into the operations management of a huge company, such as Verizon, and told how to handle different challenges and stay ahead of the rest in the industry. The interview has increased my interest in operations management and I am now sure more than ever that I want to pursue this discipline in future. My interview covered his education background, career path, his roles and responsibilities and his communication skills.

Interview Summary

Background and Career Path

Mr. Alex got his bachelor’s degree in Commerce majoring in Management at San Jose State University in 1994. He then proceeded to pursue a Master’s degree at the same institution graduating in 1996. Alex got his first job working as a management trainee at a small company in New York; he had worked there for two years before he got a job at KPMG. He worked as an assistant manager in charge of operations in a few states in the United States. This was his first job where he had to manage operations across a few states. The challenge of making decisions that affected different branches was enough to motivate him to work hard in order to get promoted to the position of operations manager in charge of operations in 10 states. This exposed him to the day-to-day operations of an organization and he learned what improvements were needed to ensure everything was working out as it should and all operations were running smoothly. This was the reason why he decided to pursue Master’s studies in operations management immediately after he got his bachelor’s degree. This information made me realize that I already had all the skills needed to succeed as an operations manager working in a multinational company. Alex emphasized the need to excel in the first degree and pursue further education to acquire more skills.

There are important skills that every successful operations manager must have. They include motivation skills, management skills, basic business finance skills, proficiency in Microsoft office and PowerPoint, etc. An operations manager must be able to organize and motivate those working under him. Employees give their best when they are motivated. He/she must also be able to manage the available resource by allocating them where they are needed. This requires a manager to be able to make efficient management decisions and know well  what resources are required for certain operations. This is achieved by working together with other managers in different departments (OM Major Talk 25). This makes it necessary for an operations manager to understand business finance basics so that he/she can interpret some of the financial data without relying on the help of financial analysts. Mr. Alex has had to rely on all these skills throughout his career to ensure that he achieves the objectives of the company and maintains smooth running of the operations of the company. He emphasized on the importance of new knowledge and the experience he obtained doing his job. Learning from new experience helps a manager performing better and improving professionally.


Roles and Responsibilities

Alex has a number of roles at Verizon, all of which are about ensuring that services and products of the company are running smoothly. Alex is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the trouble-free running of the Internet services offered by Verizon. He works together with the business managers to make sure that the prices of data services and mobile phones are set properly. He must also minimize the influence of the factors that may affect the overall efficiency of the company. This is very at a time when most people use smart phones with wireless access to the Internet. Internet has become one of the key sources of revenue since most mobile phone users use it on a daily basis. Therefore, Alex has the responsibility of ensuring that data services offered by the company are running properly and subscribers do not experience any problems that disturb their access to these services.

An operations manager working for any major company must know how all departments of the company work and how they depend on each other for them to succeed. Therefore, an operations manager must always understand and know what processes take place inside the company in order to be able to determine whether the operations of the company are running smoothly. Alex says he has to communicate with all supervisors working at the company. This is necessary for him in order to be aware if there are any problems with the operations and what needs to be done to improve the situation. He also must review the operations with different people at the company to determine how the costs might be reduced and how the services might be improved. Therefore, he is always in constant communication with people working in the Internet department and finance managers in other departments. Talking to him and learning what the operations management job entails has definitely increased my interest in this discipline. I love challenges and responsibilities that bring out the best in me. Working as an operations manager is a dream job for me and I feel motivated and determined to pursue my degree and join this field.


Communication Skills

Operations management is all about communication and organization of an uninterrupted service. Therefore, an operations manager must ensure that he has developed good communication skills to be able to communicate with different people in the organization who play essential role in the smooth running of a company. Operations manager must also send emails and memos to different people regularly to ensure his communication with such people is effective. Moreover, it must be noted that communication skills are extremely important when it comes to motivating of employees. One cannot motivate people he/she has no connections with, which implies that a manager must be able to articulate ideas and deliver messages that motivate employees in the best way possible (Walker et al. 11). This is the strength that Alex has had since an early age; he used to love being a leader at school. As a result, he learnt how to communicate with his fellow students and later employees when he started working. He has continued to improve his communication skills through research and experience and managed to become a good communicator and effective motivator.


Talking to Alex provided me with information about operations management that was quite useful to me as I do my best to become a manager in future. This interview is very important to me because it is a perfect opportunity to get information that one never acquires in class. Interviewing experienced people helps to learn and acquire more information based on a practical knowledge. I have realized that I must work more on my communication skills as I continue with my studies to ensure that I am an effective communicator in future. Furthermore, I think that a master’s degree is very important due to the knowledge that students can get at this level. Therefore, I have to consider continuing my education and getting a master’s degree after completing my bachelor’s degree in order to get fully equipped with all the skills needed to excel in this field. I love managing people and resources and I believe with the right guidance I will be a great operations manager. Therefore, I have to work harder on my studies and undertake more research to acquire more knowledge as I prepare for a career of an operations manager.


Works Cited

“OM Major Talk.” Operations Management, 18 Oct. 2016, Accessed 1 Apr. 2017.

Walker, Helen Lisbeth, et al. “Sustainable operations management: recent trends and future directions [Editorial].” International Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 34, no. 5, 2014. Accessed 1 Apr. 2017.



Interview Questions

  1. What is your academic background?
  2. What was your first job?
  3. What was your first experience as part of a decision-making team or as a decision maker within an organization?
  4. How did this first experience shape your future personal and professional development?
  5. What are some of the most important skills that a manager or leader need to have in order to succeed?
  6. Why and how are these skills important for any manager?
  7. What is your current position and in which company?
  8. What are some of your roles and responsibilities in your current job position?
  9. Do you believe your academic qualifications have shaped how you perform these duties or your previous experience?
  10. What motivates you especially in your current position?
  11. How valuable is communication skills in your current position?
  12. What are some of the day-to-day activities that you engage that are crucial to the organization and you would not have successfully executed without good communication skills?
  13. How do you motivate your team members?
  14. What would you consider as some of your greatest strengths?
  15. What advice would you give, as a professional, to someone aspiring to become a leader?