Qualities to Look for when Hiring a Management Trainee

peopleIn all honesty, there is no one size fits all when recruiting management trainees. Candidates who appear to be a good fit may not work out and someone who starts with zero experience could turn out to be the best hire you ever made. Despite this, there are some attributes you should watch out for, as these may mark the difference between a so-so candidate and a great one. Read on for some useful tips to help you in your management trainee recruitment process.

Educational Qualifications

A good degree in a relevant business subject or a master of science in analytics online from Villanova University is a good start, but remember that educational qualifications are not everything. Just because a candidate is academically bright, it does not mean they are automatically the right person for a management trainee role.

Education is never an indicator of someone’s talent as a manager. The brightest people don’t always have the requisite ‘people skills’ needed for management. It is certainly true that a candidate who has successfully completed an MSA program online has a good work ethic, but you won’t find out whether or not they are good at dealing with people until you interview them.

People Skills

Trainee managers need effective interpersonal skills. To be a good manager, you must be able to get on with people and enjoy plenty of social interaction. Managers need to be able to motivate their staff. Look for candidates who get along with everyone, who are pleasant and outgoing. The last thing you need is a management trainee who is divisive and difficult to get along with – that type of person is pure poison in the workplace.


Bright, sunny people with bags of enthusiasm are always a good choice. This type of person works well in a team and is more likely to inspire the loyalty of others.

Leadership Skills

Candidates need to demonstrate they have leadership skills. Look for evidence of leadership roles, whether as a team leader in a student role or perhaps as the captain of a sports team.

Emotional Intelligence

Don’t overlook the importance of emotional intelligence. A good management candidate is able to put themselves in another person’s shoes, so they can see a problem from their perspective.


Managers need to possess a certain amount of self-confidence in order to inspire the junior team members working for them. Trainees who don’t have the courage of their convictions will find it impossible to lead from the front. Self-confidence often comes with experience, but candidates still need to have the confidence to be able to express their opinions clearly and concisely.

Interviews are never easy, particularly if you are interviewing graduates or people with very little workplace experience. One way to sort the wheat from the chaff is to use competency based interview questions and role play scenarios. Sort out a short-list of hopefuls and conduct group interviews over the course of a few days.

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