What is your attitude to delegation?

  | James Innes

What is your attitude to delegation?

Alternative and related questions:

Do you delegate?
Do you know how to delegate?
Do you have difficulties with delegation?

The meaning behind the question:

Delegation is an essential management skill, definitely one of the very most important.  The interviewer wants to know if understand the importance of delegation and whether or not it's something you're capable of doing effectively.

Your answer:

If you have people to whom you can reliably delegate a task – and within whose job function it is to carry out such a task – then you should delegate it.  So much time is lost by handling tasks which would be best delegated to someone else.  It's a manager's job to delegate and to supervise that delegation; it's not possible – or desirable – to do everything yourself single-handedly.

The perfectionists among us often have considerable difficulty with delegation.  Perfectionists tend to fear that a task, once delegated, simply won't be carried out to their own high standards.  This may be true – but does it actually matter?  While perfection is always highly desirable, it's often not very practical.

Show the interviewer you appreciate that delegation is a necessity and that you know precisely how to go about delegating tasks.


I believe that delegation is an essential management skill.  It's a manager's job to delegate and to supervise that delegation; it's not possible – or desirable – to do everything yourself single-handedly.  Of course, it's often a judgment call.  You can find yourself spending more time explaining how to carry out a task than it would have taken you to complete it yourself.  You have to weigh up how long it will take to explain to someone else how to undertake the task by comparison to how long it would take to just do it yourself.  Small one-off tasks are typically best done yourself but lengthier tasks – or tasks which are likely to need to be repeated in the future – are often best delegated.

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