Congratulations! You made it to the interview stage for a management job. You’re in a position that many Americans will never face. Don’t let fear blow your chances, now is the time to shine. We’ll show you how to ace your interview and make an excellent impression as you answer the manager interview questions coming your way.
As you read through the examples and explanations, think about your own experiences. (If it helps, take notes as you read.) Follow our tips to formulate your response, then practice delivering your answers to these popular manager interview questions.
1. What is your decision making process?
When you hear this question, the interviewer is interested in the factors you consider when making a business decision. Therefore, there are technically no right or wrong answers. We suggest that you begin with an outline of your process. You might start with a general statement, such as, “I gather all the available information to me, analyze the options, and prioritize outcomes based on the project and company goals and objectives.” Then, follow up with a specific example of a decision-making situation from your experience.
2. Describe your process for delegating tasks to your team.
This is one of the more popular manager interview questions because, as a manager, delegation is a critical part of the job. There is no right or wrong answer to this question either, so answer honestly. For example, start by clarifying that you delegate according to individual team members’ strengths. Explain how you manage the distribution of tasks so that the work is divided evenly among members for maximum efficiency. Then, provide a specific (and successful) example from your work experience. Break down your example into the same steps you described as your process for delegating tasks. There! That wasn’t so bad, right?
As a leader, your team looks to you set the tone of morale and motivation. Interviewers seek the following in your answer: your communication style, specific things you do to empower your employees, and how you take time to get to know your employees,
3. How would you handle a project that was running over budget?
Let’s face it — budgets are stressful. This is asked for two reasons: to learn how you handle stress and to understand your budgeting skills. Provide an example from your own experience in your answer. If you don’t have an example that works, describe honestly how you would deal with a budget issue. Your interviewer will want to see how you prioritize tasks and what soft skills you use to make the rest of the project run efficiently and within the budget. Don’t give an example where your project went over budget and you were not able to resolve it. For this type of question, it’s important to focus on an example that shows you can foresee issues and re-align your project to stay on track with the budget. Take a deep breath, and get ready for more manager interview questions.
4. How do you keep your team motivated?
This is one of the most great manager interview questions. As a leader, your team looks to you set the tone of morale and motivation. Interviewers seek the following in your answer: your communication style, specific things you do to empower your employees, and how you take time to get to know your employees (so that you understand what motivates them on an individual level). In your answer, give specific examples of ways that you provided positive communication to your team, encouraged them to take initiative, and understood each person’s strengths. In addition, explain how you’ve shown recognition to employees who meet expectations.
5. What is your management style?
This is bound to come up in the series of manager interview questions coming your way! Be prepared. To start, know that that the best answer offers a broad scope, rather than a specific answer. Show your interviewer that your management style is dynamic because it uniquely and effectively adapts to the project at hand and the goals of the company. Be ready to use examples from your previous experience as a manager that illustrate that your style is adaptable to meet the needs of each project.
As a leader, your team looks to you set the tone of morale and motivation. Interviewers seek the following in your answer: your communication style, specific things you do to empower your employees, and how you take time to get to know your employees
6. How do you support an employee who is not meeting expectations?
It’s important to have a good example on hand for all manager interview questions, but it’s especially critical here. Interviewers ask this question to determine how you will work with a direct report to encourage success. They will look for methods, such as giving clear feedback to an employee then working together to develop an action plan that supports meeting performance goals in the future. Be sure to include examples from your own experience.
7. Give an example of how you’ve had to provide negative feedback. What was your approach?
You’ll ace your response if you produce a positive example of how you followed the best practices when delivering constructive feedback. First, describe a situation that has come from your own experience. As you go through your specific example, explain your method of delivering feedback. Interviewers look for three primary things in your answer: whether you keep your feedback specific or general; if you deliver it within a timely manner, or wait for a performance review; and whether or not you encourage the employee to work alongside you to create an action plan that will rectify the shortcomings. There, we’re approaching the last batch of manager interview questions!
8. Do you consider yourself to be an organized person?
This is not asking if you are a neat and tidy person. Rather, interviewers include this seemingly strange question among their normal manager interview questions to understand how you prioritize your day and what tools you use to help you. Get ready to walk through your day with your interviewer! The key to answering this question intelligently is to strike a balance between being a rigid process and no process at all. Use any examples from your own experience that show your flexibility. You can share that you have specific methods, for example, but you have to change your approach depending on the project at hand.
9. How would your coworkers describe you? How would your direct reports describe you?
These are a couple of tough manager interview questions, but they do come up often in these types of interviews. These questions are designed to see how well you relate to your peers, as well as those who work for you. The best way to answer this question is to be positive, but sincere. Your answer is a great opportunity to speak about your strengths as a manager, so be sure to talk about the characteristics that make you an excellent manager. Avoid sounding absolutely perfect, though, as your interviewer will think that you are making up everything!
10. Are you a risk taker?
Yes, this is a tough one. The best way to answer this interview manager question is to do your research on the company. Get a good idea of the company’s culture and goals. If this is a company that moves quickly and praises risks taken by management, then play up your ability to take calculated, informed risks. If this company prides itself on its steadiness, then it’s a good idea to focus on your preference to make only fully-informed decisions. Don’t lie. Accept that you’re a multifaceted worker, but some facets fare better in certain environments.
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