If you get invited to a management interview, it’s important that you prepare well to make a strong impression. Because you’re already up for a manager job, it’s likely that you have already had successful interviews in the past.
However, regardless of your work experience, management interviews can still be tricky. It’s therefore important that you brush up your interviewing skills and review common job interview questions and answers for managers.
To succeed, it’s important that you can demonstrate through clear examples that you’re self-aware and possess the required skills, abilities, and experience for the job. Also, you need to be able to describe your management style.
You can use management interview questions to your advantage by taking the right steps to prepare. If you prepare strong answers to questions that you expect based on your research, you will more likely advance to the next interview rounds. The most effective way to do this is by discussing example situations in which you successfully demonstrated management skills required for the job. But how exactly do you do this?
Examples of management interview questions are:
- Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict between team members.
- Describe a time when you managed an important project.
- Describe your management style
- How do you define success?
- Tell me about a time you took the lead in a team project. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?
In this article, we discuss interview questions about your skills, abilities, and work experience. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.
Management Questions & What Interviewers Want To Know
There are several reasons why interviewers ask specific management-related interview questions. During the interview, interviewers try to uncover your:
Furthermore, you can definitely expect questions about challenging situations, teamwork, problem-solving skills, but also your future plans and expectations.
By asking you these specific questions, the interviewers try to assess how well you fit into the company culture and your potential to succeed.
Normally an interview for a management role has to do with questions regarding your management style, your experience, your career plans, and then your past and present accomplishments.
Because the interviewer is interested in who you are and what you have to offer, it’s important to prepare well for interview questions that you expect. Based on your research about the company and position, you can figure out which questions you are most likely to expect.
Your answers should show through specific examples of how you handled certain situations in the past. In other words, you should use specific examples from your previous work experience to give your answers more weight. Not only does this provide the interviewer context, but it’s also more convincing than just saying or claiming that you possess certain skills.
Learn more about management interview questions and how to answer them.
What Employers Look for in Successful Managers
Managers play an essential role in any organization. They are involved on a strategic level to help the organization improve its performance, innovation, and growth. This is also the reason why interviewers look for strong leadership skills, a problem-solving attitude, a motivating personality, and result-driven focus in candidates.
Employers look for experienced candidates that can show their deep understanding of business and industry objectives. This is also why they use role-specific questions to test your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Furthermore, they want to see you demonstrate your soft skills and essential traits that make you the manager they’re looking for.
Interviewers look for managers that enjoy variety in their work and take accountability for their actions. This requires strong decision-making skills, as you need to switch between different tasks daily.
In addition, a great manager has strong communication skills and is able to handle challenging or stressful situations. In other words, they are supposed to set an example for the members on their team.
Preparing For A Management Interview
As you progress through different interview stages, it’s important to keep in mind that employers are evaluating your overall suitability for the position within their company.
Therefore, your interview preparation should focus on your being able to demonstrate your leadership skills and work experience. Furthermore, you will probably be asked to walk the interviewer through your background, qualifications, and communication skills, as well. Also, ensure that you prepare to answer questions about how you approached and resolved conflicts in the workplace in the past.
Your main goal during the interview is showing that you are, of course, qualified for the position. The key to a successful interviewer for a management position is to focus on example situations from your work experience that will support your answers.
Tips To Prepare For a Management Interview
Below we discuss a couple of steps you can take to prepare for your management interview.
Understand the company & the position
The first step to prepare strong answers to interview questions is thoroughly understanding the requirements of the company and the position. Every organization is looking for something different. Therefore, research the company and analyze the job description.
Use this research to identify the key requirements for the job and to get an idea of the company’s culture. Next, use this information and review commonly asked management interview questions. Once you have identified specific questions or topics that you think will be discussed, you can start preparing answers.
Focus on your management skills
When you prepare answers to common management interview questions that you expect, it’s important that you focus on demonstrating leadership. Interviewers will ask you behavioral interview questions to uncover how you handled certain situations in the past.
Provide real-life examples in your answers but keep them concise and to the point. The most effective way to structure your answer is by using the STAR interview technique. STAR is an acronym that stands for situation, task, action, and result.
Learn more about answering behavioral interview questions.
Use your strengths and experience
Based on the job requirements you have identified, you know what the interviewer is most likely looking for in your answers. Therefore, tailor your strengths and skills to the needs of the company and the position. During the interview, emphasize those specific strengths that you possess that align with the requirements of the company.
Learn more about questions about strengths & weaknesses.
In other words, use specific examples of times you used the skills or experience that the interviewer is asking you about. Examples from your experience will give your answers more weight to make an impact on the interviewer.
Positivity and Enthusiasm
During a job interview, it’s also likely that you will get asked some tough interview questions that may be a bit more challenging to answer. Don’t let this get you down and focus on your goal: demonstrating your fit for the job. Show the interviewer that you want the position. Really try to convince him or her that you are excited about the opportunity to work for the company.
Learn more about tough interview questions and how to answer them.
Ask the interviewer questions
Just like you should prepare for frequently asked job interview questions, it’s just as important to prepare questions to ask the interviewer. The questions you ask should be smart questions that need to be related and focus on the position, and open-ended. An important aspect of asking questions is that it’s a key opportunity to further highlight your skills, qualities, and experience.
The questions to ask the interviewer are meant to make him (or her) sit up and take notice of your suitability and level of preparedness. Therefore, you need to make sure that you demonstrate that you did your research on the job, that you share core values with the company, and that you understand what is required for the position.
Learn more about questions to ask the interviewer + example questions.
Example Management Questions & Answer
Below we discuss a commonly asked management interview question and how you could answer it. However, this is just a general example. Make sure that you tailor your answers to the position and company where you’re applying for a position.
Question: ‘Tell me about a time you managed an important project.’
‘I’ve worked on several successful projects as the manager of the sales department. For example, I was asked to set up a project team to work on a sales pitch to convince a new client to use our services. The pressure was on because it was a 5-year deal and a multi-million dollar contract that was at stake. For the company as well as for me personally, this was kind of a big deal. As this deal would mean a lot for the company in terms of turnover increase, I understood that failure was not an option because it was a unique opportunity to land the contract.
I gathered a team of the most experienced employees and selected them based on their individual qualities and strengths to make sure to balance the team out. Together with the team, a planning document was set up, and goals and milestones were determined. After that, I delegated tasks based on the knowledge and experience levels of each team member. Also, I assigned a project manager to carefully monitor the progress on a day to day basis and report to me on the milestone progress.
Because I distributed the responsibilities according to experience and knowledge levels, everyone on the team was aware of their responsibilities and the importance of the project. The team delivered everything on time without requiring intense oversight. We finished our sales presentation ahead of the deadline and were able to provide the client with everything he asked for.
The client told us that he was impressed by our effort, and we landed the contract, which was the largest deal closed in that year. This was a great achievement for the team as it was an effort that could not have been made without the people on it.’
Why this is a strong answer:
- This example demonstrates several important leadership skills, such as oversight, coordinating, decisiveness, communication, delegation, motivating, time management, and planning.
- The answer is related and relevant to the workplace and professional environments. It shows that you are able to manage and motivate your team effectively.
- The project turned out successful, which gives more weight to the situation you discuss in your answer.
Sample management interview questions
Below we discuss a couple of commonly asked management job interview questions. Each link will take you to a specific page that includes answers, tips, and tricks to answer management interview questions.
- Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.
- What challenges are you looking for in a new position?
- Tell me more about your career goals and how you want to achieve them.
- Describe to me your ideal company culture to work in.
- What is your approach to delegating tasks to employees?
- Describe your work ethic.
- When was the last time you got a promotion?
- How do you communicate effectively to work through a problem?
- To what position in this company do you want to move next?
- Tell me your story. How did you get from the start of your career to your last position?
- Why should we hire you?
- How do you manage your workload?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with an underperforming team member? How did you handle that situation?
- Tell me about a time you had a team member who constantly opposed your ideas?
- Tell me about a time you managed an important project.
- What is your greatest strength?
- Tell me how you motivated your team members in tough times.
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What are the qualities of a successful manager?
- How do you deal with stressful situations?
- What is the most challenging project you have ever worked on?
- What are your salary expectations?
Preparing answers to common management interview questions
Make sure you figure out answers to common management interview questions, such as mentioned above. However, make sure that you also prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
Don’t forget to prepare and get your answers ready for these questions. At the interview, do show them that you have the qualities required of a manager. What you should realize before you go to a job interview is that it’s supposed to be a two-way street.
This means that the interviewer wants to ask you questions to get to know you and learn about your skills. But it also means that you should use the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions about the position, management, and the company itself to figure out if this is the right position for you.
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic