Interviewing for a managerial job is a stressful time even for the most experienced workers. A manager’s responsibilities are significantly different from other positions, so you may be unsure where the interview will go. You can reduce the stress and anxiety by reviewing common interview questions for managers.
The experts at Sling have created a list of the top 11 interview questions for managers so that you’ll be cool and calm in any situation.
Top 11 Interview Questions For Managers
Use these top 11 interview questions for managers to practice your answers and prepare for the interview ahead.
1) What Is Your Biggest Management Weakness?
Don’t try to turn this around to highlight one of your strengths (“I’m just too driven”). Be honest. No one’s perfect, and interviewers know that. They also know that recognizing your weaknesses means there’s an opportunity to improve.
So pick something you feel you can work on—trust, demand for perfection, need for control—and describe how it has affected your work in the past. Then explain how you’d like to fix it.
2) What Is Your Biggest Management Strength?
Now is your chance to brag a little, but don’t be disingenuous or resort to hyperbole. Describe your biggest management strength and explain how it benefits your team and helps them get the job done.
While you’re doing this, always try to remember that, ultimately, this isn’t about you. It’s about how your strength integrates with the strengths of others to form a cohesive unit. Find a way to explain your strengths in that light.
3) How Would You Describe Your Management Style?
This can be a tricky question to answer because, chances are, the way you manage your team is a mix of different styles. Instead of trying to settle on one specific named method, explain how you would approach, conduct, and complete a new project.
Doing so will give the interviewer a sense of your style without you having to commit to one or the other. Plus, it gives the interviewer the opportunity to ask “What if…” questions. These questions allow you to show how you would adapt when your team faces a problem.
4) How Would You Tell A Colleague That He Was Underperforming?
Every manager has different methods. You’re no exception. Your go-to method for dealing with an underperforming colleague may be “tough love.” But this doesn’t work for all employees.
Even if your first instinct is to be brutally honest with a team member, explain to the interviewer that you would base your communication on what works best for each particular employee. That way, you can motivate them positively rather than negatively.
5) How Do You Define Success?
Don’t settle for a one-word answer, like money or prestige. And don’t make this question only about yourself. Instead, define success from the perspective of a team.
What small successes do you strive for when managing a project (e.g., reaching interim goals, resolving conflicts)? What large successes do you strive for when managing a project (e.g., finishing on time, staying under budget)?
It’s those project specifics (both small and large) that shape your definition of success. And your definition will ultimately shape how your team gauges success.
6) How Would You Prepare For An Important Meeting?
Do you do all the work yourself? Do you bring in trusted team members to assist? The way you prepare for an important meeting says a lot about the way you manage your work and your team. It also exemplifies how well you might assimilate into the existing team dynamic.
The best answer to this question is to describe your process in as much detail as possible (without taking up too much time, of course). This will help the interviewer get a complete picture of how you operate as a manager.
7) How Do You Manage Stress On Your Team?
Rather than opting for a single answer to this question, tell a story instead. Use it as an opportunity to relate an instance when you successfully mitigated team stress.
You shouldn’t assume that the interviewer will understand your methods, so be sure to highlight exactly what you did to manage stress within the context of the story. It’s also essential to communicate your willingness to investigate and incorporate other stress-management strategies.
8) What’s Your Approach To Delegating Work?
Do you dole out responsibilities in alphabetical order? Of course not. That’s a recipe for disaster. You delegate work only after giving everything plenty of thought. You may even gather the team around the proverbial campfire to get their input on exactly what needs to be done.
However you start the process, chances are you delegate work based on the aptitude and experience that each team member brings to the group. It’s those details that you want to explain to the interviewer.
9) How Do You Handle Conflict?
It’s vital to understand that stress and conflict are two very different things. It’s also important to communicate this difference to the interviewer should the question arise.
Most conflict resolution involves sitting down with each party separately to hear both sides of the story. Once you understand the issue, you can work together to come up with solutions to get the matter resolved. Explain your methods for making this process go smoothly.
10) How Would You Go About Terminating Someone?
Whatever your method for letting someone go, it’s essential that you keep three key points in mind:
- Always use professional language
- Document everything
- Keep your boss (or Human Resources) in the loop
Letting someone go is never easy, and you should never make light of this responsibility in an interview. Instead, describe how you did (or would do) what had to be done in the most professional way possible.
11) How Would You Motivate Your Team Members?
Use this question to relate a time when you successfully motivated your team to surpass their goals. If you’ve never managed a team before, describe an instance when you were motivated by your manager. In the process, express how you would like to emulate that method.
Keep in mind that, like stress management and conflict resolution, motivation isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity. It’s crucial that you get to know all your team members to find out what motivates them.
Preparation Is Key
There’s no way for you to know every question an interviewer may ask. Don’t even try to memorize them all. Instead, think about common responsibilities that managers face—like hiring, firing, motivation, and team-building. Then prepare answers that cover those major topics. That way, you can be ready for anything the interviewer throws your way.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.