- What do you think is the most important role of a manager?
- Do you have prior experience of being a manager?
- Tell us about a time when you led a team?
- What is your management style?
- Has your management style changed with more experience?
- Do you feel there are some ways in which a manager can fail?
- How do you deal with an under-performing employee?
- How do you deal with your mistakes at work?
- If we asked your direct reports about you, what would they say?
- How do you resolve conflicts between team members?
- Tips on how to deal with management interview questions
Preparing for interview questions for managers can get anyone worked up, and those preparing for a management interviews know that they need some extra oomph to help them out.
And since management interview questions focus on evaluating your knowledge and leadership skills, you must be ready for more than the common questions.
In this blog, we will discuss 10 unique and crucial interview questions for managers (with sample answers) and tips on how to deal with management interview questions like a pro.
1. What do you think is the most important role of a manager?
This interview question for manager lets the recruiters gauge your understanding of the position.
It also indicates your managerial experience and what is the most crucial role of a person in a leadership role for you.
To answer effectively, talk about your knowledge of crucial elements of management, expertise in prioritizing and managing tasks, and your leadership style.
In my opinion, a manager is a mediator between the team and upper management.
A good manager ensures a transparent flow of communication through all levels of employees in the company.
Apart from this, being there for the employees and keeping them motivated is another aspect of being a good manager.
With the right manager, the employees feel happy and appreciated and tend to strive better-yielding much better results for the company.
2. Do you have prior experience of being a manager?
Recruiters often ask this management interview question to assess your experience and identify whether you are capable of handling a team or not.
It also helps them assess the nature of your experience, making it easy to understand whether you would be a good fit in their company.
If you are interviewing for a managerial role for the first time, discuss all your achievements and experiences that make you a good fit for the position.
If you have the experience, discuss your accomplishments, the size of the team you led, and all your initiatives that benefited the company.
Sample answer 1
No, I do not have much experience in a managerial position per se.
But just last year, I led a team of graphic designers, digital marketers, and PR representatives for a project our company undertook.
I was responsible for all the tasks at hand and took care of the entire project from the ground level to its execution.
It was then that I realized that I’m ready to take on some new challenges and put myself in the shoes of a manager.
Sample answer 2
I have been a manager for 3 years at ABC organization.
Initially, I led a team of 4 sales executives and was later promoted to the position of cluster head.
Over the past years, I have focused my efforts on lead generation and revenue growth.
Currently, I look after a team of 26 people. My responsibilities include their target achievement, approving new projects, and working on bi-monthly status reports.
3. Tell us about a time when you led a team?
Such interview questions for managers cover all bases by aiming at the most crucial part of the profile.
Since there cannot be a manager without a team, talking about your experience with leading people can provide better insights into how well versed you are with being a manager.
To answer effectively,
- Choose to talk about a successful project led by you
- Discuss the details of your team, but avoid sharing too much
- Give a brief about the targets, nature of the job for context
- Speak about the achievements and challenges faced and how you dealt with them
I have led teams for different projects several times, but the one time that I truly felt exhilarated was when I was working on my first project in a manager’s capacity.
I had been working for 2 years then, and I was entrusted by the company to manage a 9 people team in Chennai.
Initially, it was difficult with the language barrier and cultural differences.
But with time, I learned basic Tamil and was able to coordinate with the team.
4. What is your management style?
With this management interview question, you can talk all about your working style and establish why it works best for you.
The best trick is to answer with an example from your experience and describe your management style as implemented in a real-life situation.
You can also choose to be fluid with your answer and justify why having a set leadership style for all teams may not work too well.
To answer effectively, define what is good management for you, how you try to implement it with your style, and how it works for you and your team?
I like to be very direct and informal with my team. I understand the importance of delegating the tasks at hand, so I usually make sure I do that effectively.
Having said that, I make sure to have the working knowledge of all the people’s jobs in my team to ensure damage control if needed.
I don’t feel having a rigid management style is a good idea since all teams and companies are different.
It’s only best to deal with teams in the way it works with them.
5. Has your management style changed with more experience?
With this interview question for managers, the recruiters probe your growth map and assess how it has impacted your way of working.
To find a perfect answer,
- Talk about how and why your management style has changed
- Discuss how it impacted your team
- Quote instances that reflect growth and maturity
I have been a manager for 5 years, and my style has evolved ever since.
Having worked with several teams, I had to alter my ways of management to suit the team’s requirements.
Initially, I liked to stay on top of everything and had a tough time delegating work since I believed I had to do it all on my own.
With time, I have learned to put trust into my team and have learned how to share feedback without subjecting them to micromanagement and minor bickering.
6. Do you feel there are some ways in which a manager can fail?
It may come as a surprise to many, but this interview question for managers can help the recruiters assess your understanding of a managerial position.
It also defines your work ethics as a manager and evaluates your understanding of the principles that make a good manager.
To answer well, talk about your definition of effective management, mention your learning curve, and discuss the mistakes you may have made in the process.
Tip: It also helps to know what the company is looking for. So, research well, and tailor your answer to meet expectations.
I think there are many ways in which a manager can fail.
It is a position of responsibility, and everything a manager does must be thought of in-depth.
One of the mistakes that managers make is they forget to keep their team motivated.
An accountable and responsible manager ensures that their team is appreciated and well-facilitated to do their work, which in turn makes the employees want to do better.
When managers fail to do so, the team may get demotivated, hampering their morale, and overall productivity.
7. How do you deal with an under-performing employee?
This is one of the most crucial manager interview questions as managing employee performance is the primary task for those in leadership positions.
With this interview question for managers, the recruiters can assess how you deal with this uncomfortable situation and if your methods are in-line with the company.
If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience, be honest and instead tell them what you would do if you were to face such a situation.
If you are already in a managerial position, talk about such a time when you motivated someone to do better, or took initiative to help them with performance issues.
Also, discuss how you initiated this conversation, your course of action, and the result.
You can use the STAR technique to answer this interview question for managers- Talk about the Situation, Task, and Action taken and the Result.
About 6 months ago, I noticed that one of our product analysts wasn’t performing at par, per their usual performance.
It was a little unusual for him as he has always been a star performer in the team and was very motivated.
The lag in his performance led to more escalations, and also increased time to resolve them. It went on for a week, so I sat him down and asked him what was going on.
He was going through some trouble with the family, and it was stressing him out. We spoke about it at length, followed by a discussion on how it is affecting his work.
We went on to design a new work plan for him, and I decided to take some things off his plate until his problems back home were dealt with.
8. How do you deal with your mistakes at work?
To err is human is a phrase that is true for all of us. Managers are no exception to this.
However, their mistakes may have elaborate consequences if not dealt with properly.
It is one of the most important interview questions for managers, as to how they handle their mistakes reflects a sense of responsibility and awareness.
To answer effectively, start with how you check for any inconsistencies and can identify your mistakes, followed by how you self-correct and deal with consequences.
I feel it’s important to be responsible for the work you do, especially if you are a manager since that can impact the whole team.
To avoid any errors, I always cross-check the reports at all stages.
I remember this one time, I made some miscalculations that I only figured once the final draft had been shared with everyone.
I was quick to take it to my senior, who was kind to help me out.
He immediately sent out another email explaining the error and sought some time to go through the data and respond to it, before any action was taken.
Had this been noticed in time, the entire plan for the quarter could have been deeply impacted.
Since then, I made sure to be more efficient in gauging the data and take some extra time to study the reports again a while after I have collated it.
9. If we asked your direct reports about you, what would they say?
This manager interview question focuses on understanding your relationship with the team.
How you interact with them speaks a lot about your leadership style and allows the recruiters to identify your suitability to their company culture.
To answer, speak with self-awareness, and talk about how you interact with your team to share feedback and appreciate them.
I hope they will say all the good things!
On a serious note, I think my team and I share a very transparent relationship.
I have always tried to be easily approachable to everyone and help them out as much as possible.
They are equally a part of all decision making processes as I, making everything we do a team effort.
I avoid micromanaging but ensure the work is getting done through daily stand-ups and reports, where we take out some time for team bonding too.
We also plan monthly outings to take a break from all the hustle and enjoy ourselves in a casual environment.
My direct reports and I share a respectful and honest relationship and I’m sure if you asked them, they would tell you all there is to know about me.
10. How do you resolve conflicts between team members?
This interview question for managers lets the interviewers assess your ability to resolve inter-team disputes.
How you deal with such situations can tell a lot about your management style and helps the recruiters see if you are a good fit for their company.
To ace, this manager interview question, explain how you stay neutral in these situations and make it a priority to resolve any such issues at hand.
I usually do not interfere with my team’s disputes initially as I believe the will to resolve should come from within.
However, when things get out of hand, I find hearing both sides of the story with an open-mind very helpful.
It helps me identify the gap between their narratives and makes resolving conflicts a quicker process.
I recall this one water-cooler incident where one of my colleagues joked about something that the other colleague misunderstood.
What started with a joke became a huge tiff later, and started affecting their work.
So I sat down with them individually, and we discussed their concerns.
After that, we were able to clear the air of misunderstanding for them and discussed a reasonable solutions that worked for both of them.
Tips on how to deal with management interview questions
Now that we have covered important interview questions for managers, here are some quick tips to help you bag the job.
- Use your experience to answer and if possible, use them as examples
- Ask questions about the company’s goals, mission, and vision and see if it matches your career goals
- Research about the company in-depth and tailor your answers accordingly
- Update your social networking profiles to make a good impression on the recruiters
- Avoid blaming anything on other team members while answering questions
- Be flexible, approachable, and flexible in your answers
- Give realistic answers that you will be able to justify if you have to speak in-depth about them
With these interview questions for managers and quick tips, we are sure you will be able to bag your dream job. You can find some more interview tips to up your preparation tips here.
All the best!