Important Manager Interview Questions To Ask Candidates



Interview questions for managers

Here are some of the most important interview questions you need to answer to land your dream manager job. Find out more about how to answer with our tips!

Regardless of the industry in question, if you’re a professional looking to advance your career, this often means applying to managerial positions. If that’s the case, you should know that the interview process for manager candidates can be quite different than any of your previous job interviews.

Interviews and their questions for managers place a more significant focus on skills such as interpersonal, decision-making and problem-solving skills. However, suppose you’re applying to a management position for the first time. In that case, your work history is as important as your ability to effectively manage and inspire the team members in your work environment.

So how do you effectively communicate your management skills during a manager interview? This article will go through the seven most important interview questions for managers and provide valuable tips to better prepare your answers. Lastly, we’ll go over how to highlight your manager skills on your CV to impress hiring managers so you can land the manager position you’ve set your sights on.

Top interview questions for a manager

There’s a variety of interview questions for managers that may get asked, depending on your industry. But regardless of your profession, some manager interview questions are commonly asked across all industries. Below we’ll go over the seven most important interview questions for managers that are most commonly asked during manager interviews.

Tell me about yourself.
This is one of the most commonly asked interview questions. Recruiters ask this as a behavioural interview question to learn more about you professionally and about your leadership skills and communication style.

What’s an example of when you had to deliver negative feedback to a teammate?
This question is asked so you can come up with specific examples of times you’ve used your conflict resolution and communication skills to deliver feedback to an employee who underperformed or didn’t uphold the values of the company culture.

What’s your approach to how you delegate responsibilities within your team?
Recruiters ask this so they can hear an example of a time you effectively distributed tasks to team members. They’re looking to see if you sought direct reports from team members and how you approached prioritisation and evaluation of tasks. Your answer will help them evaluate your teamwork and project management skills.

How do you foster a positive team attitude?
Recruiters ask this because they want managers with a skill set that fosters positive working relationships and team morale.

Have you recently fired an employee? Could you walk me through it?
Letting an employee go is always a manager’s responsibility, so recruiters ask this to get a sense of your interpersonal and communication skills, as well as your ability to handle stressful situations.

How would you describe your management style?
This is crucial question recruiters ask because they want to see how flexible you are, regardless of your management style. Flexibility is needed so your management style works for the whole team.

How do you tie in the company’s goals into your team strategy?
Recruiters ask this to see if you understand how you and your team fit and align with the company’s vision and goals. They want to see how managers incorporate the company’s goals into their team’s goals and KPIs.

How to prepare for a manager interview?

The key to a successful management interview is to prepare specific examples from your previous positions where you had to demonstrate strong leadership skills. In addition, you should focus your examples on previous positions that show you had major responsibilities.

Ahead of the interview, research the company and get to know its needs. Next, analyse the job summary and identify the key skills and attributes the company needs from a candidate applying to this position.

Then you should tailor your strengths to the skills and attributes you’ve identified and showcase them throughout the interview, making sure to emphasise your enthusiasm for the position throughout the entire interview.

While researching the company, you should also research and prepare questions to ask the recruiter relevant to the position. Then close the interview by asking meaningful questions about the company goals, corporate culture, training and so forth to demonstrate your genuine interest in the position and company. This also shows you’ve done your “homework” on a company, and have the potential to bring the same attentiveness to detail in your job.

How to highlight manager skills on a CV?

For you to land the interview for that perfect management position you have your sights on, your CV must demonstrate your management skills and experience effectively.

Even if applying to your first management position, your CV should showcase specific examples of results and achievements that prove you’re able to lead and motivate a team.

Below are the top three ways to highlight your management skills on your CV:

  • Use numbers and action verbs to accentuate your management skills and showcase the definite impact it has had on teammates and the company’s goals.
  • Talk about team success as a whole. Showcase specific examples of how a team’s performance improved and the specific results they achieved due to your guidance and leadership.
  • Showcase your motivation to grow as a leader and manager by providing examples of when you’ve headed workshops or in-house leadership training.

FAQ: interview questions for managers

Q: How do you interview for your first management role?

  • Focus on providing specific examples of situations when you have led a team in the past
  • Show that you are committed to becoming a manager and are motivated to grow by citing examples from previous positions where you’ve demonstrated these qualities
  • Be prepared with answers to common interview questions for managers: how you lead, how you handle team projects, and how do you mentor and manage individual employees

Q: What to avoid during an interview for a manager position?

  • You shouldn’t provide information during the interview that contradicts the information you gave in your CV and cover letter
  • You should never speak negatively about your past roles or employers
  • You should never demonstrate that you have any issues with authority

Q: How to close a manager interview?

You should close your manager interview by reiterating your qualifications and accomplishments as a leader.

You should close by asking management-related questions about the company and position, such as:

  • How do you evaluate the performance of managers applying to this position?
  • What’s the company’s management structure and process like?
  • How does this management role contribute to larger company goals?

Move your CV to the top of the yes pile!


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