20 Job Interview Questions for Managers | (+Example Answers) – CV Nation

20 Job Interview Questions and Answers for Managers

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The ultimate guide to manager job interview questions, with 20 of the most common manager interview questions with example answers.

Manager job interviews are challenging. Competition is strong and interviewers are looking for candidates who stand out.

One of the best ways to ace your management job interview is to prepare your answers in advance.

We’ve detailed 20 of the most common job interview questions that managers are asked. Use our advice and example answers to prepare your own answers and give yourself a better chance of landing the job.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

This is probably the most popular job interview question. Interviewers ask it to break the ice and learn about your background.

When answering this question, focus on your career, rather than your personal life. You may want to touch on your career experiences, your passion for management and how you got into management.

The best way to answer this question is to use your answer to convey your suitability for the job.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I am a Business Manager with over 8 years’ experience managing operations for SMEs across the United States. During this time, I have managed budgets of over 4-million-dollars and spearheaded multi-million-dollar change initiatives on a global scale.

I assumed my first role in management 2013 when I progressed from the role of operations assistant to operations manager. Since then, I have moved on to area management positions and, more recently, business management positions.

In my current role, I provide leadership to a team of 120 and oversee all operations across three sites in the United States. Since commencing this role, I have increased delivery times by 32% and reduced expenditure by 52%.

2. What Is Your Leadership Style?

When recruiting a manager, interviewers want to know what type of leadership their candidate will provide. They want to see how you will lead their employees. Will you use an authoritative leadership style? Or will you employ more of a laissez-faire approach?

Of course, you may use more than one leadership style. The majority of good leaders make use of various leadership styles, depending on the situation. If you use more than one leadership style, draw attention to this in your answer.

When answering this question, try to focus on what makes your leadership style effective. Is possible, use examples to show how you have used the leadership style to great effect.

To learn more about leadership styles, view our guide to the five main leadership styles.

Here is an example answer to this question:

In most cases, I use an authoritative leadership style. While managing teams of factory operatives, this style has been the most effective in optimising productivity and performance levels.

However, I also use a laissez-faire leadership style when leading team leaders and operations managers. As they’re a highly-skilled team of management professionals, I find that providing them with the freedom to make their own decisions is the most effective approach.

3. How Do You Measure Success?

This question is all about the methods you use to determine success or failure. It’s not about being successful or unsuccessful. It’s simply about how you measure success.

Without measuring success, we can never really know if we have achieved anything. This is why businesses want to recruit managers who are adept at accurately measuring success.

Here is an example answer to this question:

One of the main ways I measure success is by implementing KPIs. This involves identifying key area that are to be measured, establishing benchmarks, comparing performance with targets and reviewing performance.

I also use data and analytics to measure success. Data and analytics tools I use including Google Analytics, Microsoft Power BI and SAP Business Objectives.

4. How Do You Manage Conflict Between Team Members?

As a manager, you have probably encountered situations in which employees are involved in conflict. Managers need to be able to resolve conflict to ensure it doesn’t affect team performance.

When asking this question, interviewers are attempting to gauge the control you have over your teams and if you can effectively manage them. A good way to answer this question is to provide an example of a time you resolved conflict between team members.

Here is an example answer to this question.

I manage conflict between team members by listening to both parties in order to understand the situation. I then bring both parties together to discuss the issue and find a resolution.

When I was employed as Supervisor at Example Company, I encountered a situation in which two employees were arguing correct method of operating a machine. The quarrel was escalating, so I brought both employees to my office and listened to their points of view. I then referred them to the machine’s official manual and explained the correct way of operating the machine. I informed both of them that all queries about machinery should be referred to the official manual. Both employees agreed to drop the quarrel.

5. How Do You Motivate Teams?

One of the most important skills of leaders is an ability to motivate teams. Without motivation, teams will perform poorly and be much more likely to miss targets.

As such, interviewers want to know that you’re capable of motivating teams.

Of course, motivating teams isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ deal. What works for some team members won’t work for other team members. So, when answering this question, show that you can adapt your strategies in line with individual needs.

Here is an example answer to this question:

One of my key methods of motivating teams is getting them onboard with my vision. I believe that employees are most motivated when they feel that they are a part of organisation’s objectives and a key cog in realising them.

Of course, all team members are different and this approach doesn’t necessarily motivate everyone. For this reason, I spend the time to get to know team members and learn about what motivates them on an individual basis. This may involve praising employees, providing constructive feedback, building healthy work environments and even criticising employees.

6. Describe a Time You Successfully Managed a Project

Managers are often required to lead projects. These may range from major business transformation programmes to small process improvement initiatives. The fact is interviewers want to know if you’re adept at leading projects. If you can demonstrate your project management skills, you’ll stand a better chance of succeeding in your job interview.

When answering this question, consider using the STAR methodology. STAR is a method for answering job interview questions. When you use the STAR method, you start by describing the situation (in this case, the project), followed by the task at hand, the action you took and the end result you achieved.

Here is an example answer to this question:

In 2021, I managed a project to merge two companies following the acquisition of a major competitor. I began by restructuring processes within the new business in order to ensure they were aligned with our existing business. I then went about building a new, customer-oriented culture in the new company while implementing new systems across all departments. I established milestones and used analytics software to monitor the performance of the project. In December, 2021, I completed the project 2-million-dollars under budget. I received written commendation from Senior Management for my efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of this project.

7. What Do You Do to Promote Diversity & Inclusion?

For many companies, diversity and inclusion is a key priority. But did you know diverse workforces actually perform to higher standards on average?

Diversity in the workplace brings a whole range of benefits to companies, including improved teamwork, employee engagement and productivity.

Interviewers want to know that you understand the importance of diversity in the workplace. If a manager doesn’t understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, companies won’t achieve their D&I goals.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I have been an advocate of diversity in the workplace for many years. During my time in management, I have seen first-hand the benefits that diversity brings to workforces.

One of the main ways I promote diversity & inclusion is by writing or rewriting policies to ensure they are ‘diversity-friendly’. I also develop diversity task forces and educate team leaders on the importance of diversity & inclusion.

While employed at Example Company, I organised diversity & inclusion training sessions and I rewrote policies in line with our diversity & inclusion goals. This was the first time in the company’s history that a manger had taken strides toward improving diversity & inclusion, and I am proud that these initiatives were a success.

8. How Would Your Colleagues and Team Members Describe You?

This question gives interviewers insight into your self-awareness and enables them to compare your answer with references, which they may contact at a later date. It also gives them an idea of the type of leader you will be if they decide to employ you.

Try to be modest, but don’t undersell yourself. If possible, frame your answer in a way that makes you a strong candidate for the job.

Here is an example answer to this question:

My colleagues would describe me as an efficient problem-solver. I have a track record of delivering swift resolutions to problems by assessing the situation, generating potential solutions and implementing correct actions. In my last role, I solved a staffing problem by automating processes. This saved the company over a million pounds annually.

9. What Was Your Greatest Success as a Manager?

This is a great question if you want to stand out from the crowd. Use your answer to highlight your best successes in management. This will enable recruiters to envision you achieving results for their company.

When describing your greatest successes in management, try to quantify the achievement. By using numbers, your answer will be much more impactive.

Here is an example answer to this question:

When I was employed at Example Company, I planned, executed and delivered a project to automate processes across 12 departments. This involved the implementation of new systems and the development of prototypes. As the automation of processes meant less staff were required, I also managed the redundancy of 55 colleagues. When I delivered the project in November 2021, I had achieved cost savings of two-million-dollars annually.

10. Tell Us About a Time When You Led by Example

This question is designed to gauge your leadership skills. Are you capable of getting employees to follow you and perform to high standards?

Here is an example answer to this question:

When I was employed as a manager at Example Company, I led by example by performing work on the factory floor as an operative during staff shortages. Rather than asking employees to work extra shifts, I believe it’s important for managers to occasionally get their hands dirty at the coalface. This builds trust and improves team performance.

11. What is Your Biggest Strength?

Interviewers ask this question to find out if your key strengths match the ones they are looking for in candidates.

So, when answering this question, you should try to focus on key strengths that company is seeking. For example, if the company is looking for a manager with international experience, you could state that one of your key strengths is your ability to manage cross-border operations.

Here is an example answer to this question:

One of my key strengths is my ability to lead growth and expansion initiatives. When I was the manager of Example Company, I spearheaded the company’s entry into new markets in the United States, China and East Asia. Within 12 months of penetrating these markets, I secured the company’s position as a market leader, with over 39% of the market share.

I am also a naturally effective communicator. I enjoy communicating with people from all backgrounds and this benefits me a great deal in my role as a manager. I’m a firm believer that businesses can’t operate efficiently without good communication, and this starts with the manager.

12. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

At the end of job interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Always respond to this by asking at least one question. By saying no, you may indicate that have little interest in the job.

Questions that you could ask the interviewer include:

- What do people enjoy most about working at your company?

- Could you tell me about the opportunities for professional growth at your company?

- What career paths do you see for people who are employed in this role?

More Management Job Interview Questions

13. If Employed, What Would You Aim to Have Achieved Within 30, 60 and 90 Days?
14. Describe a Time When You Went Above and Beyond for Your Team?
15. Describe a Time You Dealt with a Difficult Employee?
16. How Do You Maintain Your Professional Development?
17. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
18. How Do You Define Success?
19. How Do You Motivate Yourself?
20. What Are the Qualities of a Great Manager?

We hope you have found this guide to manager interview questions helpful. If you’re preparing to pursue management jobs, you’ll need an effective CV that sells you. Feel free to check out our free guide on how to write a CV.

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