Top 20 Manager Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 23 November 2022
Published 7 September 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Interview questions for manager positions can include a range of questions about background and work experience. The purpose of these management questions is to assess your professional skills and capabilities. By understanding what interviewers commonly ask during managerial position interviews, you can formulate well-thought-out responses and practice them to improve your delivery and make a strong impression. In this article, we discuss the top 20 general and in-depth manager interview questions and some example answers that can help you to prepare for your upcoming job interview.
What Is A Managerial Interview?
A managerial interview is a professional meeting that an employer conducts with selected candidates to assess if they have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for a manager position. During the interview, the employer may ask several practical manager-level interview questions. Along with checking if your abilities match the desired requirements of the job profile, they may also check if you can be a good fit for their specific company culture. That can include assessing your appearance, your style of speaking and your overall level of confidence.
They may also take the opportunity to learn about your job expectations, such as the pay package you desire and your willingness to travel or relocate. Depending on your interview performance, the employer may decide to recruit you for the position.
Related: What Is the Role of a Manager?
Top 20 Manager Interview Questions
Employers often ask the following interview questions for manager positions:
General management interview questions
The interviewer may start the interview with these general questions to get an idea of you as a person and understand your interest in and knowledge of their company:
What made you decide to take up a management career?
What do you like the most about working as a manager?
What is the most challenging thing about being a manager?
What are your long-term goals for your management career?
What is your experience in handling a project involving multiple teams?
Management interview questions about experience and background
During the interview, you can expect specific management questions related to your educational background, skills and experience:
Can you tell us about your background and experience?
Can you list some of your professional strengths?
What do you do to improve your industry knowledge?
Can you briefly describe your leadership style?
How would you motivate an underperforming team member?
In-depth management interview questions
To determine your leadership abilities for the manager position, the interviewer may ask you some in-depth team management interview questions like the following:
In your opinion, what are the qualities of an effective manager?
Can you explain your process of delegating tasks to a team member?
What do you consider when making important team-related decisions?
In your opinion, what are some crucial team performance strategies?
As a manager, how do you stay organised and on schedule with your projects?
5 Interview Questions For A Manager With Examples On How To Answer
The following management interview questions and answers may help you to prepare well for your upcoming job interview:
1. What do you do to ensure effective communication with your team?
As a manager, most of your work duties rely on having effective communication with your team and other company employees. By asking a communication-related question, the interviewer wants to assess how capable you are as a communicator. Your response can include the methods you use to improve communication between you and your team members.
Example: "To enable quick, effective communication within the team, the team and I use an online messaging application for daily, weekly and monthly updates. That way, we can all know what we have accomplished and how far we still require to go for project completion. I also remind the team of upcoming deadlines. Each team member has to update me on their progress with specific project tasks and inform me in advance if they require more time for task completion. Additionally, I organise and conduct weekly and monthly meetings and conferences via video conferencing for essential face-to-face discussions."
2. Can you explain the difference between smart work and hard work?
Interviewers often include this in their list of management interview questions to ask. The purpose is to find out if you understand the importance of establishing work strategies that prioritising goals. You can briefly explain the difference between smart work and hard work in your answer and explain the importance of both types of work.
Example: "The difference between smart work and hard work is the effort you put in to reach the desired goal. Generally, you may need a combination of both to complete a project and deliver it on time. You are required to work hard, but, at the same time, you also require to be smart about how you prioritise your work goals and manage your time and resources."
3. How would you handle conflict between your team members?
With different types of personalities working together on various projects, some conflict is inevitable in the workplace. When interviewers ask this question, they want to find out how adept you are at conflict management to resolve issues between your subordinates and prevent these from affecting the project work. In your answer, you can give an example of a conflict you successfully resolved in your workplace.
Example: "During my last project, I had to mediate between two team members who got into a conflict over the project tasks they were supposed to complete together. I spoke with each separately to understand what was going on and then arranged a group meeting to iron out the issue. The problem was that one of them was unable to handle their share of the work, and that kept them both behind schedule.
"Since that team member had a genuine personal reason for falling behind, I transferred some of their work to a third member, and we got the project back on track. I also asked the lagging team member to be more upfront in the future and inform me in advance if the work responsibilities were too much for them."
4. Have you ever had to terminate an employee?
Managers often require to make difficult work decisions, and that may include terminating someone from their position. Firing someone is never easy, and the manager is required to take a professional approach to the situation. By asking this question in their interview questions, the interviewer may want to learn about your approach towards making tough work decisions.
Example: "Terminating an employee is a difficult decision to make, and, unfortunately, I have had to make it once in my career so far. It happened with a team member who was an underperformer and not a good fit with the rest of the team. I tried everything possible to bring them on the level with everyone, with performance reviews, work improvement suggestions and personal guidance.
However, they were unwilling to put in the required effort and caused work conflicts with the rest of the team. They had to manage their tasks and take care of the work mistakes made by this team member. Finally, I had no other choice than to fire that person."
5. What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Many commonly asked manager interview questions include this query. It allows interviewers to understand the core values of the candidate. They may be more likely to consider you for the manager position if your values align with the company's values. It is essential to keep this in mind when preparing your answer.
Example: "I am proud of the mentoring work I did with some new employees during their first project for my previous company. I enjoyed guiding them for the project duration. It was a difficult project, but they were sharp and learned everything quickly, and were like seasoned professionals by the end of it. Also, its successful completion got me a long-awaited promotion."
How Do I Prepare For A Management Interview?
You can prepare for a management interview by following these steps:
Create a list of possible questions. Compile a list of the most frequently-asked management interview questions and answers, and practice these with a friend, in front of a mirror or by video recording yourself. Practice until your response delivery comes across as polished and confident.
Gather examples. Use your previous management positions when you achieved particular objectives or managed successful projects from start to completion to come up with examples you can use during the interview. You can impress interviewers by sharing relevant details of your work experience.
Collect your documents. Gather your resume, certifications and any other documents that you might need for the interview. It is essential to have everything ready to take along with you.
Select your attire. Choose a professional and comfortable outfit to wear to the interview. Being neat and tidy can help with making a good first impression.
Prepare for the commute. Check the address of the interview venue and plan to arrive there at least half an hour earlier. It is especially necessary to plan if you have a long commute.
Practice relaxation techniques. These techniques can help you remain calm and focused during the interview. Keep your answers succinct and pronounce each word carefully.
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