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Management Interview
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25 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 25

What do your team members think of you as a team leader?

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Management Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What do your team members think of you as a team leader?

      The interviewer wants to know if you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses in leading others. Be transparent and honest about your strong points and potential shortcomings as a manager. Discuss what you genuinely feel your team would say about your leadership skills. Avoid a response that is braggadocious! Remain humble yet show that you are aware of your unique skills and abilities. When discussing your areas of weakness, be sure to include the action you are taking to improve.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I often ask my team members for feedback on my leadership skills since it's important to me that I am evolving and growing as a manager. The points that consistently come up are that I am a clear communicator and that I am approachable. I am working on my ability to be more concise in my direction. At times, I give more detail than necessary, and my team members have mentioned that they will come to me with questions if a point is unclear. I have been working on improving my brevity in certain situations by reviewing the conversation points in my mind ahead of time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have earned the respect of my team by working closely with each of them since the beginning of their employment. My team feels confident in my leadership, and we work through many challenges together. They know they can rely on me to support them and make decisions that are best for the team as a whole."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "Overall my team members have told me that I am someone they can come to and ask questions freely and know that I am always going to be there to help them. They also appreciate that I am willing to roll up my sleeves and work side by side with them when the time calls for it."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your team members seem to appreciate you, which is wonderful. This answer speaks well to your abilities as a leader. If you wish to get more specific re: a time when you rolled up your sleeves, this would be a nice addition to your response.

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  2. 2.

    What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?

      Management roles often bring significant challenges and difficult tasks. Share with the interviewer what you feel is the most challenging task in management and why. Aside from the task itself, the interviewer wants to know the actions you take to make this task easier. Chances are, the harder you work at the task, or the more you perfect your role, the easier the task becomes. Discuss what you are currently doing to make this task less difficult in the future.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a manager, the most difficult task for me is to delegate our heavy workload evenly. I have team members who are absolute rock-stars, and they exceed their targets every week. I also have team members who are meeting their targets but overall, they are lower producers. I have to remind myself to distribute the work and responsibilities evenly despite my natural inclination to give my highest performers more work. To solve this issue, I have started working closely with these lower producing team members to prepare them for a larger workload."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the most difficult task for me as a manager is to lead everyone effectively when many of my team members work remotely. I like to make a connection with everyone, so I do send friendly check-in emails, for instance, to ensure that despite not being in a physical office, they are a valued part of the team."

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  3. 3.

    Why do you believe you will have success at this position?

      The interviewer wants to know why you feel you are the correct fit for this role. This question presents an excellent opportunity to highlight the skills you possess and show the interviewer that you are the best choice for the position. When positioning your response, be as specific as possible and highlight the benefit to the hiring company.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe I will be successful in this position because I am passionate about your organization's values and mission, which focuses on (discuss). I can see your vision and have already drafted ideas on how I can help the department and my new team achieve these goals. My organizational skills will be a major asset to you, and I also bring a strong track record of increasing sales and client retention (provide specific, measurable examples if you can)."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I will be successful in this position because I understand your business, and I will bring the level of organization that you require for this role. I have created a 30-day plan for getting the paperwork back on track. In addition to this, I have experience in accounts receivable and am prepared to support your AR department."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I feel I would be successful in this position because I’m passionate about where we are headed as a company. I want to play a bigger role in rebuilding trust and bring the company back to prominence With my experience in coaching and motivating team members for years along with my organizational skills, I feel I’m equipped to be successful in this role."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You do a fantastic job making your case! It's wonderful that you want to support company goals while building up other team members. Any interviewer should appreciate your positive approach.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "As a person who can learn new products and technologies on my own, I believe I will be able to transition into this position quickly. My entire career has been focused on customer service, which is what this team's function is. I believe I will be able to take the skills that I learned and help lead a team to deliver the highest level of support to your customers. Lastly, on a personal level, to support people who are saving other's lives would be extremely rewarding."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your response is well rounded and enthusiastic - all factors that should make the interviewer very happy to hear.

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  4. 4.

    How many people did you supervise at your last position?

      The interviewer would like to know more about the supervisory responsibilities you are accustomed to taking on. Discuss the largest number of people you have managed, and provide details of your leadership style and your success as a leader.

      This question is also a great opportunity to ask the interviewer how many people you would be managing in this role. If there is a significant responsibility increase in this role, from what you are used to, be prepared to overcome any concerns by describing how your leadership experience has prepared you to succeed in this position.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I am supervising 12 employees with an overall portfolio responsibility of $24MM. While working for Company XYZ, I managed 23 employees with a smaller portfolio of $6MM. I can handle supervising a large range of employees and overseeing large budgets. Could you share with me the size of the team I would be leading in this particular role?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an executive assistant to the president, I look after the EA to the VP as well as the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable person. I also lead large teams of volunteers on the weekends, as I am the local soup kitchen volunteer coordinator. I know how to distribute tasks very well and delegate according to the strengths of others."

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  5. 5.

    As a manager, who has been your greatest influence?

      The interviewer wants to discuss some of the main influences you have had in your management career. Discuss who you admire and who you desire to emulate in your management approach. Many intelligent and inspiring thought leaders are available to teach you about leadership, workplace culture, people management and shape your management style. Describe a person that has defined what kind of leader you wish to be.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The greatest influence in my career has been one of my professors from ABC university. Mr. Smith was my professor in Business Ethics, and I connected well with his teaching style. Even after graduating university, we kept in touch, and he has greatly influenced my coaching, teaching, and leadership style."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The greatest influence in my career is the executive whom I currently support. He gave me a chance and employed me, even when I had minimal administrative experience and had come fresh out of school. I have worked very hard for him for 10 years. In turn, he has taught me a great deal about business and mindful leadership."

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  6. 6.

    How do you successfully motivate your team?

      Motivated employees are productive employees. Talk to the interviewer about ensuring that your team is feeling motivated and being as productive as possible. You can successfully motivate a team by providing them with autonomy, showing interest in their ideas, and encouraging collaboration in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My formula for a motivated team is to get to know them, uncover what they are passionate about, and find out how they like to be recognized. If I can provide my team with proper recognition, tasks that they enjoy and feel they are good at - then they will perform as motivated employees."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Motivating my team to do well is one of my greatest joys. I put incentives in place that recognize a job well done. At the same time, I do not punish failures. Everybody makes mistakes, so I focus on the lesson rather than the mistake. I encourage the individual to try again and use the situation as an opportunity to strengthen a related skill set."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "To better help me motive my team, I have done what I call a core value exercise that causes them to pick their top 6, then top 4, then top 2 core values that they find to be most important to them. This allows me to adjust my approach to them when coaching opportunities come up by hitting on these values."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Very interesting approach! Can you cite a specific example of a time when this approach worked exceptionally well?

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all that works with one person do not necessarily work for all. However, I try to give clear objectives; I empower and expose them to leadership. I listen, and I make sure they know I have their back. I give them positive feedback and acknowledge effort as much as acknowledge success."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Great! Your leadership skills shine! Be sure, in the end, to offer a qualifying statement. The interviewer will want assurance that your approach has seen great success.

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  7. 7.

    What personality traits do you look for in people you are hiring?

      If this management position requires you to attract new talent and make hiring decisions, you must know how to make a good hire! The interviewer wants to know which qualities you value the most when hiring new team members.

      Many people will respond to this question by saying they look for a 'positive personality' or candidates who are 'honest' and 'enthusiastic.' Challenge yourself to stand apart from the rest by providing a more thoughtful answer. Show the interviewer that you understand which qualities would work best for their organizational values and company mission.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I am hiring, I look for individuals with grit and drive. People who have a record of fighting through tough times rather than giving up tend to be the best employees. They are usually loyal and often willing to go the extra mile without being asked."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Administration work is often done solo; however, it also requires collaborating with other departments, sharing ideas, and supporting leaders. When hiring new administrative candidates, I look for evidence they are self-driven while also being collaborative."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "positive, work ethics and honesty, Team player, result-oriented, coachable"

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good start! Next, can you explain why you believe these personality traits to be so important? How would these personality traits fit in with the hiring company? Lastly, do you possess these traits yourself? Be sure to address all points in your response.

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  8. 8.

    What type of goals do you like to set for yourself and your team?

      The interviewer wants to know more about your approach to goal-setting. What types of goals are you most keen on setting for your employees? Talk to the interviewer about the kinds of goals you find most important to ensure your team is successful.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I put my team's goals into three categories: financial targets, client acquisition rates, and professional growth plans. Financial targets focus on their commercial sales targets for the quarter. Client acquisition rates are the number of new client relationships that they generate. Professional growth plans focus on growing their knowledge base and confidence in a business topic of their choice."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I like to set goals related to current projects and future projects. It's important, as an administrator, not to remain focused solely on the tasks in front of our noses. We also need to prepare for shifts in the business that may occur in the short or long-term future."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I like to give my team small goals that they can complete in a short amount of time that will add up to a larger purpose. I find that this will keep more people motivated as they will continue to reach goals over and over, keeping them more engaged. As the leader of the team, I have to be more focused on the future and make sure what we are doing today will allow us to succeeded six months or a year down the road."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a fantastic approach to goal setting - well done! It seems you have a strong ability to look at the short and long-term picture simultaneously.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I like to set goals aligned with the company and department objective. My objective is to improve internal customer satisfaction, profitability improvement, and collaboration ( subgroup projects)."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are great goals to have! Be sure that the points you mention align very well with the targets and/or pain points of the hiring company.

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  9. 9.

    As a manager, what is your greatest weakness?

      Everyone has their weaknesses -- and that is okay! Talk to the hiring manager about what you feel you could work on the most and what you are doing about it. Avoid discussing a weakness that could be detrimental to you securing the position.

      When discussing your weakness, genuine vulnerability is essential, but be sure to include what you are doing to improve on the weakness. The interviewer wants you to be honest about your shortcomings. At the same time, they want to see that you are proactive and dedicated to professional growth. It's important to maintain a positive tone, show confidence, and display a desire for growth.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a manager, I feel that my greatest weakness is in terminating employees at the first sign that they are not going to work out. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and have been guilty of nurturing people when they are overdue for termination. I have worked on this by reading books on leadership. I also found an employee termination sourcebook on Amazon that has been beneficial. As a result, I have become much better at holding tough conversations and standing my ground in a way that is empathetic yet delivers my important message at the same time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am currently working on building a better understanding of the goals of my administrative team. Once I fully understand what drives each individual in the workplace, I can teach each of them a few methods to develop their skills and knowledge base. This approach will also allow me to delegate more confidently."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "Since all of my team members work remotely, I tend not to delegate simple tasks that they could complete from home. I just take it upon myself and finish the job. In the last year, we have gotten Microsoft office 365, and this has made it much easier for me to delegate some of these tasks that I would have not in the past and allow my team more opportunity to grow."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This would be a challenge for sure, delegating when your team is remote. It's wonderful that you were able to leverage 365 in such an impactful way.

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  10. 10.

    Tell me about a situation in which you had to lead a team member who did not like you.

      When working in a management role, you might come across an employee who does not like your personality or appreciates your management style. This situation does not mean you have failed as a manager. It could simply mean that personalities are clashing or the team member has not yet bought into your vision. The interviewer wants to know that you can handle this type of conflict correctly and find ways to motivate this person, keep them engaged in their work and perhaps even learn to enjoy working with you. This question is phrased as 'Tell me about...,' which means that the interviewer expects a specific story-based example.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I first started in my current role, I was replacing a very beloved manager who had retired. The team that I inherited was not happy about the change, and they initially set out to give me a hard time. I addressed the situation within the first week, acknowledging that I had big shoes to fill. I believe that the team respected this honest approach. Over the course of a couple of weeks, the team came as they realized that I had their best interest at heart."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I worked as a temporary administrative assistant, I did not always jive with the head administrator. Because I was in a temp role, I felt overlooked or was sometimes treated poorly. Regardless, I did my work to the best of my ability because I wanted to keep a good reputation with my agency. I don't need everyone to like me, but I do need to deliver great work while feeling respected in the workplace."

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  11. 11.

    As a manager, how have you built successful teams in the past?

      You know that proper teamwork is essential for your team to succeed. Accomplishing this takes careful planning and team member selection. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to build exceptional teams. Discuss the characteristics you look for when building an impactful team and your overall formula for success.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have built many successful teams throughout my management career. I have found that the most important factor is to create a personal connection with each team member and create a way for each one to feel a connection to our overall goal. When everyone feels invested in the result, they will be an active and involved part of the group, leading us all to success."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I build successful teams by showing everyone that their ideas are welcome and valued. When people feel like important contributors, they are more likely to exceed expectations."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I believe getting everyone to understand that we are all on the same team, and we will support everyone to the best of our abilities - has played a big part in my current team's success. If people have something going on at home, they know someone will cover for them. If they make a warranty decision they know that their team and supervisor is going to have their back."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This sounds like a perfect team environment and a very cohesive way of working together. It may also be helpful to speak about the state of the team when you took over, and how it's improved under your leadership.

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  12. 12.

    What type of employees do you find difficult to manage?

      As a manager, you will be required to lead a great variety of personality types. The interviewer wants to have confidence that you can lead various individuals, regardless of their personality or a difference of opinion. Discuss with the interviewer the type of personalities that you find most challenging to manage and why. Be sure to provide the interviewer with your solution to these challenges and show your competence in handling various personalities and work styles.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I find it most challenging to lead individuals who are not self-motivated. When a person has low ambition, it takes targeted tactics to build their enthusiasm on the job. As a manager, I can do a few things to encourage participation. These actions include getting to know each team member on an individual basis. Once I know what motivates them outside of work, I can typically personalize my in-office motivational approach. I put in the effort to identify their needs as individuals and then speak to those needs to boost their motivation levels. If the employee does not want to change, I cannot force the change. However, I will do what I can to make sure they feel satisfied on the job and want to perform for their team and their company."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have come across administrators who are disinterested with their job or the company. What I have found most challenging is that they will continue doing the bare minimum at work rather than voice a desire for change or additional opportunities. To address situations like this, I do what I can to let the person choose some of their tasks and projects. I have found that when I give a person more control over their work, they are more likely to take responsibility and put enthusiasm into their work."

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  13. 13.

    What do you think our company's biggest challenge is? How will you help with this need as our manager?

      The way you respond to this question will reveal to the interviewer how much (or little!) pre-interview research you have performed on the role, the company, and the goals of the organization. After some due diligence, you should be able to target some needs or pain points of the organization and identify actions you can take to make a difference.

      This question presents an opportunity for you to stand out from other candidates by providing specific details of how you plan to make a positive impact when you are hired. Be as detailed as you can while expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet the company's needs by utilizing your greatest strengths and talents.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "After speaking with you further about this role and the immediate and future goals of the business, I believe the biggest challenge this company has faced is in hiring the right talent. I have a strong background in recruitment and management and feel strongly that I can assist with this hurdle. A company's success leans heavily on employing, training, and investing in the right team players. When we can optimize the talent attraction, hiring, and onboarding process, great things can happen, and Company ABC will see many underlying issues dissipate."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I have learned from our time together so far, Company ABC's biggest challenge has been the impact of its recent merger with Company XYZ. I understand that now is a great time to reorganize and reassess many internal processes. I am highly skilled in workflow improvements and system integrations and look forward to helping the company optimize productivity and boost profits by streamlining many critical processes."

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  14. 14.

    What do you believe is the biggest challenge you will face in this management position?

      Each new job you take will come with its own set of challenges. Even the most seasoned manager will face a unique set of challenges. The interviewer wants you to openly share what you believe will be the biggest initial challenge for you in this particular position.

      Draw from the job description and show that you have a solid understanding of the position requirements and the challenges you might face in this role. Customize your response to show that you understand the hiring company's needs. Discuss the most significant initial challenge you believe you will face. Then, focus on the actions you will take to meet these demands.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I realize that many teams see a slight decrease in performance after a change in management. My biggest initial challenge will be ensuring that we avoid a dip in productivity and team morale. To prevent this situation from occurring, I will get to know each team member and show that I value their contribution. I will ask questions like, 'What are your favorite things to work on?' and 'What have past leaders done that you want me to do, and don't want me to do?' or 'What do you do outside of work that is important to you?' These discovery questions will help me get to know the individual and understand how to motivate them to remain a productive part of the team as we face some change and transitions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "You mentioned that the previous Administration Manager was not an effective communicator. For that reason, I believe the biggest challenge will be reframing communication expectations with the existing team. To overcome this situation, I will ask each team member how they prefer to receive communication, feedback, and praise. I understand that the best motivations come from a sense of achievement, knowing that they have valuable responsibilities and opportunities for advancement and growth in their work. By recognizing these needs right away, I believe I will overcome this challenge quickly."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "The biggest challenge I will have in this role is learning all the different products that we are servicing. In my spare time, I have been getting myself familiar with all the different parts of the instruments division. Once in this role, I would like to spend time with people on the phones so that I can learn more from the experts."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Fantastic work; getting yourself prepared ahead of time. This initiative should be well-received by the hiring authorities.

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  15. 15.

    Tell me about a critical decision you have made that greatly affected your team's performance.

      The interviewer would like to know more about your ability to make critical decisions on behalf of your team. As a manager, you will sometimes be required to make tough decisions that will impact your entire team. Talk about a time you had to do so, including details of the outcome and how you recovered team morale.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Just last week, I decided to terminate one of our most popular team leads. This decision was difficult because the team liked this individual; however, his performance was poor. This action produced low morale for a few days until the team recovered enough to see that their productivity was increasing without the distraction this individual presented."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I put in a request to have my team members' desks moved closer to the accounts payable/accounts receivable department. We needed to improve communication between departments, and being stations on different floors was making the situation very challenging. With the request granted, we have seen a great improvement in cross-departmental communication."

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  16. 16.

    How do you evaluate success among your team members?

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  17. 17.

    Tell me about a time when you were effective at managing multiple projects at once.

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  18. 18.

    Have you ever had to fire an employee? What were the reasons for their termination?

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  19. 19.

    When have you made a mistake delegating tasks to your team members?

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  20. 20.

    How do you effectively delegate tasks to your employees?

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  21. 21.

    What would you do if an employee was not meeting their goals?

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  22. 22.

    Tell me about a situation in which your team began to unravel. How did you overcome the challenge and lead your team?

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  23. 23.

    What characteristics contribute to your success as a leader?

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  24. 24.

    Tell me about one of your worst supervisors you have had. What character flaws did they possess that made them a poor leader?

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  25. 25.

    What has made you ready for the responsibility of managing others?

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