Management Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Management was updated on April 10th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

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

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Management Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

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

      How to Answer

      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 for an Admin Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "While managing at Company XYZ, my cross-functional team was having a hard time sharing updates and communicating well by email. Our schedules were hectic, so we did not always have everyone present in our project update meetings. I decided to create a shared team workspace in Asana to share documents and update communications on the go. This introduction was not welcomed initially. My busy team members felt it was a burden to learn a new project management system. Regardless, I loved forward with the idea and provided Asana training for every team member. In the end, this new process helped the team's performance tremendously and bridged many communication gaps."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "As the Marketing Manager of Agency ABC, I worked with our Director to pivot the agency from a generalist approach to one that specialized in working within the food and beverage industry. Although 80% of our clients were already in that space, a few of our team members felt this change was not ideal. However, the leadership team felt by carving out a niche, we would gain further distinction in a saturated market. The plan worked, and our team is now busier than ever. We have increased our client base by 15% in just three months."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "Two of my team's most senior associates, with a combined 60 years in retail, were acting incredibly competitive with each other. Although competition is important, this situation reduced team morale as it was uncomfortable and isolating to the other team members. After months of trying to mediate between the two, I chose to terminate their employment due to being un-coachable. Even though I expected a dip in sales for a few weeks, we actually saw an increase! With the negativity removed, my other associates began to shine."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "With 3 states in my territory and 3 associates setting appointments, it would seem simple to divide tasks evenly; however, the team expressed dislike in how the territories were divided. So, a few months ago, I decided to try something new. No more divisions by state, but rather by OEM. I took the total number of dealerships in the 3 states, grouped them equally by size, and assigned them equally across reps. This decision boosted productivity and morale while decreasing client complaints."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I changed our classroom seating plan around a few weeks ago. The change might sound minor; however, altering the seating plans of best friends in Grade 3 is not a move that will go undisputed! The students did not like the change, but it has benefitted them by increasing concentration and helping them create new bonds with other classmates."

      Holly's Answer for an Industrial Engineer Interview

      "I left my previous position due to many reasons but mostly because I wanted to grow professionally and I wanted to have better opportunities. I don't believe my previous firm was capable of advancing me further as an engineer."

      3 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "A new hire's attendance had been a morale suck on the entire team. From his starting of the job, he came later, left early, and requested the privilege of work from home for various reasons. Most importantly I was disappointed with his project progress. So I tightened the attendance policy and project progress tracking to the whole team, with several coaching sessions with the new hire. It upped productivity and morale and was a good solution all around."

      Cindy's Answer

      Good! Ensuring that team morale is maintained is important. What was the decision that you made? Was it to coach the employee rather than terminate him/her? Why did you make this decision? What were the risks versus the rewards? Why was this a better decision than the alternative?

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      Anonymous Answer

      "• S: When I was the socials secretary for Bristol Hindu society, I oversaw the subcommittee made up of 7 freshers whose purpose was to run events for freshers. • T: Initially our meetings were held at the library, however, the energy felt quite formal. • A: I decided to hold meetings at my university house where the meetings became more free-flowing and natural. • R: The productivity of our meetings was greatly improved, and so did the bond of the team going forward."

      Cindy's Answer

      Nice example, and you explain the problem you identified, your solution, and the result very effectively.

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