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

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Management Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

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

      How to Answer

      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 for an Admin Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "In my last role, I led a team member with a work style very different from my own. This person was unwilling to make an effort to adapt to change, even when our company faced significant industry regulation changes. When the team should have been asking questions to learn about the regulation changes, this person showed a preference for doing things how they had 'always been done.' I was perceptive to the issue and approached this person in private. I asked them for their opinion on a few changes to understand their attitude and preferences. After taking this approach a few times, we developed a better working relationship. I believe this person wanted to feel important and that their industry experience was valued."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "Although I cannot recall anyone outright say they don't like me, I have butted heads with team members in the past. Generally speaking, these situations surround a difference of opinion on actions to take while approaching a client's project. For instance, I follow digital algorithms carefully, yet I have one team member who is more 'old school' and doesn't value some of our reports. We have learned to work with each other very well. Although we may disagree at times, it's always with respect and never disruptive to the overall team environment."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "When promoted to Retail Manager of my current department, I was the youngest on the team. This age factor made my promotion unpopular news. It seemed they thought they could treat me as though I were their daughter rather than their leader. I quickly made it clear that while I respect their experience, I would not accept condescending treatment. I approached the conversation with confidence and respect while emphasizing how important their expertise was to me. I explained the company's goals for our team and outlined how they could contribute and ensure we reached those goals. Since this conversation, the team has been a delight to lead, and I feel they respect my input as an individual, regardless of my age."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I'm all about openly tackling a problem when I see it so that issues can come to a quick resolution. This approach doesn't go over well with the lower-achievers on my team hoping to skate by and do the bare minimum. For instance, last week, I heard a team member mocking my approach to another employee after a team meeting discussing low productivity. I strive to maintain a cohesive, collaborative environment for the people on my team who want to achieve great things. So, I spoke with the employee in private. I let them know that I overhead them mocking me, and I wrote them up formally. I allowed for an explanation, and we discussed behavior expectations and professionalism in the workplace. By taking control of the situation right away, I feel that I gained some respect from the employee while also expressing that their behavior would not be tolerated again."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I am used to students not always liking me, and I am realistic to believe that I cannot win everyone over. Situations of dislike do not sway me or impact my teaching style. As far as my colleagues, I do not always get along famously with everyone at all times, but we all respect each other despite differences in our teaching style."

      Sue's Answer for an Editor Interview

      "Honestly, I haven't had a lot of negative experiences working on a team. In the past, I experienced a new manager or team member who struggled slightly to adjust to our team dynamics and organizational culture. Still, I've found that talking to them privately and taking advantage of informal opportunities to connect them with our different team members has always eased those transitions."

      Heather's Answer for an Addiction Nurse Interview

      "As an addiction nurse, I realize my care is crucial in patient outcomes. This is stressful, but I always try to compartmentalize my stress and channel it, in a healthy way. I have a strong support network and yoga is my 'go to' stress reliever, after a shift."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Daycare Worker Interview

      "I took the initiative to bring a recent criminal background check with me today. I understand that you are obligated to run a variety of checks on me, to which I am happy to comply."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "This is a loaded question. I come across with colleagues when there is a difference of opinion, especially with the seniors. one of the recent examples is the approach for test automation. one of my colleagues approach is to use a.net approach where we don't have the skillset and a 3rd part where our business will be only to run the business and test it data drive approach/long conversations."

      Marcie's Answer

      Avoid telling the interviewer that they are asking a loaded question as this might not go over well, depending on their level of humor. Also, consider clarifying how you come across to colleagues when there's a difference of opinion. No matter how you come across, be sure to focus on the positives. So, for example, if you come across as assertive and straightforward, discuss how you're aware of this and take steps to soften your approach but that these qualities also allow you to be a leader who others trust and understand.

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