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

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Management Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

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

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know about your personal experience with poor leadership. As a manager, it is essential that you can recognize poor leadership and learn from the experience rather than adopt poor habits. Discuss with the interviewer how you can identify a weak leader versus a talented one. This question is an opportunity to discuss lessons learned, so be sure to avoid naming people specifically and degrading them professionally.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I was just 15, I took a job as a salesperson in an athletic shoe store. The manager we had was not well trained and thought he needed to demand respect to be a good leader. This attitude created high employee turnover and low productivity. Even though I was very young, I learned a great deal from this experience. As a leader, one should never demand respect but should earn it."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "Earlier in my career, I had a boss who yelled all day long. When he wasn't driving the office's mood down in person, he would send rude emails. It was like a situation out of a movie! This boss believed we respected him, but really we all feared him. I learned very early on in my career that a leader should be kind and approachable. Fear and respect are two very different things."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "We are all flawed, and that is the beauty of being human. One of the most challenging supervisors I have had was a person who always operated in a reactive mode. They could not anticipate change and solve problems before they manifested. This situation was difficult, but it grew my desire to be a proactive leader who could handle roadblocks with poise and grace."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I have not had a bad boss, but I did have a professor who was challenging. He was always late, would rarely hand assignments back in time, and left many students hanging. It was my first taste of relying on someone who never delivered. I operate completely differently than that - many thanks to this particular example I had early on."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "When I worked in a restaurant in high school, a new manager came in and seemed to think that to be taken seriously, she needed to be especially rough with the staff. I believe her tactic was intended to be hard at first, gain respect, then ease up. However, she was so off-putting that most of the staff quit. As a new manager now, I can appreciate her dilemma with being taken seriously. However, I quickly learned that being rude is not necessary. I believe there are efficient ways to gain the respect of my team while still letting my friendly personality shine."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I once worked with a new VP of Sales hired to bring clarity and unity to the team. He ended up being a busybody who was more interested in making friends than learning the industry and leading a successful team. This situation was frustrating as I felt it inhibited my growth potential as a salesperson. It seemed he was so busy making friends and being liked that he forgot his team members were looking to him for guidance and mentorship. This situation taught me always to be friendly and kind, but to be ready to lead my team and act as a mentor and influence rather than just a surface-level friend."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I have worked with many great teachers in my career; however, when I was first teaching, I was the TA for an educator who was ready to retire. She had one foot out the door, and everyone knew it. I did not appreciate her style because I felt that she should have retired and spared the kids that year of frustration if she was ready to go. I swore to myself that I would always remain engaged until the day I fully retire. My students deserve the best from me every day."

      2 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "We are all flawed, and that is the beauty of human dynamics. One of the worst supervisors I had, always operated in a reactive mode. They could not anticipate change and solve problems before they manifested. It made my desire to be a proactive leader difficult but shaped me into handling these types of situations better."

      Cindy's Answer

      Good. The positive finish is a good idea, but be a little more specific. What did the experience teach you?

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      Anonymous Answer

      "micromanaging /attitude not to listen to the team"

      Marcie's Answer

      Being micromanaged can be a very difficult experience. To strengthen your answer, talk about the manager you had who micromanaged you. Provide a story or two of times when they didn't listen to the team and how that negatively impacted everyone. Finish with a sentence that explains your management style in comparison.

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