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Assistant Manager Interview
Questions

30 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 30

Tell me about a time you provided honest feedback to a team member.

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Assistant Manager Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time you provided honest feedback to a team member.

      There is an art to giving honest feedback, and the interviewer would like to know that you are capable of this tedious task. Great feedback means that you are specific, you make the feedback actionable, and you have a clear timeline for change. Discuss any formal training you have received on giving feedback, or a book you have read on the topic. Perhaps you use a particular methodology that works every time!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When providing feedback, I like to use the 3x3 method, which I was trained on in my first management position. With this method, I offer up three strengths and three potential areas for development. I had a team member who was often late to work, or would call in sick. I let her know that she was well-liked by her coworkers. I told her that our clients complimented her customer service skills. I said I appreciated her willingness to help new hires. Then, I proceeded to let her know that her team felt disappointed, hurt, and lost trust in her whenever she would call in sick, leave early, or show up late to her shift. Together we worked on a 30-day perfect attendance plan. In the end, she did much better and, although her attendance was not perfect, it significantly improved."

  2. 2.

    How would your current or former co-workers describe your management style?

      This question is not referring to your personality or character as much as it's asking about your methodology and approach to management. Talk to the interviewer about your day-to-day approach to managing people, projects, communicating expectations, and collaborating with others.

      Difference management styles include:

      - Collaborative
      - Well-Planned
      - Speedy
      - Flexible or Adaptive
      - Independent
      - Company-focused
      - Team-based

      Talk to the interviewer about what you honestly feel your team would say about your management style. Describe your strong points and even a shortcoming when it comes to your management skills. To successfully deliver your response, show that you are confident in your approach, while also showing a desire to continually improve.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I often ask my team members for feedback on my leadership skills. The points that consistently come up are that I am a clear communicator and that I am approachable. One thing that I could work on is my ability to be more concise in my direction, but I have been working on that factor. I've been reading a leadership book called 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman, and feel that I have improved significantly from the advice in this book."

  3. 3.

    What qualities do you look for when hiring new team members?

      As an Assistant Manager, you may have hiring responsibilities. Depending on the structure of the hiring company you might sit in on interviews, sort through resumes, or give your opinion on the suitability of hires, alongside your manager or HR team. The interviewer would like to know more about the type of employees that you tend to hire or lean towards. Detail the characteristics and personality types that you look for and why you have a preference for these qualities. Think of the attributes that are most valuable for a team to possess, specifically in the industry of the hiring company.

      These qualities may include:

      - Trustworthiness
      - Accountability
      - Commitment
      - Results-focused
      - Respect for others

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I help my manager filter for the best candidates, I look for individuals with drive and a proven history of achieving goals. People who have a record of achievement tend to be the best employees in our retail environment. They are often more loyal and are willing to go the extra mile without being asked."

  4. 4.

    Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.

      The interviewer wants to know how you directly added to your most recent team. The way you answer this question will show the pride you take in your work, and it will reveal what you value as an accomplishment. Talk about a specific time that you achieved an important goal in a team setting. Discuss how you went above and beyond to ensure that your contribution made a difference.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Last month our company asked the management team to complete a full inventory audit. There were four managers in total so we broke the audit requirements into shifts. These shifts had to take place when the warehouse was not in its daily operations. In the end, there was one additional shift that nobody wanted to take. I volunteered myself to do that shift to show my dedication to my job and my co-workers. The gesture was appreciated, and we completed the audit on time."

  5. 5.

    As a leader, how do you show your team the importance of communication in the workplace?

      Telling the interviewer that you are a good communicator and leader is much less effective than showing them. For this reason, it's a good idea to bring up specific examples of when your communication style has made a positive impact on your team. Discuss how you put communication into action in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I show my co-workers the importance of communication through my willingness to ask questions if I do not understand the first time. I do not pretend to know something to save face. By creating an environment where questions are encouraged, we have increased communication greatly and have seen our customer satisfaction rates go up by 15% over the last month. I believe this is because our team is more knowledgeable of our products now and they feel free to ask any questions."

  6. 6.

    What do you know about our company?

      The interviewer would like to know how much time you have spent researching their organization before coming into your interview. Take the time to dig deep into the company's history and successes. Just reading their Wikipedia page may not be enough. You should also Google search their company and look for awards or other exciting accolades to mention. Check out the company's LinkedIn page and preview some of their leadership team on the platform as well. When you visit the company's website, be sure to comb through their values, mission, and blog if that information is available.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While preparing for this interview, I did a great deal of research and learned quite a bit about the company. I understand this company is an industry leader due to its leadership team and the innovative advancements its introduced. I noted that the company's market share increased by 20% last year and that it is forecasting sales to grow by 10% this year. Glassdoor rates the organization as one of the best companies to work for in this area. The employees I spoke with rave about the work environment and how the company allow individuals to perform at their best while providing them the resources they need to achieve their goals. This is exactly the type of company I would like to work for."

  7. 7.

    How do you handle the pressure of holding a management role? Give me an example of when you have succeeded under stress and pressure.

      As an Assistant Manager, you will find yourself in situations that cause stress or pressure. These situations could include last-minute deadlines, unexpected roadblocks, human resources issues, customer disputes, and more. Your ability to manage stress will directly influence your ability to do your job successfully and be a good example to the team members you lead.

      The interviewer is asking for a specific example of a time when you have succeeded under stress and pressure. By providing a real-life story-based example, you allow the interviewer to imagine your approach in action. Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an Assistant Manager, I fully expect to be put into stressful situations and can professionally handle a broad scope of pressure. I remain calm when facing a stressful situation and look for ways to solve the issue swiftly. For instance, I recently encountered a customer dispute. My team member was feeling flustered, and, as the manager on the floor at that time, I needed to step in. I quickly diffused the issue by asking the customer what they needed to solve the problem. This question made the customer feel listened to and important and often solves the core issue. The situation was resolved, and my team member thanked me for being so great with unruly customers. I also took the opportunity to train this person on my favorite method for dispute resolution. I am always ready to adjust my day because stressful situations are bound to occur when working in a service-based industry."

  8. 8.

    What do your team members think of you as an Assistant Manager?

      It is important to be aware, and honest, about your strong points and shortcomings when it comes to your leadership skills. Talk to the interviewer about what you honestly feel your team would say about your leadership skills.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I often ask my team members for feedback on my leadership skills. The points that consistently come up are that I am a clear communicator and that I am approachable. One thing that I could work on would be my ability to be more concise in my direction but I have been working on that and feel that I have improved significantly. "

  9. 9.

    Tell me about a time there was a serious conflict with your team. How did you resolve it?

      When cooperating with groups of people from different backgrounds with various work styles, conflict can arise. You want to give the interviewer a sense of how you handle issues around conflict, and providing a story-based example is an effective way to achieve this goal. Think of an example of when your team experienced a conflict. Explain what happened and how you helped the team come to a resolution. This example should show how you took initiative to solve an immediate problem and prevent a greater issue that could have impacted your team and employer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Last month, two of my team members were in a feud over a POS process that they were both misinterpreting. Normally, I do not get involved in the smaller conflicts as I believe that grown adults can iron things out without mediation, for the most part. This event was different. I called a meeting between the three of us and let them know they were both incorrect. They were a bit embarrassed about the whole event and allowed me to re-train them in the process, the correct way."

  10. 10.

    What type of employees do you find difficult to manage?

      As an Assistant Manager, you will be required to lead a great variety of personality types. The type of employees that you find challenging to manage may also reveal to the interviewer your leadership-related weaknesses. Discuss with the interviewer the types of personalities that you find most challenging to manage and why.

      Maintain a positive tone, and avoid pointing out a specific person or naming anyone. This question is not an opportunity to vent about a co-worker. Rather, think of a personality that you find challenging to lead. Then, focus the bulk of your response on the actions you are taking to improve your ability to manage this type of individual.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I find it most challenging to lead individuals who are not self-motivated. As a person in a leadership role, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that my team members are successful, but I cannot force them to want to exceed their goals. The key point is that I am actively working to improve in this area of leadership. I recently started reading 'Managing Difficult People, A Survival Guide for Handling Any Employee' by Marilyn Pincus. It's been a valuable read as she covers all types of challenging personalities, including The Bully, The Complainer or Whiner, The Procrastinator, The Know-It-All, The Silent Type, The Social Butterfly, The 'No People Skills' Person, The Rookie, The Overly Sensitive Person, and The Manipulator. I think every leader should read this one."

  11. 11.

    As an Assistant Manager, how do you successfully motivate your team on the toughest days?

      Motivated employees are productive employees. Even on the most challenging days, it's important to know how your team operates and how to tap into their motivation. Talk to the interviewer about how you ensure that your team is feeling motivated and being as productive as possible, even when the situation isn't ideal.

      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 personally like to be recognized. If I am able to provide them with proper recognition, tasks that they enjoy and feel they are good at - then they will perform as motivated employees."

  12. 12.

    Do you have flexibility in your work schedule? How often do you pick up shifts to help your team?

      Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the expectations of the role. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking what the scheduling expectations are for the position. If you are expected to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations without burning out.

      If it turns out the schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you can offer and see if you can negotiate expectations. It's much better to discuss expectations earlier on in the interview stage than after accepting a job with a schedule that won't work for you.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that management roles can require long hours, and am open to providing flexibility as needed. I am available to take shifts between 8 AM and 8 PM. As extenuating circumstances arise, I will certainly offer more flexibility to ensure that the team succeeds and feels supported."

  13. 13.

    Name an area you believe you could improve on as an Assistant Manager.

      The interviewer would like to know in which ways you seek to improve yourself as a leader. This question is another way of asking 'What is your greatest weakness.' Self-improvement is required by everyone, no matter what stage we are in, in life and career. Talk to the interviewer about something that you would improve about your management approach, and what you are planning to do to achieve this goal.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "At times, I can get tunnel vision while working. I am very focused on my work and completing all of my tasks ahead of schedule. However, it isn't always possible to do so, especially when my team needs to me pivot without notice. To improve, I am learning how to prioritize and use daily to-do lists to keep track of my duties. Using this approach, I can maximize my time while also being more flexible to address unforeseen circumstances."

  14. 14.

    How many people did you help supervise in your last position?

      The interviewer would like to understand better your level of responsibility in your current and previous leadership roles. Share these details and be sure to include the job titles of the people you led to help the interviewer gain a clearer understanding of your management experiences.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I am supervising 24 employees with an overall sales target responsibility of $150,000 per month. When I was the Assistant Manager for Company XYZ, I managed 12 retail employees plus a few stockers. I can handle a large range of employees ranging in responsibility. I understand that this position requires overseeing a team of 30 with a larger sales budget and rapid inventory turnover. I am ready for advanced responsibilities and look forward to growing a variety of management skills."

  15. 15.

    Where do you see your career one year from now?

      This question is a short variation of the typical interview question that asks where you want to be in 5 years. Instead, the interviewer is asking more for the short-term. Discuss your career plans, goals, and how those fit with what this company is offering. Describe your passion for this opportunity, and what you hope to achieve over the next year and onward.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I am fortunate enough to be hired for this Assistant Manager role, my goal in the first year is to learn as much as possible about our clients as well as the technical components of the products offered at Company ABC. I plan to be learning and growing, caring for customers, and contributing to my team in a valuable way. I have been building my leadership skills for the last three years and am thrilled to be interviewing for this Assistant Manager opportunity."

  16. 16.

    What type of team members do you dislike working with?

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  17. 17.

    What is your greatest strength as a leader?

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  18. 18.

    How would you handle a rude customer?

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  19. 19.

    Tell me about the last customer service skill you learned.

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  20. 20.

    Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated tasks.

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  21. 21.

    As an Assistant Manager, what is your greatest weakness?

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  22. 22.

    Are you prepared to meet the responsibilities of this Assistant Manager role?

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  23. 23.

    What characteristics or skills have contributed towards your success as a leader?

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  24. 24.

    Tell me about an error you made at work because of a breakdown in communication. How did you recover from the situation?

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  25. 25.

    Tell me about your greatest work-related accomplishment.

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  26. 26.

    Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond workplace expectations.

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  27. 27.

    Have you ever had to enforce a company policy that you disagreed with?

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  28. 28.

    Why are you seeking to leave your current position?

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  29. 29.

    Do you have experience in corrective discipline and terminations?

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  30. 30.

    What qualifies you to become our Assistant Manager?

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