MockQuestions

Manager Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Manager interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Manager was written by and updated on August 8th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Tell me about a cost-cutting initiative you created at your last position. Was it effective?

How to Answer

Many management roles also require budgetary responsibilities, and the interviewer would like to know that you take finance-related responsibilities seriously. Maybe you actively look for ways to save your employer money. Perhaps you achieved cost-savings in the past by streamlining a process, minimizing the need to hire by doubling up on tasks, or procuring the best price from vendors. Be sure to include a tangible result, success, or achievement, when giving your reply.

Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

Next Question

30 Manager Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. Tell me about a cost-cutting initiative you created at your last position. Was it effective?

      How to Answer

      Many management roles also require budgetary responsibilities, and the interviewer would like to know that you take finance-related responsibilities seriously. Maybe you actively look for ways to save your employer money. Perhaps you achieved cost-savings in the past by streamlining a process, minimizing the need to hire by doubling up on tasks, or procuring the best price from vendors. Be sure to include a tangible result, success, or achievement, when giving your reply.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "While working for Company XYZ, I worked very hard to wear many hats so that my employer did not have to hire out certain tasks. For example, I offered to manage the social media accounts because I am good with that. As the Assistant Manager, it wasn't in my job description, but I knew I could do it, so I offered."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current position, I changed vendors for a few products and supplies because they were offering a better price. With some, I negotiated better interest rates and asked our service providers to be more competitive. In the first year of joining Company ABC, my cost-saving actions saved them just under $60K."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Experienced

      "I saved my previous company nearly $1M over two years by sourcing a new production partner from China. They offered the same great product at a much more competitive price and also offered drop-shipping on a number of products. I love to seek out new opportunities to present cost-savings to my employer."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I had a rep that was using more travel budget than any other person on my team, and it was determined that she was not booking through our travel center. After speaking with her, I learned that she didn't like to stay at chain hotels, and her airline bookings were scheduled for off-hours that dramatically increased pricing. When I showed her how much more money she was spending than the rest of the team and how much time she could save by delegating her travel plans. This effectively cut costs by more than 50% the next quarter, and it was never a problem again!"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This example shows your keen eye for detail and the fact that you have a thumb on the beat of everything around you (what your team is doing). Great solution!

  • Behavioral

    2. How would you handle a rude customer?

      How to Answer

      When you work as a Manager, your duties may also include customer service responsibilities. When working in a service-based role, you might come across rude or disgruntled customers now and then. The interviewer wants to know that you can handle such a situation with professionalism. Give an example of a time that you had to deal with a rude customer. Discuss what you did and how you came to a positive resolution.

      Some methods for efficiently handling a rude customer:

      - Remain kind, polite, and pleasant
      - Actively listen to their grievances
      - Apologize for the situation
      - Maintain a neutral tone of voice
      - Avoid taking anything they say, personally

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "When I was working as a Bar Manager, I handled many rude customers who were also intoxicated, which always adds a challenging twist! I made sure to let anything rude they said slide off my back like it was nothing. I just kept smiling and doing my job! I still handle rude customers this way. Smile, and move on, disallowing any hurt feelings. As a Manager, I train my team members in this same approach. Proper dispute resolution is an essential skill for any manager to have, and one that I've worked hard to achieve."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "WITH A SMILE AND CARE FOR WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! Being friendly and identifying the customer's issue so you can promptly resolve it are both good ways to handle someone who is rude. You might also discuss how you strive to be empathetic and an active listener, in addition to remaining calm, offering apologies, and setting a time to follow up with the customer if you need to first check with someone else about a solution.

  • Behavioral

    3. Tell me about a manager you have had in the past and how you have modeled your behavior after them?

      How to Answer

      We have all had managers that we have enjoyed and others - not so much. Discuss with the interviewer one particular manager that stands out to you. Talk about what made them a memorable leader. You can also mention what you learned from this person and any methods that you continue to apply in your management career. Keep your response positive. This question is not the time to pick anyone apart or complain about past leaders.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "The manager that I had when working my way through University was a flexible person who trusted his team unless we showed him otherwise. I plan to take that approach in my first leadership experience. I will show my team trust, and give them autonomy - along with a clear direction. I believe this is the best way to see what your team can accomplish."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I have had some effective managers in the past, including my current district supervisor. She takes a true interest in my team and me and offers continued education opportunities when she sees an opening to push someone's talent and career a little bit further. I take this approach with my team now - showing them that I care about their career growth and trajectory."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Experienced

      "A few years ago, I had a manager who was possibly the most thorough and clear communicator I have ever met. She relayed expectations clearly, which made us all want to deliver our best and most thorough work. I emulate her communication style as much as possible, and my current team responds well to it."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I had a very intuitive manager and hands-off. She was also very observant and gave honest and balanced feedback. She understood the market and my customers and was a very solution-oriented person. As a person who relies on intuition, I realize that I can't base every decision on how I feel about the situation, so I do my best to balance that with focusing on data as well."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This person sounds like an excellent manager who taught you a lot! Nice response.

  • Behavioral

    4. When has another manager criticized your work? How did you respond?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to see that you can handle criticism and feedback professionally and productively. Nobody wants to hire a manager that believes they are perfect and have all the answers. Tell the interviewer about a time when your work was criticized and describe how you reacted. Then, describe how you implemented changes to address the feedback. Perhaps you asked for further coaching. Maybe you took the criticism to heart and took a course or workshop to improve in that area.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I recently had my manager criticize my approach in pre-screen interviews. He thought that I should ask tougher questions from the get-go to better screen out. We have many applicants per job posting, so this feedback made a lot of sense to me. I have researched challenging phone interview questions and now mix them in with my usual question set."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have found that what most folks believe to be feedback can appear to be criticism, and that is because the person giving it isn't skilled in delivering honest and balanced feedback. I had a fellow manager tell me that I rambled on too long during a conference call, and while it was terrible to hear, he was correct! Instead of getting angry with him, I began to study how to become a better communicator. I joined Toastmasters, and it's been the best career decision I've ever made. That manager still blurts out what he thinks all the time, but I don't ramble anymore."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      The last sentence made me chuckle. Of course he does! Ha. The fact that you so intelligently carve out the difference between feedback and criticism is a great added touch to this answer.

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  • Compatibility

    5. What type of team members do you dislike working with?

      How to Answer

      Think about the type of team members you dislike working with and think of the kind of team members you really enjoy working with. Frame your answer in a positive way rather than taking this question as a chance to complain about your current or previous team members. Highlight for the interviewer that you can adapt and act as a leader - perhaps even helping your team member change their ways and learn to work more collaboratively. Be sure to show the interviewer that you don't let challenging individuals get you down!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Not showing interest and not working hard to produce the required results.

      Employees that cause problems to others and adversely affect the team's performance.

      Both could be addressed with one on one meetings."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are both good reasons to dislike working with someone. It's also great that you provide a solution to potentially remedy these issues. How did you discover that these traits irk you? Giving more details will make your response even stronger. Great job!

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  • Compatibility

    6. What do you expect from your own manager?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know the expectations that you are going to have with your manager, should you join their organization. Be clear on how you are best motivated, the style of communication you like, and how you prefer expectations to be laid out.

      Some expectations you may have of your manager:

      - Mutual respect
      - Consistent communication of expectations
      - Clear targets and goals
      - Regular check-ins
      - Frequent opportunities for continued education
      - Regular mentorship and coaching
      - Camaraderie when it comes to the company goal
      - Support when tackling challenging employee-related issues

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I would like to work for a manager who is consistent and respectful in their communication. When I know the expectations at hand, I deliver my best work!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Clarity. Honesty. Fairness."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great words to choose as they are memorable and not part of the 'most common ' descriptive words that many candidates choose. Be prepared to expand on these a bit as well.

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  • Compatibility

    7. For you, what is the most difficult aspect of leading employees?

      How to Answer

      This question is another way of asking about your weaknesses. The interviewer wants to learn more about who you are, as a leader. Every Manager has an aspect of their role that is challenging for them. Share one aspect of leadership that you find most challenging, and why. Your example may be something that pushes you emotionally. It may be a hard skill that does not come to you easily. Feel free to share what you struggle with, and be sure to talk about the actions you are taking to improve in this area of leadership.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe that, initially, the most difficult aspect of leading a team will be getting to know the variety of personalities present and how to motivate them individually and as a team. I have been reading many resources on leading and managing various personalities and will be ready to apply a few techniques right away."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The most difficult aspect of leading employees is when a company is undergoing radical organizational changes. For instance, a company I worked with decided to demote every district sales trainer overnight, which caused a great deal of stress and uncertainty. It was a clear sign that the company was intending to lose employees by attrition, and I wasn't prepared for that. Many sales reps from other districts called me to ask for advice, and the best I could come up with was to look to leadership books from John Maxwell and Tony Robbins. While I am an optimist, I am also a realist, and this situation was a clear indication that we all needed to reexamine our values and priorities and make a bold decision to stay or move on in our careers."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You provided excellent leadership in a tough situation, which the interviewer will be happy to see. You also stuck by the company by not panicking, but rather challenging your team to put time into professional/personal development.

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  • Compatibility

    8. Describe how you like to train new employees.

      How to Answer

      As a Manager, you likely have a method for onboarding and training new employees. Discuss how you ensure that your new employees are on-boarded correctly and how you set them up for success. If you have a recent story-based example that you can tell, this is a highly engaging addition to consider.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "When I am in charge of training new employees for the first time, my style will emulate the style of onboarding that I have received in my current role. This onboarding included a great mix of reading and research, hands-on work, and job shadowing. This all-encompassing training method ensured a successful start."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I like to set them up for success. I give them all the tools they need to study and learn their product and set up expectations about corporate training. When they return from training, we analyze the sales data and come up with a business plan together. Training is ongoing on my team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's good that you mention the fact that training is ongoing. It sounds like you genuinely care about your employees and setting them up for success.

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  • Competency

    9. Rate your management skills from 1 to 10 with 10 representing excellent management skills. Why did you choose that rating?

      How to Answer

      If you are responsible for rating your skills, chances are, you will lean more on the modest side of a 1 to 10 scale versus overselling yourself. On a scale of 1 to 10, discuss how skilled you are in managing a business or others. Avoid giving yourself a rating of 10/10. Nobody is perfect, and you do not want to come across as overly confident or someone who has no room for feedback and improvement.

      Alternately, avoid giving yourself too little credit. You do not want to appear incapable when it comes to managing others. The best case is to remain in the 7.5 to 9 range while staying honest and accurate. Use an example of your excellent management skills in action to support your rating.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Despite my being new to a career in management, I would rate myself as a 7.5. I have done a deep dive into many management books lately to hone my team leadership skills and abilities. I strive to be an eager learner who will pass that knowledge on to my team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would rate myself 8/10, the reason being that I've had the opportunity to learn from functional managers. Not only that, but I have also taken leadership classes in college."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Mary H.

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Mary H. Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a great start. Consider adding what areas you are actively working to improve.

      "I would rate my management skills as 8/10. I studied leadership courses in college, and have had the opportunity to be mentored by excellent managers. There is always room for improvement, so I study current leadership and management trends and stay open to feedback and learning."

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  • Competency

    10. What immediate changes would you like to see, if you were hired for this management position?

      How to Answer

      If you apply for a promotion within your current organization, you may already know what changes you would like to make upon receiving this position. That is great! Share with the interviewer what you have observed while in your current job and the changes you want to see. Be sure to support your reasoning for making those changes and what benefit they will bring to the company.

      If you are applying for a position with a new company, it is essential to recognize that many interviewers fear bringing someone on board who will immediately make sweeping changes. Tell the interviewer that you plan to come on board and observe to gain an understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics while building a strong rapport with the staff. Explain that once you have a thorough understanding of the dynamics, you will decide what changes to suggest to your leadership team. Of course, you can mention that you will address any glaring issues or pain points immediately.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "If hired for this management position I would want to immediately assist you with the lack of systematic training that you mentioned earlier. I would be happy to start creating a system and training manual right away, and then implement the changes along with the help of senior management and the human resources team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "While I pride myself on being able to make quick decisions, as a newbie, I am not comfortable making a decision that will change a process until I have had at least fourteen days to study the situation."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fourteen days is very specific which, as an interviewer, would make me feel extra-confident in the fact that you have an onboarding plan in mind already :)

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  • Creative Thinking

    11. If you could buy any new skill what would it be?

      How to Answer

      This question is a hypothetical one, meant to show the interviewer what skill you would like to instantly possess if you could! This question is a creative way to ask about your biggest weaknesses, but it's disguised as a fun question. Your answer can be short and sweet, but if you want to turn the question into a more memorable conversation, you can certainly ask the interviewer this question in return. Of course, this approach should depend on the rapport you have with the interviewer and the overall vibe of the meeting.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "If I could buy any new skill, I would buy the knowledge that comes with many years' experience in Human Resources. I would love to have the most robust knowledge of employment regulations, and more. I love this question! If you could choose any skill, what would you choose?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "If the ability to clone myself were a skill, that's what I would do. I find that I have a tendency to be pulled in several directions at once, so I focus on prioritizing every day. I have discovered Time Blocking to be a useful tool to keep me on track and minimize the stress."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wow, what a unique answer! You have a way with words that make you a memorable candidate. Time blocking is also a fantastic practice. Great work - I have no doubt you'll nail this interview :)

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  • Critical Thinking

    12. How do you determine if your team is successful?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know how you determine whether your team is operating successfully or not. Discuss the methods that you use to gauge if your leadership style is working or not working. Be sure to mention the action you take, should you notice that your team is not operating as successfully as you would like.

      There are a variety of ways to measure success as a manager:

      - Employee engagement levels
      - The resignation rate of your highest performers
      - The number of promotions you or your team receive
      - Overall client feedback
      - Trends in bonus' or commission

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe the best indicator of team success would be the overall engagement level of the team members. If a significant number of team members are disinterested or have not bought into the overall team goal, they may not see enough reward or wins to keep them happy. How do you measure team success in your company?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Besides the apparent success of meeting sales goals, I believe a successful team is one that is cohesive and isn't afraid to take risks, and most learn from mistakes. When I get positive feedback from customers about my sales reps, I believe that is one of the most important indications of success."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These examples are very good measurements of success. Nice response.

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  • Diligence

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

      How to Answer

      Even if you get along really well with your employer, boss, or have a lot of respect for your company, there may be times where you don't agree with a policy. Think of a conflict or disagreement you had with your boss or company where you responded professionally. Maybe you suggested a great compromise. Perhaps, instead of taking a heated tone, you remained calm and relaxed while explaining your stance. Getting along well with others puts you in a favorable position because it shows your desire to collaborate and highlights your ability to problem solve and produce excellent results, despite a challenging situation.

      When asked a 'Have you ever...' style of question, it's important to remember that the interviewer is looking for a specific story-based example that highlights your behavior in challenging situations. Using the STAR interview method (an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result), you can more easily form a story-based response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, a few times. It is the healthy growth of the company which is most important to me. On occasion, when there was disagreement I did not feel displeasure, I simply followed what my supervisor has advised me to do and delegated the work accordingly to my team. Of course, the result despite many efforts by the team was a failure. So, I did my work and the boss realized his mistake and kept quiet. He stopped pushing his policies onto me later."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Can you provide more details that explain what the company policy was and why you disagreed with it? Right now your example is a bit vague; if you add more specifics, the interviewer will find it much more meaningful and memorable. Nice job!

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  • Direct

    14. Why are you seeking to leave your current position?

      How to Answer

      The hiring company needs assurance that this management role will meet your needs now, and in the long term. If you are employed and looking for a new opportunity, the interviewer will want to know how their job is different than the one you want to leave. Be transparent about your current situation, yet be careful not to overshare or speak negatively about your current employer or role. Focus primarily on your 'wish list' for your next job rather than dwell on what is wrong with your current position.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    15. Who is your favorite influencer in the management or leadership space?

      How to Answer

      There are many influencers in the leadership and management arena, and the interviewer would like to know who your favorite one is. An influencer is a famous individual who is often the pace-setter when it comes to change and ideas in your industry. They may be someone famous, an author, the host of a podcast that you listen to, a journalist, or a local business owner that you admire.

      Some of the top influencers in leadership and people-management right now are:

      - Simon Sinek
      - Lolly Daskal
      - John Maxwell
      - Gary Vaynerchuk
      - Tony Robbins

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I have followed the work of Tony Robbins for years now, and recently attended one of his workshops dedicated to modernizing the thought process of an effective leader. I have put a great deal of effort into molding myself into a great leader, before even taking on my first leadership role. I am ready!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have taken several leadership courses through John Maxwell and am a big fan because his principals are so empowering. Another book I've read is Step Up; Lead in Six Moments that Matter by Henry Evans. This book points out that there are many situations both at work and in our personal lives that call for leadership, even if you're not the one in charge."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This book sounds very interesting! I like that you give a couple of options, and dig into them, leaving more opportunity for the interviewer to relate.

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  • Experience

    16. Do you have experience in corrective discipline and terminations?

      How to Answer

      As a Manager, you will likely need to lead corrective discipline initiatives or even take part in employee terminations. These measures can be tough to lead but, with experience, they do get more comfortable. Talk to the interviewer about the extent of your experience with terminations and discipline.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

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  • Job Satisfaction

    17. What has been your favorite management role so far? What made it so enjoyable?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in knowing the circumstances surrounding your favorite management role. If they can understand what you enjoy and what keeps you happy, the interviewer can determine if this role will be a fit for you. This question offers an excellent opportunity to ask the interviewer for details on the workplace culture in this role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I am new to my career in management; however, I have held a volunteer management role. Last summer, I coordinated volunteers for a marathon, set to raise funds for Alzheimer's Disease. My duties included ensuring all volunteers were are their stations, and that our crews were ready with water and Gatorade at the appropriate hydration stations. I enjoyed this role because everyone was in great spirits and so encouraging to each other. I feel this same vibe here, at Company ABC, and look forward to joining in a leadership function."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I enjoyed the time I spent as a manager of a team at a start-up. When a company and product are new, it provides an opportunity to wear many hats. Because we were growing so quickly, I had a chance to sit on advisory boards and provide feedback on what was working and what needed to be adjusted as well as had the opportunity to meet with the head of each department and help determine best practices. It was a frenzied and thrilling time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Frenzied and thrilling - and I'd bet you wouldn't have it any other way. Your answer shows that you can handle complex management situations with confidence and poise.

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  • Leadership

    18. What leadership qualities do you possess?

      How to Answer

      This question is designed to help the interviewer gain a better understanding of your definition of leadership.

      Some great qualities of a leader are:

      - Being someone who people naturally want to follow
      - Exceptional interpersonal skills
      - Strong relationship building skills
      - Taking ownership of the team's errors and mistakes
      - Excelling at motivating others
      - Providing kudos to your team
      - Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
      - Having a vision for the future

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I first lead by example, which is my strongest leadership quality. I am also an active encourager and a great coach. I love to research and learn new skills, and then pass that knowledge onto others. These are just some of the factors that will make me an excellent leader."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A good leader is also a good communicator. I am also honest and fair and know how to determine what to do during a crisis. I take accountability for the success and failures of my team, and most of all, I want to empower people to succeed!"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your answer exudes confidence and more confidence! Great work.

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  • Leadership

    19. If I were to interview those who report to you, what would they say is one strength, and one weakness of yours, as a leader?

      How to Answer

      This question is a slightly more indirect way to ask about your strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer is looking for information about you from your team's perspective. Think of a time when you asked for feedback on your leadership style. Also, consider your past performance reviews with your leadership team. Perhaps you have had comments from your team regarding your best traits. When you mention your weakness, be sure to express what you have been doing to improve upon that weakness. When you think of your strengths, you should relate them to the needs of the hiring company. By making this connection, you will show the interviewer that hiring you can solve a pain point for the company.

      Here are some examples of unique strengths and weaknesses:

      Strengths:

      - Strong knowledge of a significant software program used in this role.
      - Ability to be objective or to take feedback.
      - Disciplined and able to meet the most stringent deadlines.

      Weaknesses:

      - Perfectionism, internalized, AKA: being too tough on yourself.
      - User-level in a particular software program.
      - Trying always to find solutions that make everyone happy (impossible!).

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe that my current team would say that I am often trying to make everyone happy. It's an endless, and impossible pursuit, so I am working hard to shake that mentality. I recently picked up a couple of leadership books and will be getting some pointers from them as well. One of my strong points is my ability to research and respond when I know I lack a particular skill."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have a tendency of trying to make everyone one, which is like chasing the wind. They would agree on my ability to bring them together to form a strong team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Mary H.

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Mary H. Reviewed the Above Answer

      Try reformatting for better understanding.

      "If you were to interview past direct reports, they would share that my strength is my ability to unify a team and work together towards a shared vision. My strength has also been a liability, as I have spent too much time investing in individuals unwilling to align with the team's goals. This has improved over time."

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  • Leadership

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

      How to Answer

      Providing helpful feedback is an art and a skill that every Manager should work hard to possess. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of providing honest and helpful feedback to your team members when needed. Helpful feedback means that you are specific, you make the advice actionable, and you provide your employee with 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!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

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  • Management

    21. What qualities and traits do you look for in a candidate when hiring?

      How to Answer

      There are many great qualities that you can look for when hiring an employee. Still, the interviewer wants to hear that you understand the importance of engaging people who fit the workplace culture and have a proven theme of dedication to their work.

      These are the core traits that every hiring manager should look for:

      - Confident, yet humble
      - Related education
      - Ability to receive and implement feedback
      - Flexibility and adaptability
      - Self-driven and self-motivated
      - Willingness to work with a team
      - Reliability and dependability
      - Transparency and honesty

      In addition to these core traits, let the interviewer know that you also seek out unique skills. Some examples of exceptional skills or attributes are:

      - Experience in your particular software or programs
      - Interest in continued education opportunities
      - Volunteer experience
      - Interest in being a coach or mentor
      - Bilingual or skilled in multiple languages
      - Comfortability with presenting, and public speaking

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "When hiring, I believe it is important to find people who have a history of being dependable, on time, and who know how to meet deadlines and exceed expectations. In this particular industry, I would also seek out candidates who have international experience and perhaps speak multiple languages or are well traveled."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Sales are all about being able to break the ice and relate to people under a variety of circumstances. I always ask my candidates to tell me a story because this indicates several things: 'Can they follow directions?', 'Can they think on their feet?' and 'Are they a good communicator?' The best stories are the ones that have nothing to do with the interview and everything to do with relating to me as a person. Those are the folks that earn a spot on my team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is an awesome approach - I'll have to steal it :) Another great answer.

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  • Management

    22. What mistakes have you made when you have hired new employees? What have you learned from those mistakes?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know a bit more about your process when it comes to making hiring decisions. Discuss how you screen job applicants, and why you choose to hire the people that you do. Even the most skilled Manager can make a hiring mistake, but the question remains if you learned from that bad hire, and how you avoided making that mistake again.

      Some common hiring errors include:

      - Casting too wide a net in your description, resulting in a confused candidate pool
      - Interviewing before you have a full scope of what your idea hire looks like
      - Waiting too long to hire and then deciding out of panic
      - Having too many decision makers in the process
      - Not asking direct questions, resulting in vague answers
      - Failing to do reference checks

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I imagine that one of the bigger mistakes when hiring new employees is blindly hiring someone because you know them or because a reliable source referred them. I understand that referrals can be great hires, but they still need to be interviewed and vetted properly."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I worked at a start-up that was experiencing expansion, and I allowed the pressure to hire right away to affect my judgment. This resulted in hiring someone for a position he was not prepared to handle. It was unfortunate because, under normal circumstances, I knew this candidate could've worked out, but the pressure to produce fast results was too high for him, and I had to terminate his employment. What I learned was to know what questions to ask to help me determine how someone behaves under pressure."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      The pressure to hire fast is a predicament to which the interviewer will be able to relate. This is a very solid response.

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  • Management

    23. What strategies do you use to motivate your team?

      How to Answer

      There are a variety of ways that you, as a manager, can motivate your team. Discuss with the interviewer how you ensure your employees are consistently motivated.

      Some ways that great managers will motivate their team:

      - Encouraging the act of learning from mistakes vs. punishing mistakes
      - Paying bonuses or offering increases attached to stretch goals
      - Offering to pay for continued education or self-development opportunities
      - Giving public kudos for a job well done
      - Providing flexibility in work hours
      - Avoiding micromanagement and allowing self-led exploration

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I like to be motivated by compensation rewards such as monthly or annual bonus' so I think I will have contests with financial rewards, available for my new team. Gift cards, discounts, free coffee, and the like - are often well received by employees and are motivating goals to reach."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I believe that positive reinforcement is the best way to motivate anyone, so I spend time looking for them to do well. The bottom line in any sales organization is, of course, achieving net sales, so I take the time to celebrate when goals are met and exceeded. Being able to provide feedback in a way that doesn't sound like criticism is a skill that is quite important in a manager."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your strategies sound empowering, positive, and thoughtful. Well done!

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  • Management

    24. If I were to interview the people who have reported to you in the past, how would they describe your management style?

      How to Answer

      There are many management styles, and the interviewer would like assurance that your style fits well with their needs and workplace culture. Before your interview, you should have a solid idea of the type of leadership the company is seeking. There will be keyword indicators in the job posting, job description, and on the hiring company's website. Use the company's terms and language as often as possible to build a connection.

      Some management styles are:

      - Democratic or Participative
      - Authoritative or Directive
      - Collaborative or Affiliative
      - Pacesetting or Coaching

      If you are unsure of your management style, try taking a free personality test like 16Personalities.com. By completing this exercise, you will gain a firm understanding of your personality highlights and the type of leadership style you possess, as well as the type of leadership style to which you best respond.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "At this point in my early management career, I have been emulating the actions of my management, and have taken the points that I like, implemented those, and eliminated the parts I did not like. My team has responded well to me, and I think they would describe me as an affiliative style leader. I like to try new ways to get my team members to bond with each other, creating a more cohesive team environment. We spend a lot of time together, so I believe it's important to establish trust and relationship among coworkers."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "This is a question I often ask my team because my goal is to be collaborative. The feedback I've gotten is that I am the type of leader that isn't scared to roll up her sleeves and assist whenever it's necessary. I am supportive of the needs of my team and their customers and communicate with them at the frequency that's needed so that they feel the support without being crowded."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      I like that you already ask this question of your team. It shows a lot of awareness and a willingness to learn. Mentioning your ability to support without crowding is an excellent way to position your leadership style.

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  • Scenario Based

    25. In any of your leadership roles, what was the toughest decision you have made?

      How to Answer

      As a Manager, you will be expected to make some tough decisions from time to time. The interviewer wants to know more about these tough decisions and how you come out of these situations with a positive result.

      Some of the challenging decisions that a Manager will need to make include:

      - Termination and hiring decisions
      - Promotions and salary increases
      - Budget allocation or budget-cutting
      - Creating or implementing a new policy

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I believe that the toughest decisions to make as a leader would surround the creation and implementation of a new policy that greatly affects someone's livelihood. For instance, incorporating more overnight travel into an employee's schedule, or changing their bonus structure. These types of decisions would have to be well-researched and justified."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Hiring right is the single most important skill any manager can have, and it is the most challenging. I follow my intuition a lot, and because I am such an intuitive person, I also recognize the emphasis I have to make on being objective. It's tough to choose just one candidate from a pool of excellence, and I have spent lots of time counseling my peers and mentors so that I make the right choice."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Hiring is incredibly hard. You show a healthy balance between intuition and analysis, which is a wonderful approach.

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  • Scenario Based

    26. Discuss a time you managed an employee with a behavioral problem. What was their behavior, and how did you correct it?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to learn about your management style when it comes to delinquent employees. Perhaps you have a system in place for handling recurring behavioral issues. Confirm with the interviewer that you are capable of approaching a situation like this head-on, but professionally. Mention that you involve the human resources department when necessary and put a strong emphasis on your documentation and reporting when it comes to tracking problematic behavior.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "If I had an employee with a recurring behavioral problem, I would have a one-on-one meeting with them and ask them point-blank what was causing the issue. There is no sense beating around the bush in situations such as that. Employees need to be accountable for their behavior, and a good manager will address a situation like this immediately."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "When it comes to problematic behavior, it's important to address it head-on and begin documenting right away. Everything seemed fine until he made a mistake in documenting a sensitive report and as a result required re-training. He turned defiant and refused to accept responsibility. It was clear he was worried he would be terminated, and I set up a meeting for him to speak to the head of compliance on his own to address his concerns. I documented the issue with HR and followed up with the compliance department as well as set time aside to meet with my subordinate one to one. When someone is unsure about their job, they can behave in surprising ways."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very good point you make in the end! Your focus on documentation is incredibly important and should be appreciated by any potential employer.

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  • Scenario Based

    27. Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated tasks.

      How to Answer

      As a Manager, you should be able to confidently delegate tasks to your team members. A great Manager understands how to divide tasks properly while identifying and leveraging each team member's strengths. Show the interviewer that you utilize the talents of your team by delegating tasks that complement their individual strengths and skillsets.

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "About two months after I became the supervisor of the warehouse, I saw that one employee was constantly bidding for other positions within the company. I sat down with him and found out that he was bored and wanted more responsibility. I saw that he was strong in Excel and I then put him in charge of the projects and he created tracking mechanisms and worked with the construction department. He was able to use his knowledge to help other departments. By delegating this project work to him, he stayed with the department and has been promoted since then."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      That's awesome! It's great to hear that you saw this employee's strengths and were able to retain him. To make this response even stronger, I suggest being a little more specific about what other departments he was able to support and what his new promotion has entailed.

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  • Scenario Based

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

      How to Answer

      When cooperating with groups of people from different backgrounds with various work styles, conflict can arise. Give the interviewer a sense of how you handle conflict issues, from a management standpoint. You can effectively achieve this goal with a story-based example. Think of a scenario when you witnessed conflict within your team. Explain the situation and the action you took to help the team come to a resolution. This example should outline for the interviewer exactly how you took the initiative to solve an immediate problem and prevent a greater issue that could have impacted your team and employer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

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  • Stress

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

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants 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. As a 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.

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am calm by nature and do not feel pressure whatever may be the work environment. It helps me to communicate well, conduct the review meetings, and make good progress with the programs keeping in view the end goals. Most of the unexpected situations I faced are when the customers change the specifications of a product in the middle of the program. I addressed them as much as possible, in the case when we could not meet the new requirements, it was conveyed to the customer politely."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good response! Reminding the interviewer that you are naturally calm is a great idea. Consider, however, adding more specifics to the example you've provided. The interviewer will be looking for one clear example so talk about a particular time when a customer changed their specification requirements in the midst of the project and explain how you successfully handled this as a manager. The more details you can give, the better!

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  • Tough

    30. What qualifies you to become our Manager?

      How to Answer

      Essentially, the interviewer is asking why they should choose you over other candidates. When you pitch yourself for a role, it's important to be clear about why you are the best fit for the company, including their mission and the responsibilities or expectations. Typically, a hiring company will prefer to hire the person they believe will help them solve a problem or a pain point. Discuss how you will solve the hiring company's biggest needs, being as specific as possible.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 9th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Experience and previous accomplishments, and visionary approaches

      Knowledge of the field

      Ability to bring together multiple stakeholders to produce efficient products and manufacturing methods

      Ability to lead teams and produce excellent results on time"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are all great qualifications to have as a manager. Can you talk more specifically about what experience, accomplishments, and visionary approaches you bring to the table? Avoid being vague. Really sell yourself so the interviewer understands why they should pick you over the other candidates!

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