There are a plethora of 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 for which the company is seeking. There will be keyword indicators in the job posting, job description, and on their website. Use their terms, as often as possible. 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 the one 16Personalities.com. By completing this exercise, you will gain a firm understanding of your personality keywords, and they type of leadership style you possess, as well as the type of leadership style to which you best respond.
"I believe that my team would describe me as a pacesetter, or coach when it comes to my management style. I have strong expectations set for my team, and I motivate them to achieve these standards by showing my employees, rather than just telling."
"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."
"If asked, I believe my team would describe me as a Democratic style leader. I like to involve my team in the decision-making process and do not believe in a hierarchy type of leadership system. Even my newest team members should feel empowered."
There are many great qualities that you can look for when hiring an employee but 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 - Bi-lingual or skilled in multiple languages - Comfortability with presenting, and public speaking
"When I am hiring, I look for the main core traits such as steady confidence, and ability to think for themselves. I also give preference to people who are active in volunteering. It's important to hire those who like to give back, and spend time investing in others."
"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."
"In my pre-screen telephone interviews, the first question I always ask is, 'Tell Me About Yourself.' This single question tells me everything I need to know about the candidate. They either ramble, or freeze, or know precisely how to represent themselves. The candidates who are confident, and know who they are, are the ones that I move forward to the next stage of interviews."
"I have not yet been in charge of training new employees, but my style would 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."
"I have a great method for training new employees. I ask for their involvement right away. I believe in limited classroom training and more hands-on work. I encourage questions, feedback, and opinions right away. This method of training increases engagement and creates a sense of importance, and belonging, right away."
The interviewer would like to see that you can handle criticism and feedback professionally and productively. Nobody wants to hire the 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. Did you implement 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.
"Last year, I had a manager of another department let me know that they noticed my team morale dropping a bit. She had overheard some conversations in the break room about my leadership style. These particular employees were complaining about my last-minute changes to the schedule, to be exact. I thanked this manager for approaching me with the information, rather than allowing me to continue being blissfully unaware. I asked for her help with scheduling, and she took the time to train me on her method for building out a schedule, one month in advance. I think her honesty, transparency, and assistance saved me from having these employees quit my team."
"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."
"Last week, another manager approached me and said that he didn't like my meeting style. I was taken aback at first because the feedback was completely unprompted. I took a couple of days to think about what he said, and then approached him to ask for additional detail on his comment. He apologized for being brash and explained that he thought my approach was too lax. I told him that I would accept the criticism; however, I had this approach on purpose, to make my team more receptive to the information I was presenting. Nobody needs a stuffy morning meeting!"
The interviewer would like to know the expectations that you are going to have 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 - Mentorship and coaching on a regular basis - Camaraderie when it comes to the company goal - Support when tackling challenging employee related issues
"I expect from my manager that they challenge my learning, and career growth, as time goes on. I prefer having a manager who is strong in the areas of mentorship and coaching. Does this describe the qualities of the individual I would be reporting to, in this role?"
"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!"
"The type of manager that I work best with is one who offers support with challenges surrounding employee behavior or logistical issues. Whoever is managing me is someone more experienced than I, that I would like to learn from."
As a manager, you will be expected to make some tough decisions from time to time. The interviewer would like to know more about these tough decisions, and how you come out of these situations, on top. 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
"The toughest decisions that I make as a leader are always surrounding the termination of an employee. It's never a fun activity, to have to let someone go from there role. There is the emotional component, as well as logistical components that which need consideration. With that said, I have made these decisions many times in my career, and I can go through with terminations as needed."
"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."
"In my most recent management role, implementing budget cuts has been the toughest decision that I have had to execute. I knew that the cuts would directly affect the livelihood of my top staff, and likely result in them seeking alternate employment. Our company was in financial trouble, and these decisions were necessary but very difficult to execute."
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
"To motivate my team, I like to offer trust and autonomy as often as possible. When I show my team that I have trust in the work ethic presented, the team delivers better results than I ever imagined they would."
"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."
"I use a variety of strategies to motivate my team, depending on their interests and personalities. My top methods of motivation include financial rewards, continued education opportunities, and opportunities for advancement. My highest performers often respond to all three methods."
The interviewer wants to know a bit more about your process when it comes to hiring. Discuss how you screen your candidates, and why you choose the employees that you do. Every manager has made at least one wrong hire in their career, but the question remains - did you learn from that bad hire, and how have 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
"Earlier in my career, I did not see the value in checking references. I trusted my instinct, alone, and made a bad decision a couple of times. Some people can interview incredibly well, but it doesn't mean their work ethic is there. Now, I call 2-3 references, without fail."
"I imagine that one of the bigger mistakes when hiring new employees is hiring someone because you know them, or because a reliable source referred them. I understand that referrals can be great, but only you truly know what your business needs."
"The one mistake that I made a couple of times, earlier in my management career, was asking too vague of questions in my interviews. I didn't know how to interview properly, and it caused my decisions to be less informed than they should have been. I have taken a couple of courses on effective interviewing and now have some tougher, behavioral based questions, in the pipe for each interviewee."
Many management roles also require budgetary responsibilities, and the interviewer would like to know that you take that responsibility seriously. Are you one to actively look for ways to save your employer money? Perhaps you do this by streamlining a process, minimizing the need to hire by doubling up on tasks, or ensuring that you procure the best price from vendors. Be sure to include a tangible result, success, or achievement, when giving your reply.
"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."
"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 to it, so I offered."
"I saved my previous company nearly $1M in the last two years of working there 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 to a range of clients. I love to seek out new opportunities to present cost-savings to my employer."
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 an active leader, in your eyes, and what you learned and continue to apply, from them. Keep your response positive. This question is not the time to pick anyone apart or complain about past leaders.
"I have had some effective managers in the past, including my current district supervisor. She takes a true interest in me, and my team, 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."
"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 direction. I believe this is the best way to see what your team can accomplish."
"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."
The interviewer is trying to learn more about who you are as a leader. Every leader has an aspect that is challenging for them. Share your most challenging aspect of leadership, and why it is a challenge for you. It may be something that pushes you emotionally. It may be an area that is not your strength. Feel free to share what you struggle with openly. Odds are the interviewer will take this feedback to heart and be sure that you receive assistance with this challenging area once hired. One common challenge for leaders has to terminate an employee. The goal for many leaders is to end someone's employment only after having multiple conversations trying to improve the employee's performance, so the termination will not come as a surprise. Leaders will often say the employee knew it was coming, but it was still very challenging for the leader because emotionally they knew they were impacting someone's income stream and family. If you have been through the experience of terminating someone's employment, this can be an excellent example of this situation.
"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 the leadership and management of various personalities and will be ready to apply a few techniques right away."
"The most difficult aspect of leading employees is keeping them constantly motivated and interested in the company's end goal. To overcome this challenge, I take the "What's in it for me?" approach (WIIFM) by showing my team how they will benefit from performing to a high standard."
If you are applying 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, the changes you would make. Be sure to support your reasoning of why you would make 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 to bring someone on board who will immediately make changes. Tell the interviewer that you plan to come on board and observe for a while to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics while focusing on building a strong rapport with the staff. Discuss what you will address any glaring issues immediately when you see them and explain that after you have a thorough understanding of where the organization is at, you will make decisions about what changes you would like to implement.
"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."
"I know, from my years' experience as a manager, that it is rarely a good idea to come to a new team guns-a-blazing, ready to change everything. This behavior creates resistance. I would want first to observe the areas that you are struggling in, mainly the employee retention rate that you mentioned earlier, and the fact that many of your high performers are leaving. Once I observe for a week or so, I will be more comfortable making solid recommendations for change."
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
"I feel that I am strongest when it comes to motivating a team. Last year, I motivated my sales team every day, and we ended up being the top sales team of the year! I am also strong in the area of showing my team the big picture, and gaining buy-in from them."
"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."
"I possess many leadership qualities that will benefit your team here at Company ABC. Among my qualities, the most significant is my ability to see the strength in others and nurture those strengths. I have been a mentor to many who have gone on to achieve great things in their career. I want everyone on my team to feel confident in their abilities."
The interviewer is interested in knowing the circumstances surrounding your favorite management role. If they can understand what you like, and what keeps you happy, the interviewer will be able to determine better if this role will be a fit for you. This question offers an excellent opportunity for you to ask the interviewer for details on the workplace culture in this role.
"My favorite management role was a couple of years ago when I managed a team of highly commissioned, very enthused, sales professionals. I enjoyed this role because employee engagement was high. Sales contests were always happening, and everyone wanted to win. It was great. Would you say this is the air of the culture here?"
"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."
"My favorite management role was five years ago, and Company XYZ. The role offered a lot of autonomy, and I was even able to create a new training manual and process for the company - one that worked well with the personalities on my team. My retention rate was very high in this role because the team members felt supported. Would you say your workplace culture is similar?"
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 that 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
"I determine the success of my team primarily from our direct client feedback, and by looking at our KPI's and delivery deadlines. If we are meeting and exceeding client expectations and delivering projects on time, I know that team engagement is high. If this is not the case, I will meet with my team to find out the core of the issue immediately. If we ever receive less than favorable feedback from a client we all meet to discuss what we could have done differently and then put those ideas into action immediately."
"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 as disinterested or have not bought into the overall team goal, it's likely they do not see enough successes to keep them happy. How do you measure team success in your company?"
"In my management experience, I believe that the greatest measurement of my sales teams' success are the numbers when it comes to bonus' and commission. I like to compare the numbers month over month, and then through a broader lens, looking at trends year over year. By keeping an eye on these numbers, I can quickly adjust when we are trending towards a low month."
This question is a hypothetical one, meant to show the interviewer what skill you would like to possess if you could instantly! This question is also another sneaky way to ask about your most significant weaknesses but its 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.
"This question is fascinating! I recently enrolled in an Excel workshop to take my skills from intermediate, to expert. So, if I could instantly buy any skill, I would make myself an expert level user in the entire Microsoft Office suite!"
"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?"
"That's a great question! Well, if I could purchase any new skill, I think it would be budget and finance related. My people management skills are exceptional. However, I could use more work when it comes to budget management. I am currently an intermediate level but would love to be an expert."
There are many influencers in the leadership and management arena's, 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
"My favorite influencer in the leadership space right now is Lolly Daskal. I recently read her book, "
"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!"
"Have you seen Simon Sinek's TED talk about the "Three Golden Circles"? It's completely changed the way that I think about leadership. He says that leaders are responsible for the people first. When you take responsibility for your people or your team, they will in turn - take care of the results."
A Manager career can be a challenging and very rewarding career. A manager can work in many different aspects, as the title 'manager' is not entirely defined, other than they will be managing employees and possibly a store, department, or unit. Our interview questions for a manager career will ask leadership questions, teamwork questions, and adaptability questions.
A manager should have the following characteristics to lead a successful team: Confident, able to forecast and adapt to changes, confrontational skills, a natural leader, motivational, and active. A manager should have a strong ability to cut costs but maintain a positive environment. They should also possess a passion for the industry and the company. They should have a solid work ethic and not be seen as lazy by their employees. A great manager will always lead by example.
An interview for a management position will feature multiple scenario-based questions along with past-performance questions. Some interview questions to anticipate: When did your employees question your judgment at your last role and how did you respond? How do you believe you will be able to make an impact as a manager for our store? When have you had to make an unpopular decision and how did you eventually motivate your team to see why that decision was necessary? If you could buy any new skill what would it be? For more questions on a manager interview, keep browsing our site, Mockquestions.com.