MockQuestions

First Time Manager Interview Questions

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

New Manager was written by and updated on November 3rd, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

What is your greatest work related accomplishment to date?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to hear about one notable professional success that makes you feel proud. The way you answer this question will also show the hiring company what you value most in the workplace. Think about a time when you were given kudos in the workplace or received a special award. Explain why this accomplishment means so much to you. Provide details of how you achieved this work-related accomplishment, and be sure to express how this event relates to your success as a new manager. Finish your response with a qualifying statement describing how you will continue earning these achievements if you are the chosen candidate for this management role.

Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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List Of 30 First Time Manager Interview Questions

  • Accomplishment

    1.

    What is your greatest work related accomplishment to date?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to hear about one notable professional success that makes you feel proud. The way you answer this question will also show the hiring company what you value most in the workplace. Think about a time when you were given kudos in the workplace or received a special award. Explain why this accomplishment means so much to you. Provide details of how you achieved this work-related accomplishment, and be sure to express how this event relates to your success as a new manager. Finish your response with a qualifying statement describing how you will continue earning these achievements if you are the chosen candidate for this management role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current position, I helped my company reduce warehouse administration costs by reviewing packing slips, contracts, invoices, and calling out vendor billing errors. Then, I assisted Accounts Receivable by making collection calls and bringing in potentially lost revenue. Lastly, I created a new filing system that helped us research transactions faster. These changes resulted in a 15% revenue increase in just 90 days. My manager commented that I acted like a manager despite not being in a leadership role, and they were proud of my ability to think past my core job responsibilities. It felt wonderful to make a difference for my employer, and I am eager to do the same for your organization in this management position."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2.

    Talk about a time you had to act like a leader.

      How to Answer

      As a new manager, you may not have experience officially leading a team. However, you can still demonstrate the qualities of a leader in your daily activities. The interviewer wants a specific example of how you act as a leader, even when leadership is not a formal requirement of your role.

      Rather than only tell the interviewer that you act as a leader in non-leadership situations, try showing this by giving a story-based example. Maybe you coached a coworker who was having difficulty preparing for a big presentation. Maybe you gave them confidence in their strengths by encouraging them, or perhaps you offered some helpful hints. Show the interviewer that you are a natural motivator and a confident communicator.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I naturally take on the role of mentor and coach with my co-workers who are newer to their career. In one instance, I had a new coworker who was having some trouble fitting in. I took her out for lunch and talked to her about the workplace culture and semantics surrounding the various departments. I wanted her to stay and enjoy her employment with us, so I took on the responsibility of ensuring she was settling in well. I believe there are many opportunities to demonstrate leadership, and I am sure to keep my eyes open for them."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3.

    Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your leader and convinced them to see things your way.

      How to Answer

      Persuading your leader to see your point of view highlights your ability to influence others. You probably have a great relationship with your leaders, but there might be times when you don't see eye to eye, and that is okay! What is important is how you approach this type of situation. The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may disagree with your leader. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, but it is important to maintain respect for each other while expressing those opinions.

      When asked a 'Tell us about a time...' 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. Think of a time when you disagreed with someone in a leadership role. Describe how you responded and discuss the positive outcome or the lesson that you learned from the situation.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "(Situation) In a previous role, my supervisor believed that the company did not need to invest time or money into growing an email distribution list. (Task) As a skilled email marketer, I strongly disagreed. (Action) I approached the topic gingerly, used hard numbers from case studies, and tied them to our business goals. By removing emotion from the equation and focusing strictly on data and analytics, I expressed my stance in a way that would be hard to dispute or elicit an emotional response. (Result) Ultimately, my supervisor gave the green light to pilot the program, and it was a great success. I built an email list of over 10,000 contacts, and our conversion rate increased by nearly 25%."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

  • Career Goals

    4.

    What are your career aspirations beyond your first management position?

      How to Answer

      You are a new manager, and it's an exciting time in your career. Focus on the 'now' while keeping in mind that the interviewer also wants to see evidence that you are looking to your future. Discuss where you'd like to see this first management position take you. Include the hiring company in your career aspirations, and assure the interviewer that you plan to stay with the organization for the foreseeable future.

      Consider what you visualize when you think about your future with the hiring company. Although this question presents an opportunity to share a career-related dream or aspiration, be sure that your goals are realistic. For instance, the interviewer does not want to hear that you plan to become the company's director in five short years when the current director dedicated fifteen years towards earning the promotion.

      You can benefit from researching the tenure and career path of the hiring company's management team. LinkedIn is a helpful platform for researching this information. Search on LinkedIn for individuals in this role before you and take time to study their career path. Gain an understanding of what reasonable and achievable career growth looks like within the hiring organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    5.

    Talk about one of your professional goals. What actions are you taking to achieve this goal?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you have thought about your career and set goals to grow and learn as a new manager. Most people have career goals. What will set you apart as a candidate is how you express these goals. Provide the interviewer with details of your goals and discuss how you plan to achieve them. You can achieve your professional goals by taking advantage of career development opportunities such as:

      - Attending industry-related conferences, seminars, and workshops.
      - Reading books related to management and leadership.
      - Listening to podcasts from leaders that you admire.
      - Completing online coursework and certifications to extend your knowledge base.
      - Finding a mentor to help you learn and grow.

      Discuss your goals, how you plan to achieve them, and be sure to tie this information into how your goals and actions will benefit their company, should they choose to hire you as their new manager.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Communication

    6.

    How do you approach providing constructive criticism or feedback to others?

      How to Answer

      Giving constructive criticism and helpful feedback isn't as simple as it sounds. There is an art to providing feedback to others without making them feel defensive or put down. The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of this challenging task. When you provide constructive criticism, it's important that you:

      - Provide specific details about the actions that need to be changed.
      - Make the feedback actionable and set achievable goals towards change.
      - Provide a clear timeline for this change to occur.
      - Follow up regularly to ensure change is being made.

      Discuss any formal training you have received or a book you have read on the topic. Perhaps you use a particular methodology to deliver feedback that generates positive results the majority of the time. If you have a specific story-based example of a time you provided honest feedback with a positive result, be sure to weave in the details of this real-life example.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Communication

    7.

    How do you plan to set and communicate goals for your team members?

      How to Answer

      Goal setting is an important skill for any new manager to understand. Since you are new to your management role, you may not be an expert in goal setting. The interviewer wants to see evidence that you understand and prioritize goal setting and communicating goals to your team members.

      Proper goal setting requires you to learn about your team, consider the company's objectives, and understand how to motivate each individual to work hard towards achieving these goals. Discuss how you plan to set goals with your team members and ensure that expectations are properly communicated.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    8.

    How would your closest friend describe you?

      How to Answer

      There could be many words to describe you as a person; however, the interviewer wants you to emphasize a few key descriptors. The descriptive words you use should reveal your character while showing the hiring company that you are compatible with their team spirit and organizational values.

      Choose descriptors that will help you stand out from other candidates. Show confidence while being humble at the same time. Avoid over-used descriptors such as 'responsible,' 'team player,' or 'people person.' Perhaps your closest friend would describe you as 'eager,' 'generous,' or 'self-assured.' These examples are more unique and will show the interviewer that you have deeper insight.

      Once you pinpoint the characteristics that you believe your closest friend would use to describe you, be ready to tell a story that supports your response. It's very effective when you can support your answer with an engaging story. Then, be sure to describe how the hiring company will benefit from these qualities, should they choose to hire you as their new manager.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    9.

    What is the #1 quality that will contribute to your success as our new manager?

      How to Answer

      There are many excellent qualities that a successful manager should possess. These traits include honesty, integrity, ambition, and enthusiasm. The hiring manager wants to know what you believe to be the number one quality that will contribute most to your success in this role. When responding, describe a quality that you know will resonate with the interviewer. You can achieve this by choosing a unique, memorable, and personalized approach to the hiring company's needs.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    10.

    Why do you want to begin your management career with our company?

      How to Answer

      This question is another way for the interviewer to ask why you want to work for this company. This is a common query that an interviewer can phrase in a variety of ways. Candidates often believe that this type of question is asking why this company should hire you. The difference is subtle; however, an answer to this particular question should be more company-focused instead of self-focused.

      Consider the aspects of the organization that stood out to you when you first became aware of the job opportunity. Compliment the organization by talking about a stand-out factor that impressed you, such as the company's values or their involvement in the community. You can find a lot of the information you need online, so do your research and be specific about why you wish to begin your management career with this particular organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Competency

    11.

    How has your education prepared you to be an effective manager?

      How to Answer

      Many of the skills gained through primary or post-secondary education are highly beneficial to a professional's success. For instance, exposure to teamwork in group projects can help you learn to build strong communication skills and interact with coworkers. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed in the classroom can teach you to analyze information and deal with roadblocks you encounter in your professional career.

      The hiring company wants to know how you believe your education has prepared you to be effective in their management position. This question should not be approached with a generic response. Take this opportunity to stand out from other candidates by providing specifics of the skills and training you plan to leverage to fulfill your duties as a new manager.

      If you have some work experience, give an example of how your education has made you successful in your career so far. If you are interviewing for your first professional position, talk about how your education will help you to be successful in meeting the company's job requirements.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Competency

    12.

    This position will be your first management role. Why should we give you this opportunity?

      How to Answer

      This question is another way for the interviewer to ask why they should hire you. This is a common yet challenging question an interview can ask you in a variety of ways. It's common for candidates to answer this type of question in a way that directly 'sells' themselves as the person for the job. However, the correct way to approach this question is to speak less about your needs and more about the benefit to the hiring company.

      For instance, most candidates will respond along the lines of 'I believe you should hire me because I am passionate about sales. This job is exactly what I have been looking for, and I will work hard to deliver results for your company.' Notice how this answer is all about the job seeker and not about the hiring company. Do your research on the company and the role, and then describe what you will bring to the company should they choose to hire you as their new manager.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Critical Thinking

    13.

    As a new manager, what decision do you think will be the hardest for you to make?

      How to Answer

      Managers face many challenging decisions throughout their day. Some examples of decisions you will need to make include changes to workflow, hiring and termination decisions, promotions, and making budget cuts. Discuss which decisions you believe will be the most challenging for you to approach as a new manager.

      Be sure to focus on how you will overcome this challenge. You should acknowledge that there will be challenges in your first management position while showing confidence that you will become more comfortable as you gain more experience.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Critical Thinking

    14.

    If you were to have hiring authority in this management position, what would you look for in the candidates that you choose to hire?

      How to Answer

      If this management position requires you to attract new talent and make hiring decisions, you must know how to make a good hire! The interviewer wants to know which qualities you will value the most when hiring new members for your team.

      Many people will respond to this question by saying they would look for a 'positive personality' or candidates who are 'honest' and 'enthusiastic.' Challenge yourself to stand apart from the rest by providing a more thoughtful answer. Show the interviewer that you understand which qualities would work best for their organizational values and company mission.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Discovery

    15.

    How do you showcase your leadership abilities in your personal life?

      How to Answer

      Although you are a new manager, you are not new to the idea of acting as a leader. The interviewer wants to see evidence of your leadership abilities. Since you are new to your management career, one of the greatest ways to discover your natural leadership tendencies is to ask how you emulate leadership qualities in your personal life.

      Perhaps you are the captain of your hockey team, and you lead others by encouraging them to practice harder. Maybe you volunteer at the local food bank and encourage those that you are there to serve. Be as specific as possible by giving an example of what it means to act like a leader in your personal life.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Job Satisfaction

    16.

    Since this is your first management opportunity, how can we best support you to ensure your success?

      How to Answer

      If you are asked questions about the support that you need to succeed as a new manager, this is a sign that this is a mindful company that values its people. Remember that a great manager is focused on the logistics of managing people, projects, and more while also focusing on the soft skills required to lead effectively. Some resources that a new manager may need to succeed include:

      - Access to a mentorship program. Managers need to grow and learn from their leaders, as well!
      - Resources for their team members to encourage knowledge building.
      - An innovative leadership team steering the ship.

      First, consider the resources you believe a new manager needs to succeed in general. Then, think about what you specifically need to excel in your role. When you express your needs, be as specific as possible. At the end of your response, think about asking a direct question regarding the tools and resources that will be made available to you.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    17.

    Tell me about a time when you had to lead by example.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that, as a new manager, you understand the importance of leading by example. Your actions, decisions, and demeanor will be under observation once you hold a management title. Even if you are new to management in a work setting, you can show that you have a genuine interest in setting a good example by providing an example from your education, a competitive sport or hobby, or your volunteer experience.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time when...' are best answered by providing a story-based example. You can achieve this by using the STAR framework. 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 story highlighting your leadership strengths.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    18.

    Talk about a manager that you did not connect with. How will you lead your team differently?

      How to Answer

      Although you should always avoid criticizing a previous boss in your job interviews, this question specifically asks you to point out a time when you may not have appreciated your manager's leadership style. Rather than turn your answer into a negative reply, focus on a situation where you learned a valuable lesson. Instead of providing a list of issues and complaints, briefly mention why you could not connect with this person, and then focus most of your answer on your actions to succeed in the environment.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    19.

    Managing and leading others is a task that requires constant growth and learning. What resources do you use to learn about effective management approaches?

      How to Answer

      It's imperative, especially as a new manager, to rely on reputable resources to help you explore, build, and develop effective management approaches. It's much easier to begin doing things right the first time than to undo bad habits and replace them with constructive ones. Talk to the interviewer about the resources that you currently lean on to learn about effective management. Be sure to show a desire for continued learning by discussing tangible ways you plan to achieve growth as a leader.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    20.

    In your current position, what efforts have you put into helping your co-workers to learn and grow?

      How to Answer

      The best managers often take on leadership responsibilities naturally and seek opportunities to mentor or coach others without being asked. The interviewer wants to know that you have a habit of helping others, even when you do not hold a formal leadership position.

      Rather than deliver a generic response, try incorporating a story-based example of when you helped a peer or co-worker learn a new skill, achieve a goal, or grow in their career. Show your enthusiasm for helping others and express how this natural ability will benefit your new team and the hiring company should they choose to hire you as their new manager.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    21.

    What kind of managers have you looked up to in the past?

      How to Answer

      As a new manager, you must build your leadership style on a strong foundation. This foundation can be formed by learning from others. For this reason, the interviewer wants insight into the type of leaders that you admire and wish to emulate.

      Perhaps you have been led by an intelligent and inspiring leader who taught you about leading with integrity and developing a healthy workplace culture. In that case, discuss who you looked up to in the past and why. Maybe you have not been so lucky and have had to work with challenging managers who did not set a strong example for you. In that case, think of the positive takeaways that you learned from the experience. Discuss how you took this potentially negative experience and turned it into a positive lesson on leadership.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Management

    22.

    This is your first management role. Will you feel comfortable delegating to others?

      How to Answer

      It can feel a bit uncomfortable delegating to others, especially when you are a new manager and not accustomed to being in a formal leadership role. Luckily, there are many resources available to learn about proper delegation and other management techniques. Talk to the interviewer about your knowledge of delegating and show confidence in your ability to lead others while delegating tasks and driving your team to success.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Management

    23.

    Managers must command the attention of their team members. As a new manager, how do you plan to achieve this goal?

      How to Answer

      Managers follow many important best practices to lead their teams effectively and produce excellent results. Since you are a new manager, the interviewer wants to hear specifically how you believe you will command your team members' attention and generate successful results under your leadership.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    24.

    If a project was threatening to run over budget or over deadline, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      If this is your first management role, it may be easier for budget or time overages to sneak up on you. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the warning signs of a budget that is about to go awry and that you can course-correct when needed.

      When a project threatens to run over deadline or budget, there are a few options available to you:

      1. Lower your costs or increase hours spent on the project
      2. Revisit the project scope and make reductions/cuts to ensure your deadline or budget is met
      3. Ask the required stakeholders for more time or more funding

      Each of these options has its challenges as well, so it's time to show the interviewer that you have strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Express how you would handle the situation while highlighting your professionalism and confidence.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    25.

    As a new manager, what do you believe will be your most significant challenge?

      How to Answer

      Since you are new to your management career, you will face unique challenges that come with starting a new job and joining a new company. The interviewer wants you to openly share what you believe will be the most significant challenge for you as you enter your management career.

      Some of your challenges may include:

      - Decreased team performance, which commonly occurs after a management change.
      - Rebuilding team expectations, especially if the previous manager was not highly effective.
      - Pressure to perform and make an immediate positive difference.
      - Creating a vision for your new team while adjusting to a new work environment.

      To answer this question meaningfully, draw on the job description and show that you have a solid understanding of the position requirements and the pain points you need to solve. With this knowledge, you can customize your response to show that you understand the hiring company's needs. Discuss the most significant challenge you believe you will face. Then, focus on the actions you will take to meet these demands.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    26.

    Managers should be strong problem solvers. Talk about a time when you solved an important issue in the workplace.

      How to Answer

      When approaching this question, it's important first to understand what makes a strong problem-solver. A great problem solver can quickly assess an issue, identify the factors at the core of the issue, brainstorm options for repairing the issue, implement a plan to solve the problem, and assess whether their course of action was the most suitable. From that point, a great problem solver will know how to avoid the issue in the future. They can also adapt their solution as needed to ensure a suitable outcome.

      Provide the interviewer with an example of a time when you solved an important issue in the workplace. When giving your story-based example, try using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) answer method to form a response that is clear and easy to follow.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    27.

    When you encounter a problem with another individual, how do you approach the situation?

      How to Answer

      As a manager, you must be confident in your conflict resolution skills. The hiring company wants to see that you have the skill and poise to deal with issues quickly and professionally. Show that you are comfortable addressing sensitive issues surrounding conflict with another individual despite being new to your management career. It is also important that you show the interviewer that you can deal with conflict in a manner that aligns with the company's core values and leadership approach.

      Instead of giving a general response about how you deal with conflict, try offering a real-life example of when you worked closely with your team to resolve a conflict. When providing your story-based example, use the STAR answer framework to ensure that your story is clear, concise, and easy for the interviewer to follow. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    28.

    How would you present bad or disappointing news to your team members?

      How to Answer

      Since you are new to your management career, the hiring company needs to be sure that you are ready and capable of challenging management-related tasks. Delivering disappointing news to others is one example of a managerial task that takes practice, insight, and emotional intelligence. The interviewer wants to see that your leadership approach will be a fit for their company's culture and that you can handle uncomfortable situations while maintaining a position of authority.

      Give an example of a time when you had a challenging conversation. Since you are a new manager, you can use an example from a peer-to-peer relationship, an instance that occurred during your education career, or even a team sport or volunteer experience. Explain what the bad or disappointing news was, how you approached the conversation, and the result of your approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    29.

    What would you do if a team member was not working efficiently?

      How to Answer

      Although you may be new to your management career, you likely know a bit about motivating others. The interviewer wants to see that will be comfortable correcting and mentoring team members who are not performing efficiently. Describe how you would approach the team member and the plans you would put into action to maximize their success.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    30.

    What type of people do you believe you can lead most effectively?

      How to Answer

      Being new to your management career, the hiring company may have concerns about your ability to lead various people and personalities. Show that you have the confidence to lead a range of individuals, even if their personalities are different from yours. Express your ability to be flexible and remain true to yourself regardless of who is on your team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on November 3rd, 2021

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