10+ Best Manager Interview Questions & Answers

manager interview questions

Great management is more than simply telling someone what to do or giving colleagues to do lists. Great management is about inspiring those that you work with to show up every day and do an incredible job with their work. It’s about contexualizing the vision of the company and the vision of the CEO in every aspect of the job situation so that employee’s feel empowered, well tasked and able to achieve goals that make them proud and the Company benefit. Below are some of the best manager interview questions and answers that I spent years attempting to perfect.

What is the role of a manager

A manager generally has a couple aspects to their day to day life. It is about coordinating and empowering a team of people to work together and achieve a common goal. As well as tasking and helping to unblock roadblocks that stand in the way from being able to achieve positive outcomes. In many ways, managers play the role of being well organized as well as being well informed in order to produce high output outcomes for the Company. There is absolutely an aspect of helping every employee that sits on the team you manage, achieve a goal that they have set for their own individual career as well.

Manager interview questions & answers

1. What is management to you?

Management is the process of helping to facilitate all of the tools required in order for great people to be able to do their job in the most efficient and effective of ways. Management is about being a player-coach in the sense that I take a selfless perspective towards my teams needs and help to ensure we are moving in the right direction, at the right pace, with the right expectations and with the right guidance.

2. How do you help someone understand a common goal of the company?

Using examples as well as reiterating points of views with regard to the CEO’s vision and vision statement can be a very powerful way to do this. Generally speaking, showing the team where we we are going, why we are going there and how we are going to do it; can all help someone understand the common goal of the company and how our team fits in.

3. How do you tell someone they made a mistake?

I like to tell someone they made a mistake by showing them the outcome it had on their other team members. No one wants to fault their team or even fault themselves. But often times it is easier to express how important that particular scenario’s success was based on the cause/reaction that the event had on their fellow team members. That perspective can be quite powerful for someone and slows the potential for them to repeat the mistake.

4. What are ways you measure success?

Success can be measured in many ways. On a team level it is measured by time, objective and outcome of that objective. If our team is tasked with a certain KPI/metric, we are going to do everything in our power to get it. And in the allowed time that we have to achieve it. These are ways that we can benchmark our overall success, communication, collaboration and execution.

5. How do you know your team succeeded?

Based on the happiness of our team members, happiness of the departments that are working with us and the overall ways that our department was able to intersect with broader company initiatives and objectives.

6. What are 1-on-1’s?

These are meetings for which a manager and employee get together to discuss a variety of subject matter related to that person and the company itself. This can be an event where the employee has the opportunity express their personal happiness and allow it to be corrected. It can also be a platform for understand where and how the team may be able to do better. And for the manager to listen in this scenario and produce actionable plans from it.

7. What is individual career development?

Every employee has goals that reside outside of the company. They have goals for themselves. And career development is just that. It’s the process of understanding where a particular employee sees themselves in the next few years and how I or the company may be able to help them achieve that.

8. How do you assess productivity?

Productivity is about our ratio of execution to communication. And how often we are doing that. Our output should be accurate and our communication to produce that accurate output should be 1:3 at the most in terms of time spent.

9. What is the greatest risk a Company has?

Losing time. Time to a company is the greatest risk that it has.

10. What is the greatest commodity a Company has?

Trick question, the answer is time. Time is the most valuable commodity within a Company. This is the most treasured commodity, more so than even money.

11. Do you communicate with your team individually or all together as one?

Team communication is incredibly important for a shared vision, morale of the team and unifying our efforts. Individual employee’s rarely want to feel as though they are on an island alone. The importance of their tasks as it relates to their overall team success is an absolute driving factor for many people to contribute heavily and produce high quality work.

Preparing for Manager Interviews

Showing you are a great manager to a hiring manager is going to be difficult. Great communication, clear communication and articulation of your personal value will go a tremendously long way. Be sure that you are able to show some metrics for the happiness of the team that worked with you as well as the overall contributions to the company that your team made. That will help present your argument for overall fit with the open position. In general, while most companies have managers, they are often times managed differently from the highest level of the organization. Because of this it is imperative that you understand what is required from managers within the company you are interviewing with before you have your interview. Then you start speaking towards your background and particular points of interest that might fit more in lines with how that company is managed.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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