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10 Common Interview Questions for Managers

Jan 2, 2020

Earning a business degree is key to getting a management position in any industry or firm. But earning a degree isn’t the only step. You’ll need to be able to shine in an interview in order to finally land the position. In order to do well in an interview for a management position, preparation is key. This guide will help you understand what kinds of interview questions you may be asked during a management job interview, and how to answer them in the best possible way to show your strength and skills. 

WGU can help you earn a business degree and boost you resume to help you catch the eye of potential employers. Your degree will give you the skills and credentials you need to land the interview and be qualified for the job, and being prepared for that interview will help you ultimately get the position.

Some of these interview questions are common for many job interviews, while others are specific to management positions. Either way, being prepared to answer them in the best way is key to help you land the job.

1. Tell me about your leadership experience.

Here the interviewer could be trying to get a feel about the candidate’s experience in the field and as a leader. It’s important for you to answer this question honestly; if you haven’t had much leadership experience that’s ok! Be honest about it, and let the potential employer know about your other credentials that can make up for the lack of experience. This can be education or other opportunities you’ve had. Even one small leadership example can help you show your experience and motivation for management.

2. How would you describe your management style?

This interview question is asked to help determine if a candidate’s style will fit with the company culture. The employer wants to know what the people working under you can expect, and that they’ll be happy to have you as a manager. It’s important for you to understand the types of management styles and determine which one is most accurate to what you do as a manager. Understand which styles are generally preferred and consider their benefits. It’s also valuable to have an anecdote to share about your experience with this style.

3. How would your employees describe your management style.

This kind of interview question is asked to candidates by hiring managers to help them understand how your their workers opinions line up with your own. They want to understand how you view your management, and how it may also be perceived differently by people working under you. The interviewer is also trying to understand your success in previous positions as a manager. If your employees of the past would have favorable things to say about your work, it’s likely future workers would also enjoy working with you. Be honest about what you think your employees would say about you to answer this interview question. If you haven’t had previous employees, talk about your coworkers and the opportunities you’ve had in the past to work with others. It's important to show that you have good leadership skills and can delegate to your direct reports.

4. Describe how you’ve managed a difficult worker

In this situation, a potential employer is fishing for specifics about how you would handle a stressful situation. Every manager faces difficult employees and stressful situations no matter where they work. Your potential employer is asking this management interview question to be sure you can take on these situations and handle them without causing more issues or problems. When you answer this question, talk about the specific situation without being rude or mean about the difficult employee. Show empathy and that you can handle the situation while being kind. A good manager is able to delegate work, while helping difficult employees discover their potential and be happy with their position.

5. How do you motivate others? 

This management interview question is asked by the interviewer to help them gain a better understanding of your management style and how you use positivity to increase productivity in workers. The tools you use to motivate your workers will directly play into the kind of work that gets done, and the morale of employees. Answer this question honestly, sharing anecdotes about your motivational techniques and how they’ve helped you find success. 

6. What types of decisions are most difficult for you to make?

A potential employer is asking this question to see how you handle stressful or snap decisions that you will inevitably have to make as a manager. They want to know your weak areas, and make sure that you understand where those weak areas are as well. Be honest when talking about the type of decisions you struggle to make. This could be decisions about how to handle employees, decisions about timelines, decisions about bonuses and salaries, and more. This will give the employer a glimpse into your mind and how you work as a manager, and as an employee.

7. Discuss the last employee you promoted and why. 

An employer might be looking to see what the candidate values, recognizes, and expects from employees. By understanding what employees you’ve promoted in the past, hiring managers will get a glimpse into what kinds of things you look for and appreciate in your employees, and who you reward. Answer this question with a story about an employee you promoted and why, sharing the specific elements that made you certain about their abilities and potential.

8. What can you contribute to this company as an employee?

Employers are asking this question to see what you know about the organization. They want to know if you know what the company is all about. They also want to know how you specifically are a good fit for the organization. There may be other people with similar credentials or skills, but they want to know what sets you apart and makes you the best fit for their company. They want to understand how you’ll work to achieve the company goals and fit in with the company culture as well. Share what sets you apart specifically and could make you the right fit for their company. Make sure you research their organization so you can share specifically how you could fit in well and contribute.

9. What is your greatest achievement as a manager?

Here, an employer is looking to see your capabilities as a potential manager. They want to know what great things you’ve done, and what great things you could potentially achieve that their organization. To answer this question have an experience or story in mind to share about a managerial success you’ve had. It can be a specific project you’ve spearheaded, or work you’ve done with a specific employee. Be able to share what you specifically did to help make this achievement happen, and how you could do similar work for their organization.

10. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses as a manager? 

Again, your employer may be trying to read your abilities and see what you can offer their organization. They also want to see where you need to improve, and see that you understand your weaknesses as well. They want a manager who is self-aware enough to understand where their flaws are. Answer this question honestly, really highlighting your strengths and how you feel they can benefit the company, and then turning to your weaknesses. Talk about real weaknesses, but include thoughts about how you’re working to improve on these weaknesses.

Getting your degree is the first step to a future as a manager. Once you have this important credential, it’s valuable to be prepared for a job interview that can help you seal the deal. The interview can really help you stand out from the competition. Knowing what kinds of questions to expect, and how to answer them, can be the difference in growing your business career to a management position.

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