What should I expect during a manager job interview?

In any interview, preparation is key to success. The better you prepare, the better equipped you’ll be to answer questions and sell yourself as the ideal candidate. If you’re interviewing for a manager position, you need to go above and beyond to prove that you have the chops for the job.

When interviewing for a manager role, expect questions about your experience leading and motivating teams. The interviewer will want to know how you handle conflict and what strategies you use to get the best performance from your employees.

Be prepared to discuss specific examples of challenges you’ve faced and how you resolved them. Have an elevator pitch ready that outlines why you’re the best candidate for the job. Finally, be prepared to negotiate salary and benefits if an offer is extended.

Here are 10 manager interview questions you may be asked, along with advice on how to answer them.

top manager interview questions

1. What experience do you have leading a team?

In an interview for a managerial role, you’re bound to be asked about your experience leading a team. Here’s how to answer the question and make a strong case for yourself.

First, think about what qualities are important in a good leader. Some key traits include being able to motivate and inspire others, being organized and strategic, and being able to effectively communicate. Then, take a look at your past experiences and see if you can think of any examples that demonstrate these qualities.

If you have direct experience leading a team, that’s great! Talk about what the team was working on and what your role was in achieving the goals.

If you don’t have direct experience, think of other times when you’ve taken on a leadership role in some capacity. Maybe you organized a fundraising event or spearheaded a new project at work.

2. What do you think is the most important trait for a successful manager?

This question allows you to share your opinion on management and demonstrate your understanding of the role.

When preparing your answer, consider what qualities make a good manager. Some important traits include being able to motivate and inspire team members, being organized and efficient, being able to communicate effectively, and having a strong work ethic.

Think about which of these qualities you think is most important for a successful manager. In your answer, explain why you think this trait is essential for managers. Be sure to back up your answer with specific examples.

By preparing a thoughtful answer to this question, you can show that you have the qualities it takes to be a successful manager yourself.

3. What style of management do you prefer?

Your answer to this question will give the interviewer insight into your management philosophy. It’s important to have an answer prepared ahead of time so that you can give the interviewer a thoughtful response.

There are a few different management styles that you could discuss, but the best approach is to tailor your answer to the specific company and role you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a startup, you might prefer a more hands-on management style where you’re working closely with your team daily. Whereas if you’re interviewing for a management position at a large corporation, you might prefer a more strategic and detached approach.

No matter what management style you prefer, be sure to emphasize that you’re open to adaptability and willing to adjust your style based on the needs of your team.

4. Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation as a manager.

One of the most common questions you can be asked during an interview is to describe a time when they had to solve a difficult situation.

This question is usually asked to gauge your problem-solving skills and how you handle difficult conversations or situations.

If you’re ever faced with this question in an interview, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, try to focus on a positive outcome. Second, be as specific as possible and provide concrete examples. And lastly, avoid sounding like you’re bragging or making excuses.

Using the STAR method can help you structure your answer to this type of question.

manager interview questions you may be asked

5. Tell me about a time when you had to give feedback to an employee.

This question is designed to assess your leadership skills and ability to provide constructive feedback.

To answer this question effectively, you should describe a specific situation in which you provided feedback to an employee. You should explain why the feedback was necessary and how you delivered it in a way that was respectful and helpful.

Your answer should demonstrate that you are capable of giving clear and concise instructions, as well as providing support and guidance when needed. Ultimately, the goal is to show that you can help employees grow and develop in their roles.

6. How do you handle conflict within a team?

It’s a common question during a manager role interview and one that allows the interviewer to gauge your managerial skills. Here’s how to answer it.

First, you may explain that you will identify the root cause of the conflict. Is it a personality clash? A difference in opinion? Once you’ve pinpointed the source, you can start working on a resolution.

Next, you involve all parties in finding a solution. The goal is to reach a consensus that everyone can live with. That may mean compromising on some points, but it’s important that everyone feels like they’ve been heard.

Finally, you follow up after the meeting to make sure the conflict has been resolved. Check-in with each team member individually to see how they’re doing and if there’s anything else you can do to help.

When answering this question, be sure to give specific examples of conflicts you have resolved. This will give the interviewer a better understanding of your abilities and how you would handle conflict if hired for the position.

7. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond for your team.

This question is often asked to gauge how you would handle a manager role.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when answering this question. First, be sure to give a specific example. Second, make sure that the example you give highlights your leadership qualities. Finally, avoid sounding boastful or arrogant - focus on sharing what you learned from the experience and how it made you a better leader.

Here is an example answer: “One time, my team was working on a project that was behind schedule. I stepped in and took on some of the work myself so that we could get back on track.”

8. Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision as a manager.

This question is designed to test your ability to handle difficult situations and make tough calls. Here are some tips on how to answer this question:

  • Think of an example that illustrates your leadership skills.
  • Explain why the decision was necessary and how you went about making it.
  • Describe the outcome of the situation and what you learned from it.
  • Be sure to emphasize that you always put the needs of your team first.
  • Keep your answer concise and avoid going into too much detail.

9. How do you motivate your team?

This question is difficult to answer because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to ensure you give the best response possible.

First, think about what motivates your team members individually. What do they care about? What drives them? When you know what motivates each individual on your team, it becomes much easier to motivate them as a whole.

Second, create an inspiring vision for your team and communicate it. People are more likely to be motivated when they feel like they’re working towards something larger than themselves.

Finally, lead by example and show your team that you’re committed to the vision and goal.

10. How do you measure success?

When interviewers ask about how you measure success, they’re looking for insight into your work ethic and values. Here are some tips for how to answer this question:

First, think about what the organization’s goals are. What are they trying to achieve? Your answer should align with those goals. For example, if the organization is focused on growth, you might say that you measure success by how much revenue you generate or how many new customers you bring in.

Second, consider what metric you would use to track progress towards those goals. This could be something like the number of sales made, customer satisfaction ratings, or efficiency measures.

Whatever metric you choose, make sure it’s something that can be easily tracked and measured.