Answers to Interview Questions for Manager Candidates

Demonstrating Your Accomplishments During a Management Interview

man in empty board room waiting for job interview
••• Fuse / Corbis / Getty Images

If you’re preparing for an interview for a management position, you have obviously interviewed successfully in the past. However, even with your experience, it can be helpful to review interview questions and answers for manager candidates.

Beyond that, you might want to go over interview success techniques to improve your chances of landing the job. The more prepared you are for your interview, the more polished you’ll appear, and the more likely you’ll be to move forward in the hiring process.

What You Will Be Asked

An interview for a management position will consist of questions about your experience, management style, what you've accomplished in the past and what your expectations are for the future. The hiring manager will ask questions to determine how well you will fit into the organization, and how effective you’ll be in the position.

To craft your answers, it will help if you share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences. This will show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses, so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.

If you're interviewing for a management trainee position, where you're not expected to have a lot of related work experience, you will most likely be asked about your ability to lead groups, delegate tasks, and perform related duties. It's fine to share examples from academic and extracurricular activities to show the interview how you're qualified.

Areas of Focus for Manager Interview Questions

When interviewing managers, most interviewers will focus on two distinct aspects of the managerial experience – can you get results and how well you deal with people. Both are equally important.

If you can’t deal with managing different personalities in team environments and under stress, nothing else you do will matter. On the other hand, if you get too involved in dealing with people’s personal problems, you’re unlikely to be able to help the organization achieve its goals.

As a manager, you’ll set the tone for your team. If you don’t share the organization’s values, goals, and culture, you won’t be able to lead effectively. Prepare for your upcoming interview those concepts in mind. It may help to review these common manager interview questions.

Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Interview Questions About Management

  • What do you expect from a manager? - Best Answers
  • Share some examples of the ways in which you've impacted worker safety. - Best Answers
  • Who was your best manager and who was the worst? - Best Answers
  • What strategies would you use to motivate your team? - Best Answers
  • What was it like working for your manager? - Best Answers
  • What major challenges and problems have you faced? How did you handle them? - Best Answers

Interview Questions About Employees

Interview Questions About Your Qualifications and Skills

  • Why should we hire you? - Best Answers
  • What were your responsibilities at your current (or last) positions? - Best Answers

Interview Questions About You

  • What motivates you? - Best Answers
  • What was most and least rewarding about your last position? - Best Answers
  • What was your biggest accomplishment and failure in this position? - Best Answers
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation? - Best Answers
  • Why are you leaving (did you leave) your job? - Best Answers

More Interview Tips

Don’t forget to prepare answers to standard interview questions. Hiring managers still want to know how you’ve conquered challenges in the past, what your long-term plans are for your career, and whether you’ll fit into the corporate culture.

Get ready for a few curveball questions. Many interviewers like to ask difficult questions of all their prospective hires. They may especially expect management candidates to think quickly on their feet and stay cool even when the conversation veers in an unexpected direction.

Demonstrate that you’re management material during the interview. Seek input or clarification as needed, remain positive and focused on the problem (or interview question), and look for opportunities to tell stories that demonstrate your successes.