Many people dream of becoming managers. If you have been invited for an interview, you are just one step away from a coveted job contract. But what will happen on a big day? What questions will the hiring managers ask you?

Before you start practicing your interview answers, you should think for a while about the abilities that characterize great managers. Understanding the abilities will help you to understand how to conduct yourself in an interview, and what skills you should demonstrate.


Three abilities of a great managers

Man is shaking hands with an HR director. He was just hired for a managerial position.1. They do not only talk and give orders, but they also listen to their people. Show humility in your interview. Show that you listen to your sub-ordinates, seeking valuable feedback, engaging them in your decisions.

2. They go by an example, and they are active. Good managers do not only sit on their chairs, waiting for a next problem to arise. They actively seek solutions and areas for improvement, and they do their best to manage people on both macro and micro level of management.

3. They can hire, but also fire. Great managers do not let their emotions to get the better of them. If they need to dismiss a friend–because their friend made a mistake, or simply because it is right for the company, they will do it.


Tough interview questions for managers

Interview led informally in a cafeteria. The job candidate feels good about her chances, she is smiling.Question 1. How do you motivate your subordinates?

Answer: The best answer is to say that you try to solve the issue of motivation individually, with every single employee you manage. Identifying the problem (it can be money, bad relationships on the workplace, personal problems, inability to see the connection of personal and company goals) should be your first step.  Second one is addressing the problem, whether with a talk, or an incentive, or a punishment.


Question 2. What makes you a great leader?

Recruiters and HR managers start to understand the importance of leadership. Real leaders can make a huge difference for the entire business, or at least for the department they spearhead. (Note: We have a separate article dedicated to leadership interview questions.)

Answer: The best leaders help other people to become better. Once a company has many leaders (not only leaders of the others, but also leaders of their own life and work), it will fly through the competition like a rocket, reaching the skies, or even fly beyond them…. And you should try to become such a leader:

“I always try to help my subordinates to progress in both their personal and professional life. Higher level of motivation, higher level of self confidence, higher level of effectiveness, higher level of personal leadership. That is what makes me a great leader.”

Questions 3. What was the biggest management problem you faced in your last job?

Manager is scared before his interview - he has no idea what to sayAnswer: Explain a problem, and elaborate on it with the solution. Turn your biggest challenge to the sweetest victory. Show them that you consider each problem a challenges, in a positive sense of a word, an opportunity to become a better manager, and to help the company to grow.


Question 4. What do you consider the key abilities of a good manager?

Answer: You can list the abilities we described in this article, or you can just say leadership, achieving goals of the company, and helping all people to deliver their very best in work.

Communication skills, social skills, ability to utilize the strengths of each team member, are some other good abilities you can mention in your answer.


Behavioral question

You will have to deal with some behavioral questions as well. In particular, you can expect to hear the following questions in your managerial interview:

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with your colleague.
  • Describe a situation when you faced a particularly demanding problem or challenge in your personal life. How did that affect you in your job?
  • Describe a time when you struggled with motivation in job (it was repetitive, you did not enjoy your duties, there was no work to do, etc). How did you overcome the crisis?
  • Describe a time when you were tempted to start a relationship with your colleague (or a client, or a customer).
  • Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?

You will find great answers to the behavioral interview questions in our Interview Success Package. Alternatively, you can check the leadership interview questions, or other articles that should help you prepare for your managerial interview. Team wish you good luck in your interview!