Delivery manager is a popular job title. Yet it is far from clear what a corporation wants to achieve when advertising a job opening for this position.

You can find the role in both technological and logistics companies, and I have seen it advertised by many of the world’s biggest corporations.

Let me therefor focus on the basics, and clear this confusion.

Delivery manager has one main goal in their job: To ensure that the company (or a team or a department within it) delivers on their promises to customers, and company managers.

What exactly this goal envelopes–whether it is delivery of real goods to business partners, or “delivery” of a given application, software update, or piece of code on a given day to a given client, is determined by the type and size of the company, and your job decription.

Let me show you some questions you will face in this interview. I will focus mostly on behavioral and role-specific questions, since these do not change from company to company.

Technical questions (if you get any) depend on the particular business your new employer is involved in, and whether you need any technical expertise to handle the role. Let’s start!

 

Why do you want to work as a delivery manager?

You should show some motivation, and ambition to achieve something in their company. I would not suggest referring to the past, saying that you have a degree from business administration (or computer science) and therefor you want to work in this field. It would indicate a must, but you want to show a desire to have this job.

You can say that you have excellent time-management skills, and organizational skills, and that you believe that together with your technical skills, it makes you a great candidate for the position.

You can also list a couple of duties from the job description (read it carefully on their job advertisement), and say that you believe to have a capacity to handle them, and that you would enjoy doing them on a daily basis.

 

Why do you want to work as a delivery manager here, and not in another company?

Try to praise them for something, try to make them feel good. If you apply with a big corporation, you can always cite their excellent reputation, endless career growth opportunities, or basically a desire to be part of something big, to belong to the best.

Job in a small company has also many advantages (though you typically won’t earn as much as you would in the big corporation).

If you apply in a small company, you can say that you love to have wider scope of responsibilities (which is always the case in a small business). You can also say that you like their innovative product/service/software, that you see a huge potential in the market, and therefore you decided to apply with them.

One way or another, they should feel that you didn’t choose them by accident, and would not leave them as soon as a new offer rings in your mailbox.

Older recruiter asks some questions and job applicant answers. They sit in a comfy modern office

How do you imagine a typical day in work?

This depends strongly on the type of company, and your exact role as a delivery manager. In technological companies all you may do is allocating staff and resources to various projects and tasks in real time, as demanded either by the clients or by the managers.

In such a case say that you imagine being a point of connection between managers and clients on one end, and developer, coders, testers, etc on the other, ensuring that the time of the later is spent in a most effective way to help the former reach their goals.

Obviously in a logistics or automotive company, delivery manager responds more for a delivery of actual goods and products (or product parts), either from one plant to another, or simply from the production to the end user.

The most important thing is to show them that you expect to have your hands full from morning to evening, and do not consider this job an easy ride.

 

Managers, clients, and employees–all of them have different expectations. How would you ensure to meet their expectations?

Say that communication is the key. Say that you would try your best to understand each person you’d deal with in your new job. What their skills are, who they like to work with, the value you can bring, what they expect, what they need, etc.

You can also say that you would have one-on-one meeting with everyone once you start working for the company (and later a regular meeting), to ensure that you understand what they expect from you, and also that they understand what you expect from them.

You can also mention that you know conflicts will arise, and it is not easy to simultaneously manage expectations of different people in the company. However, you feel ready to handle it, or at least ready to try to handle it.

 

Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?

You will be often supposed to bridge the communication gap. Obviously a language of manager (the goals they try to achieve financially and business-wise), and the language of a programmer (what they should do with the application to meet the goals of the managers) differ greatly.

But you need an ability to explain technical things to people without technical skills, and also an ability to “translate” the business language of the managers to the language of the developers, to something they understand.

Describe how you used presentations, demonstration, chart and pictures to convey the meaning, to get your message over. The key is to show that you understand this problem, and do not mind stepping out of your comfort zone.

You do your best to ensure that everyone involved understands what they have to understand, in order to do their job effectively…

Young manager uses a blackboard to explain his answer to the interviewers.

Five other questions you may face in your (service) delivery manager interview

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work, when you had to meet a tight deadline.
  • Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work.
  • Describe a situation when you were unable to meet your goals in work. Why did it happen? What would you do differently if facing similar situation?
  • What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job?
  • Say us something about your last job, and how did it prepare you for the role of a delivery manager.

 

Conclusion

Interview for a Delivery Manager job has medium difficulty. You typically won’t compete with many people for the job (in times of economic expansion you can be the only candidate), which makes your task easier. This job title is often confusing (especially for job seekers) and many will skip it, and opt for applying for other offers.

On the other hand, you should expect to deal with tricky behavioral questions, technical questions (depending on your future place of work, whether technical or not), and also with some short practical case studies. They won’t give you this job easily, and you should do your best to get ready for the interview.

If you are not sure how you’d answer the tricky behavioral questions, have a look at our Interview Success Package. In two hours you will know how to answer every difficult question they may throw at you in this interview. Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you good luck!

 

May also interest you:

  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
  • Agile methodology interview questions – Few software testing and project management methodologies enjoy such a popularity like agile has been enjoying in the recent years. Learn how to convince the recruiters that it belongs to your arsenal of technical knowledge.

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of InterviewPenguin.com website.
Matthew Chulaw

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