Management interview questions do require some extra preparation.
Why? Because in addition to exploring if you have the technical capacity to handle the job, you will also need to demonstrate that you have relevant management and leadership competencies and achievements.
So, what will the interviewers focus on with their questions?
In terms of your ability to manage and lead, you can expect questions about how you manage tasks and resources, plus your ability to motivate and control the efforts of your staff. Each of these areas relate to the key functions of management.
The specific areas where you will need to demonstrate that you are a competent manager are likely to include:
During the actual interview, the management interview questions will probably cover at least these three main categories:
If you are an experienced manager you won't find this surprising. After all, the work of a manager is to lead and inspire a team of people to achieve results.
Let's look at some possible questions in each of these areas.
All interviews will have generalised questions designed to get to know you as a person. These are common job interview questions for which you'll need to have some prepared answers.
The general exploratory questions you can expect to be asked about you as a manager could include:
Notice that the above management interview questions are spread across each of three categories that you'll find in any well structured interview process. The broad categories for interview questions are:
The relevance of these to the hiring decision making process are fully explored in job interview tips.
Be thoroughly prepared to answer questions about your reasons for applying for the job - your motivation.
And......expect questions designed to reveal what type of person you are.....will you be good fit with the organisation, your peers, and your subordinates?
Managers have a responsibility for ensuring that the work gets done.... that goals, objectives, performance targets or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the organisation and the team are achieved.
During a management interview, questions will almost certainly be asked about how you manage task achievement and work performance.
Here are some questions you might asked that will explore your ability to get results:
While the majority of management interview questions will focus on how you manage task and people to achieve results it is highly likely you will be asked technical interview questions.
This will be especially the case if you work in a specialist rather than a generalist field, for example Information and Communication Technology, Engineering, Health Sciences, Research etc.
In addition to demonstrating your management and leadership credentials, technical interview questions will be aimed at determining if you are able to provide appropriate technical leadership in your area of responsibility.
Your approach to leading and managing people will have just as much importance as your ability to achieve results.
Therefore in an interview for a management position you can expect detailed questioning about your leadership and management style.
If you have studied the art of management you no doubt know that there are numerous theories about how leading and managing should be approached in order to get the maximum possible performance from a team to enable them to achieve desired results.
In essence this diversity of theories means that different situations that need managing will require different approaches to managing and leading. For example, if you are leading a new team with mainly inexperienced workers you might need to adopt a fairly directive style of managing and leading.
The opposite might apply if you are leading a team of very experienced people who have also worked together for a long period of time.
So......your research prior to interview can play a very important role in influencing how you answer questions about your management and leadership style. Learn as much as you can about the situation and people you will be expected to manage.
Here are some common job interview questions that relate to management and leadership style:
Communication skills and resolving conflict
Managers are responsible for achieving results through the people they manage. During a management job interview it is natural to assume that your approach to managing and leading will be thoroughly explored.
The questions on this page are just a small sample of potential questions you might be asked.
Be aware however that the management interview questions you'll be asked will be designed around the situation you will be expected to manage.
It is expected that managers and leaders will be able to adapt their style to particular situations
Therefore your research prior to the interview will be extremely important in enabling you to adapt your answers to the present and/or desired future situation, and results, within the organisation.