12 Interview Questions for Managers

As a hiring manager, the process of identifying suitable candidates for managerial and leadership positions within your organization can be intricate. It goes beyond merely appraising their technical skills or prior experiences; you must evaluate their competence in effectively leading teams and communicating with both their subordinates and senior colleagues. 

By posing the appropriate interview queries, you can acquire insights into a candidate's leadership capabilities and arrive at informed decisions regarding your upcoming recruitment. In this blog by Aniday, we will delve into ten fundamental interview questions tailored for assessing managerial candidates and selecting the finest individuals for your company's leadership roles.

Interview Questions for Managers

a manager in an interview

When interviewing managers and senior leaders, it is crucial to start by assessing their leadership abilities and motivations. Understanding what inspires them and how they have managed and motivated their direct reports in the past will provide valuable insights into their managerial capabilities. 

Here are some interview questions to assess leadership skills and fit:

1. Tell Me About a Leader Or Manager That you’ve Looked Up to and Has Inspired You.

This question allows candidates to reflect on the qualities they admire in effective leaders. Their response will give you an understanding of the leadership attributes they value and aspire to incorporate into their own management style.

2. What Motivates You to Come to Work Every Day?

Understanding an individual's motivation is crucial when considering them for a managerial role. Their answer will reveal whether they are driven by personal growth, team success, or other factors that align with your company culture and goals.

3. What Have you Done In Past Roles to Inspire/Motivate your Direct Reports?

A competent manager must possess the capacity to motivate and instill inspiration within their team. This question serves as an indicator of a candidate's aptitude for nurturing a constructive and industrious work atmosphere while assessing their history of promoting the professional development of their subordinates.

Interview Questions on Communication for Managers

group of employees being happy in the workplace

Efficient communication is paramount for managers to express expectations, offer constructive feedback, and cultivate robust relationships with their team members. Presenting pertinent queries concerning communication skills allows you to assess a candidate's proficiency in articulating concepts, engaging in active listening, and promoting fruitful dialogues.

1. Describe a Situation Where you Had to Communicate a Complex Idea or Change to your Team. How Did you Ensure They Understood And Embraced it?

This question assesses a candidate's ability to effectively communicate complex information to their team. It also evaluates their problem-solving skills and adaptability in ensuring the message is well-received and understood by all team members.

2. How Do You Handle Conflicts Within Your Team? Can you Share an Example of a Successful Resolution to a Conflict Situation?

Conflict resolution is a critical skill for managers. Understanding how a candidate approaches and resolves conflicts will showcase their ability to maintain harmony within the team and ensure a positive work environment. Look for candidates who demonstrate diplomacy, empathy, and fairness in their conflict resolution strategies.

3. How do you Provide Constructive Feedback to your Subordinates? Can you Give An Example of a Time When you Helped an Employee Improve Through Feedback?

A manager's role involves providing feedback that helps their team members grow professionally. This question uncovers a candidate's ability to deliver constructive criticism in a supportive manner. Look for candidates who emphasize the importance of clear communication, active listening, and ongoing feedback for employee development.

Good Questions to Ask Leaders and Managers About Conflict Resolution

manager trying to break up an argument between two colleagues

Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, but effective managers are skilled at resolving disputes and maintaining a harmonious work environment. Use these questions to assess a candidate's ability to handle conflicts and promote collaboration:

1. How Do You Approach Conflicts Between Team Members? Can you Provide an Example of a Time When you Successfully Resolved a Conflict?

Understanding how a potential manager handles conflicts will give you valuable insights into their conflict management style. Look for candidates who prioritize open dialogue, seek common ground, and focus on finding win-win solutions.

2. What Steps do you Take to Prevent Conflicts From Escalating Within your Team?

Prevention is key when it comes to managing conflicts. A strong manager should have strategies in place to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Look for candidates who emphasize proactive communication, fostering a supportive team culture, and setting clear expectations to minimize conflicts.

3. How do you Handle Conflicts With Senior Staff or Other Departments?

Conflict resolution extends beyond resolving internal team disputes. Managers also need to navigate conflicts between different departments or with senior staff members. Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to mediate conflicts, build relationships, and find mutually beneficial solutions in challenging situations.

Interview Questions for Manager Goal Setting/Performance

setting SMART goals

Managers play a crucial role in setting goals and driving performance within their teams. These questions will help you assess a candidate's ability to set realistic targets, track progress, and provide meaningful feedback:

1. How do you Set Goals For your Team? Can you Provide An Example of a Time When You Set Challenging Yet Attainable Goals That Led To Exceptional Results?

Goal setting is an essential skill for managers. Look for candidates who outline their approach to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and demonstrate the ability to motivate their team to achieve outstanding outcomes.

2. How do you Track And Measure The Performance of Your Team Members?

Effective performance management requires tracking and measuring individual and team progress. Look for candidates who describe their methods for monitoring performance, providing timely feedback, and making data-driven decisions to improve team productivity and meet organizational objectives.

3. How Do You Help Underperforming Team Members Improve Their Performance?

Addressing underperformance is a common challenge for managers. Look for candidates who emphasize their commitment to supporting struggling team members and can provide examples of successful strategies they have employed to help individuals improve their performance.

Final Thoughts: Interview Questions for Managers

Ensuring the success and growth of your organization hinges on selecting the appropriate managers. Employing these interview inquiries in your recruitment procedure provides valuable perspectives into a candidate's leadership prowess, communication aptitude, conflict resolution methods, and objective establishment capacities. 

It is essential to bear in mind that the managers you hire must exhibit qualities consistent with your company's values and possess the expertise required to motivate and steer their teams toward success.

In conclusion, conducting effective interviews for managerial positions requires asking purposeful questions that evaluate a candidate's potential to excel in leadership roles. 

By using the interview questions provided in this article from Aniday, you can make informed hiring decisions and identify individuals who have the necessary skills and qualities to become successful managers within your organization.