109 Best Interview Questions For Managers – How to answer professionally!
Guys, creating a positive work environment is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of your career, no matter what your industry. Interview questions for managers are what you need to enhance your communication skills and vet your co-workers.
As managers, it’s important for you to ask the right questions to get to know what potential employees are bringing to the table.
Emotional intelligence and the ability to read people are in top demand in every field of work now.
No matter who you’re hiring, you need to ask the right questions to ensure that the person in front of you has not only the skill set for the job but also the personal integrity and communication skills to be a positive member of any team.
Here are the 10 best interview questions for managers:
1. How would you describe your management style?
A potential manager should convey whether they are more hands on or hands off and give examples of how they would convey positive and constructively critical feedback to their team members.
2. Do you complete tasks assigned to you quickly and efficiently?
This question requires the potential managers take on balancing quality vs. quantity.
3. Are you considered a mentor?
Mentors take their juniors under their wing and provide one-on-one feedback and invite their mentees to reflect on their performances and what they’re learning.
4. Are you considered a leader?
A strong leader is always thinking of the greater good. They are always making decisions based on service and protecting the boundaries of those who work beneath them.
By listening carefully to someone’s response to this question, you can tell whether they’re striving for a leadership position to feed their ego or because they really want to create positive change.
5. Are you a problem solver?
Problem solvers are eager to dive into creating solutions. They don’t avoid problems or attempt to hide the fact that they exist.
6. How has your management style changed as you got more experience?
The job candidate should be self-aware enough to logically describe an evolution in their mindset and communication skills.
7. What is a common way you see people fail as managers?
The candidate should be able to demonstrate awareness of tactics that created team discord or negative production results in the past.
8. How do you handle your mistakes in the workplace?
The interviewee should be able to tell you what and how they have learned from their mistakes. How have their mistakes led to a solid foundation of self-awareness and wisdom?
9. How do you manage the performance of your employees?
A candidate that micromanages will create anxiety in their co-workers. A candidate that under-manages may struggle to set boundaries for their team members. You want a candidate who can assert themselves while still giving team members room to breathe.
10. How do you evaluate what success is?
You’ll get a solid idea of whether this candidate is aligned with your company’s idea of success.
Initially, you’ll want to ask some broader get to know you questions, and see where your potential candidates take them.
Here are 10 “Get to know you” interview questions for managers:
11. Tell me about yourself.
You’ll be able to gauge a candidate’s self-esteem and aspirations by listening carefully to their answer to this one.
12. Tell me about your current/most recent job.
You’ll find out the reasons for their desire to move forward in their careers.
13. What is your motivation?
14. How long did you work as a manager?
Length of time in a leadership position doesn’t always reflect their true ability, but it’s still important to ask.
15. What are your greatest strengths?
You’ll find out how self-aware your candidate is. Most people know this question will be asked. Some will have a canned response. Others will be able to speak authentically about this. Look for the latter.
16. What is your biggest weakness?
This is a great gauge for a candidate’s ability to be honest with themselves and you.
17. What did you enjoy the most in your previous positions?
You’ll get a gauge of their capacity for gratitude. No matter how bad a situation they come from, a good candidate will be able to be sincerely grateful for something.
18. What did you enjoy the least in your previous positions?
Check to make sure the candidate’s expectations are sane and realistic for your own company’s values.
19. What’s your dream job?
Check on how the interviewee is doing on the path to their goals. How do they see the position they’re interviewing for in service to their dreams?
20. What are your hobbies outside of work?
You’ll get a gauge on the candidate’s personal values.
Personal questions don’t have to be “too personal.”
Here are 9 personal interview questions for managers:
21. How many employees reported directly to you in your management job?
You’ll gist the candidate’s management capacity.
22. How do you prioritize your role as a manager?
Figure out what the candidate sees as most and least important.
23. Describe the exact responsibilities and activities over which you had oversight for these employees.
A solid candidate should have a clear understanding of how each member of their team served a greater whole.
24. How you have been able to provide direction and leadership in your previous departments?
Inquire of their communication style.
25. What do you feel are the most significant contributions of a manager in the workplace?
Have them describe exacting examples of daily acts of service and team motivation.
26. How did you demonstrate your most significant contribution in your past jobs as a manager?
Similar to the question above, only personal to them.
27. How you have managed employee performance in the past?
Find out how they approached employees who were struggling. Get situational examples.
28. Describe the process you have used for performance feedback.
Red flags are those who are overly critical or afraid to be critical at all. You want someone who can use the sandwich method: begin with positive feedback, insert a constructive criticism, end with one more bit of positive feedback.
29. How have you rewarded an employee’s excellent performance and hard work?
A manager that promotes genuine affirmation, gratitude, positivity, and ample reward for their employees is pure gold.
If you can’t meet job candidates in person, you might need phone interview questions.
Here are 10 phone interview questions for managers:
30. What interested you about this job/company?
Find out the exact personal values that align.
31. Why should we hire you?
Ask them point blank whether they possess and are aware of their own personal strengths. Listen for tone of voice. You’ll know if they’re telling you what they think you want to hear.
32. Why do you want to work here?
A truly passionate, aligned, and excited candidate will have done their research on your company and will be able to cite similarities between themselves and the current company culture.
33. Describe Your Current Job Responsibilities
On the surface, they might be different than the ones they’ll have with your company, but the skills required might be the same, e.g. really solid people skills can come through in infinite ways.
34. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
How would this position serve the candidate on their long-term journey?
35. What was a challenging project, and how did you manage it?
How does the candidate deal with challenges? What do they consider challenges?
36. What’s your communication style?
Possibilities are visual, auditory, and experiential.
37. What’s your ideal project?
You’ll get an idea of what the candidate is expecting from the position.
38. Have you managed remote teams and outsourced resources?
Can the candidate keep remote workers in the loop and on the same page? What’s their experience with the necessary technology?
39. How do you deal when you’re overwhelmed or under-performing?
A person’s true colors come out in these states. You’ll get an idea of their flexibility, adaptability, mindfulness, and ability to self-reflect.
Hypothetical questions present candidates with challenging professional situations and ask them to describe how they would face such challenges.
Here are 10 hypothetical interview questions for managers:
40. What would you do if you made a strong recommendation in a meeting, but your colleagues decided against it?
Discover how the candidate copes with initial rejection.
41. How would you handle a colleague you were unable to form a positive relationship with?
Even with true mutual respect, not all personalities merge instantly. Those who trigger us are our greatest mirror reflections of ourselves. Is the candidate able to use such reflections to improve their communication skills? Are they patient, compassionate, and willing to let go of their ego?
42. What would you do if you were assigned to work with a difficult client?
There will always be difficult clients, and this is a true test of a candidate’s abilities.
43. You’re working on a key project that you can’t complete because you’re waiting on work from a colleague. What do you do?
When your own performance is on the line, but dependent on another’s, it can mean communicating urgency without impatience.
44. You realize that an early mistake in a project is going to put you behind deadline. What do you do?
Can the candidate communicate fearlessly, openly, and transparently?
45. How would you handle working closely with a colleague who was very different from you?
An excessive amount of prejudice will be limiting for the company. Is the candidate aware of any prejudices and willing to work on their own?
46. What would you do if an important task was not up to standard, but the deadline to complete it has passed?
How does the candidate balance deadlines and quality control?
47. What would you do if the work of an employee you managed didn’t meet expectations?
Assess the candidate’s ability to motivate, clarify expectations, or set boundaries with team members.
48. How would you handle it if the priorities for a project you were working on were suddenly changed?
Get clear on how they embody adaptability and flexibility.
49. What would you do if you disagreed with the way a manager wanted you to handle a problem?
You’ll get to know how a candidate demonstrates diplomacy and communication with his higher-ups.
Interesting interview questions are absolutely necessary when it’s clear that a candidate might be a great match for your company. These interesting questions bridge the final bit of gap between you before you make the job offer.
Here are 10 interesting interview questions for managers:
50. How do you handle the pressure?
Self-care, and one’s ability to manage one’s own mental state and emotions are everything when the going gets tough, which it will.
51. How do you motivate yourself?
A candidate who expects motivation to come solely from outside themselves in a huge red flag. Look for someone who has an arsenal of options to get themselves back on track, personally and professionally.
52. How do you manage your workload?
Figure out what their approach to organization is.
53. What kind of work environment do you prefer?
Figure out whether the candidate’s expectations of the work environment at your company are congruent.
54. Do you take your work home with you?
The most important part of this question is not yes or no, but why. Some candidates find they can concentrate better on details at home. Others feel like they have to because their organizational skills are lacking.
55. What are the qualities of a successful manager?
Do their values align?
56. What type of pace do you work at?
Fast is not always better. You’re assessing the candidate’s relationship to omnipresent social pressure to work quickly, often at the expense of other important things.
57. What do you think will be the most challenging part of this position?
Do their expectations align?
58. What do you think are important aspects of a team?
Gauge their people skills and how well they have been able to draw on support from others.
59. How do you keep updated on your management skills?
Are they dynamic or set in their ways?
Here are 10 fun interview questions for managers:
60. Describe your life using film titles.
How seriously do they take themselves?
61. What would your perfect murder weapon be and why?
This might bring tactical logic into the conversation.
62. If you could steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film, book etc. which one would you claim?
You’ll know the kinds of stories that move them.
63. A six-year-old child asks you if Santa Claus is real… What do you say?
Do they believe in the truth at all costs or the importance of fantasy and wonder?
64. Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over?
Human archetypes are expressed in how we see animals.
65. If you were the CEO of a company, name one thing that you would make compulsory and ban in the office.
What can’t they live without? What do they never want to see again?
66. You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?
67. Do you consider Monopoly to be a game that you play with friends or enemies?
A candidate who can make friends with their enemies with worth their weight in gold.
68. What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?
The purest of all personal references.
69. If you could redesign the food pyramid without any dire health consequences how would it look?
At the end of the day, who are they?
We all get nervous at job interviews, so ice breaker questions might be a great way to put everyone at ease.
Here are 11 ice breaker interview questions for managers:
70. There are now 25 hours in a day! How do you spend your extra hour?
What does the candidate love the most, or feel always gets forgotten?
71. What was the most fun thing you did last weekend?
Bond over the relief that weekends bring.
72. What activity helps you relieve stress?
Gaming? Meditation? Exercise?
73. What movie can you watch over and over again?
Indulgences are universal.
74. What is a unique skill you bring to your job?
Maybe they can peel a banana with their toes.
75. If you could only pick three foods to eat for a month, which foods would you choose?
Do they pick based on health value or taste?
76. At a company field day, what is the event that you would most likely win?
The three-legged race? You might find a training partner.
77. Science fiction. Love it or hate it?
Where does reality end?
78. Professional, casual or sweatpants? If there were no dress code, how would you dress for work?
Who are they beneath their outward shell?
79. Which holiday is your favorite and why?
Timeless Christmas or a modern celebration, like Pride Month?
80. What’s your best idea for an invention?
You’ll find out the petty problem your candidate would like solved, stat.
Have you asked all the typical questions? How about these unique interview questions to keep things fresh?
Here are 9 unique interview questions for managers:
81. Are you a superstar?
We all are– can we acknowledge it?
82. If you don’t get this job what’s your backup plan?
You’ll find out how many options they’re keeping open.
83. Describe how you would make me a sandwich.
Crusts on or off?
84. If your neighbor asked your child to supervise a pool party at their house, would you let your child go?
Pool party at home–weekend routine, or worst nightmare?
85. If you could take a year off from work or school, what would you do?
What would they do with freedom?
86. What is your favorite TV series for binge-watching?
Indulgences speak volumes.
87. What is your favorite line from a poem or song?
What moves them?
88. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Make sure they don’t say “neither.”
89. What is your favorite dessert?
Sugar us up.
Here are 11 weird interview questions for managers:
90. Would you be comfortable working in a hospital, since you were born in one?
It’s like home.
91. What’s your spirit animal?
Unicorn? mermaid? Liger?
92. What’s your biggest fear? What’s the biggest fear you’ve ever faced?
Petty fears like bugs, or deep existential fears like “not succeeding?”
93. If you could have any famous artist — dead or alive — create a work of art just for you, who would you commission?
94. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Are they a beach person or a mountain person?
95. If you could be on any game show, which would you choose?
Would it be for the 15 minutes of fame, or the potential to win money?
96. Would you rather spend a year in space or living on a submarine?
Would they go up or down?
97. If you could be any character from a childhood fairy tale, who would you be?
Would they be good or evil?
98. You’re at a make-your-own sundae bar. Which toppings do you choose?
Mochi or plain vanilla?
99. What’s your favorite activity from your childhood PE class?
100. Would you rather go back in time, or be transported to the future?
Backwards or forwards?
Sometimes you’ll be interviewing more than one candidate, and you’ll need group interview questions.
Here are 9 group interview questions for managers:
101. How did you deal with the stress created by meeting the challenges?
Are their coping skills escapism or truly productive?
102. What are your goals and how does this company and job fit with these goals?
Do they run parallel?
103. How do you work in a team?
Are they able to listen deeply without getting impatient for their turn?
104. Who would you hire from your group? Why?
How openly can they vouch for their peer without jealousy?
105. Why did this team struggle to accomplish the objective?
Are they aware enough to identify that source of struggle is often egocentric?
106. Describe how you managed a problem employee.
Were they compassionate or impatient?
107. What strategies would you use to motivate your team?
How do they keep everyone connected and feeling valued?
108. What applicable attributes and experience do you have?
Ask your candidate to take what they know about themselves and apply it to what they know about your company.
109. When you recommend something to management, what approach do you usually use?
How well can they express how two parties are aligned in goals and values?
Use the steps below to pick the best and appropriate interview questions to help you find the best candidate for the job.
Here is how to pick the best interview questions for managers:
1. Remember what position you’re interviewing for
Be sure to pepper in some points about what the candidate can expect so that they can put their best foot forward in their answers.
2. Maintain a demeanor that reflects the company culture
Remember that you’re both interviewing each other to see if it is a mutually good fit.
3. Put the candidate at ease
Even though an interview inevitably comes with some pressure, smile and let them know that you’re both human.
4. Get a little bit personal, fun and friendly toward the end
Professionals who can seamlessly go from all business to a little bit personal are adaptable to all situations.
Downloadable List of Interview Questions for Managers
Here is a downloadable list of Interview Questions for Managers (right click the image and select Save Image As):
More Questions To Ask
Our resources don’t end here. You’ll want more questions to ask to foster deeper connections with people.
Here they are:
- No matter who you’re connecting with, being able to broaden conversation topics is a top skill.
- Break the ice and get comfortable with our list of conversation starters.
- Spontaneity shows boldness and curiosity with our random questions to invoke imagination.
- If you’re not sure what to say, check out how to start a conversation
- Use thought provoking questions to keep the conversation going!
When asking interview questions for managers, be sure that not only are you asking the right questions, but you’re also skilled in interpreting candidates’ answers.
Look for authenticity and honesty. Avoid candidates who have googled answers ready and are just telling you what they think employers want to hear without understanding what such answers mean. Read between the lines.
Interview questions for managers are the portal to great working relationships, impeccable teamwork, seamless strategy and productivity.