Interview Questions for Managers

Following are answers to a collection of questions that are often asked in interviews for management positions. Prepare for your next interview with JobTestPrep.
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Read the following questions and answers carefully, and pay attention to the comments we have added. 


Question: "How would you assess your ability to initiate changes?"

Answer: "With changes that will bring about more efficiency and progress, I sign on with enthusiasm and determination. But in cases where it's not at all certain that the change will bring about an improvement, I believe the change should be put off and reconsidered."

Question: "Give an example of a positive change you initiated."

Answer: "Recently, in the wake of the company's downsizing, I led a change in which a number of workers underwent job retraining for work in a different market. The change required moving workers from place to place, and it involved firing workers. The change resulted in greater productivity, and I brought it about successfully."

Comment: Changes are hard, so an answer that shows a way to deal with change arouses respect. It is important to prepare an example of a significant change that brought about positive results.

Question: "How do you assess your decision-making ability?"

Answer: "Making decisions requires level-headedness. I am against making hasty decisions. When in doubt, I recommend waiting with the decision and gathering more data. When it is highly likely that the decision is the right one, one should make the decision decisively and move forward without hesitation."

Question: "Give an example of a significant decision you made in your last job."

Answer: "Recently, I had to make a decision involving promoting a worker to a managerial level. One of the candidates for the job was close to me, but despite the closeness, I decided to choose another person. This was an important decision that strengthened the department."

Comment: Hesitation is not a trait that interviewers will appreciate. On the other hand, rash decisions give the impression of a candidate under pressure. It is wise to demonstrate a mature decision-making ability.

Question: "How do people view you as a manager?"

Answer: "I am looked up to as a manager who leads and is authoritative; people trust my judgement. I know how to listen to other views with open-mindedness, and I know how to decide when the need be. I make a significant contribution to achieving the goals of the organization."

Comment: A good candidate believes in himself and is not overly-modest.

Question: "As a manager, do you direct the project or direct the people?"

Answer: "The project is the main goal of the organization. To carry out the project, you have to get the people working with you involved, you've got to set the path, and get the people enthused. Generally, I direct the project, and direct the people to carry out the project."

Comment: It is important to respond by emphasizing the contribution of the manager in achieving the goals of the organization.

Question: "Describe a success you've had as a manager."

Answer: "In my last job I set a goal of increasing annual sales by 20%. That was a significant achievement in the competitive market in which the company operates."

Comment: It is important to describe a significant achievement.

Question: "Describe a failure of yours as a manager."

Answer: "When I first took on the managerial position I worked in four years ago, I fired a worker for a small error that she made. That was a personal mistake of my own. My drive to succeed in the job led me to overreact. It was a managerial error that I learned from."

Comment: It is important not to try to avoid the question by saying, for example, "I don't remember making a mistake." This gives the impression that you are not trustworthy. Don't worry – Talk about a failure of yours, but show that you have learned from it.

Question: "Give us an example of a conflict you had with a superior and how you responded."

Answer: "Recently my superior told me to give customers a discount above the customary one. My opinion was that such discounts could hurt the ability of the company to offer a consistent price for our service. I explained my reservations regarding my superior's decision to him, I clarified why in my opinion that was a mistake, but when he stood by his decision I complied with his instructions."

Comment: The candidate's approach shows the right attitude toward the project and his superior, and it arouses respect. This is the right approach.

Question: "Give an example of a conflict you had with a customer and how you responded."

Answer: "Recently, a disagreement broke out between me and a customer about the fees he pays. He got angry and claimed that he paid unreasonably high fees, and he threatened to leave the firm. I politely explained to him that the fees we charge are fair, but that I would inquire as to whether we could give him better fees. I made a purposeful effort to maintain respect for him as well as for the company I represent."

Comment: The answer, "I don't remember having a disagreement with a customer," in not a trustworthy answer.

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