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100 Most Common Management Interview Questions

        posted by , January 18, 2013

If you've got a tough interview coming up — it's better to spend your preparation time practicing your answers to common questions rather than trying to cram more knowledge into your head.

The following questions are based on the fundamental skills expected of managers by top employers.

Whether you're a marketing manager or IT manager — the following questions are applicable (and common).

It's not likely you'll be asked the exact same questions in your next interview. However, by practicing your answers aloud you'll improve your professional polish and recall critical examples of your professional accomplishments.

Basic Questions

1. Can you tell me about your current role?

2. What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

3. What's your greatest weakness / strength?

4. Why are you the best person for this role?

5. Why do you want this job?

6. What is your approach to management?


Core Management Skills

7. What process do you use to define a strategy?

8. What initiatives have you championed in your current role?

9. How do you plan and schedule for your team?

10. How many people report to you now? What challenges have you faced managing them?

11. What regular reports (e.g. status reports) do you produce in your current role?

12. What is your approach to managing quality?

13. Can you tell me about a time you managed risk?

14. What are your professional values?

15. How do you ensure that your team complies with the law?


Strategy

16. What strategy are you most proud of? How did you execute it?

17. What strategies have you used to improve revenue?

18. What strategies have you used to reduce costs or drive efficiency?

19. What's a critical success factor? Can you give me an example of a critical success factor you've identified in your current role?

20. How do you set priorities?

21. What techniques have you used to identify gaps in processes?

22. What metrics have you used to measure business processes?

23. How do you validate the feasibility of a strategy or approach?

24. Why are prototypes important?

25. How do you ensure that your team has adequate input into your strategy and plan?

26. How do you ensure that your team buys-in to your plans?


Decision Making

27. Can you tell me about a time you found a solution to a problem?

28. How do you ensure that priorities and direction are always clear to your team?

29. How do you make decisions in ambiguous situations (when all the facts aren't known)?

30. What's the worse business decision you've made? What did you learn from it?


Business Execution

31. What project or initiative are you most proud of?

32. Can you tell me about a time you raised budget for an important initiative?

33. What are project constraints? Can you give me an example?

34. What's your approach to project management?

35. Can you tell me about a time you helped to resolve a conflict or disagreement between project stakeholders?

36. Have you managed a portfolio of projects? What challenges did you face?

37. How do you monitor project results?

38. Can you tell me about a time you implemented a quick win that boosted revenue?

39. Can you tell me about a time you implemented a quick win that reduced costs?

40. What is project governance? Why is it important?

41. Can you tell me about a time you improved a process?

42. Have you managed vendors?

43. Have you developed formal RFPs? What information does a RFP typically contain?

44. What techniques have you used to find the lowest cost for a project?

45. How do you identify and manage project risk?

46. What metrics have you used to measure project quality?

47. Can you tell me about a time you championed a revenue generating initiative?


Managing Teams

48. How do you balance trusting your team with verification of results?

49. Have you managed distributed teams (more than one geographical location)? What challenges did you face?

50. How do you develop leaders in your team?

51. What's your approach to recruiting?

52. How do you ensure that job roles are clear to everyone on your team?

53. Have you mentored someone? What did you teach them?

54. How often do you provide (informal) feedback to your team members?

55. What techniques have you used to give formal performance feedback?

56. What is Management by Objectives? Why is it useful?

57. Are you a hands-on manager? Can you give me an example?

58. Where is the balance between diligent management and micro-management?

59. Have you managed outsourcing partners? What's your approach?

60. In your current role, what was your team's biggest success?

61. How do you track your team's tasks?

62. How do you ensure that there's respect for diversity on your team?

63. What's your definition of a high performance team?

64. How do you help individuals on your team to reach their career goals?


Managerial Finance

65. What software have you used in the past to manage your budgets?

66. What techniques have you used to control your budget?

67. Can you tell me about a project you managed that went over budget?

68. How do you forecast costs?

69. What financial metrics do you use to perform a cost/benefit analysis for a project?


Legal & Compliance

70. What are the biggest risks to a firm's reputation?

71. What strategies have you used to manage legal liability?

72. Can you tell me about a time you implemented a standard or best practice?

73. Have you managed compliance through an audit?

74. How do you manage the legal contracts that you've established?

75. What laws have changed the way you do business in the past 5 years?

76. When is it appropriate to terminate employment for cause?


Soft Skills

77. Are you a good public speaker?

78. What is the secret to effective public speaking?

79. What's the key to effective visual communication?

80. What makes someone a good leader?

81. How do you want to improve as a leader?

82. What leadership challenges have you faced in your career?

83. What techniques have you used to motivate people?

84. How do you influence executive leadership?

85. What's your approach to office politics?

86. What negotiation tactics have you used ?

87. How do you balance work and family demands?

88. Have you trained people? What was your approach? What challenges did you face?

89. Why do some managers struggle with office politics?

90. What stresses you out? How do you manage your stress?

91. How do you support employees on your team who appear to be stressed?

92. What technology trends are you most excited about?

93. How will our industry change in the next 5 years?


Reporting & Communication

94. Can you tell me about a time that you used a balanced scorecard to measure results?

95. How do you ensure that your team's projects and initiatives are transparent to the organization?

96. In your current role, how have you marketed your team?

97. How do you protect your team's budget?

98. What's a good reason to hold a team meeting? What's a bad reason to hold a meeting?

99. How do you communicate with a distributed team?

100. How do you make sure that your team's successes get recognition?

Find 106 more management interview questions here.

This is part of the ongoing series how to win your next job.


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