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106 Management Interview Questions

        posted by , January 18, 2013

Managers need to lead their team to success. They must have the ability to motive, organize, plan, strategize and make effective decisions.

Management has many aspects that are not easy to measure in an interview (such as leadership). Questions should draw out the candidate's experience while testing their candour, adaptability and communication skills. The following questions are a good place to start.

1. What is your management style?

2. What trends are likely to transform our business in the next five years?

3. What was the most stressful situation you've experienced in your career? How did you handle it?

4. What goals have you set for your career?

5. What advice would you offer someone who is new to management?

6. How do you handle unfair criticism?

7. Do you have any heroes who have influenced your career?

8. How do you deal with office politics? When do office politics go too far?

9. If I tasked you with creating a new five year strategy for our organization — how would you go about it?

10. What keeps you awake at night?

11. How would you like to improve yourself?

12. What methods or systems do you use to give yourself a productive edge?

13. Is there truth to the motto — if you want something done right, do it yourself?

14. Are you a big picture thinker or are you detail oriented?

15. How do you handle situations where you are under pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines?

16. How did you improve your current organization's bottom line (net earnings)?

17. What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

18. Have you ever achieved something that at first seemed hopeless?

People Management

19. How do you ensure that knowledge and skills are retained despite staff turnover?

20. How do you motivate disengaged employees?

21. What is the right way to fire someone? What is the wrong way?

22. Why do you fire someone?

23. Have you ever helped a low performer to improve?

24. How do you ensure that staff get continuous feedback so that they know where they stand in the organization and where they need to improve?

25. How do you resolve conflicts between your staff?

26. How do you promote teamwork?

27. How do you deal with difficult people?

28. How do you get your team to buy-in to your vision and strategy?

29. When your staff make mistakes — how do you ensure they are held accountable without discouraging them or stifling innovation?

30. What are the disadvantages of micromanagement? Are there any advantages?

31. How do you encourage team spirit and minimize political infighting amongst your team?

32. What are the non-monetary ways to retain key performers?

33. Have you mentored someone? What was the result?

34. How is managing a young staff member different from managing a seasoned professional? What approaches have you used in the past?

35. Can you tell me about a time when you mediated to help resolve a conflict?

36. What support do you provide your team to ensure they are successful?

37. How do you ensure that your team's performance improves with time?

38. How do you ensure that you are continuously monitoring the performance of your team?

39. How do you handle non-performing team members?


40. How do you get the most out of your people?

41. Are you a natural leader?

42. What responsibilities come with leadership?

43. Your whole team has proposed a course of action, but you believe it is the wrong approach. What do you do?

44. When do you need to take the blame for failures (of your team)?


45. Are you a good negotiator? What are the keys to successful negotiation?

46. What is your style of negotiation?

Planning & Organization

47. How do you ensure that your staff are empowered to do their jobs?

48. How far out do you plan?

49. What is the biggest project you ever did? And why didn't you make it smaller?

50. Why do projects fail?

51. How do you ensure that a project delivers quality results?

52. How do you ensure that project responsibilities and accountabilities make sense?

Financial management

53. How do you go about estimating projects and expenses?

54. What are the most important financial metrics you have relied on in the past?

55. How do you stay abreast of changes to financial regulations?

56. How do you ensure that you are prepared for a financial audit?

Risk Management

57. What does risk management mean to you? What are the different types of risk to an organization like ours? How might we mitigate such risks?

58. How do you measure the benefit of risk management?

59. Is risk always a bad thing?


59. How do you market your teams accomplishments to the organization?

60. How do you encourage your staff to communicate in a open and honest fashion?

61. What are the keys to an effective presentation?

62. If you were tasked with giving a presentation to a hostile audience — how would you go about it?

63. What guidelines do you follow to ensure that presentations have visual impact?

64. How do you modify your communication tactics to fit your audience? For example, working level staff vs. executives?

Find 70 more communication interview questions here.


65. How do you influence without becoming too bogged down in office politics?

66. Can you give me an example where you influenced organizational change?

67. How do you publicize the accomplishments of your team?

68. How do you build your network?

69. Have you ever successfully sold an unpopular idea? How did you do it?

Decision Making

70. When do you need to validate your decisions? How do you validate them?

71. What was the worst decision you ever made?

72. Can you tell me about a time you made an unpopular decision? How did you get buy-in?

73. Can you tell me about a time you made a risky decision?

74. Should decisions be data driven or intuitive?

75. How do you make decisions when little information is available?

76. How do you test out new ideas without spending a lot of money?

77. Where is the line between decisiveness and recklessness?

Strategic Planning

78. What is the process you go through to define a strategy?

79. What is situational analysis?

80. What are the key external forces that help to shape an organization's strategy?

Managing Change

81. Can you give me an example of a time that you led organizational change?

82. How do you motivate staff who are resistant to change?

83. How has your management style changed in the past few years?

84. Can you give me an example of a time that you had to use quick thinking to solve a problem?

85. Can you tell me about a time your organization made a change you were against? How did you handle it?

Management Ethics

86. What are the key ethical principles that you rely upon?

87. What would you do if you observed one of your peers acting in an unethical manner?

88. Can you give me a example of a time you raised a ethical question or issue?


89. Can you give me an example of a time that you solved a problem with an innovative approach?

90. Have you ever solved a complex problem with a simple solution?

91. Can you discuss the trade off between finding the most innovative approach and just getting things done?

92. Can you tell me about a time that you could not find a satisfactory solution to a problem?

Understanding of Role

93. Who (do you imagine) would be your most important stakeholders in this role?

94. Can you give me a mission statement for this role?

95. Can you think of a metric that would help me to measure your performance in this job?

96. What 3 problems could you solve for us if you assumed this role?

Creativity / Adaptability

97. If you worked for an elevator company and were asked to come up with an innovative new feature — what would it be?

98. How would you improve bowling (the game) to make it more fun?

99. Can you think of a marketing slogan for bananas?

100. If I was starting a new company that sold luxury cars — what would be a good brand name?

Critical Thinking

101. From what you know about our organization, what mistakes are we making?

102. Can you think of another way to organize an encyclopedia (book) besides alphabetically?

Candid, Direct, Open

102. What aspects of this job will you find most challenging?

103. What was your worst subject in school?

104. Have you ever tried, failed and given up?

105. How you ever made a customer angry? How?

106. Can you describe the worst boss you ever had?

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

More interview questions can be found here.

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