This tutorial provides frequently asked Interview Questions for Managers with explanations to help you prepare for the interview:
A business establishment’s success depends on how its managers set high standards in marketing, customer relations, profitability, production, quality, and revenue generation by delegating responsibilities to their reporting team.
The performance of the Chief Operating Officers behind the success of start-ups is largely attributed to their perseverance and commitment. Investors look for skill sets and track records of members of the board of directors of the companies that offer shares to raise capital for their ventures.
What You Will Learn:
The manager is a leader who encourages others to participate in productive and meaningful activities to advance the organization’s prospects by meeting set targets within the department he oversees.
Managers can instill confidence, loyalty, and leadership in their teams and empower them to become self-sufficient and independent as opposed to dependent on orders or instructions.
Most Frequently Asked Manager Interview Questions
Q #1) What were your responsibilities as a manager in the previous organization?
Answer: As a manager, my responsibilities were:
- Organize, plan, and assign activities to the team.
- Set goals, prioritize tasks, and maintain momentum to accomplish the goal.
- Recruit, train, mentor, and improve resources.
- Communicate with the team, management, customers, and other stakeholders.
- Improve processes, optimize team efforts and assist team members in achieving targets.
- Take correct and timely decisions, offering feedback during appraisals.
- Manage time, costs, and improve productivity.
Roles and Responsibilities of Manager:
Q #2) What are the essential soft skills you must acquire to lead a team?
Answer: Soft skills, also known as people management skills, are essential for managers required to lead the team. Some of the essential soft skills are explained below:
- Communication: Ability to convey a message and understand what others want to say in a simple and effective way.
- Patience: Quality to listen and tolerate real-life problems without being disturbed, annoyed, and trying to find a resolution for the problem.
- Trust: Firm belief and reliability in someone that convinces people to follow the path suggested.
- Motivation: Discuss and mentor someone frustrated and pessimistic towards the situation and aspects of things.
- Problem solver: Resolving problems as a challenge by overcoming hurdles or situations.
- Accountable: Take a stand and be responsible for things that went wrong or his team took action.
- Positive: View any situation with optimism and have confidence in the team’s ability.
- Honesty: Transparency in feedback (good or bad) without being any criticism resulting in employee’s growth.
- Acknowledge: Giving credit to the deserving candidate for his accomplishments.
Q #3) What factors will you consider while allocating tasks to a particular team member?
Answer: It is critical that a task be successfully accomplished by your team member, and before you select a member of a team or the kind of task to be assigned, you must consider the following five factors:
- Priority: List the tasks as well as the level of urgency and assign them to the team.
- Skill Set: Choose someone with the right skills to accomplish the task that you wish to assign.
- Availability: The person should not be already occupied with workload and able to start the task assigned immediately.
- Development: Assigned tasks should offer team members a sense of opportunity to learn new techniques and a chance to demonstrate their skills.
- Interest: The passion and positive attitude of a person should be taken into consideration before allocating a task.
Q #4) What do you think is your weakness?
Answer: Your interviewer wants to know how you improved on your weaknesses. You can answer about yourself something similar, such as:
When working in a high-pressure environment, I tend to become impatient, dominate team members, and adopt aggressive behavior. Within a short period of time, I realized how this condition was affecting my health and my family.
Mind relaxation techniques such as yoga helped me control my emotions. The situation gradually changed, making me a calm, compassionate, and reasonable person interacting with the team with respect.
Q #5) What do you consider to be your strength?
Answer: It is important for me to know the subject matter in-depth and remain enthusiastic about the assignment I receive as well. I like to teach what I know. As a result of my passion, enthusiasm, and mentoring skills, I gained confidence, happiness, and satisfaction. The team I lead now works hard and has proven to be an effective resource for the organization.
Q #6) How do you delegate work to your team?
Answer: As a team lead, I would consider the following points during delegating work to the team:
- I should know everyone in the team personally aware of the competence, skills they are good at, the priority of the task, and the time allotted for the task.
- Before assigning every assignment, I would like to address the team for the various tasks and priorities.
- I would delegate senior members of the team to assist those who have recently joined the team. That way, I would give them a chance to manage and mentor the resource.
- I would remain accessible to anyone from the team to discuss their progress or concern.
Q #7) List the qualities of the manager to become a good leader
Answer: Managers are the leaders who will train their resources to perform to their full potential and thereby achieve their targets and goals set by the organization.
Some of the characteristics of leaders are listed below:
- Clear Communication: Written and verbal communication with the team will make everyone clear and well-informed.
- Adherence to Decision: After due diligence and assessment of available options, managers should quickly take the right and timely decision and stick to their decision.
- Remain Confident: In any of the adversities and difficult times, managers should look confident and convince the team to remain motivated and move forward.
- Accountable: Showing accountability for outcome and activities of their team – success or failure, allow everyone to learn from mistakes and try to improve.
- Empathy: The manager should have realistic goals and should be aware of the complexity of the assigned task and should be compassionate towards his team.
- Optimism: The manager should cultivate a positive outlook and remain optimistic in all prevailing situations
- Creative: Adapting new techniques and strategies and thinking out of the box will bring the creative edge to the team member and the manager should appreciate the same.
- Committed: Managers as leaders should remain committed to their team, stakeholders, goals, and organization by constantly improving their team’s ability to perform.
- Delegate: You can assign tasks to someone with similar skills as yours so that you can focus on tasks that you are passionate about.
- Focus: The ability to stay focused on goals and tasks brings good leadership to the manager.
- Honesty: The manager should keep transparency and remain honest with his team and organization to build trust in what he/she says, behave or act.
Leadership qualities required for managers:
Q #8) How can a manager guide team members on the roadmap to professional excellence?
Answer: The manager should design an action plan and road map for long-term goals for each of his team members, it is his responsibility that each of his team members is performing as expected, has required skillsets, and is productive at all times.
There are six key steps for managers to follow in order to build a professional and efficient team:
- Understanding Objective: The clear vision of what do you want to change, improve or create – should be stated as goals or purpose.
- Selection of team: Team with a good balance of personality of passionate members who respect, trust, support each other, and have been performing to achieve organizational goals.
- Assigning Goals: The goal is divided into tasks, assigned to members of the team, and scheduled to be achieved with mutually agreed milestones, taking into consideration support, funding, time, and resources needed to accomplish these tasks.
- Discuss expectations: It is expected from each team member to contribute and have appropriate conduct while working towards the goal.
- Progress Review: There should be regular performance review and status on completion of tasks at regular intervals with details about what is learned, things to improve, and progress on the task.
- Recognize Accomplishment: There should be regular recognition, a celebration of achievement, and appreciation of team members with reward when the assigned task has been completed.
Key steps for a roadmap to building a professional team:
Q #9) How do you motivate team members?
Answer: Following are a few different methods of motivating employees/team members:
- Clear frequent communication: Knowing your team members and appreciating what is delivered successfully by the team will help improve team morale.
- Creating a positive work environment: Organizing celebrations on employee birthdays or group parties on major successful releases will make teamwork with passion towards the goal.
- Define career path: Review the status of the target, regular appraisals, and praise the employee’s work to bring the best out of an employee.
- Encourage career progression: Managers should encourage training for career progression to their team members.
- A survey from employees: Anonymous employee survey may bring out issues that may affect team productivity
- Making them feel special: Rewards for good work will encourage employees to perform better than before.
- Work-Life Balance: There should be equal distribution of work, events, and holidays so that members can spend time with the family.
Q #10) How do you manage stress among your team members?
Answer: The main reason for the high attrition rate in a competitive business environment is health issues due to a continuous stressful work environment. It is essential for managers to be aware and take constructive steps to reduce or manage team stress,
Following are a few ways that can benefit alleviate the effect of stress to some extent:
- Handle Stress: Managers have to train the team in various ways to overcome their personal or work-related stress, such as morning walks, exercise, meditation, etc.
- Remain Transparent: Keep your team well informed about the project plan, future activities, and upcoming workload, and remain connected with them to avoid fears and a sense of disconnection.
- Respect everyone: As a leader, you should have sympathy for your team and treat them with respect and humanity.
- Importance of sleep: Ensure that team members have taken enough rest & sleep so that they remain attentive and focused in their work.
- Remain realistic: You should be practical and keep realistic expectations that can be achieved based on individual capacity.
- Listen to your team: Inspire two-way communications that will allow workplace problems or conflicts to surface and bring timely resolution rather than work with it.
- Don’t punish for mistakes: It is not right to penalize a team for their mistakes but explain not to repeat them in the future.
- Allow team for time off: Make employees for necessary time off so that they can recharge for new challenges at the workplace.
- Flexible working hours: Employees should be allowed to work from home or have flexible working hours.
- Introduce business social activities: Frequent social gatherings like picnics, birthday celebrations to release work-related stress.
Q #11) How do you and your team cope with the expectations of an agile environment?
Answer: The expectations of working in an agile environment for the team and manager is to overcome difficulties and problems that occur while working on the project are listed below:
- Provide direction, strategy, and vision: You can adopt strategies and provide innovative ideas to solve problems that occur during the course of the project.
- Remove obstacles: During stand-up meets, managers can try to resolve issues that prevent team members from accomplishing their tasks.
- Employing experts: Regular reviews should take place to identify and appreciate the member with appropriate skills and how he/she demonstrated them in his/her work.
- Remove or replace: You can replace member(s) with not adequate skills for the task from the team that slows everyone else.
- Self-organize: The leader can himself drive the tasks he has assigned to the team.
- Aware of objectives: The team, along with the manager, should be motivated for the successful completion of assigned tasks.
Q #12) What onboarding process do you follow for newly joined employees in your team?
Answer: Once a new employee is hired, the onboarding process should start immediately. You can designate a senior member of the team as a mentor for new employees.
- Walkthrough of product features or classroom training session where he will be introduced to the work environment, ongoing project, and agile work culture.
- Installing software new employee will be working on, applications he/she will be working on. Introduce him to the team he will work with.
- Arrange team lunch where the new employee can freely interact with everyone in the team.
- There should be sufficient time allotted for training new recruit so that he/she does not have any doubts about technologies, procedures, and tasks.
- Start with the small assignment so that new recruit is engaged and can contribute sooner to the team.
- Mechanism of reporting feedback from employee and mentor about the progress of new employee has made.
Q #13) Explain STAR behavioral interview technique.
Answer: STAR is an initial for Situation, Task, Action, and Result – a behavioral interview technique adopted by hiring managers to find out an employee is the right fit for a job or not.
Situation: You can explain the situation or challenge you had
Task: In a given situation, the responsibilities you have to carry out
Action: What were your efforts or actions to overcome the situation?
Result: The output of your actions in measurable units
Q #14) Have you time disagreed with your reporting manager?
Answer: With such behavioral questions, the interviewer wants to learn about your personality and real-life situations that have taken place with you in your previous organizations and how did you tackle such situations.
There are times when you have a different approach or proven technique to be implemented within your team and your manager does not agree with it. I requested a meeting with him, but he refused to listen.
I discussed my approach with my team and in one week’s time came up with successful execution of the technique that resulted in 40% time-saving.
Q #15) How will you build trust in your team?
Answer: I believe that building trust in others is a gradual process where you are observed for every behavior, speech, and action. As a manager, give freedom for members to have their own opinion, allow them to express them, provide them room for growth.
Excessive supervision (micromanage) will not only expose insecurity and fear related to loss of control but will drive you away from the team. Being transparent, discussing plans for upcoming tasks, and preparing the team for the same will impart trust and confidence.
Q #16) Are you aware of the SMART framework?
Answer: We can measure the performance of KPIs using the SMART framework.
- Do you have a specific objective?
- How to measure progress towards the objective?
- Do we have goals attainable?
- How relevant are objectives for the organization?
- Do we have a timeframe for achieving set goals?
Q #17) What do you mean by Key Performance Indicator?
Answer: Critical indicators of progress towards our objective are known as KPIs. KPIs can be categorized into various types such as inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes, etc.
A few examples of sales and marketing KPIs are:
- Customer Retention
- Marketing ROI
- Sales Qualified Leads
- Sales Revenue
Q #18) What project management techniques have you used?
Answer: You can list techniques or tools applied during project management by telling that I am well versed and have hands-on experience applying the following techniques:
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
- Gantt Chart
- Performance Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT)
- Critical Path Method (CPM)
Q #19) What is RAID related to project management?
Answer: RAID where R is for Risk, A for Assumptions, I for Issues, and D for Dependencies. We can use RAID logs to track factors impacting a project and help prevent delays. There are risks about actions Project Manager should keep an account of.
Q #20) What could cause the project to fail?
Answer: The interviewer wants to know what you think are the reasons that can fail the project.
The project can fail due to the following reasons:
- Non-viable expectations
- Incorrect requirements
- Poor administration
- Defective execution
- Lack of focus on project benefits
Q #21) Why Gantt charts are used in project management?
Answer: Gantt chart is designed to plot a graph between the start and end dates of the task, work assigned to resources, milestones, priorities for the task, etc.
Gantt chart is used for
- Sharing scan-able project details with stakeholders.
- Display clarity on the division of labor across the project.
- Analyze productivity of resources working on a project.
- Monitor relation between project interval, priority, and status of backlog.
- Milestone achieved at weekly or monthly frequency.
Q #22) Are you aware of the Critical Path Method (CPM)?
Answer: Techniques that identify necessary tasks for project completion are known as the critical path method. CPM offers insights on how to schedule tasks and allocate resources while planning a project.
Q #23) How would you find a critical path for the project?
Answer: We can follow the following steps to identify critical and non-critical activities essential to be accomplished for the completion of the project.
- List each of the project activities from WBS – Work Breakdown Structure.
- Identify dependencies across activities from the above structure.
- Arrange flow between the activities in-network or flow diagram.
- Estimate the time for each of the activities.
- Calculate critical path algorithm.
- Find the amount of flexibility of each activity.
Q #24) What is PERT and how is it calculated?
Answer: PERT is short for Project Evaluation and Review Techniques, used to estimate the time required to complete activities for the project. It uses the following estimates to find the range for the duration of activities.
- Most likely estimate (M)
- Optimistic (O)
- Pessimistic (P)
PERT can be calculated using formula = (O + 4M + P) / 6
Q #25) What is the difference between PERT and CPM?
Answer: Following are the differences between Project Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM)
|It is a probabilistic model||It is deterministic model|
|PERT focus on minimizing project duration||CPM is applied for time-cost trade offs|
|Manages uncertain project activities||Manages predictable project activities|
|PERT has three estimates for each activity||CPM has only one estimate for each activity|
Managers should be trustworthy, honest, and optimistic yet expect a realistic target, should be able to take the right decisions quickly, encourage and appreciate members when they achieve their goals.
He should train his team to pace with a high-pressure environment as well as keep stress at bay. Various responsibilities of managers, such as selecting suitable onboarding process for newly joined, assisting the team with professional excellence, and STAR interview techniques were discussed in interview questions for managers.