What Was It Like Working For Your Manager
What They Want to Know: This question isnt a query for information so much as it is a test of how you will respond when talking about working with difficult managers. Avoid criticism of former managers at all coststhe employer is trying to ascertain if you will be a congenial team leader, so keep your answer upbeat.
How To Answer Program Manager Interview Questions
First, dont confuse program managers with project managers or product managers. While the job titles look ridiculously similar, and the roles do have quite a bit in common, they arent actually the same. Technically, they all oversee projects, but the niches can vary.
Product managers focus on products. Project managers might work in any niche, depending on their employer. But their work tends to focus on the project at hand, and not on the big strategic picture.
Program managers usually oversee a group of projects , and each one is connected by a common element, like a single company goal. Additionally, they are responsible for guiding strategy, keeping everyone moving toward the right target.
MIKE’S TIP:While some duties are alike, there are nuances to each role.
Now thats out of the way, but before we go over the program manager interview questions, lets pause for a moment to talk strategy. You need the right approach. That way, if the hiring manager asks you something unexpected, you can adapt.
Start by doing some research.
The program manager job description is a great place to start, as it spells out what the company considers must-haves. Couple that with a look at the companys mission and values statements, and you can find out a lot about the skills and traits the hiring manager wants to find.
Question #: How Do You See A Managers Role On A Team
The managerial role involves being a team member, but also maintaining a certain distance and working independently a good portion of the time. Its a delicate balance to achieve.
Workers who are too independent risk alienating or micro-managing their team, while those who are too team oriented may undermine their own authority by trying to be pals with everyone. Look for candidates who demonstrate a strong ability to handle both types of work scenarios.
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What To Look For In A Great Manager
In the end, the saying is true: People donât leave companiesâthey leave bosses.
So what sets a great boss apart from an average one?
Best-selling author dove deep into the research, including mining through some 80,000 survey responses from managers. Here’s what he found out about the kinds of competencies and behaviors a top-performing manager will have.
- Transform talent into performance
Employees need specific triggering to help turn their skills on. The ability to discover whatâs unique about an individual and leverage that into tangible business outcomes is what sets a truly great manager apart.
Great managers recognize the individual skills of each employee and challenge every employee to shine in their own unique way, all while fostering a strong sense of unity in the team. It’s not a job for the emotionally challenged.
- Give credit and show appreciation
Most managers know employees respond well to recognition.
But how many managers can pinpoint the type of recognition that matters most for each member of the team?
âItâs a managerâs job to recognize each employee plays to a different audience. To excel as a manager, you must be able to match the employee to the audience he values most: his peers, yourself, the customers, etc.,â writes Buckingham.
- Tailor coaching to learning styles
To quote the late great Stephen Covey, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”
We all learn differently, and that’s OK.
- Hire for talent
- Do more of what works
Engineering Manager Interview Questions
As mentioned, engineering manager interview questions can vary widely from company to company. Here’s a list of questions we’ve seen most frequently asked at tech companies.
- How do you handle poor performers?
- How would you describe your role in coaching and career development?
- Tell me about a few people on your team and the career development plans you created with them.
Recruitment and Hiring
- How do you recruit great engineers? Read our guide to recruiting and hiring.
- How would you build up a pipeline of world-class candidates?
- What frameworks and processes have you set up on your teams to hit hiring goals?
- What do you look for when you screen resumes?
- What questions do you ask candidates who want to join your team?
Management and Team Execution
- How do you set up projects for success? See how to talk about project success.
- How do you balance feature development and technical debt? Read our example answer.
- How would you create quarterly OKRs for your team? See our recommended approach.
- Tell me about a time you had to lead a team through a re-organization.
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
- Tell me about a time you received guidance from your manager and had to get buy in from your team.
- What do you do when a team completely disagrees with the founder/VP on the direction of a product?
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Prepping For The Battle Ahead
Yes, we said battle, but before you start polishing your cosplay armor and trying to figure out how to fit a siege machine in your office, were talking mental battlenot physical battle. Regardless, you need to both prep and strategize how youre going to tackle this new challenge.
The first thing you need to do is realize that the types of questions youll be getting are not all the same sort of questions youd be getting in a traditional job interview. Whereas before you were asked questions about your specific skills and experiences as an employee, your questions now will be more focused on your ability to get results from the teams youll be leading.
Finally, be prepared to answer some traditional interview questions as well. Areas that are likely to be covered include your long-term goals, your ongoing role with the company, and where you see yourself down the road.
Now that weve gone over what to expect, lets focus on building your answer arsenal so youre ready for the actual interview.
Much like the behavioral questions weve gone over time and time again in other blogs, project manager interview questions should always be accompanied by concrete examples from your past. Your goal is to demonstrate to your interviewer that youre not just knowledgeable, but that youre experienced .
Tell Me About Yourself
Though not technically a question, Tell me about yourself does generate the same type of response as the actual questions on this list. Its also a gentle way to begin the interview process.
When you ask this question, youre likely to hear some answers that start with information about the candidates personal life. Eventually, they should transition to how they became interested in being a manager and how they got started achieving that goal.
If you dont hear relevant information about the job for which theyre interviewing, you may need to ask a more specific follow-up question to get the response you need.
As The Saying Goes The Customer Is Always Right Tell Me About A Time Where You Knew The Customer Wasnt Right And How You Dealt With It
Providing a positive, diplomatic answer here shows a level of professionalism that is required when communicating with restaurant customers unruly and otherwise.
A restaurant manager is someone who is composed, understanding, and empathetic to guests, regardless of the situation. Anything less should not be tolerated.
Preparing For A Management Interview
OK, so youve got your interview answers sorted. But thats not where your preparations should end.
Other things you need to make sure youve got covered before a management interview include everything from researching the company and potential questions to ask at the end of the interview, through to what youre going to wear on the day.
Because when it comes to interviews, theres no such thing as being too prepared
Question #: Do You Believe In Providing Employee Incentives For Success What Kind And Why
Monetary incentives are a poor choice they provide temporary motivation, but not a lasting effect on behavior.
A good manager will know this and look for alternative ways to inspire employee performance. Recognition, opportunities for personal growth, increased responsibility, and the chance to tackle more challenging tasks are all better motivators if used correctly. Listen for a manager who displays interest in using a mix of the above to fire up team members.
Can You Tell Us About A Time One Of Your Team Members Made A Mistake How Did You Handle It
This question will give you a better understanding of how the job applicant handles and resolves conflicts in the workplace. What to look for in an answer:
- Disciplining process
- Approach to difficult conversations
“I had an employee that posted the wrong piece of content to our website. It was a big deal because the content that was posted was sensitive information that was not intended to be released publicly. Once I was informed, I made sure to pull the employee aside to see where the chain of communication went wrong. Afterwards, we took quick action to take the content down, upload the right content, and monitor communication channels to see if the information was picked up by the media.”
Be Direct Ask Candidates If They Want To Be A Manager
Not everyone enjoys being in charge. Geoff Scott, a career adviser and resume expert at ResumeCompanion, recalls a college classmate who worked in the same department of a big box retail store for nearly a decade. He was asked more than once to be a supervisor but shot it down each time. He simply didnt want to be in charge of others and was happy handling his own responsibilities.
During the interview process, hiring managers should directly ask job seekers if theyre interested in managing others. Being straightforward, rather than navigating the intricate results of a comprehensive personality test, can yield positive results, Scott says.
We’ve Identified Five Management Competencies You Have To Demonstrate In The Interview Find Out What Questions You Can Expect To Hear And What Your Answers Should Include
Interviewing for a position in management is much different from entry-level job interviews. Instead of asking you about your skills, the hiring manager will address a number of different competencies. This helps the hiring manager understand how you’ll think and act in tough management situations.
We’ve identified five management competencies you have to demonstrate in the interview. Find out what questions you can expect to hear and what your answers should include.
Office Manager Interview Questions
A good Office Manager can make the world of difference to a team in terms of productivity and office culture. This role assists the office with various tasks such as the maintenance of office equipment and the restocking of various supplies, arrangement of on-site visits from external stakeholders and communication between teams. So, to find the right person you need to be
The perfect Office Manager will possess these qualities:
- Impeccable written and verbal communication skills.
- Scheduling and time-management skills.
- Excellent people skills.
- Ability to organise and file data.
In some cases, the Office Manager will also work closely with the HR or payroll department, so some knowledge of these procedures is preferable.
How Would Your Colleagues Describe You
Don’t be overly modest, but be cautious of sounding arrogant. Speak about your strengths. If you’re a good listener, use an example to back this up. If you’re supportive, tell the interviewer about a time when you helped a colleague. If you have positive quotes to use or compliments given to you from others, don’t be afraid to use them.
Example Questions And Answers
When interviewing for a management position, it is important to present yourself as a candidate who works well with others, values the company culture and delegates work appropriately. If you are asked to speak about an experience, remember to use the STAR technique:
- Situation: Briefly explain an issue you were dealing with in a positive, constructive way.
- Task: Describe your role in the situation.
- Action: Detail what you did to resolve or address the problem.
- Result: Explain what you learned and how your actions led to positive results for your workplace.
The STAR method allows you to support your answers with personal experiences that prove your managerial skills. The example answers in this article demonstrate how you can use this technique to create compelling, genuine responses.
Interview Questions For Management Candidates
Here are 10 more questions for prospective managers provided by the experts we talked to:
1)Tell me about a time when you delegated an important project to one of your direct reports. How did it go? What did you learn?
2)What are some important decisions or recommendations you have been called upon to make?
3)Tell me about a time when one of your direct reports gave you feedback about your performance. How did you respond?
4)Have you ever hired an employee? What did you look for when hiring that employee? What type of role was it?
5)Tell me about a time when you managed an employee you inherited versus hired. How did you handle it? Did you face any challenges?
6)Have you ever had to resolve a conflict between two direct reports or two colleagues? What was the conflict and how did you resolve it?
7)Have you onboarded a new employee? Tell me about the process.
8)Tell me about a time when you had to fire someone. What were the circumstances? What did you do?
9)Tell me about a time when your team had a significant goal or deadline for a project. How did you go about accomplishing it?
10)Tell me about a time when you needed to tell your team something that they did not want to hear in terms of policy or direction. How did you handle it?
How Do You Ensure That Tasks Are Prioritized With Your Team
This question helps you to understand how the job candidate manages their time and the time of their team to ensure tasks are being completed on time. What to look for in an answer:
- Time management skills
“We use software that helps us to see all the different projects we have on the go at any given time. The team is able to see all of the projects in one go. We meet weekly to see what the progress is for every program and also to talk about any barriers that will prevent us from reaching those timelines. As new projects come in, we have onboarding meetings to find the best fit for the new project with our priorities.”
How To Open The Job Interview
In most cases, a candidate will experience nerves when interviewing for your role. A good way to combat this and ensure youre getting a clear understanding of their personality and skills is to open the interview with a few questions that will put them at ease.
These opening questions should ideally be quite positive in theme and should be open-ended, to encourage a natural conversation flow. One or two of these openers shouldnt take long, but are sure to make a difference!
For the interview
A positive opener to start
What do you enjoy most about Office Management?
What is your proudest accomplishment as an Office Manager?
- What does a typical day at work look like for you?
- This will give you an idea of the skills the candidate uses on a day to day basis, as well as what tasks they are used to performing.
- Describe a challenge you faced in your previous role and how you overcame it?
- The candidate will have a chance to describe an area of the role they find challenging, as well as walk you through their process for overcoming challenges.
- How do you cope with managing multiple stressful projects at once?
- This question will allow the candidate to describe their prioritisation and organisation methods.
- How do you keep a team motivated through difficult or stressful periods?
- An Office Manager has a huge impact on the motivation of a team, this answer will give insight if the candidate is a good fit for your teams culture.
What Is One Of The Biggest Challenges Of Being A Sales Manager
Hiring managers also want to test if you understand the challenges of the sales manager’s position. In your answer, describe a major challenge you expect or have experienced in this position and focus on how you plan to overcome it.
Example:One of the key challenges I expect as a sales manager is handling less satisfied customers. A good example is in my last sales role, when someone damaged a product and insisted it was faulty before purchase. I had checked the item with them in store to show how it worked, and they were satisfied. Such customers put the company in a tricky position because there is a risk of financial loss and reputational damage. To manage this challenge, I read the organization’s policies thoroughly so I understand the actions to take in these circumstances. I also request the help of other departments if the need arises.