Career Advice

7 Managerial Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

min read
Vera Chan

Working your way up the ranks has been a journey. You have been job searching and striving through roles, until one day you are reached out to. A recruiter or hiring manager might approach you for a managerial position. You may wonder if you have what it takes or you may feel 100% ready to dive in. Either way, whether you are the one applying for a managerial position or are offered one, here is how to prepare.

Below are seven questions that you might get asked with specifics to becoming a manager. In addition to standard interview questions, these may get thrown into the mix. Why? Because they show how you think and act. Are you a natural-born leader or one who has worked up to it? For either, you have the chance to make yourself stand out.

This type of interview is a grade-up from the traditional interview. One minute they may be asking about your short-term and long-term goals. The next minute they could be asking you about how you define success. We'll walk you through how to answer each question.

1. Describe Your Management Style

What is management style? This is a way in which a manager works towards a goal. How do they process it and how do they fulfill it? It can include organisational measures, decision-making, and task delegation.

When you answer, talk about your trust in your co-workers. Show that you treat your subordinates like teammates. Express that you communicate well and that that is paramount. You want to give concrete examples of these. Show that you are capable of accountability while being approachable. Can you be a mentor and provide guidance? If so, how? Are you efficient with time? Close with a solid example of a success story from start to finish to help walk them through the scenario. 

2. How Do You Motivate Team Members?

Part of being a manager is knowing when to provide or boost motivation. During busy times, there can be slumps in energy and enthusiasm. How do you make that rise again? For example, if there is a tight deadline, do you provide incentives? If so, what kind of incentives? What would your approach be to this and why? Such, as why would you choose monetary incentives over philanthropic incentives? Showing that you understand your team members goes a long way. If you are unsure, here are some ways you can motivate your team.

3. How Do You Manage Stress Among People?

Work stress is inevitable during your tenure at a company or any given project. As unpredictable aspects may pop-up, it is worth flagging how you can manage this as a team leader. Some may work well under pressure, but others may not. There is also personal stress that can cause an employee to be stressed at work. In this case, show proactiveness as a leader and give an example that shows this. Such as, talking to individuals separately and tackling individual problems that cause stress. Individual problem solving and then group problem solving.

4. How Do You Delegate Tasks?

Knowing how to let go of your work so that you're more effective can be difficult. Do you loom over colleagues and micromanage? Show that you can shift your workload, so that you can free up some time for other more priority tasks. You can explain that you delegate tasks by priority for instance. Or you can use individual strengths to assign tasks to those who master those areas. 

5. How Do You Show Leadership?

This question can be daunting, but all you have to do is explain a time where you lead by example. Was there a time where you stood up and took the reins of a project? Explain why that was and how the project panned out. Even if the end result was not a success, for reasons that could have been out of your hands, you can show leadership. Show how you led a team through ups and downs, while providing direction and guidance. This is valuable.

 6. How Do You Handle Conflict Resolution?

Have you ever had two teammates that didn't get along? You can talk about being open-minded and approachable while remaining neutral and professional. Explain the problem, and how you solved it so that each other worked together better in the end. Thereby making the team more efficient overall.

7. Have You Ever Had to Let an Employee Go and How Did You Handle It?

As a manager, there will be testing times where a person in your team may not be up to standard. Or perhaps a new joiner has just started. If their performance didn't add up to what they promised during the job interview, what do you do? Show that you are a fair and understanding manager that has given a chance to the employee. How did the problem start, what did you do, and how did you professionally document it? So that when the time comes, there is no misunderstanding between the said employee and you.


Create a list of scenarios that you can mention as examples. Consider the questions above on leadership and how you can weave them. This way you can have tailored answers that will speak to the interviewer. The end game is to show that you are already a leader. Or to show that you have already been put in situations where your leadership shows.

Want to upgrade your skills more, but not sure how? Read Tips to Upgrade Your Job Interview Skills.

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