Manager job interview questions

When interviewing for a manager position, you really want to do everything you can to really let the interviewer see what a great leader you are. While you should always be prepared for common job interview questions, there are manager-specific questions that you’ll want to make sure you have practiced before hand.

What makes a good manager?

The interviewer is looking to see what traits you think this position will need. Talk about any previous experience you have where you can pull examples of what’s needed to make a great manager. Think about what you would like to see in a manager and how you’ve developed yourself to fit that position.

“I’ve found that the best managers are the ones who can really listen and communicate with their team members, are organized and are really invested in the success of the company. All three of these traits are absolutely essential for the growth of the team and the business. A lot goes in to each of these traits that I can give you more detail on, but in my experience it creates a happy and healthy work environment.”

How do you inspire your employees?

A big part of being a manager will be keeping your team on task and keeping them motivated. Pull from past experiences and any expertise you have that can show you are a true leader and have no reservations about leading a group of people.

“I think one of the best ways to inspire employees is to really show how passionate you are about the business and the company itself. If you are passionate, it will show in your work and will definitely rub off on your team. If we all commit ourselves to being the best staff we can, there’s now way we won’t come out ahead. I’ve also seen great success in giving them something to strive for. For example, for last year’s Black Friday, I challenged my staff to beat the previous year’s sales numbers. If they succeeded I would treat them all to a pizza and dessert party. Not only did they all volunteer to work on that day, but they also surpassed the previous year and it turned out to be one of the best years we had on record. It was a cheap but motivating way to get them all to fight for the same goal.”

What do you look for in your employees?

Managing people will also require you to interview and hire new team members. The interviewer is looking to see how comfortable you are with the hiring process and is looking to make sure you know how to hire the right people.

“I’ve approached the hiring process with a team mentality. In order for the business to run smoothly, the team really needs to work well together. So, I look for people who talk about how they are team players and can communicate well with others. For front of house positions, I try to get a feel on how they would act with customers and make sure that they are confident with strangers. For the back of house positions, I look for people who are organized, can work quickly and that stress time management in their interview. This approach has proven to be successful and I think that’s showed by the low turnover rate I’ve produced.”

If we asked your old employees why we should hire you, what would they say?

The interviewer wants to know what you think your old employees think of you. They want you to really tell them why you are a great manager and why you would fit in well with their business and customers.

“I think my former employees would say that I am a manger who really listens to their concerns and does my best to create a fun and successful work environment. When I came into my last position, I was able to cut the turnover rate by 10 percent and I think that really comes down to taking the time to get to know each employee and letting them know that they cam come to me with work issues.”

How would you deal with a difficult customer?

A major part of being a manager will require you to deal with the customers that have complaints. This is your chance to show the interviewer that this doesn’t intimidate you and you are confident you can assist the customer while not getting frustrated. Give a specific example of a time when you assisted someone who was upset with the company but walked away satisfied.

“I think the best managers are the ones that can really listen to a customer and get to the rot of the problem. In my experience, I’ve found that many people just want to make sure they are being heard and that someone is taking their issue seriously. For example, in my last position we had a customer call me over to complain that the meal they ordered was not what they were expecting and when they brought up the concern to the server they felt blown off. She was pretty passionate about the fact that she felt ignored and it was starting to create a scene in the restaurant. I assured her that we take things like this seriously and quickly comped her meal, gave her a coupon for a free entree and promised that I would have a talk with the server to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. We all made note of her name and what she looked like so that when she came in again I could follow up with her to make sure everything was up to par. She was so gracious when we followed up with her and soon became a regular of the restaurant. I think this goes back to just listening and making sure they realize that their complaints are being heard.”