co-workers at a conference table discussing manager interview questions

By Bond Collective Staff

Finding the best manager is crucial to the success of your team and your business. Manager interview questions are a vital part of that process. Here are the 20 best interview questions to ask candidates.

20 Best Manager Interview Questions

1) What Is Your Favorite Part Of Being A Manager?

Including this as one of your manager interview questions helps reveal the candidates’ knowledge of the position. Do their answers use common business and managerial terminology? Are they familiar with the nuances of managing a team?

Do their answers touch on why they want to work as in your business? Candidates’ responses can help you gain a better understanding of the person underneath the veneer they show at the interview.

2) What Is Your Least Favorite Part Of Being A Manager?

This interview question makes a great follow up to the previous question. There are always parts of the job that people dislike. But when a candidate’s answer to this question has to do with regular managerial duties, it might be a red flag that this person isn’t right for the position.

3) What Is Your Biggest Management Strength?

The answer to this manager interview question should describe the candidate’s biggest management strength and explain how it helps get the job done and benefits their team and your business.

Job candidates should understand (and verbalize) how their strength integrates with the strengths of your team to form a cohesive unit.

4) What Is Your Biggest Management Weakness?

A candidate who acknowledges a weakness recognizes that there’s an opportunity to improve. An answer to this manager interview question should reveal a trait that the candidate feels they can work on and perhaps how it has affected their work in the past.

Part of the answer should also indicate how the management candidate is working to improve.

5) How Do You Handle Conflicts Between Team Members?

teammates working together to develop manager interview questions

This question provides insight into:

  • The candidate’s maturity level

  • How they handle stress

  • How they hold themselves accountable for problems

  • Their ability to deal with difficult personal situations

What happens between team members can affect the team as a whole. So if your management candidate can help colleagues let go of grudges and resentment, they can keep the team focused and engaged.

6) How Would You Describe Your Management Style?

If you’re looking for a specific management style in the candidate’s answer, rephrase this question to include the name. But don’t let it affect the interview if they mention another style.

Instead, ask them how they would approach, conduct, and complete a new project. Ask “What if…” questions to see how they adapt their style when problems arise.

7) What Do You Do When You’re Not Working?

Burnout is common among managers, so it’s important to maintain a healthy work/life balance. This question helps you get a sense of whether or not the candidate can maintain the busy life that comes with leading a team in your business.

8) How Would You Tell A Team Member They Are Underperforming?

Every candidate will have a different method for dealing with an underperforming team member. What you want to find out is if the interviewee will base their communication on what works best for each team member.

The candidate should be willing and able to motivate the team member in question positively rather than negatively.

9) What Was Your Favorite Experience As A Manager?

group of senior executives proposing manager interview questions for upcoming manager search

This interview question serves two purposes:

  1. It gives you insight into what the candidate sees as successful management

  2. It helps you gauge the level of excitement they feel about their successes

The story and how they tell it can give you an understanding of what being a manager means to them.

10) What Was Your Least Favorite Experience As A Manager?

Talking about failure is much more difficult than talking about success. So this interview question helps you see two things:

  1. What being a “bad” manager means to them

  2. How they handle their mistakes

Do they take responsibility for the problem? Or do they make excuses?

11) How Do You Define Success?

The answer to this manager interview question shouldn’t be one word (like prestige or money). And it shouldn’t be only about the candidate. Rather, you want to hear how they define success from the team’s perspective.

If need be, ask follow-up questions such as:

  • “What small successes do you strive for?”

  • “What large success do you strive for?”

It’s important to establish if the candidate’s definition of success matches your business’s definition. Because, ultimately, the way a candidate defines success will influence how their team gauges their activity.

12) What Does Being A Team Player Mean To You?

Asking a candidate how they define “team player” helps you gauge how well they will fit in with your current managerial staff and the team they are being tasked to lead.

The interviewee’s answer should show that they’re ready to do whatever it takes to get the job done and to be both a leader and a follower as the situation dictates.

13) How Would You Prepare For An Important Meeting?

executive preparing to interview prospects by using a laptop to list potential manager interview questions

Does the candidate do all the work alone? Or do they bring in trusted team members to assist and to gain valuable training? The way your interviewee prepares for an important meeting is indicative of the way they will manage a team and integrate into the existing business culture.

14) What Things Do Team Members Do That You Find Annoying?

You’ll hear some unique answers to this question, but what you really want to know is how the candidate handles those annoying behaviors.

If the candidate’s answer is brief or restricted to specific behaviors, ask them to elaborate on how they would deal with the situation.

15) How Do You Handle Stress On Your Team?

A good answer to this interview question is a story that relates an instance when the candidate successfully managed their team’s stress. If the candidate has never managed a team before, find out exactly how they would investigate and incorporate stress-management strategies.

16) How Do You Handle Conflict?

Conflict, like stress, is a normal part of the intra-team dynamic. The successful management candidate should have an understanding of the difference between these two things and be ready to sit down with each team member to come up with a solution.

17) What’s Your Approach To Delegating Work?

If the candidate delegates work in alphabetical order, that would be cause for alarm. Ideally, you’re looking for the interviewee to verbalize that they would delegate based on aptitude and experience after examining the big picture.

18) How Would You Go About Terminating Someone?

group of coworkers discussing upcoming hiring process around a conference table

Answers to this interview question will vary. But all should contain at least three key behaviors:

  1. Use professional language and behavior

  2. Keep Human Resources apprised

  3. Document everything

Letting someone go is never easy. A candidate shouldn’t make light of the responsibility but, rather, do what needs to be done in the most professional way possible.

19) How Would You Motivate Your Team Members?

Motivation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Successful candidates will understand that. They’ll relate a time when they successfully motivated their team or were motivated by their manager (and would like to emulate this experience).

Underneath it all, they’ll see the importance of getting to know their team members to find out what motivates them best.

20) What Does Your Ideal Office Space Look Like?

large comfortable coworking space

This manager interview question is a bit lighter than others on this list, but it can give you insight into how the candidate will assimilate into your working environment.

Do they thrive in a coworking space? Or do they work better in a private office? Can they keep their team members on task with lots of activity going on around them? Or do they need a space all their own to be the most successful?

shared office space with a variety of work areas

If you’re forming a new team, you’ll find a space that fits everyone’s needs at Bond Collective. Your team can work from community spaces, hot desks (available on a first-come, first-served basis), dedicated desks (i.e., reserved), private offices, and conference and meeting rooms. There’s a workspace for everyone at Bond Collective.

For more resources to help you manage your business or to learn more about the advantages of coworking spaces for digital nomads, remote workers, and businesses of all kinds, visit BondCollective.com today.