Common interview questions for managers
Every interview has a unique focus, but some questions are asked so often, it makes sense to do all you can to prepare for them. To be successful, you need a strategy—not scripted answers. Your goal should be to emphasize the experiences in your background that best fit what each interviewer is looking for.
In this series, we'll look at some common questions and what you should consider when formulating your responses. Work through each potential question, creating your own responses, and you will be in great shape for your next interview. It helps to write out potential answers. Even better: Practice aloud with someone.
QUESTION: What is your management style?
Intent: This is a classic question for management-level candidates. The interviewer's intent here is threefold: to find out if your management style fits, to determine if you have management ability and to probe how much you understand your own work style.
Context: Avoid responding with cliches. Hopefully you can say more than that you have an open-door policy or you manage by walking around.
Response: In today's environment, you need to speak to leading and developing your team, communication, how you organize and plan, how you execute and how you measure progress. It need not be a long answer, but responding with a well-thought-out approach to your management style will make a better impression than spouting generalities.
QUESTION: How would your past experience translate into success in this job?
Intent: Either the interviewer is asking in a tone that indicates his doubt about your legitimacy as a candidate, or he is asking you to make the connection for him effectively.
Context: You can blow the whole interview here. In fact, you have no business being in the interview unless you are clear why you have what it takes to do the job well.