Woman in Management Interview

Have a management interview coming up? Managers are questioned around four key skill categories: Communication, Motivation, Decision-Making and Leadership. All are essential to a manager’s success. Whether you’re looking for your first management role or you’re an existing manager looking to make a move, be sure you have well thought-out answers to the following interview questions for managers.


Communication skills are important for any job candidate. But for a manager, the way you communicate to your team will impact your success. It will also impact how you deal with the remaining three key skill categories. That’s why the evaluation of your communication skills goes beyond your conversational nature. Remember, communication is not just about what you say, but how you say it.

Managers have to deal with a wide range of personalities. Not all of your employees will respond to the same style of communication. That’s why your communication skills are so highly evaluated when you’re interviewing.

Be sure you can answer the following:

1. In what ways has your communication style helped you be successful?
2. What’s your approach to delivering information that you know will be unpopular to individuals or teams?
3. Tell me about a time when you used your communication skills to repair a misunderstanding or strengthen a weak relationship at work?
4. How do you communicate expectations to your team?


Interviewers want to see what kind of leader you really are. They want to know how you’ll delegate work, mentor your employees and keep morale high. Being a manager means you must be a motivator. It’s one of the most important skills you need to ensure your success. After all, people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.

If you worked for someone you didn’t think believed in you or who didn’t know how to motivate you, would you want to stay in that role?

Each person on your team will be motivated by different things and in different ways. It’s important to recognize this and demonstrate an ability to manage the individual. No one-size fits all approach allowed!

Be sure you can answer the following:

1. Can you give me examples of what you do to motivate different members of your team?
2. How do you motivate your team to do something you know must be done but that they will resist doing?
3. Describe a time when you took a disengaged employee and coached them to be more productive.


Managers constantly make decisions — sometimes with little information at hand. Being decisive and able to make swift decisions without the agony of second guessing one’s self is critical in the fast-paced world of work. Of course, not every decision you make will be the right one. Interviewers will also be looking for an indication of your ability to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Likewise, they will want to see that you’re able to take positive steps to move forward, making whatever changes are necessary, without the complications that are caused by letting your ego and pride interfere.

Be sure you can answer the following:

1. What are the most difficult types of decisions for you to make and why?
2. What is your decision-making process?
3. When you have two possible routes to achieve a goal, neither with a clear guarantee of success, how do you decided which to pursue?
4. Tell me about a time you knew you made a bad decision and what steps you took to right the situation.


Your job as a manager is not about you being in the spotlight. It’s about your ability to act as a supporter and coach to your team. That often means letting the light of success shine on them rather than on yourself. Of course, you should have a vision for where your team is headed and how best to achieve your desired goals. Taking initiative and being innovative while giving your team the breathing room to take ownership of their work is all part of the nuanced balance that needs to happen between a manager and his/her team.

Leaders aren’t good leaders if they don’t listen to the things that matter most to their team members.

Be sure you can answer the following:

1. How do you decide what work to delegate and who should be responsible for it?
2. What would people you’ve managed in the past say about you as a leader?
3. Name the most important thing a leader can do to be successful?
4. How would you describe success?

Have any management interview questions to add? We’d love to hear them!

A version of this article originally appeared on FairyGodBoss.