7 Interview Questions to Ask Managerial Candidates

May 08, 2019

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posted by: Nicola Malcolm



Text Size

- +

As an interviewer, you’re looking for certain qualities in a new manager. You’re seeking an employee who has the confidence and experience to lead a team to success.

 [Download] How to write a job description that will attract top talent

The seven interview questions below will help you find and hire a qualified manager.

1. How long have you been a manager?

Certain managerial skills can only be acquired on the job. A candidate with years of managerial experience will have a better understanding of the nuances and challenges of the role than someone who’s only been in the job for a few months.

2. How would your direct reports describe you?

Asking candidates to describe their management style through the eyes of others will help you determine what type of environment they’re suited to work in and what type of team members they could successfully lead.

3. How do you deal with underperforming employees?

Managers are required to deal with all sorts of employees—superstars, mediocre performers, and underperformers. Learning how a candidate deals with difficult employees can help you better understand the way they would manage a team. A manager has to be able to handle employee performance issues.

Ask the candidates to describe a time when they had to deal with an underperforming employee. The example the candidate provides will offer insight into how they define “underperforming,” as well as help you determine how they would deal with a similar situation in the future.

4. Do you believe in employee incentives?

Employee incentives—when used properly—are effective at motivating employees to do their best work. A good manager knows how to inspire their team beyond the traditional cash bonus while improving work performance.

Recognition, increased responsibility, and the chance to take on more challenging tasks are all examples of work incentives. Managers who leverage these incentives realize the importance of rewarding employees for a job well done.

5. Describe a time when you managed a difficult situation with less than ideal resources.

A manager who was able to get through a difficult project without having all the tools at their disposal is adaptable in tough situations. Managers need to know how to allocate and leverage resources, whether tools, personnel, or budgets.

6. Have you promoted anyone and why?

A manager who has promoted someone on their team has the insight to know when an employee deserves to rise up within the company. It’s a task that speaks to several skills, including management, coaching, and mentoring.

The ideal candidate will know how to evaluate their employees and aspire team members to grow.

7. What’s the most valuable piece of technology you use that’s improved your job as a manager?

Technology has significantly impacted all industries. Managers who adapt are more likely to be forward thinkers and innovative. Those willing to implement new technology understand that doing so can improve performance.


Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

Find Nicola Malcolm on: