By Debbie Holden 12 Sep 2019 5 min read

Manager interview questions

If you are applying for your first managerial role then it may be hard to predict what questions you might face as they will obviously differ from interviews in the past. Managerial interviews will focus more on challenging situations and how you have overcome them, they will require examples and your thought process behind any decision making.

In addition to this, interviewers may also want you to review the performance of previous managers and how you may have handled things differently.

Below are a number of manager interview questions you can expect to face.


What are your expectations of a manager?

Here the interviewer wants you describe the best qualities of a manager and what you feel the role requires. You can provide examples of previous managers you have worked under, but try to keep them positive. Discuss requirements such as; how approachable you feel a manager should be and how they can avoid unwanted situations.


Experiences of previous managers

An interviewer will look to gauge how tactful you can be when talking about a manager who may have been difficult in the past. They are looking to see how you will deal with negativity and hope to gain insight into your interpersonal skills. Even if you have had difficult managers in the past, put a positive spin on things and don’t criticise the individual.


Experience in dealing with troublesome coworkers

Successful managers will need to show how they have dealt with problematic coworkers and how they have resolved the situation to bring about a positive conclusion. Employers are interested in how you have helped to improve a coworker’s performance or taken measures to calm a situation with a disruptive team member.


Provide details of how you have implemented health and safety

Working in the automotive sector requires strict attention to health and safety guidelines, so when applying for a managerial position you must possess detailed knowledge in this regard. Working in a garage or a car showroom will have presented you with numerous examples but it is best to focus on scenarios where you have ensured the health and safety of your co-workers in order to show awareness and a sense of responsibility.


How would you approach a situation where you feel the manager is wrong?

A classic question to test your communication, confidence and initiative. Showing an ability to speak to a senior member of staff respectfully in regards to a mistake shows all of the above. For example, a senior mechanic may have prioritised a job which did not need completing urgently. Explain how you communicated this and how you avoided potential timescale issues.


How would you motivate your team?

Try to be creative in your motivational approach, being inventive with your techniques can help set you apart from other applicants. For example, you could devise challenging targets or describe how you would handle staff on an individual basis.


Why should we hire you?

It’s time for a sales pitch to persuade the interviewer why you are the best person for the role. Talk about your experience and the skills you have built up over this time, use stats to show how a company grew while you worked for them and how the processes you implemented resulted in improved turnover or efficiency.

Explain how these skills are particularly suited to the specific role and show your knowledge of the company’s operations, emphasising how your personality is a good fit.


What do you want from the job?

In this question the interviewer wants to know if your personal goals fall in line with the company’s requirements. Try to be ambitious without sounding like you see the company as a stepping stone, employers will be looking for a manager who is in it for the long-term.


Questions to ask after the interview

  • Ask if there are any questions they would like you to elaborate on.
  • Ask who they would consider to be the perfect candidate for the role.
  • Ask about the hierarchy, who would you be reporting to? what are the various departments?
  • Ask how the role has changed over the years and how it may evolve in the future.
  • Ask them to describe the ‘company culture’ and what the firm’s core values are.
  • Ask if there is an opportunity to meet with your potential staff and co-managers during the interview process.


You can find tips on how to prepare for a job interview here.