Behavioral Manager Interview
Questions and Answers

Anticipate manager interview questions based on the knowledge and core competencies commonly required for success in a management job.

Manager holding hands over blocks depicting employees in management concept

Your interview will include questions that explore common manager behaviors. These behavioral or competency-based interview questions will determine your ability to perform the necessary job functions by assessing the fundamental competencies underlying common management activities.

Use the interview answer insight and advice to help you prepare for success in your manager job interview.

Knowledge requirements for a manager job

The knowledge requirements will vary depending on the employer, level and scope of the manager job. However typical knowledge requirements for managerial or supervisory jobs include:

  • business and management principles
  • strategic planning
  • administrative procedures
  • operating systems
  • understanding of accounting and financial reports
  • organizational planning tools
  • data management and analysis
  • relevant software applications
  • human resource management principles

Manager interview questions around the knowledge requirements are answered by reviewing your resume or CV as they refer directly to your qualifications and work task experience.

Anticipate and plan for interview questions that explore your training, your qualifications and your task experience, with reference to the specific knowledge requirements listed. Examples include:

"What methods have you used to evaluate your employees' job performance?"

"What experience do you have in setting budgets?"

"What systems have you developed and implemented to improve operating efficiency in your department?"

Common manager competencies or behaviors

The management job interview will focus on behavioral questions that look for evidence of management competencies. You will be asked to provide specific examples of when you have demonstrated the required competency.

Reflect on your past experiences, select appropriate examples and plan your response using the following STAR structure:

  • Describe the specific situation or task you were involved in (ST)
  • Detail the action and steps you took in the situation (A)
  • Outline the results of your actions (R)

Go through these manager interview questions that explore the essential competencies for a management position. Use the answer guidelines to help you prepare your own excellent interview answers.

14 Behavioral Interview Questions for Managers

Judgment and Decision-Making

"Tell me about a tough decision you had to make recently at work , how did you go about making the decision?"

"Think of a good decision you made and a recent decision that wasn't good. What did you do differently in making these decisions?"

In your interview answer show how you are able to:

  • review the relevant data
  • consider alternatives and decide on the most appropriate action
  • take into consideration the available resources and any possible constraints

Manager interview questions will also explore your ability to delegate effectively.

Delegation of Tasks and Responsibility

"Tell me about an important assignment or task that you delegated. How did you ensure that it would be completed successfully?"

"When delegating a recent assignment, describe how you showed your confidence in the person's ability to do the job?"

In your interview answer focus on:

  • how you assign tasks and responsibility to the appropriate people
  • how you clarify exactly what is expected
  • how you communicate confidence and ensure adequate resources are available for successful completion of the task
  • how you establish follow-up procedures and set deadlines

Staff Motivation

"Give me an example of when you successfully motivated your staff using incentives or rewards."

"Describe a time you had to motivate a staff member who was reluctant to undertake an assignment."

In your interview answer show how you:

  • determine the appropriate motivation strategies for your staff members by understanding their different needs and perspectives
  • communicate goals and visions to your staff
  • gain commitment to these goals
  • establish appropriate reward and incentive structures
  • support and lead staff to success

Expect manager interview questions that assess your ability to identify problems.

Problem Analysis and Assessment

"Describe a complicated problem you recently had to deal with on your job. How did you gain a better understanding of that problem"?

"Give me an example of a time you were able to identify and resolve a small problem that had the potential to become a big problem."

In your interview answer demonstrate your ability to:

  • detect problems
  • gather the relevant information to identify the underlying issues
  • identify cause and effect relationships

The focus is on your ability to get the right information to identify the key issues.

Problem-solving behavioral interview questions

Staff Development

"Describe a time you had to provide training or coaching to different staff members on the same tasks."

"Give me an example of when you had to provide feedback to a staff member who was performing poorly, how did you go about this and what was the outcome?"

In your interview answer show how you:

  • facilitate the development of knowledge and skills
  • how you adjust your approach according to the individual and provide support where needed
  • discuss how you are able to assess the needs of your staff and establish a plan for improvement considering available resources and the individual requirements
  • describe how you gain agreement to this plan

Key to success as a manager is communication. Prepare for manager interview questions about your communication skills.

Staff Communication

"Give me a specific example of when you had to clearly communicate your expectations to a subordinate."

Tell me about the steps you took to establish rapport with a new staff member."

In your interview answer demonstrate how you:

  • communicate information effectively to an individual or group
  • adjust your approach according to the situation
  • are able to see the other person's perspective, to listen properly and establish a constructive relationship

Communication skills interview questions

Collaboration interview questions and answers

Work and Task Management

"Talk me through a short term plan you developed and implemented for your department."

"What methods have you used to prioritize work assignments?"

In your interview answer focus on:

  • your planning and organizational skills
  • describe your ability to establish objectives and set priorities
  • discuss how you plan proper assignment of tasks and allocate resources effectively
  • how you use appropriate organizational tools
  • how you follow up on work and task status

Good time management interview questions and answers

Manager interview questions that explore your motivation

Expect interview questions that explore your motivation and commitment to the manager role, such as:

"What do you consider the biggest challenge a manager faces today?"

"What makes a good manager?"

Prepare for all management interview questions

Management interview questions that focus on your management style. Use the sample answers to prepare for your management job interview.

Management job interview questions that explore your understanding and experience of what management involves in today's business environment.

What makes a good manager?

Find good answers to the question What Makes a Good Manager?

For a comprehensive guide to answering competency based or behavioral questions go to the behavioral interview

Standard manager interview questions and answers

Whatever position you are applying for, interviewers will also ask these common job interview questions. Be prepared to successfully answer these interview questions using the sample answers.


Why should we hire you?


Why do you want to work here?

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What else do you need to know before your manager interview? Use the search box below to find excellent job interview resources including how to dress for your interview, communicating effectively in the interview, the right questions to ask the interviewer and much more.

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