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5 Invaluable Managers Interview Tips


Your resume shined over all the rest, and you’ve made it to the final round, the interview for a coveted manager position. Interviews are especially critical for managers because these workplace leaders have to wear so many hats – planner, organizer, negotiator, scheduler, and that may just be in one day! When filling this position, companies need to know they’re choosing someone who will be not only a good employee, but a leader who their team can trust and respect. It should be no surprise then that scoring big during the job interview is paramount. You can do it – here’s a few managers interview tips to show you how.

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Managers Interview Tips

Highlight Your Organization Skills: While showing that you are a leader is a pretty obvious thing to do when approaching a manager job interview, showing off your ability to organize isn’t. Yet being able to keep data, schedules and people operating in an orderly fashion is critical to being an effective manager. A variety of different organizing efforts can be valuable to a manager position. Maybe you compiled and maintained a client list or invoices at a previous position. Perhaps you had to work without a manager for a while and created a workflow that helped increase your output. Each of these is an example of organizing and managing information and tasks that can underscore your ability to lead.

Show Off Decision-Making Skills: One of the most important jobs of all managers is making decisions. From figuring out work schedules to granting time off, ordering supplies to hiring new employees, managers are often at the crux of not only the most important decisions for the team, but for the company as a whole. Companies don’t want to take chances with people who can’t pull the trigger. So take time to highlight instances where you had to make decisions that impacted the big picture. Especially impressive are decisions made under pressure – either from higher-ups, investors, or simply when up against a deadline. Be ready to share the results of those decisions – good and bad. Surprisingly, even a decision that didn’t yield the best results can be valuable to a hiring manager if it shows strong critical thinking skills, willingness to take chances and an ability to learn and recoup from mistakes.

Show You Can Cooperate: Cooperation is synonymous with teamwork. Within a team, the manager needs to be able to work with his or her direct reports to get results – whether that’s physically producing materials or working with them to get them the resources needed to get the job done. Outside the team, managers must be able to interact with other team’s managers to ensure multi-channel projects are done quickly and efficiently. Think of times when you’ve worked closely with another team or teams, channeling your respective abilities to produce a strong end result.

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Share Examples: Cooperation, leadership, organization – these are all fluffy, ephemeral terms that can sound good on paper and in person but also tend to be thrown around by just about every job candidate. What do they really mean? A good hiring manager is going to want to know. He or she will be interested in more than just your word that you can lead a team or are a great organizer – the interviewer will want tangible answers in the form of data. Be prepared. Dig up whatever numbers you can find – key performance indicators, percentage point increases, etc. – and have them on hand.

Don’t Trash Previous Managers: It’s not uncommon for manager interviews to include questions about what you did and didn’t like about your own previous managers. It can be second nature to emphasize what you didn’t like and how you would have done better, but this can actually make you look bad. Remember, a valued skill in managers is diplomacy. Instead of dwelling on negative management experiences, zero in on managers whose style you enjoyed. Talk about what made you view them as approachable, trusted and worthy of respect, then talk about how you would build on those skills as a manager.

Gaining a job as a manager can be exciting, but managers interviews can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, acing the interview can be as simple as preparing with these easy managers interview tips. Review them and get ready to enter the next phase in your career.