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Most Popular Interview Questions for Managers

By Junaid Tahir:  While reading an article on internet, I found the below questions which most of the hiring managers ask when hirin...

By Junaid Tahir: 
While reading an article on internet, I found the below questions which most of the hiring managers ask when hiring managers. In this article, the answers to the questions were not written by the author. In fact the reason for this was that these questions are generic and every professional would have different answers based on his own experience and expertise. Accordingly, I have given the answers to these questions below as a reference however I encourage you to write down your own answers for the sake of practice and training.

1-  Give me an example, from your past work experiences, about a time when you had an underperforming employee reporting to you. How did you address the situation? Did the employee's performance improve? If not, what did you do next?
ANSWER: In my previous role working as a national manager for a $45m project, one of my regional managers was not producing the desired results in stipulated timelines. Since I had made automatic reporting templates for progress monitoring so I extracted some specific cases where Mr ABC shown sluggish response. I called him for a one to one meeting in my room. It is said that in order to understand problems related to Humans you must have empathic skills so I took the same approach. He said that had recently a broken engagement due to which he was unable to focus on work. I offered him a week vacations but he thankfully didn't accept and promised to improve the results. I also registered him in online training "How to organize the work with WBS approach" After some weeks, I examined the progress and it was almost same. I called him again and he promised to improve. I offered him another 10 days, but to no avail. Then I discussed the matter with my manager (The director) and proposed him a  solution to introduce the environment of competence by splitting this region into two; half to be managed by him and half by me. From that day onwards, at the end of each day, both of us started reviewing our efforts to resolve the issues within our part of region. I used to explain to him how I managed things today and how I made things more productive. I followed the methodology that "the job of a manager is not to produce more followers but to produce more managers" and things got improved J

2-  Rate your management skills on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing excellent management skills. Provide three examples from your past work experiences that demonstrate your selected number is accurate
ANSWER: Well, self audit is a tough job as it requires serious judging skills. I would give myself 8 marks. I have good management skills as I can document things in an organized manner, I have a strong follow up to make things happen on time, I have analytical skills to breakdown a bigger problem into small problem and then resolving the issue, I have good excel Pivoting skills to see the trends. I read a lot to keep improving my horizons and I have written several articles on wisdom and  leadership traits. About examples, I have executed 2G cutover project involving 2000 plus activities at 1000 sites covering 5-10 teams (NOC, vendor, sub-contractor, planning, operations team coordination). In my 6 years tenure with XYZ company I was promoted 5 times from field engineer, to regional manager to National Implementation manager to Project Manager to PMO Professional which is an indicative of my good management qualities. I implemented two major phases of World's largest 4G network with my analytical, documentation, directive and follow up skills. I have been awarded two times Bravo Award by the companies' Asia PAC branch.

3-  Describe the work environment or culture and its management style in which you have experienced the most success.
ANSWER: well this one is a little challenging question, Ideally speaking the high density of your team members belonging to the same geographical region, the high is the success rate because of strong working chemistry synchronization. Just as an example, my manager sends me to the Operations team (another department) to resolve certain issues although those are not related to my region. He sends me because the guys in Operations belong to my country and they understand me better and support more efficiently J

4-  Describe three components of your philosophy of management that demonstrate what you value and add, as an individual, to an organization's culture and work environment.
ANSWER: 1- WBS 2- Time Management 3- Consistent Audits (Cost and quality). WBS ensures that tasks are broken down into small steps and each sub-task is assigned to a specific employee. Time Management ensures that things are done within stipulated timelines. Consistent audits ensure that you have grip on quality and cost.  

5-  What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively?
ANSWER: The teams should love what they are doing. Every morning if an employee while coming to office is enthusiastic and charged about the day, then he will make things happen. However if he is coming to office with sad heart or negative attitude then we have already half lost the project. So my point is that a culture of friendliness and trust needs to be ensured. Encouragement and consistent gratitude needs to be in place since it acts as a fuel and empowers the acceleration of the team and the project tasks.

6-  One of the jobs of a manager or supervisor is to manage performance and perform periodic performance reviews. Tell me how you have managed employee performance in the past. Describe the process you have used for performance feedback.
ANSWER: I have made templates for my current and for previous companies. These templates were made to measure the performance of teams at individual level. The template covers Technical Knowledge, Task completion, Response time, Flexibility, Eagerness to accept more job, Issue handling aspects of the professional. The measurement criteria was that whether employee demonstrate this skill rare, quite often, most of the time or always. Based on that new trainings in Company's online University were enrolled from the budget allocation of the project. My recent template is available at my personal blog and a lot of people from my online community has shown keen interest in using this template.

7-   If I were to interview the people who have reported to you in the past, how would they describe your management style?
ANSWER: well, the endorsement from my ex team members is available at my LinkedIn profile. In summary, In their opinion I am supportive, energetic, positive, solutions oriented, Optimistic, sincere and honest. All these qualities have been mentioned at my LinkedIn profile.
8-  If I were to interview your reporting staff members, how would they describe your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and supervisor?
ANSWER: The qualities are that I am detail oriented, organized and analyst. About weakness they would say that I do micro manage. Well, I confess that I do micro management, but I feel that by doing micro management I convey the message to my vendors that I am concerned about at low level details when it comes to addressing a problem so my vendor really needs to work hard to convince me about the delays and defects in their services.
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