How to prepare and nail your interview for a managerial role

An interview for a managerial role, like any interview, requires preparation.

However, you do not prepare an interview for a team manager or leader role in the same way as for an interview for an individual contributor position.

When it comes to positions of responsibility such as team managers, executives and C-levels, job interviews follow specific rules due to their importance in the strategic development of the company.

In this article, we offer practical advice on how to prepare for a job interview for a managerial position. It is important to note that the job interview for a position of responsibility is not limited to the presentation of technical skills and know-how. Although these skills are necessary, it is even more important to demonstrate your ability to manage a team and solve problems.

Think of your job interview as a conversation and story of your professional journey. You will need to be able to tell how you got there, the steps you took and the goals you aimed for, using concrete examples to break down your journey. You’ll also want to discuss the role you’re applying for and how it fits in the company’s strategy and ambitions.

The people you will meet during these interviews will want to assess your “know-how” as well as your attitude and posture.

Four skills are essential to succeed in a manager role. They are key elements in the performance of a company: Role-related knowledge, Vision, Communication and Management culture

  1. Know-how: Know-how refers to the technical and professional skills necessary to effectively carry out the tasks and responsibilities associated with the position of manager. Managers must have skills in project management, problem solving, strategic planning and decision making. Know-how is therefore essential for the success of projects and operations.
  2. Vision: Vision is the manager's ability to envision a successful future for the business and develop strategies to achieve it. Managers must be able to understand market trends, anticipate changes, seize opportunities and make key decisions for the business. A clear and well-communicated vision inspires and motivates employees and can be a determining factor in business growth.
  3. Communication: Communication is essential to succeed as a manager because it helps create a productive and harmonious work environment. Managers must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with their employees, supervisors and other stakeholders. Managers must also be good listeners to understand the needs and concerns of their team.
  4. Management culture: The management culture is the set of values, behaviors and practices that define the way a company is managed. Managers must be able to create a positive corporate culture by developing values that support the company's mission and goals. A strong management culture can improve productivity, reduce employee turnover, and build customer loyalty.
Self introduction - Popwork

Some practical tips for a successful interview for a manager role:

During a job interview for a manager position, it is important to highlight the actions you have taken to achieve your objectives. Therefore, prepare clear examples of your problem-solving skills by answering questions such as: how did you launch a new product, project, initiative? What strategies and action plans did you put in place to achieve your goals? How did you recruit new talent and build your team?

If you’ve never managed a team before, think of examples where you took initiative, led and coordinated projects, etc.

Getting ready:

To make a good impression during an interview, it is important to have an authentic and natural posture, and to express yourself clearly. Small detail but do remember to dress soberly and elegantly.

Furthermore, it is important to know the history, the values and the mission of the company and the challenges and competition it faces. To do this, study the market, the competition, the communication strategy on their website, social networks and professional articles.

During the interview:

During the interview, be yourself and don't forget to pay attention to the way you introduce yourself to each interviewer. To convince your interlocutors during an interview, communicate clearly and structure your speech. To show them of your leadership skills, show that you have a clear vision, a solid management philosophy and that you have what it takes to motivate a team.

Typical job interview questions

Question bubbles - Popwork
  • Why do you want to be a manager? Team leader?
  • How do you handle conflicts between your team members?
  • Can you give us an example of a difficult situation that you had to manage?
  • How do you motivate your employees?
  • How do you manage your time and your priorities as a manager?
  • What is you decision making process?
  • How do you communicate priorities and results to your team?

Tips for a successful interview:

Prepare yourself by researching the company and the position you are applying for.

Identify your key management and leadership skills, and prepare concrete examples for each skill.

Be prepared to answer difficult questions about handling difficult situations or resolving conflicts.

  • Show confidence in yourself and your leadership abilities, but also be humble and open to constructive feedback and criticism.
  • Show your ability to work in a team by highlighting examples of collaboration and working with diverse teams.
  • Prepare questions to ask recruiters to show your interest in the position and your desire to succeed in the company.

By following these tips and answering typical manager interview questions, you can effectively prepare for your interview and increase your chances of landing the job. Remember to stay confident, positive and professional throughout the interview. Good luck! 🍀