Mar 25, 2016

How To Answer 2 Tough Management Level Job Interview Questions

Are you interviewing for a management role? Get ready for some tough interview questions. Below are the best answers for two of the toughest management level job interview questions.

1. What is your least favorite managerial task?

Asking about what you dislike the most about your role is another way to ask about your weaknesses. Just like with that question, you never want to deliver an answer that would cast doubt on your ability to do the job—which means, never indicate something that is a key factor for success. (I once had a candidate name something he hated that was a primary job duty—he didn’t get the job.) Always do your homework before the interview to clearly understand the primary responsibilities of the role you’re interviewing for so you don’t say the wrong thing. Generally, you’ll want to steer clear of saying that you dislike meetings (most of us do, but it won’t help you here), training or teaching employees, filing reports, or meeting budgets.

You’ll be much better off choosing something that’s a small, insignificant piece of a manager’s role. Even better, choose something that almost anyone would dislike. For instance, I would probably say this:

“My least favorite task would have to be firing someone. However, I would not hesitate to fire someone if it became necessary, because sometimes things just have to be done for the sake of the organization and everyone else in it.”

An answer like this (“I don’t like it, but I would do it if necessary”) shows that you are mature and professional, and you would put the organization first.

Because most people don’t enjoy confrontations with others, another popular interview question for managers is this one:

2. Tell me about a time you had to give someone difficult feedback and how you handled it.

Managers have to give feedback to their employees almost daily—both good and bad. However, delivering negative feedback while correcting the issue and retaining the employee requires a level of communication skills many folks don’t have. You need some emotional intelligence to be able to put yourself in the person’s shoes and know what you need to say and how you need to say it to get the outcome you want.

Your specific answer will depend on your situation, but here’s how you want to frame it:

Briefly explain your philosophy about giving negative feedback—you understand that most situations require a certain level of sensitivity, and you need to think it through before you speak with the person. You are aware that you need to ask questions in the conversation so that you are sure they understand what it is you want to communicate, and you need to follow through.

Then give an example of a time when you did that. Make sure you talk about the positive result that came out of that conversation. Results are always a vital piece of any story you tell in an interview.

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