hiring manager interview questions

Best questions to ask a hiring manager
  • What does a typical day look like in this role?
  • What types of projects would I be working on?
  • Can you describe some current ongoing projects and initiatives that I would help address in this role?
  • Is this a new position or an established role?

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Take a look at the list of common questions recruiters ask managers during interviews and STAR-model answers:

Hiring Manager Interview

What makes you a qualified candidate for this role?

Candidates who feel confident in their abilities and qualifications tend to stand out during interviews. Hiring managers may ask this question to learn why a candidate thinks they are the right person for the job. Solid responses to this question may include specific details and examples of a candidates previous professional experience and background.

Example: “I am qualified for this position as the art director because of my extensive background in art and design. After graduating with two bachelors degrees in fine arts and marketing, I entered this profession as a graphic designer. During my three-year career as a graphic designer, I refined my design skills and got promoted to junior art director. While working in that role for two years, I learned how to work directly with clients to develop their artistic vision. With both of these experiences, I am ready to take on more responsibilities and lead a team of creatives.”

Why are you interested in this position?

A hiring manager may ask this question to learn if a candidate is truly passionate about the position. This question can help them tell whether a candidate researched the company and spent time thinking about the role. A quality answer may include specific details about the company, what qualifications a candidate has for this role and personal interests this job could fulfill for the candidate.

Example: “I am interested in this position because I have always wanted to work for a company that gives back to its community. Upon researching your company, I quickly discovered how much you do for your local food pantry. In college, I actually became a head volunteer for my towns food pantry, so I have a lot of experience working in this kind of setting. I could add value to this volunteering initiative by conducting community outreach and helping coordinate food drives during holiday seasons.”

What strategies do you use to diffuse tense situations?

Certain work environments can lead to intense situations, which is why its useful for candidates to have conflict-resolution skills. Hiring managers can ask this question to learn if candidates have the ability to cooperate and compromise with colleagues. Candidates can answer this question by providing an example of a time they successfully found a resolution to a tense scenario and what they learned from it.

Example: “One time when I was working as a lifeguard at a country club, I noticed that one of my coworkers was not keeping her eyes on her station. When I mentioned this to her, she quickly became defensive. Instead of feeding into this behavior, I gave her a few tips on how to keep focus during a long shift. By the end of the conversation, she was thankful for the help and admitted she was tired.

This instance taught me that whenever things become tense, its better to find a solution than to add to the problem. You can resolve most situations by taking a moment to see the other persons point of view and have a level-headed conversation with them. Most times after hearing their perspective, you learn that many challenging situations stem from an honest mistake or misunderstanding.”

Managers would rather ask questions about the candidate’s work experience than oddball questions.

  • Data shows that most hiring managers prefer to stick with more traditional questions in job interviews.
  • Off-the-wall questions may reveal a job candidate’s candidness or some personality traits, but more common questions are better indicators of their suitability for the position.
  • Candidates should practice their answers to common interview questions but be prepared to answer one or two unusual questions as well.
  • Some hiring managers like to ask off-the-wall job interview questions, such as “What color crayon would you be?” or “How would your archnemesis describe you?” to see how the job candidate reacts under pressure. However, new research finds that most interviewers would rather ask straightforward questions that apply to relevant work experience and skills than questions designed to throw unsuspecting candidates for a loop.

    According to a 2019 study by LinkedIn, at least a couple of the questions asked in almost every interview are among the most common behavioral or accomplishment-based questions overall.

    It makes sense: While some of those oddball interview questions serve to show a potential employee’s willingness to be candid, more traditional questions paint a more complete picture of the candidate’s suitability for the position. LinkedIn cited these traditional interview questions:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “What is your greatest strength?”
  • “What is your greatest weakness?”
  • “Why should we hire you?”
  • “Why do you want to work here?”
  • “Tell me about a time you showed leadership.”
  • “Tell me about a time you were successful on a team.”
  • “What would your co-workers say about you?”
  • Although job candidates can’t predict every question they’ll be asked during an interview, they are best served by practicing their answers to the most common ones, according to Bill Driscoll, district president for staffing firm Accountemps.

    “Knowing your audience is crucial,” Driscoll said in a statement. “Learn as much as you can about the company and position by conducting research, reading relevant news and reaching out to your network for insights.”

    To appropriately prepare for interviews, job seekers can use the data from LinkedIn and Accountemps to categorize senior managers’ favorite and most commonly asked interview questions – and to glean insight on what they are trying to learn by asking them.

    The interviewer has the candidate’s resume and cover letter and has likely already scoped out their social media accounts. However, the goal of the interview is to determine how good a fit a person is for a position. In all likelihood, every applicant has relevant experience and could be a strong candidate on paper. These hiring manager interview questions give you an opportunity to connect the dots on your resume, explaining, for example, why you chose to attend a specific university or left a previous position.

    Possible answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

    “Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top-performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”

    Would you give me an example of when you had to deliver negative feedback?

    You received feedback countless times, but what about delivering it? Its easier to appreciate a point of advice or admit to your mistake than to tell others they couldve done better.


    Being a leader means directing people towards better results, and its no picnic.

    Show your recruiter youre ready for the dark side of the job, too.


    I ran an internal communications department at a bank. One of my team members took care of our company’s newsletter. He had a task to produce a loaded newsletter with the bank’s quarterly results. The tone of voice he used for the newsletter surprised me. It was inappropriate for a business environment. I decided to set up a meeting with my coworker and explain why the newsletter needed a rewrite. The session took us around an hour and a half. I wanted my employee to have all the time he needed to ask questions and dispel any doubts about the edits. At the end of our meeting, he suggested using his example to refresh the writing style rules at a team meeting. It was a fruitful meeting that led to significant engagement from the bank employees. And my team appreciated the short reminder of the dos and don’ts.


    How do I prepare for a hiring manager interview?

    How to impress a hiring manager during an interview
    1. Understand the culture.
    2. Do your research on the interviewer.
    3. Demonstrate relevant experience.
    4. Be enthusiastic.
    5. Show that you’re easy to work with.
    6. Be precise about why you want the job.
    7. Ask thoughtful questions.
    8. Talk to people at the company before the interview.

    What does hiring manager ask in an interview?

    Hiring managers can ask these in-depth questions to learn how a candidate would act in their role and what value they would bring to the company: What would you do in the first week, month and year in this role? What techniques do you use to stay motivated? What can you offer us that other candidates can’t?

    What are 5 smart questions to ask hiring managers in a job interview?

    Questions to ask hiring managers
    • What is the overall purpose of the position? …
    • How do you evaluate the performance of the person in this position? …
    • What is the typical career path for someone hired into this role? …
    • What is the history of this position? …
    • Why is this position being created?

    What questions would hiring manager ask?

    LinkedIn cited these traditional interview questions:
    • “Tell me about yourself.”
    • “What is your greatest strength?”
    • “What is your greatest weakness?”
    • “Why should we hire you?”
    • “Why do you want to work here?”
    • “Tell me about a time you showed leadership.”
    • “Tell me about a time you were successful on a team.”

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