senior manager interview questions

The most challenging thing about being a manager is also the most rewarding. It is easy to handle your performance, however, as a manager, you are responsible for your teams. So you must continually measure their performance, set clear expectations, goals, motivate them, and keep them focused. It is a great feeling to be able to accomplish this.

I wanted to join a company like ABC that values their employees and helps them achieve their potential. This position is a great fit for my current skills, so I will be able to contribute to the company immediately. There is also an opportunity to continue to develop my abilities to the next level and help in company’s continued success.

I try to match up the strengths of my employees with the task or if it is something they are learning. If it is the latter, I will provide support and check in to ensure that it’s completed correctly. With an employee that is strong in the task, I will check in periodically. Either way, I set up milestones for the employee to let me know how they are progressing.

I communicated the reward and the goal to the staff and ensured they understood how to win the reward. Then on a daily basis, each employee had to keep track of their progress with the rest of the team. That kept each member personally accountable for the reward. This gave an additional motivational piece for them to complete the goal.

I make sure that there are no distractions when I am speaking to the employee. We will meet on face to face, and I will clearly state what the expectation is. I will ask if they have any questions and ask them to re-state it, so we are on the same page.

I will go over what the expectation of their performance is and show them where they are currently at. I will ask them what they think they can do to help improve their performance. Depending on what their response is, I will offer additional suggestions and reinforce my confidence that their performance will improve if they take suggested actions. At the end of the conversation, I would set the expectation that their performance must improve.

I would show them their performance history so they can see the drop in their performance. I would then ask them why it has changed. I would reaffirm my commitment to help the employee get back on track and offer actionable steps. I would ask for the employee’s input as well and draw an action plan for improvement based on this.

I would meet them all on a one on one basis as soon as possible. I would use that time to get to know each employee individually. I would ask them what their strengths and what they want out of the manager. That way I can adjust my style to each employee accordingly.

I find out as much as possible about the problem. Then I look at all possible solutions. If there are others who may have some valuable input, I will also find out what their thoughts are. Based on this information, I will choose the course of action that will be the most effective.

I would use Monday to come in early and prioritize my work for the week. I will set up deadlines and goals for each day of the week. I would make sure that I allocate some time each day for a certain task that may come up. That way, I have a plan of attack for each day of the week and also time to handle unexpected activities.

When a change occurs, I ensure that I have all the information about it first. I understand all the implications and the possible reactions to the change. As a manager, you must be the first to adapt to the change, so I adjust accordingly. Then after communicating the change to my employees, I help them improve and show my buy-in to the change.

Yes, I looked at processes that have not been successful, to find ways to improve that process. Once I have my plan, I will take it to my leader. I keep to the facts and show how the current way of doing is not effective and how a new approach would be beneficial.

I would trace the root-cause and try to minimize the damage. I would then take this as a learning opportunity and try a different solution for the current problem. However, if it is not possible to do this, I would ensure that I do not take the same decision in a future situation.

I always build a strong working relationship with my supervisor so, in situations like these where I have a different opinion, I can openly speak to them. I would stick to the facts. I explain the implications of that decision to my supervisor. Then I would help come up with alternatives.

When I delegate the task, I talk about, how I thought that they were the best person to handle this task. I give them all the resources they need to achieve success. I follow-up and set deadlines as well. During these follow-ups and deadlines, I make sure to show my confidence in the person on their progress.

I would clearly state what the expectations from this person have been and the track record so far. I would tie that in with the decision that it is time to let them go from the organization due to performance goals not being met. In these situations, it’s important to stick to the facts.

I would sit them down and let them know what the qualifications are for the position and explain the reasons why they are not ready for the position. Then we would work with the employee to put together an action plan that will help them work on the skills they would need for the position. I would regularly check on how they are progressing to ensure they are on the right track.

18 Senior Manager Interview Questions and Answers
  • What is the most important trait for senior managers to have? …
  • How do you know when you’ve delivered something exceptional? …
  • What can employees learn from you? …
  • How do you deal with underperforming employees? …
  • How would you describe our company?


Top 6 Types Of Interview Questions For Senior Managers & Directors

Insight: Work on crafting an elevator pitch for questions like these. Keep it short, about 1 – 2 minutes, and focus on a few key points, like your past experience, your professional goals, and why this company fits with your plans for the future.

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Answer – “When I finished my studies at Wharton, I realised that my passion for green tech would pair perfectly with my business degree. I have more than twenty years of experience now in environmental tech consulting, and I think this would be an excellent fit at a company like EnviroClean. I’m especially excited about your Go Green or Go Home initiative. It reminds me of some of the volunteer work I’ve done in the past, and these causes are very important to me.”

    Insight: When interviewing for a more analytical position, your interviewer isn’t looking for a specific figure. Rather, your method of problem-solving is what’s being examined. If you need to ask a question or two to make sure you understand the question, this demonstrates that you gather all necessary info before rushing ahead. Don’t pull out a calculator – just stay calm, and explain your thought process for determining an answer.

  • How heavy is the Statue of Liberty?
  • How many hotel shampoo bottles are used every day?
  • How many gas stations are there in the United Kingdom?
  • Answer – “Well, the population of this city is 30,000, and I’d say we have roughly 15 gas stations. So, if we can assume this is an average, we can say that for every 30,000 people in the UK, there are 15 gas stations. The population of the United Kingdom is 300 million, which would leave us with 150,000 gas stations.”

    Insight: Recruiters have several angles for senior manager interview questions like these. But important factors include your ability to make quick decisions under pressure, to defend an answer, and how you present your rationale when reaching a conclusion. Be prepared to explain yourself.

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to make an unpopular decision?
  • Have you ever broken a rule? What was the rule, and why?
  • What kind of process do you use when making a tough decision?
  • Answer – “At my last company, we made some important changes to our structure. This meant that we were forced to let go of several employees, and I was placed in charge of this process. I took many factors into account, including past performance reviews, recent sales figures, and seniority, and I worked with my boss to finalise the decision. I also worked to ensure that all terminated employees would receive fair compensation.”

    Insight: People skills are hugely important when applying for a senior management position. Remember a few examples of positive or significant situations from your past work experience that you can highlight to illustrate your leadership and conflict resolution abilities. Here are the situational senior executive interview questions:

  • What was your greatest success in your last company?
  • How would you address tension between you and your employees?
  • Name three traits you dislike in coworkers and employees.
  • Answer – “I take deadlines very seriously, so I might get frustrated if a colleague struggles to finish their work on time. I also value communication, so coworkers who do not communicate clearly can be a challenge for me. And lastly, authenticity is very important to me. If I feel that an employee isn’t being honest, it can lead to trust and accountability issues.”

    Insight: Most companies use these questions to determine cultural fit. So while there might not be any “right” answer, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Pick an authentic but appropriate answer that matches your interests, and aligns with the values of the organisation. For example, if you’re interviewing for a senior position at a tech startup, consider these questions as a basis for your answers.

  • What are your hobbies?
  • Who is your hero?
  • What websites do you visit most often?
  • Answer – “I usually stay up to date on industry news with sites like TechCrunch, Business Insider, Wired and Tech Radar, with an RSS aggregator app on my smartphone. I also browse Quora for general insights into questions or debates in the techshere. But in my free time I also love MacRumors and Mashable, for pop culture news.”

    Insight: Whether you compile a 15 page analysis on the company’s current status, or simply study the corporate website the night before, it is imperative that you prepare for your senior management interview. Enter the senior level interview with a solid knowledge of the company’s history, a clear understanding of the business model, and an idea of how you would approach your daily duties if you got the job.

  • What do you know about our company?
  • How would you handle our biggest competitor?
  • What’s the biggest challenge facing our company today?
  • Answer – “I’ve followed your company for a while, and in my research, I’ve noticed that over the years, your competition has been catching up. To maintain your position as an industry leader, I think you need to invest in younger talent, specifically digital natives. By bringing in some new innovative staff members and revamping your online presence, you stand to improve your reputation with today’s younger generation, as well as fostering some creative ideas for your company.”

    We hope that answers your senior level interview questions for senior managers and senior leaders alike. If you wish to perfect your senior executive interview questions before heading into the interview for your dream job, don’t forgot to consult with a career coach at Executive Connexions and we’ll get you in tip top shape.

    What to Know Before Your Management Interview

    Before we get to the common questions for management interviews, let’s start with a few things you should know going in.

    1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?

    After years of department management which prepared me for this position, I believe it is time for some change. I am positive that I will do a good job if given a chance. I also need new challenges to avoid slipping into a comfort zone, which is extremely dangerous, especially in the corporate setting. This role will allow me to scale greater heights and keep me engaged.


    How do I prepare for a senior management interview?

    How to Ace the Job Interview and Land a Senior-Level Role
    1. Be ready to show off specific accomplishments. …
    2. Make them picture a future with you. …
    3. Make it personal. …
    4. Research the people you’re speaking with. …
    5. Practice storytelling. …
    6. Prepare open-ended questions to create a dialogue. …
    7. Reference past conversations.

    What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for managers?

    Top 15 Management Interview Questions and Answers
    • Describe your management style. …
    • How do you define success? …
    • How do you manage stress among your team members? …
    • How do you handle conflict between team members? …
    • Tell me about a time you let an employee go… …
    • Tell me about a time you led by example… …
    • How do you motivate people?

    How do you introduce yourself in a senior management interview?

    Start by briefly introducing your professional story. Outline your experience, showing a trajectory from early career until now. Keep the focus on your current or most recent position—where you can speak directly to your proficiency as a leader – and stay away from personal details.

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