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  • 7 Management-Level Interview Questions—and What to Look for in the Answers

    OKLAHOMA CITY - November 04, 2019

    The interview process isn't easy and can be especially stressful when you're hiring for a higher-level leadership position that will be responsible for guiding important projects, managing employees, and helping build and implement strategies for the company's future success.

    That's why it's so important to ensure you're asking key questions during the interview that reveal the most information about a potential new management-level employee. 

     

     

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    Here are seven questions to consider the next time you interview a management candidate and a few things to listen for in their answers.

    What are your favorite methods for giving recognition to your employees?

    According to research from Workhuman , 84% of HR leaders say employee recognition helps build employee engagement. So, it's important company leadership understands the importance of meaningful recognition and is comfortable giving it to their employees.

    What type of relationship do you expect to have with your employees?

    Although all work relationships are different, there are many factors that could impact leadership decisions when the line between boss and friend is blurred. So, it's important to know a potential new leader's stance on such situations. In a Refresh Leadership poll , 91% of respondents agreed the employee/boss relationship should be "Friendly, but not deeply involved in each other's personal lives." 

    Tell me about a time you let your employees down?

    Nobody is perfect and there are going to be times when a leader has to make decisions that aren't popular or don't work out in the long run. With this question, pay particular attention to how they remedied the situation. Did they just let it be and hope it would work itself out or did the actively work to make amends? Often, the best measure of a leader is how they respond to failure. 

    Tell me about a time you had to have a difficult/uncomfortable conversation with an employee.

    In a Refresh Leadership Poll , respondents said the most stress inducing part of leadership is "Having difficult conversations (i.e. poor performance, employee termination, etc.)" It's one of the most difficult parts of the job, but also one of the most important. Again, look for signs that they actively addressed the situation and note the tactics that were used in the process. 

    What are some ways you encourage the growth and development of your employees?

    In LinkedIn's 2018 Workforce Learning Report , "94% of employees said that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development." A management-level candidate should understand the importance of training and development to retention. Growth-minded leaders are key to building and maintaining a workforce that stays on the cutting edge of your industry. And you want to know they will be dedicated and supportive of their employees' long-term growth and career development.

    How has your management style changed since your first management role?

    The most effective leaders are life-long learners. In addition to dedication to their employees' growth, they should be committed to improving their own skills by actively seeking our opportunities for self-development. Asking how their management style has changed over their career can reveal insight into their attitude toward growth and self-awareness about any shortcomings. 

    What characteristics do you look for in your employees?

    According to Express' Fourth Quarter 2019 Job Insights survey of hiring managers, the top five characteristics employers look for in a job candidate are work ethic/integrity, attitude, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and cultural fit. This question can not only give insight into the type of team are they going to build, but also how will they will fit within the current team dynamics.

    Finding the right person to fill your management-level positions isn't easy. And it can be very time consuming, as well. Fortunately, the search and recruiting experts at Express Employment Professionals are ready to help. Contact the Express office nearest you for more information about how we can help fill your Professional-level positions today!