Bryq’s 10 Best Manager Interview Questions

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Hiring a great manager is important for any business, but we often get it wrong. Here are Bryq's 10 best manager interview questions to help!

Manager interview questions aren’t simple. Choosing a manager to hire is one of the most important decisions that hiring managers can make. Managers are true leaders who lead their teams to success. A good manager will help teams achieve their goals, help to create a positive company culture, and be a major part of raking in profits for your company.

Despite how crucial hiring a great manager is, it’s something we just don’t often get right. By asking the best manager interview questions – and with a little help from talent assessments like Bryq – you’ll be able to easily assess the qualities that make a true leader.

Good Managers Are Hard to Find

Studies show that finding a good manager is actually quite the challenge. According to Gallup, companies hire the wrong candidate over 80% of the time! That’s a staggering number, and when you look at employee productivity levels, they’re equally as astonishing. Only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work. This number drops to an abysmal 13% when looking at the workforce worldwide!

Why are these numbers so low? On average, companies have 1 manager for every 10 employees. Science says that 1 in 10 employees have the talent and skills to manage employees. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the overwhelming majority of employees be engaged and productive? It’s clear that when we hire managers, we are not making the best choice. We aren’t even making good choices.

Can we fix this pattern? Absolutely. It all starts by asking the right manager interview questions. By asking the right questions when interviewing potential managers, we are gaining access into the qualities we should be looking for throughout the hiring process. Be sure to keep the manager interview questions open-ended so that you receive more in-depth responses.

Hiring a great manager is important for any business, but we often get it wrong. Here are Bryq's 10 best manager interview questions to help!

Below are 10 of Bryq’s best interview questions for managers in order to assess their qualifications, leadership abilities, and personalities.

Bryq’s 10 Best Interview Questions for Managers

Tell us about the best manager you’ve ever had.

When asking usual job candidates this question, we are looking to see how well a candidate might work under the current management team. When asking potential managers this question, we are wondering what qualities they feel are most important and effective in a manager. The hope is that the candidate would emulate these positive qualities if hired.

Describe the worst manager you’ve ever had.

In this question, we are simply looking for the opposite of what we were looking for above. By asking this question, we are trying to figure out the bad qualities that a candidate is unlikely to bring to the table if hired.

How do you motivate employees to achieve their goals?

Motivation is so important to employees. As a manager, you are an employee’s biggest cheerleader. You want them to do well because they are a reflection of your leadership. When asking this manager interview question, you really want the potential manager to acknowledge that not every employee is motivated the same way. Managers should get to know their employees on a personal level in order to learn how each one of them is motivated. They might also need to change their management style in order to motivate some of their employees. This question will show adaptability and resilience, as well as emotional intelligence. It’s a great question to ask!

What is your management style like?

This is a standard manager interview question that every hiring manager should be asking job candidates. It gives candidates an opportunity to self-evaluate their leadership style. Of course, you don’t have any evidence to back up their claims. Which is why we urge you to then ask…

How have you put your management skills to work in past roles?

This is a great question because it allows interviewees the opportunity to really go into depth about ways they’ve put their management skills and style to use in the past. It gives interviewers the chance to get a better sense of the potential manager’s communication style.

What do you expect your first three months at the company to look like?

This is a great manager interview question to ask because it gives you insight into so many different aspects of the candidate. Firstly, it gives you an idea of their time management skills. It also allows you to see how reasonable they are. Is their plan achievable in three months? Do you expect them to strive for more? It sets an important expectation.

Additionally, it gives you a sense of how well they already know your business. You will see what this candidate considers important and will show you if they understand the responsibilities of being a manager.

How would you resolve conflict between two employees?

Managers are often mediators. There will be moments throughout their employment where they will need to help resolve workplace conflict between two (or more) employees. Their answer will help show you whether or not they are emotionally intelligent leaders. Feel free to get creative and give them a scenario in which they need to work out a conflict. It would really put them to the test!

How would you address a team member who is not performing up to your expectations?

We would be wary of candidates who quickly say “I’d fire them!” One of the main goals of a manager is to give employees constructive feedback and the tools employees need in order to perform their job to the best of their ability. It’s important for candidates to suggest these fixes before termination. It’s important for managers to be accountable for their shortfalls. If a manager has done both of these things in this scenario and the employee is still underperforming, then termination might be on the table. How managers handle situations like this is really important to the well-being of your company.

Who do you look up to as a leader? (And why?)

Everybody is influenced by their heroes. It’s not a stretch to say that people tend to emulate the same standards and ethics of the people they look up to most. Sometimes a candidate might name a famous leader whose leadership style would be easy to get a sense of. Other times, a candidate might name a former manager or a personal connection like a parent. It might be a bit harder to get a sense of the leadership qualities they admire most from an answer like this, so asking why they look up to this person is very important.

What is your proudest moment as a management career so far?

We love this manager interview question. It really gives you the opportunity to see what core values a manager holds. Is the candidate most proud of an award they won? Are they proud of a sales objective they met? Perhaps they are most proud of the mentorship they provided to a former team member before they received their own promotion. Leadership values are incredibly important as they should match the same values your company holds within its culture, so pay close attention to the answer you get on this one.

The most important takeaway from this blog is that when you are hiring to fill a manager position, you are not just looking for a manager. You are looking for a leader. Leadership is an invaluable skill for managers to have. It’s going to be the difference between a manager who does what needs to be done and a manager who thrives in their role. These manager interview questions will definitely help you differentiate between the natural leaders and the wannabes.

Bryq Discovers Leaders

With Bryq, we make it easy for you to pick out the best leaders in your candidate pool. Our talent assessment software provides employers with science-based assessments that gauge personality traits and cognitive abilities. Our personality assessments are based on I/O psychology and the 16 Personality Factors. One of the summary scores we measure for happens to be “Leadership Potential. Bryq knows what makes a great leader. Let us help you discover the best leaders hiding within your talent pool.

That’s not the only feature that will help you find mega managers. Bryq’s AI-Powered Profile Predictor technology lets users assess their job descriptions to ensure the language being used matches one of over 700 job profiles we have in our system. Users also have the ability to perfectly build the “type” of candidates they would like to hire through Bryq ‘Indicators’. You can add these personalized indicators to your assessment to better gauge how well a candidate might fit into your company in a leadership position. The best part about all of this? It’s fully customizable


Do you want Bryq to help you discover great leaders? It all starts with you taking the lead! Book a demo with our customer service team today. Would you rather explore Bryq on your own? No worries – we have a free 7-day trial option as well. Just let us know if you’d like some help and we’ll be there. Now go find those leaders!

Do you want to see how Talent Intelligence helps you create the Future of Work?

Book a meeting with our team today to find out!

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