6 Deputy Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Deputy managers often assist company leaders in making decisions and managing team members. Interviewers may ask candidates questions to better understand their leadership styles and management experience. Reviewing potential deputy manager interview questions may help you prepare to discuss the qualifications that make you an excellent match for this role. In this article, we provide a list of deputy manager interview questions with sample answers for you to review.

Related: 19 Types of Common Interviews and How to Prepare for Each

6 deputy manager interview questions

It's helpful to review a list of common deputy manager interview questions before your interview to help you better prepare. In your interview, try providing answers that emphasise your leadership skills and decision-making abilities, since deputy managers often assist company leaders in conducting management and business operations. Consider this list of six sample questions with answers to help your preparation process:

1. What actions can you take if you noticed the store's sales were declining?

Hiring managers may want to gain insight into your sales experience, which can help them decide if you're a good fit for a deputy manager role. In your answer, try to explain the effective sales techniques that you plan to use to increase sales. Doing so may show your sales skills and problem-solving abilities.

Example: "When working as a deputy manager, I plan to review sales numbers regularly to determine necessary changes. If I notice sales are declining, I plan to provide customers with surveys about their shopping experience and product quality. Then, my team and I can use the answers from the survey to identify the areas that may require improvement. I also plan to coordinate monthly employee training meetings that keep employees up-to-date on the most effective sales strategies and customer service techniques, which may help to increase sales."

2. Tell us about a time you resolved an issue with a colleague.

When working as a deputy manager, you might use conflict resolution skills to help in solving a disagreement between employees. Interviewers may use this question to understand your experience in resolving conflict, which may help them determine if you have the necessary skills to help others resolve issues. Try to explain a time when you resolved conflict in the workplace where both parties worked together to settle the disagreement.

Example: "While working in my previous role as an assistant store manager, my associate and I disagreed on how to display new products. I believed the products might get the customer's attention if we place them at the front of the store by the entrance doors. My associate felt that placing them near the cash registers is best, since customers may look at the products while preparing to leave.

To resolve the situation, we sat down together and reviewed the sales numbers of previous items in the entryway and by the cash register. Upon doing so, we found customers purchased the items near the cash register more frequently. Because of this, we decided to place all the new products near the cash registers. This situation taught me it's best to consult different ideas and to work together to determine which idea may cause the best result."

3. Tell me about your experience in multitasking.

Deputy managers may handle numerous responsibilities at once, depending on the needs of the company and management. Interviewers can ask this question to gain insight into your experience with multitasking to see if you can perform several tasks successfully within a short period of time. In your answer, give examples of different tasks that you handled simultaneously. Be sure to provide information about each task and share the steps that you took to ensure that you handled each duty properly.

Example: "While working as a restaurant manager, I often took phone calls, managed restaurant employees and communicated with customers. To ensure that I handled these three tasks successfully, I created a schedule that helped me to track the time I spent on each task. I performed my shift in one-hour intervals, where I spent the first 15 minutes of each hour taking phone calls. Then, I spent the next 25 minutes assigning duties to restaurant staff and checking each employee felt comfortable in their role.

Next, I spent the final 20 minutes of the hour asking each table about their food and service. Maintaining a schedule helped me ensure that I completed each task properly so that I could provide effective management techniques to staff members and restaurant patrons."

4. What's your leadership style?

Deputy managers may use different leadership styles to provide effective guidance to their team members. Interviewers may want to determine if your leadership style is a good fit for their culture and environment. Before arriving at your interview, try to research the company to understand its goals and values to help you align your leadership style with their beliefs. In your answer, share the style of leadership that you prefer to use, then describe the practices that this style includes, like how you make decisions or how you provide feedback to employees.

Example: "I prefer to use a collaborative leadership style that encourages my team to work together to complete projects and perform their duties. Typically, I conduct team-building events that allow for team members to build positive relationships and learn more about each other's skills and interests. I prefer to include my team in the decision-making process when making important decisions, so I ask my team to provide their opinions and preferences regarding a decision.

I also provide constructive feedback to team members to help them enhance their skills and identify areas of improvement in their work performance. In my previous roles, I enjoyed having collaborative leaders, since they often helped employees feel more comfortable reaching out to management with concerns or questions. I feel that creating a communicative work environment allows for improved employee morale."

Related: 8 Roles of Leadership Positions (With Examples and Career Tips)

5. Describe a time when you had to address an underperforming team member.

Deputy managers often evaluate their team member's performance to ensure they meet the company's expectations. Interviewers may want to determine your management capabilities by assessing how you addressed team members previously to solve performance issues while maintaining empathy and professionalism. In your answer, share about a time when you communicated expectations to a team member, then discuss how you helped them enhance their performance.

Example: "If I notice that a team member isn't meeting company expectations, I coordinate a one-on-one meeting with them. During this meeting, I discuss their performance numbers with them and ask them about their work routines and behaviours. In my last role as a deputy manager for a bank, I noticed that one of my team members wasn't receiving positive reviews from clients. Upon meeting with them, I found their workload overwhelmed them, and they felt that they couldn't complete all their responsibilities during a shift.

To help them improve their performance, I asked how I could help them handle their workload more effectively. We decided that creating a detailed schedule of their duties may help them manage their time better, which may keep them from feeling overwhelmed."

Related: 10 Examples of Positive Feedback (With Tips for Giving It)

6. What are your career goals for the next five years?

Interviewers may want to determine your career goals to understand if these goals are attainable in their workplace. Sharing your goals may also help you highlight your motivations, which can show your dedication to your career. When answering, discuss the goals you want to achieve as a deputy manager and explain how you plan to achieve each goal. You may include goals about your career growth, such as achieving career advancement or learning a new skill, or you may include goals that relate to your position, like increasing sales numbers or helping management increase productivity.

Example: "During the next five years, I hope to enhance my leadership skills and management experience to secure a general manager position. To help me achieve this goal, I plan to look for leadership opportunities as a deputy manager where I may assist my colleagues, lead team members and make important decisions. I feel that working as a deputy manager can help prepare me for a deputy manager position since I may discover my leadership style and discover valuable management techniques while in this role."

Related: What is an Acceptable Video Interview Dress Code?

Deputy manager interview tips

Here are some tips that may help you prepare for an interview:

  • Arrive early: You may show your excellent time management skills by arriving at the interview early. If the interview is through a video conferencing platform, you may log into the interview early.

  • Dress professionally: Since you're applying for a leadership role as a deputy manager, it's important to show your professionalism by wearing formal attire.

  • Show your interpersonal skills: During the interview, try to demonstrate your interpersonal skills by listening to the interviewer as they speak, making eye contact and using open body language.

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