Preparing for a Management Interview: How-to and Importance

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 June 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.

Employers want their managers to be competent, confident and great at working with people. It's essential to showcase the right individual characteristics that make you a great fit for the role within your management interview. Learning about how you can properly prepare for your management interview and why it's so important for you to do so can help you succeed in your interview. In this article, we look at what you can do when preparing for a management interview, explore why interviews are important and learn how to prepare for one.

What does preparing for a management interview entail?

It's a good idea to understand exactly how you can start preparing for a management interview. The more preparation you do for your interview, the better your chances may be of succeeding and being offered the job. Preparation helps minimise feelings of anxiety and stress and maximises your confidence within this situation. Confidence can help you give better answers without any hesitation, stalling or mumbling, making you sound like a more attractive employee.

Think of preparing for an interview in the same way you prepare for a school exam. By researching the company, how it works and what it wants from its employee, you may create a list of questions that you know an interviewer is likely to ask you. The more you know about a company, the better equipped you might be to craft relevant and attractive answers for your interview. It's essential that you try to portray yourself as the type of employee that the company wants to hire. Careful research and preparation might give you the best chance of achieving this goal.

Related: Leader vs. Boss: Definitions, Differences and Workplace Tips

Why are interviews so important?

Interviews are a crucial step in the hiring process. An interview might be the first chance that both you and your potential employer get to meet face-to-face. It's essential that you take the chance to create a good first impression. Interviews allow employers to collect the information they want, to find the most suitable person for a position. Interviewers ask the same questions in the vast majority of interviews. These might range from questions about your background, hobbies, skills and your past jobs. Interviewers do this to get a better idea of who you are as a person.

Interviewers can also ask specific technical questions in an interview. It's these types of questions that require the most preparation. These questions might give you the opportunity to showcase your technical knowledge and industry experience. They're probably the most important questions to answer correctly throughout your interview. Always expect your interviewer to ask these types of questions in an interview. For example, they might ask you to solve a software problem in a technology-based interview or an engineering-specific problem for an engineering position. Interviewers ask these questions to make sure you have the right hard skills for the job.

How to prepare for a management interview

Depending on the industry you're applying to work in, your management interview may differ from others. Always expect your interviewer to ask you industry-specific questions. This might involve solving problems, talking about your work process and how you deal with conflict in the workplace. As this is a management interview, questions about management, communication and conflict resolution are common. You can use the following steps to prepare yourself to ensure you feel confident and comfortable during your management interview:

1. Research the company

Before your interview, spend time researching the company to learn about its values, mission and any recent news. This information helps you answer questions related to the company or why you want to work there. It's good to show that you've made the effort to research the company and prepare appropriate answers.

You can also review the job description to gain a clear understanding of the requirements. This might help you to craft individual answers to questions you believe an interviewer might ask. It also gives you an insight into what your employer expects from you in your job. The more information you gather before you arrive at your interview, the better prepared you can be for any questions an interviewer might ask.

Related: Interview Question: "What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?"

2. Write a list of questions

Coming into the interview with a set of prepared questions might show your interest to the hiring manager. Try to ask questions specific to the company or role, focusing on topics such as workplace culture, goals, expectations or anything else that might impact your interest in the job. Asking good questions that demonstrate that you're serious about joining the team can help build rapport with your interviewer, which makes it easier to leave a strong impression. Most interviewers expect you to ask questions towards the end of your interview.

Not having these prepared might mean missing out on a potential job opportunity. Ask the questions that apply to you and not just the questions you think an interviewer wants to hear. An interview is also for your benefit, not just an employer. Ask targeted questions about salaries, benefits or anything else you want to know about before committing yourself. Interviewers expect these questions and it's important that you know everything you want to know before considering a potential job offer. This is an opportunity for you to gather information about the role in its entirety.

Related: "Tell Me About a Time You Worked on a Team" Interview Question Guide

3. Prepare examples

Preparing examples allows you to showcase your experience in the area. Having these examples prepared allows you to talk about a subject you know extensively. It also allows you to underline the areas of your experience that you know are attractive to the employer. These stories can highlight how you used relevant skills to complete a task, solve a problem or achieve a goal. Specific examples help prove your value and make a stronger impact on the interviewer. Having a specific example, complete with technical know-how and problem-solving also proves that you have the skills you say you have.

For inspiration on what types of stories to tell, you can look at common behavioural and management interview questions or review the job description. These sources may provide insights into the attributes that employers look for in management candidates. Another way to gather information about this part of an interview is to ask previous candidates or already employed personnel. These individuals can give you a huge amount of information about the interviewing process and what to expect.

4. Practise your responses

Research and study commonly asked interview questions, both general and related to management roles. Practising your answers to these questions can help you feel more at ease. It may be helpful to write a rough script of the key points or relevant qualifications you want to mention during your interview. Underline the areas that you know you want to mention within your interview. An interview is very similar to an oral exam that you might have gone through in school. Prepare thorough answers and always give honest answers.

If you can, ask someone to hold a mock interview with you and provide them with a list of questions you expect the interviewer to ask. Have this person give you feedback to help improve your answers, body language or anything else that might impact your performance. Use your friends and family. If you know someone who works with the company, ask them to help. They might be able to give you an idea about what type of person the employer wants to work for them.

5. Draft your closing statement

One way to leave a positive impression on your interviewer is to use a strong closing statement. At the end of your conversation, think about summarising why you're the right candidate for the position. Highlight the relevant skills and experience that help you add value to the company. Always remember to thank the interviewer for their time at the end of the interview. Don't forget to shake hands.

By preparing and practising your closing statement beforehand, you can feel comfortable saying it to the interviewer. This is your final moment to sell yourself, so you want your pitch to sound genuine rather than forced.

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