Managing directors are charged with steering the overall direction of the firm achieving its strategic objectives. They are responsible for the successful leadership of the firm. A bachelor’s degree in Business or Marketing is essential for this role. A master’s degree will be preferred by most employers. Extensive experience in implementing business plans is essential. For this role, you will also need great presentation, communication, and interpersonal skills.
Below we look at the 20 interview questions and answers that you are likely to encounter in the interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
What drives you to apply for this role? The interviewer wants to know what are the key things you looked at before applying for this role.
“This role interests me because I see that based on the five-year strategy launched recently, I am in a position to steer the organization to the direction it should go. With my background in ensuring the organizations realize their strategic plans, I believe I will help the company immensely. I have a history of turning around organizations that are experiencing declining sales by working closely with key staff and stakeholders. Based on this organization’s decline, I would be an instrumental member of the team steering it back to a profitable business.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Managing Director?
Are you aware of the roles you will play in this position? Share the expected roles and responsibilities that you expect to handle keeping them close to the job description.
“In this role, I expect to control and direct all business operations. I will give the strategic direction of the business and communicate results to the chairman and the board of directors. I will liaise with stakeholders and keep them informed of the key developments in the organization. I will ensure employees work at meeting the strategies set for the organization. I will also research and implement new initiatives to drive revenue growth. I will also be instrumental in handling clients, staff, and suppliers to ensure the smooth running of operations. Based on my experience I am able to execute the above roles with ease while ensuring the organization realizes its vision and mission.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Managing Directorneed To Be Successful?
What will make you excel in this role? The interviewer is interested in knowing the combination of unique qualities that the job holder should possess to make him or her successful.
“To be successful in this role, you need to exude encouragement and positivity to make teams stick together. You must show engagement to the business operations in order to realize results. This role requires a knowledgeable person who is able to identify business trends and determine what will make the business grow. You need great presentation and communication skills as you will need to interact with the board and different stakeholders. You also need to be reliable and able to delegate effectively. These are qualities I have worked on improving over the past years and believe I am a great candidate to fill up this role.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Managethem?
Challenges are part of work-life. Share a challenge you had and share how you managed the challenge.
“One time in my previous role, I was encountered with an organization with an absence of structure. The organization was relatively young and therefore the strategies were not well thought out. The staff had been used to this lack of structure and therefore were not ready for change. In my administration, I worked on ensuring that structures are put in place. I worked hard on ensuring the team members are motivated towards great results. I invested in the team by ensuring they undergo training and mentorship programs in preparation for the work they were to undertake in implementing new structures. The staff eventually embraced the new structures and our revenues grew threefold.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Managing Director?
What will be the daily tasks that you need to undertake to be successful in this role? Share with the interviewer how you expect your days to be structured.
“I arrive at the office by 7:30 am. I take 30 minutes to prepare for my workday and review any meetings that I am supposed to attend and the appointments in my diary. At around 9 pm I check my emails and respond to urgent tasks. After that, I attend meetings and client projects. I like to schedule all meetings before lunch break such that I get to work on other important projects in the afternoon. I take my lunch break at 1 pm. Once I am back from lunch I handle projects from my priority list. Before I finish work at 5 pm I check my emails again for any critical information I need to reply to and plan my work for the next day.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Experience is key in this role as it will give an indication of being able to handle the work effectively. Share your experience in a similar position.
“I have 10 years of experience in senior management managing people and resources. I have worked as a Managing Director for 6 years in the retail industry. Over this period, I managed a team of 250 staff and managed to triple revenues for the organization. I was able to steer the direction of the organization to the satisfaction of the board. Since this organization is in a similar industry as my previous employer, I believe I will be able to deliver similar or even better results here.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
This role being in senior management requires a combination of mindsets and strategies that will steer the direction of the organization. Share what makes you stand out against the competition.
“To be successful in this role, you will need to be enterprising, agile, growth-focused, and aim towards inclusion. You will need to be able to explore new opportunities for the business. You should focus on growing revenue for the organization. You should aim on ensuring every team member feels that their contribution is valuable. You should be agile in that you can explore opportunities fast and easily for the growth of the organization. These mindsets I have demonstrated in my previous roles and I keep developing them for the success of the organizations I work with.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This role requires someone ready to take on new challenges. Are you able to identify the challenge that is coming before you encounter it? Share the challenge you expect and how you will mitigate it.
“The biggest challenge I foresee in this role is balancing risk and opportunity. The economy is opening up slowly and opportunities are many at the moment. There is also a risk that the economy won’t fully return to how it was before the pandemic. This is a challenge because of being ambitious, I will go hard on exploring opportunities without doing too much analysis on the risks involved. This is in a bid to explore opportunities faster than the competition.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
Self-motivation is key in achieving both individual and organizational goals. Share what keeps you going to chase your goals.
“I get motivation from knowing I am in charge. I recognize that I am in control of the direction my personal life and the organization takes. I, therefore, set independent goals to ensure that I am also growing as the organization is growing. I stay on top of my progress and I am prepared for setbacks because I know they are bound to happen. I also keep learning and expanding my network.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
Failure is part of life. The lessons learned are what steer us to greater heights. Share what lessons you learned from the failures you’ve had.
“In one of my previous roles, we experienced poor communication from the board. They were not clear about their expectations and as a result set strategies for the organization was a challenge. I asked for a special meeting to share the challenges that we faced. They understood my point and became clear on their expectations. The organization started running well after that.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Arethe Most Suited For This Role?
What makes you the best fit for this role. Share your strengths that are unique from the competition.
“I believe I am the best suited for the role because I have over 10 years of experience working in the retail sector. I will bring on board my wealth of experience as well as insights into future trends. I am experienced in turning around organizations and I believe this will come in handy in the growth strategies that I will introduce for the organization.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Share with the interviewer the work that has made you proud in the past. This is important for the interviewer to assess whether you are committed to excellence in your work.
“In my previous role, I was able to help the company create clear structures and in the process, the revenue tripled. This is what I am proud of because when I started even the board was skeptical that such results could ever be achieved.”
13. How Do You Build Trusting Relationships With Stakeholders Of The Organization?
Building trusting relationships is critical for this role. Share a strategy that you have to ensure that you work well with all the stakeholders of the business.
“I believe relationships with stakeholders are key in realizing the company’s mission and vision. I like to keep all stakeholders informed on any key developments that concern them. I also keep the communication channels open for them in case they need to share any information necessary for the benefit of the organization. I believe engagements with them at various levels ensure that operations are running smoothly.”
14. What Makes You A Good Leader?
To be regarded as a good leader you need to possess certain qualities that make you stand out. Share the leadership qualities that you possess that make you suitable for this role. Try and align them to the person specification outlined in the job description.
“What makes me a good leader is that I encourage innovation, strategic thinking, and creativity in my team. I understand that results are achieved through people and therefore encourage them to deliver excellent results. I like to put my team at the forefront in coming up with solutions to challenges that may arise. This makes them feel valued and work towards achieving excellence.”
15. When Working On Long Term Goals, How Do You Stay On Track?
This role entails strategies that may take a long time into the future to achieve. Give a strategy that ensures that the long-term goals will be achieved.
“For the long-term goals, I like to break them into small short-term deliverables that I keep working on. Once the short-term goals are realized I know we are on course to realizing the long-term goals.”
16. How Do You Handle People Whose Opinion Differ From Yours?
In this role, you are likely to encounter stakeholders who will challenge your point of view. How will you handle such instances? The interviewer is interested in your interpersonal skills.
“I understand that not everyone will agree with me in my line of work. When this happens, I like to listen to their point of view and understand them well. Most of the time it is usually the same thing but expressed differently. We share the information from both sides then agree on a course of action. This way everyone feels included.”
17. How Do You Stay Calm When A Problem Is Not Going As Scheduled?
The ability to remain calm when things are off track is a key leadership skill. Tell the interviewer how you will remain calm amid a crisis and ensure everyone stays focused on achieving results.
“I use breathing exercises to stay calm amid a crisis. I like to remain centered as that will help my team stay on course to achieve great results.”
18. How Do You Build An Efficient Team?
Results are achieved through people. Explain to the interviewer how you ensure your team members are excited to achieve excellent results.
“Great teams achieve results faster. When creating teams, I define the purpose and assemble the team. I then determine their goals and set expectations. In between, I put in training opportunities for them to learn key skills that will ensure excellence. I also monitor and track progress. Once the work has been done, I celebrate and reward the team for the results achieved. I also offer feedback to the team on the results achieved and what can be done better the next time.”
19. What Do You Think We Are Doing Right In Our Company At The Moment?
The interviewer wants to test your research skills. He is interested in what you think the company is doing well and how that attracted you to the role.
“I like the commitment the company has towards supporting the various charities, especially in the environment conservation part. This is indeed a great idea that many profit-making organizations are unlikely to take part in. This has served the organization well as it offers free publicity and reduces the marketing effort required. It also shows the commitment of the organization to serve the society it exists in.”
20. How Can Our Company Improve On?
This may be a tricky question to answer. Structure it in such a way that the interviewer is not offended by the answer offered. Share with the interviewer the things you think they can improve on and how that will affect the performance of the organization.
“One thing that I would want the company to improve on is the marketing strategies employed. The company enjoys a wide following and as a result, not much is done in terms of advertisement. I believe that an investment in the advertisement will steer the organization further. In as much as the organization enjoys publicity, the firm needs to keep people informed on the offers running and any other developments necessary that will improve sales. This I believe has the potential of increasing revenues.”
This is a senior management role and therefore may attract very qualified candidates. Ensure you position yourself well. Use your interpersonal, presentation, and communication skills to sell yourself effectively. Ensure you are updated on industry trends and any developments that the organization is involved in.