There are lots of opportunities as you climb up the corporate ladder. Most people dream of becoming managers at the peak or tail end of their careers due to the positions’ benefits. However, note that there are different management levels that you should consider once you have set your eyes on management.
Senior management is one of the topmost levels in different careers. The respective managers are tasked with leading the entire organization to identify better growth opportunities. This article will help you prepare for new heights by discussing some of the interview questions you should expect in a senior manager’s interview. We hope that you will be in a better position than other candidates.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
After years of department management which prepared me for this position, I believe it is time for some change. I am positive that I will do a good job if given a chance. I also need new challenges to avoid slipping into a comfort zone, which is extremely dangerous, especially in the corporate setting. This role will allow me to scale greater heights and keep me engaged.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Senior Manager?
A senior manager is mostly tasked with administrative and supervisory roles in the organization. They guide departmental supervisors, approve necessary recruitments, create the right aims and objectives for organizations, make important decisions that will impact the organization’s future, oversee employee performance and handle departmental budgets. The senior manager also works closely with other lower cadre managers and departmental heads for the successful administration of the organization.
3. Mention Some Of The Qualities That A Senior Manager Needs To Be Succesful
The main quality that every senior manager should have or invest in is leadership since it is one of the topmost leadership positions in the organization. Leadership entails rallying employees towards a common goal making good use of available resources and knowing when to act and sit back. A good senior manager is also visionary and must have both long and short-term visions for the organization, which comes in handy in goal setting. Other qualities include people skills, proper communication skills, a deep understanding of the team members, and conflict management skills that come in handy when dealing with organizational disputes.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them
I worked as a departmental head for a retail company in my former role. The workplace environment was conducive, and the policies were easy to follow and enforce. However, my department was understaffed and lacked enough resources. I tried to reach out to the senior-most managers and administrators, but they both declined my plea, arguing that other departments needed the resources the most. I had to use the available resources and workforce, occasionally chipping in and giving a hand where necessary. I managed to head the department well for two years.
5. Can You Describe Your Daily Routine As A Senior Manager?
I believe that as a Senior manager, my day will revolve around attending meetings and overseeing different departments. I will first set the goals for the day before meeting with the Human Resource Manager for recruitment purposes. I will then complete different paperwork, finish writing reports and offer the necessary training. I will spend the last half of my day calling different clients, dealing with different tasks, and attending any scheduled meetings or appointments. I must also spare some time off my busy schedule to catch up with different industry trends.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
This is my tenth year working in this field. I have had the opportunity to work in different firms throughout the country and at one point in the Ministry of Health. However, this is my fourth year in management.
I was appointed a lower cadre manager after six years and a departmental head two years later. I have also held several acting management roles, which I have captured in my resume. My experience has taught me how to approach different situations and lead a company or organization to greater heights.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
I believe that all management positions require similar strategies. A senior manager should focus more on being a leader than a boss. They should know how to rally other employees and managers to achieve the set objectives of the organization as well as determine when to act and step back. Knowing and sticking to both the short and long terms of the organization is also a necessary strategy. As for the right mindset, a manager must be positive to influence and rally other employees towards a common goal. They should also be result-oriented.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
After five years in management, I have learned that most of the problems managers face are similar at different management levels. Issues such as increased management scope, difficulty with rallying support from senior-most managers or directors, and increased work volume are similar in all management positions. I cannot, therefore, mention anything new or out of the ordinary. However, I am prepared to face any challenge that comes my way and even asks for help where necessary.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
I always look at the bigger picture when going about my work. Keeping in mind that a given task is necessary for achieving a long-term objective keeps me motivated and willing to give my all. I also take some time to recharge or reenergize. Lastly, I am surrounded by supportive friends and family, which gives me the needed strength when facing challenges or going about my work.
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In Management And The Lesson You Learnt
As a departmental manager, I once failed to push for more departmental funding. We ran out of resources before completing most of our projects, forcing the company to dive into its emergency funds. This did not reflect well on me, but luckily, the senior-most managers understood. I learned the importance of adequate resource allocation and pushing for more funding if necessary.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
I have gathered enough experience to help me succeed since this is my seventh year in management. I am also the longest-serving employee in this organization, which means that I know all the necessary processes and procedures, and will help you save on some of the expenses of outsourcing. Lastly, I have all the requisite qualities which have helped me flourish in my current role. I am positive that the company will greatly benefit from my services and efforts if given this opportunity.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
I have achieved several things in this field. However, the most remarkable was mentoring a group of young employees to become my former organization’s best assets. Most of them were retained after the end of their internship, shortly before I was directed to ensure that they blended in well into the organization. I worked closely with them, offering the right guidance, and by the time I was leaving the organization, they were the most prized employees. I still communicate with a number of them who are forever grateful for the chance.
13. Can You Describe Your Leadership Style
I normally blend several styles when discharging my management roles. I believe in a direct leadership style where I outline my expectations to the employees and other managers after figuring out what is best for the organization. This style also helps me speak up and confront others where necessary. I also prefer forming strong connections with others for easy management. People are always willing to give their all when they are on good terms with the management and are treated as colleagues or equals instead of employees.
14. How Do You Normally Delegate Tasks?
I have discovered that task delegation is one of the determinants of success in any management position. Therefore, I tend to be extremely careful and critical when giving out work by considering the ability and availability of the team members. I normally ensure that only experienced people who enjoy handling an area get related tasks. Where applicable, I may let the team discuss the scope of work, delegate among themselves and later supervise them. All in all, I normally let team members work on areas they find enjoyable.
15. How Do You Normally Give Feedback? Do You Hold People Accountable
Every manager should give feedback and make it real-time where possible to prevent errors or future problems. I prefer having the whole team present when giving feedback so that everyone can know what to avoid, work on or continue doing. However, I am always careful not to come off as harsh and scare the employees. I also give them time to ask for clarification since I understand the importance of clarity in the workplace. I also love holding people accountable since everyone should answer for their undertakings or decisions.
16. What Are Some Of The Things Our Employees Will Learn From You?
I believe that your employees will learn and get to witness how powerful and effective we can be when we put our best feet forward. I am a hardworking and diligent employee who is always willing to transcend great lengths and achieve whatever I have in mind. I intend to rally them towards achieving the business objectives. They will also learn the importance of loyalty and commitment from how I conduct myself in the workplace.
17. In Your Opinion, What Is The Best Way To Motivate Employees?
I understand the importance of employee motivation, given that I am an employee above everything else. Having occupied different roles in organizations, I have discovered that nothing beats praises and acknowledgment. Employees love it when someone notices and applauds their effort as it pushes them to keep up with the good work or even do better. Occasional incentives or gifts also come in handy, even though they shouldn’t be the main motivating factor. Managers or organizations that depend on intrinsic motivation have a better shot at creating a motivated employee base.
18. How Would You Advise A Manager Under You To Deal With An Underperforming Employee?
There are many reasons why an employee can underperform, other than being incompetent. A manager needs to be understanding during such circumstances and offer all the possible or necessary help. I would advise the manager to summon the employee and find out some of the reasons for the underperformance and, if possible, offer all the necessary support. He can also offer more training in case of incompetence and ensure that the employee understands what is needed.
19. Do You Think Your Previous Roles Have Prepared You For This Position?
Yes. I have occupied several management positions in my career, which have shaped me for this role. I have had the chance to work with other managers and help in critical decision-making and workplace administration, which is highly required in this new role. I know how to work with different people and manage expectations, which are critical for a Senior management position. Lastly, my previous roles have seen me keep out of my comfort zone owing to new daily or weekly challenges. I am better positioned to push myself once I get this job.
20. What Did You Do To Increase Productivity In Your Former Role?
I helped the company shift from an individual-based working style to incorporating teamwork, which saw timely delivery and increased work output. I even came up with guidelines for effective delegation of tasks to ensure that teams worked efficiently. I also suggested a change in office arrangement and partitioning to bring the employees as close as possible, thus saving time wasted on movements and correspondence.
21. How Do You Normally Deal With Difficult Colleagues?
I usually strive to be as understanding as possible when interacting with my colleagues and going about my office duties. Even though most of the people I have worked with have been supportive, I have also had some bad experiences. I normally meet with such colleagues in my office and give them a chance to table their issues and solve them by the end of the discussion. However, if the meeting does not turn out successful, I may give them time to change, followed by probation. I generally consider termination a last resort and may even initiate a transfer by following the right channels if diplomacy does not work.
22. Have You Ever Mentored An Employee In The Workplace?
I have mentored several employees as a manager and general employee. I once volunteered to help a team of new employees around the workplace and mentored them for their new positions. We met occasionally discussed their projects and some of the things they needed to do in the company and their careers. All of them managed to transition well and became senior employees later. I also learned a lot from them.
23. Do You Have Any 5-Year Plans For This Company?
I have researched your business and discovered that you are on the right trend, as seen from your stock projections. However, I believe that you can do better by strengthening your international presence. I, therefore, plan to focus on widening our international reach by partnering with renowned brands and taking advantage of the available marketing opportunities. I also intend to better the workplace setting through several revolutionary software I have used and can attest to. Lastly, I plan to ensure that the company consistently generates revenue in the next five years.
24. Can You Handle Workplace Conflict?
Working in team settings may not be rosy at times, given the differences people may have in opinions, procedures, and ideas. Therefore, I am always prepared to handle workplace conflicts. However, I know that there are two sides to every story, which calls for neutrality and open-mindedness when dealing with office conflicts. I prefer not to let people work out conflicts independently as it can easily reflect on their work. I prefer sitting them down, obtaining different sides of the story, and helping them come up with good solutions.
25. Do You Have Any Management Weakness?
My greatest weakness as a manager is failing to know when to sit back and let the employees do their jobs. I normally prefer contributing to every process, which other employees do not fancy. However, I am learning when to get involved and step back to allow those hired to do their jobs to go about their duties. I have had some great assistant managers in the past who have greatly helped me in my quest for change.
These are some of the most common questions in senior management position interviews. Take your time to go through them and discover how to increase your chances of landing the job of your choice. Don’t forget to be articulate and well learned in senior management roles.