The interview for an IT manager job should not only include standard interview questions but also specific technical questions that are focused on the information technology field. Since the IT manager is a senior-level position, it is vital to identify the candidate with in-depth knowledge and relevant experience in IT. Here are the top 20 IT manager interview questions and answers to help you pick the best candidate.
1. Why Do You Make an Effective IT Manager for Our Company?
The interviewer wants to assess whether you have what it takes to perform the IT manager role effectively in their company.
Tip #1: Give several reasons why you can be an effective IT manager
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you have the required skills and experience
I possess a strong mix of management knowledge and technical skills that will help me to run IT operations to the required standards. I can deliver complex and difficult IT projects while ensuring operational efficiency is maintained. Besides, I will effectively manage the IT department to make sure that your IT infrastructure runs smoothly and IT problems are kept to the minimum.
2. What are Your Roles as an IT Manager?
The interviewer tests whether you are familiar with the roles of an IT manager.
Tip #1: State several roles performed by an IT manager
Tip #2: Give a prompt and clear answer
My roles will include planning, coordinating, and leading IT-related activities. I will be involved in determining the IT needs in your company and budgeting for those needs. Moreover, I will be leading the implementation of computer systems and ensuring they are well maintained. Other roles will include ensuring IT systems are secure and my team works optimally to effectively support the company operations.
I runs regular checks on the organization’s network and data security, find ways of improving the software systems and keeping them updated, develop an IT policy to guide the organization, and offer training for the employees.
3. What Qualities Does an Effective IT Manager Possess?
Certain qualities make an IT manager effective. The interviewer wants to know whether you are familiar with such traits.
Tip #1: State the qualities of an effective IT manager
Tip #2: Don’t mull over the answer, otherwise the interviewer might doubt you
An effective IT manager is a problem solver with the ability to provide solutions to different IT problems. He or she is committed, a motivator, and a good communicator. Other qualities include the ability to work under pressure, having a positive attitude, and being solution-oriented.
An IT manager should be a strategic thinker and desire to learn due to the technology world’s continually evolving nature. He/she should also be able to pay attention to detail and have strong communication skills.
4. Why Do You Want To Work With Our Company?
The interviewer seeks to know why you are interested to work with their company.
Tip #1: Provide two or three reasons why you want to work with the company
Tip #2: Be honest and provide a convincing answer
First, your company leads in creativity and innovation in IT, which means I will put my IT management skills to great use. Second, I have found out that you are an aspirational and forward-thinking company that aims to achieve great progress. Thus, I would want to have your company in my resume. Lastly, your company has a good reputation and that also attracts me to worth with you.
5. How Would You Ensure that the Regional Team Leaders Reporting to You are Achieving their Targets Without Micro-Managing Them?
When working with regional teams, the IT Manager needs to ensure their leaders are effective. The interviewer wants to assess whether you can help them achieve targets.
Tip #1: Describe how you would help regional team leaders achieve targets
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you can perform that role effectively
I would ensure to discuss key performance indicators with the regional leaders and agree on performance expectations and timelines. Doing so will help them to plan their work accordingly and ensure to meet set targets and deadlines.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience in Programming
The interviewer wants to assess whether you are familiar with coding
Tip #1: Describe your coding experience
Tip #2: Provide the impression that you can lead coding projects
In the past, I have designed five systems using different programming languages. One of those systems is currently utilized by a former company to manage its inventory.
7. How Did You Allocate a Budget During the Planning Phase of a Past it Project?
The interviewer seeks to know whether you can complete projects without overspending.
Tip #1: Describe how you allocated a budget when planning a past project
Tip #2: Show that you can budget appropriately without wastage
While planning for a project during my last assignment, I began by identifying the client’s budget. Then, I allocated funds for every project requirement. Any changes that needed more money were first approved by the client before proceeding with the project.
8. How Do You Stay Current in the IT industry?
The interviewer wants to know how you stay up-to-date in the IT industry.
Tip #1: Describe how you stay current
Tip #2: Be honest and brief with your answer
I am a member of the IT professional association in the region. We discuss current trends regularly through social media platforms. We also hold seminars from time to time where new IT innovations are discussed. Besides, I have subscribed to several IT newsletters that publish news about the industry.
9. As an IT Manager, How Do You Keep Your Team Members Motivated?
Here, the interviewer tests whether you can keep employees motivated.
Tip #1: Describe how you keep your team motivated
Tip #2: Give the impression that you can motivate your team to remain productive
I keep my team motivated is by acknowledging their determination at work and thanking them for their contributions towards the success of a project. Besides, I provide gifts to top performers in my department. In doing that, I keep my team inspired towards performing excellently.
10. Why Is It Important To Create A Training Program For Staff When New Systems Are Integrated?
The interviewer wants to test whether you understand the benefit of training staff about new systems
Tip #1: Describe the importance of training staff about new systems
Tip #2: Show that you understand the need for equipping staff with relevant skills
Developing training programs helps to prevent confusion about the use of new systems. It helps to equip employees with relevant skills so that they can use new systems effectively. Productivity increases significantly once employees know how to use systems correctly and effectively.
11. Have You Ever Created IT Policies in the Past?
Your ability to develop policies for the IT department is assessed here.
Tip #1: Think about the IT policies you created
Tip #2: State how you make them compliant with IT laws
Several years back, I joined a start-up and I was tasked with setting up the IT department. In the process, I developed the company’s IT policies that provided rules and procedures for the safe use of computers among other systems.
12. As an IT Manager, What Steps Would You Follow When Recommending New Software for a Company?
The interviewer wants to test your ability to identify the need for a new system and how you would go about recommending it to a company.
Tip #1: State the steps for recommending a new software
Tip #2: Be brief and clear with your answer
First, I will assess the functionality of the existing system and compare that with the expected performance. Then, I will explain in non-technical language the gaps in performance. In the case where major system changes are necessary to achieve the required functionality, I will propose a new system.
13. As an IT Manager, What is Your Management Style?
The interviewer wants to understand the style of management that will be expected from you.
Tip #1: State your management style
Tip #2: Be honest and provide a convincing answer
I believe in empowering my team. I make sure that every team member understands his or her roles. I ensure to assign employees areas that they can perform best. I also make an effort to train and coach my team to improve their performance. Besides, I believe in providing timely feedback as well as correcting mistakes early on.
14. What Have You Done on Personal Development in the Last 12 Months?
The interviewer seeks to know whether you take personal initiatives to develop your skills.
Tip #1: State the personal development efforts you have made
Tip #2: Describe what you have gained
Seven months ago, I enrolled for a short course on business administration at a local college. Through that course, I gained great knowledge and insights about management, teamwork, and communication. Besides, I have improved my overall managerial skills and I can now effectively manage the IT department.
15. Where Do You See Yourself Doing in Five Years?
Your ability to forecast and establish five-year goals is tested here.
Tip #1: State what you aim to achieve in five years
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you are determined to make progress
In five years, I see myself as an IT manager who will be able to handle more complex management roles. I also expect to deal with more difficult challenges in the industry. Besides, I see myself as being a more reliable and better performer as I will have more experience in the industry.
16. Why is it Important to Use Technology in Manufacturing Our Products?
The interviewer wants to know whether you understand the need for technology in their organization.
Tip #1: State several benefits of technology to the organization
Tip #2: Provide a relevant and brief answer
Integrating manufacturing technology into your processes and operations will improve quality and reduce human error. While humans are prone to mistakes, robots are not. Thus mishaps and defects will be reduced significantly. Another benefit is that technology will help to cut production costs. One robot can accomplish what five or more workers can do. That means you can employ a few people and accomplish more. Moreover, using technology reduces your overall production time, enhances communication between production teams, and helps with quick error detection.
17. What Is Your Experience Working With Vendors?
The complexity of some technologies requires the services of a vendor from time to time. The interviewer wants to know whether you have some experience in dealing with vendors.
Tip #1: Describe your experience in working with vendors
Tip #2: Show that you can deal with vendors
My experience with vendors is that it is important to validate the claimed expertise. This helps to ascertain that once the vendor is hired, he or she will provide the services that were promised or agreed upon. I find it worthwhile to do a thorough scrutiny of vendors to identify the most qualified for a particular project. This includes identifying the most reasonable pricing for services offered or goods supplied.
18. What Does a Typical Day for an IT Manager Look Like?
Here, the interviewer wants to assess whether you are familiar with the daily responsibilities of an IT Manager.
Tip #1: State several duties performed by an IT manager daily
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you understand your daily routine
An IT manager directs department operations, monitors and analyses workflow, and sets priorities. The manager supervises programmers, technicians, and other workers in the IT department. Besides, the IT manager meets with supervisors, managers, and other department heads to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.
19. What is Your Approach to Managing Technology Change?
Since technology changes rapidly, an IT manager should be skilled in managing that change. That ability is what the interviewer tests here.
Tip #1: Describe the approach you use to manage technology change
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you can effectively manage technological changes
I would begin by asking stakeholders how they would want to change to happen. Then, I incorporate their views and needs into the planned technology change. Next, I inform then when change is happening. This helps to prepare them for the change. Then, I implement the technology change and once that is done, I communicate once more that change has occurred.
20. What is Meant by “High Availability” and Why is it so Important
The interviewer wants to know whether you are familiar with high availability and its importance.
Tip #1: Define the term High Availability
Tip #2: Explain why it is important
High availability refers to the state of a system or component functioning without interruption for long periods. High availability is very important because it ensures that goods and services are always available. In some industries, a downtime of several minutes can result in huge losses.
21. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
You should take the chance to sell yourself. The interviewer will use this opportunity to assess whether you a promising prospect.
Tip 1: Never mention money as your motivating factor.
Tip 2: Include a few things that will make you resourceful to the organization.
I am passionate about Information Technology and even more fascinated with using ever-evolving technology to relay or even store information. I believe I am equipped with the leadership skills to handle the IT manager’s position to steer this organization to new and unexplored areas for better success.
22. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?
You can be sure that the organization is looking for a problem solver and not an added liability. It would be best to show the interviewer that you can handle difficult situations thrown your way.
Tip 1: Ensure that the challenge you mention does not put your skills to question.
Tip 2: Focus more on how you handled the situation to prove your competence.
My first time working in the IT world was in a start-up organization. Most of our ideas ended up in our competitors’ hands. After investigating the issue, we found the weak link to be in our IT department. I helped develop a firm IT policy that protected our organization’s interests since then.
23. Describe Briefly About Your Information Technology Experience
Do not answer this question using your expertise or what you trained for. Let your CV do that. The interviewer wants to hear the things you have achieved and areas you are good at.
Tip 1: Show your capabilities and sell yourself.
Tip 2: Do not leave out any relevant information.
I have learned how to constantly think on my feet as technology keeps changing every minute, to always keep reading and researching to stay relevant to the field. With experience, I appreciate the need to constantly back up every piece of information as you can never entirely rely on systems.
24. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role? Explain with Example
You must prove to the interviewer beyond any doubt that you are the perfect fit for the role. Therefore, prove that you have a strategic plan to get the job done.
Tip 1: Be specific by relating the strategy and mindset to the job at hand
Tip 2: The plan should be realistic, and mindset prove that you are reliable.
An IT manager should be a great team player since it takes a whole team to ensure the organization’s software systems are running smoothly. An excellent communications system in place would be crucial in providing all runs well. A focused mindset is vital to be able to pay attention to details.
25. What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in This Job?
Here, prove to the interviewer that you are visionary and have a plan for the future should you get the opportunity to work with them.
Tip 1: Ensure that the challenge you mention does not paint as you being incompetent.
Tip 2: If you can think of any solution, hint it out to the interviewer.
I must mention that I admire the employee culture in this organization and find it impeccable. In my former workplace, we had a problem with some of the organization’s ideas leaked to our competitors. I find that the IT policy here has a few loopholes that could jeopardize the organization if anyone took advantage. We will need to find a way of dealing with the loopholes and making the policy airtight.
26. How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?
Despite all the challenges that you may face as an IT manager, the interviewer would like to know what keeps you going at the workplace. Your answer may help create a conducive environment for you.
Tip 1: Avoid mentioning anything materialistic things as this will make you look greedy.
Tip 2: Have a well-thought-out answer but be natural.
Seeing that I am up to date with my work brings me pure joy and keeps me going. Knowing that I positively impact and bring change to the organization when my work is well done also satisfies me.
27. Describe a Time You Failed in this Role and the Lesson You Learned
It would be best to prove that you are a responsible and accountable person and own up to some of the past mistakes and failures you have had.
Tip 1: Do not place the blame on others.
Tip 2: The lesson should be related to the mistake.
In my first role in the IT department, I used to wait and back up everything once a project was done. One time, there was a system failure, and the whole project was erased. It cost the organization a great deal. Ever since I learned that software systems could not be relied upon 100% as they may also fail from time to time, I ensure that information is backed up at the end of every task to avoid similar mistakes.
28. How Will You Keep the Organization’s Data Secure?
Security is paramount to any organization, and here, the interviewer wants to ensure that you can deal with any security threats that may come along.
Tip 1: Provide details on how you are going to ensure security to the organization’s data.
Tip 2: Explain how internal data and external data will be separated
Data is susceptible, and a small error can be the downfall of the entire organization. Therefore, I will ensure that backups are done, and client and customer data is protected. Internal data and external data will also be separated to avoid any mix-up.
29. What Resources Will You Require to Operate Smoothly?
The interviewer would like to establish if the IT department is lacking since organizations heavily rely on IT. Be honest as your answer could help equip you better for the job.
Tip 1: Be honest.
Tip 2: Avoid sounding like you are making too many demands.
With the research that I have done, this organization has done a commendable job equipping the IT department. However, as the IT manager, it would be resourceful to have regular training with the staff to ensure we are all on the same page and up to date with the systems and how they function.
30. What is Your Favourite Platform and How Will it be Beneficial to the organization?
Prove to the interviewer that you are up to date with the ever-evolving technology landscape. As a manager, you must be familiar with the touchpoint areas.
Tip 1: Do your research beforehand and find a gap in the organization.
Tip 2: Be specific
I have familiarized myself with Twitter and all the good it can do as a social media platform. It will be a great way to reach new prospective clients and keep everyone updated with what the organization is doing.
31. How Do You Determine the Best Software System for The Organization?
You should show your ability to research and work with different types of software systems.
Tip 1: Do proper research.
Tip 2: Express willingness to learn.
I have had the privilege of working with various software systems in my previous workplaces. This has given me insight into which ones will suit the organization best.
32. Have You made Improvements to IT Infrastructure before?
This is to test your troubleshooting abilities.
Tip 1: Give real examples
Tip 2: Sell yourself
At my last place of work, we realized that the system was very slow and would at times hand and cause delays. Together with my team, we worked on updating the system, which solved all our problems.
33. How Do You Deal with an Underperforming Team Member?
This is to test your managerial skills.
Tip 1: Show that you are a team player.
Tip 2: Show that you can motivate other employees.
As an IT manager, it would be my joy to see everyone in the department grow and horn their skills. I would find ways of motivating the employee and including them while closely monitoring them for improvement.
Considering the needs of the IT management role, it is vital to hire a competent individual with both management and technical skills. Using these questions and answers will help to assess the skillset of different candidates and facilitate you to pick the right person.