Common Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers for Management Positions

What Are Behavioral Interview Questions?

Typical behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions require candidates to share examples of specific situations they’ve been in, where they had to use particular skills.  You can anticipate these types of questions because the Society for Human Resource Management believes that they are the “most effective type of interviewing technique in nearly any type of organization.”

The answers to these questions should provide valid and concrete evidence about how you, as a candidate, has dealt with these types of issues in the past.  Answering appropriately is a way to reduce interview blunders and to let your past work performance and experience prove what you’re capable of doing in the future for this potential employer.

While there are many current leadership behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions that we will be covers, let’s address a common strategy called the STAR technique to get us started to begin the inquiry answering framework.

How to Use the STAR Method to Answer Interview Questions

Before we get into how to address the common behavioral interview questions, let’s discuss your strategy for answering them.

The STAR interview technique is the most recommended and straightforward strategy to use with behavioral interview questions because they require you to provide a real-life example of how you handled a  situation at work in the past.

It’ll be easy to understand when these types of questions are coming because they often start with, describe a situation when you.

  • Tell me about a time when you
  • Have you ever
  • Give me an example of a time when
  • What do you do when
  • Describe situations where

candidate using the star technique to answer interview questionsThe STAR interview technique is an excellent strategy for tackling these types of questions.  STAR is an acronym that stands for:

Situation:  Describe the case were you in
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain precisely what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

By practicing the STAR interview technique to shape your answer, it’s much easier to share a focused solution, providing the interviewer with an understandable but compelling narrative of what you did.

Consider spending some time before your interview, preparing a few STAR interview technique answers. Think back over your career and pick a few stories you can tell that illustrate common interview inquiries. Think about when you resolved an issue or overcame a stressful or difficult situation? When have you used critical skills for this job, and what results did you get?

You can’t prepare for every single question, but having a few prepared answers will be a significant advantage for you.

Here is a great video introduction to the STAR technique.

What are the Most Common Types of Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers for Management Positions?

We grouped the most common behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions into six categories.  The items may help you find a common thread or antidote to answer multiple questions.

1.  Questions About Adaptability

Adaptability is one of the most important skills that employees should possess because those that are adaptable easier will accept new ways of working in changing team environments.

Besides, when uncertain situations occur, they can come up with practical solutions to work towards their goals.

Interviewers will ask behavioral interview questions for management positions to assess your adaptability skills. Through these interview questions, they want to find out how you react in unpredictable work situations but also if and how you adjust to changing environments at work.

  • Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
  • Tell me about a time you had to do something you had never done before. How did you approach this situation, and what did you learn?
  • If your colleagues are not open to learning something new that could improve team performance and efficiency, how would you try to convince them?
  • Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
  • Tell me about the first job you’ve ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation delicately.

2.  Questions About Communication

jobs seeker answering behavioral interview questions for managementAll management job interviews will have questions about communication because most jobs demand it with other people – customers, clients, and colleagues.

Your ability to communicate will be carefully evaluated in a job interview.

  • Describe a time when you had to express your ideas in a meeting.
  • How have you responded to negative feedback?
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
  • Describe a time when you were the resident technical expert. What did you do to make sure everyone was able to understand you?
  • Describe a time when you had to express your ideas in a meeting.
  • How have you responded to negative feedback?
  • Tell me about a time you received unclear instructions from your supervisor. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you had to talk to an angry customer. What steps did you take?
  • Tell me about a time that other members of the team disagreed with your idea. How did you respond?
  • Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it was a hit.

3.  Questions About Teamwork

For teamwork type questions, you’ll want to showcase your ability to work with others under challenging circumstances.

Try to make your answers to teamwork questions as specific as possible. Consider these teamwork examples:

  • Have you ever struggled to communicate with colleagues while working together on a project?
  • Can you share an example of a situation in which teamwork enhanced your output as an employee?
  • What is your idea of an ideal team-building exercise?
  • What type of support does a team need to function as efficiently as possible?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
  • We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you want you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
  • Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?

4.  Questions About Customer Service

Being that all management roles serve others, you can expect a handful of questions about how you help your clients or even employees.

  • What process do you use to check that you have the correct details from a new customer?
  • Tell me about a time that you were unclear about a customer’s request.
  • Give me an example of a time when you have had to deal with an irate or angry customer?
  • Describe a time when it was especially important to make a good impression on a client. How did you go about doing so?
  • Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectations. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service.
  • When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?

5.  Questions About Time Management

Here it’s important to discuss ways that you have handled multiple responsibilities.  Discuss how you prioritized your obligations and completed everything before the deadline.

  • Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities.
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
  • Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a long-term project that you managed. How did you keep everything moving along promptly?
  • Sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything on your to-do list done. Tell me about a time your responsibilities got a little overwhelming. What did you do?

6.  Questions About Your Motivation

Here, the interviewer will be trying to find the intangible traits in candidates like drive, commitment, and leadership that can lead to making a great hire.

  • Give me an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or challenging about it?
  • Tell me about a time you were dissatisfied with your work. What could have been done to make it better?
  • Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
  • Describe a time when you saw some problem and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under close supervision or extremely loose supervision. How did you handle that?

Where Can I Find Free Samples of Management Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers?

employer asking behavioral interview questionsIf you are you looking for free sample behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions, below are a handful of sources to consider.

Be Prepared For These Common Questions

  1. Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts.
  2. Do you feel you work well under pressure? If so, describe a time when you have done so
  3. Tell me about a time you needed to motivate a co-worker.
  4. Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your boss.
  5. Tell me about a goal you achieved.
  6. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  7. Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
  8. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  9. Tell me about a time where you had to delegate tasks during a project.
  10. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  11. Describe a situation where you disagreed with a supervisor.
  12. Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work.
  13. Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem.
  14. Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
  15. Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
  16. Tell me about the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the past six months.
  17. Tell me about a significant mistake you made and what you did to correct it.
  18. Tell me about the last time a customer or co-worker got upset with you.
  19. Tell me about a time you knew you were right, but still had to follow directions or guidelines.
  20. Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?
  21. We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you had handled a situation differently with a colleague.

Additional Sources to Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers for Management Positions

We found some great videos and books online for additional information about tackling these behavioral interview questions.

1. High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-Based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job

From the author:

  • “Tell me about a time….” The words evoke a child’s fairy-tale innocence. Yet when used by an interviewer, they can help to determine the suitability of a job candidate by eliciting real-world examples of behaviors and experience that can save you and your organization from making a wrong hiring decision.
  • High-Impact Interview Questions shows you how to use competency-based behavioral interviewing methods that will uncover truly relevant and useful information.
  • The book contains 701 questions you’ll be able to use or adapt for your own needs, matched to 62 in-demand skills such as customer focus, motivation, initiative, adaptability, teamwork, and more.
  • It allows you to move immediately to the particular skills you want to measure, and quickly find just the right tough but necessary questions to ask during an interview.
  • Asking behavior-based questions is by far the best way to discover crucial details about job candidates. High-Impact Interview Questions gives you the tools and guidance you need to gather this critical information before you hire.

Check out the book here.

2. Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: Q&A Framework for Successful Job Interviews

From the Author:

  • Interviews include technical interviews and behavioral interviews. Technical interviews evaluate candidates’ professional knowledge, and behavioral interviews gauge soft skills and personalities such as work attitudes, communications, and career development. This book is directed at behavioral interviews.
  • The answers that a candidate responds to an interviewer’s behavioral questions can reveal the instincts of the candidate. The past experiences enumerated by the interviewee let the interviewer estimate the fit of the candidate. Body languages spoken by the candidate allow the interviewer to know the confidence level of the candidate. However, our societies have a norm on good job candidates. If a job seeker can understand better the norm, he will answer behavioral questions more satisfactorily.
  • This book presents nearly 100 behavioral interview questions and reveals the mindsets behind asking the questions, followed by providing possible answer strategies. Readers of this book can systematically prepare their interviews.

Check out the book here.

3. Cracking the Code to a Successful Interview: 15 Insider Secrets from a Top-Level Recruiter

From the author:

  • Featured on CBS and WBZ Radio, Evan Pellett is the keynote guest speaker on Nightside with Dan Rea. You may have heard Evan as the radio expert on interviewing across the United States.
  • Cracking the Code to a Successful Interview is a groundbreaking new scientific, proactive, cutting-edge, hands-on, proven approach to job interviews by an award-winning, highly decorated recruiter.
  • This REAPRICH eight-step interview method will give you a proactive way to take control of your interview. You will learn the secret, never-before-published “questions behind the questions.” These are the questions that every manager unconsciously needs to be answered in order to hire you.

Check out the book here.

Looking for More Tips to Master Your Next Interview?

At Matchbuilt, we pride ourselves in supporting and providing helpful resources for our clients and candidates during the interview process.  For more information on nailing your next interview, check out the latest job interview tips about evidence-based recruiting practices, preparing for a Skype or Zoom interview, and what to update on your LinkedIn profile.


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