Below are top 35 Interview questions and answers for hiring managers.
What specific skills from the person you hire would make your life easier?
This question focuses the conversation squarely on the proposition that the employer has a problem. As the potential new hire, you want the employer to tell you that you can make his or her life easier because your skills are just the ticket.
What are some of the problems that keep you up at night?
This is another way to uncover the employer’s hot buttons, subtly suggesting that hiring you will bring immediate relief to the interviewer’s insomnia.
What would be a surprising but positive thing the new person could do in the first 90 days?
The wording here is designed to reveal the interviewer’s “wish list” for what the new hire can offer.
How does upper management perceive this part of the organization?
The response to this question will give the job seeker a feel for how valuable the department is to upper management because if and when the organization goes through a financial crisis, you want to know that your department will not be the first department cut.
What do you see as the most important opportunities for improvement in the area I hope to join?
This is another way to get some clues about what specific improvements the hiring manager desires.
What are the organization’s three most important goals?
This answer will provide an important clue for you if you take the job, because you’ll be evaluated on your contribution to those three goals.
How do you see this position impacting on the achievement of those goals?
This answer will give an important clue about whether the job is important. If the answer is essentially “not much,” you are being considered for a nonessential position.
What attracted you to working for this organization?
Get the hiring manager to tell you a story. Listen carefully for clues about what makes for success.
What have you liked most about working here?
Shared stories are what create community. Here’s another way to bond with the interviewer around a story.
In what ways has the experience surprised or disappointed you?
Follow-up is good. If the interviewer feels safe, he or she may actually share a disappointment.
What are the day-to-day responsibilities I’ll be assigned?
No better way to know what you’ll be doing. Notice how the question gently assumes you are already on the team.
Could you explain the company’s organizational structure?
Ask this question if there is something you don’t understand about the organization.
What is the organization’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department or division fit in?
Any question that implies you have the long term in mind is great. The hiring manager is thinking, “This guy aims to stick around for the long term.”
Will we be expanding or bringing on new products or new services that I should be aware of?
Notice the use of the word “we.” This is another question that allows the hiring manager to discuss future plans and prospects.
What are some of the skills and abilities you see as necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
This is another way to uncover possible objections or conflicts. Again, you can’t address an objection unless it’s articulated.
What challenges might I encounter if I take on this position?
Listen carefully. The hiring manager is telling you where you are expected to fail. Is this a challenge you can take on and at which you can reasonably hope to succeed? If Superman couldn’t hack it, watch out! You’re being set up for failure.
What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?
Note the emphasis on the word “your.” This is less about the organization’s agenda than the hiring manager’s concerns. They may or may not be different. It won’t serve you well to meet the organization’s goals but not your manager’s.
What are the attributes of the job that you’d like to see improved?
This is another way of asking the hiring manager for the conditions of success.
What is your company’s policy on attending seminars, workshops, and other training opportunities?
You want to be seen as interested in learning and gaining new skill sets. You want your organization to support those goals.
What is the budget this department operates with?
You may or may not get a straight answer to this straight question, but asking shows you understand the power of budgets to control outcomes.
What committees and task forces will I be expected to participate in?
Whether you like committee work or not, you should get this information to make an informed decision.
How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
Here’s another general question that goes to how your efforts will be evaluated. It’s likely you will start a conversation about metrics such as management by objective.
Are there any weaknesses in the department that you are particularly looking to improve?
This will provide an indication of what your first assignment will be.
What are the department’s goals, and how do they align with the company’s mission?
This is another way to get a picture of how the department fits into the enterprise.
What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared with the competition (name one or two companies)?
This question shows that you have done your research and that you are rightfully aware that success means outperforming the competition.
How does the reporting structure work here? What are the preferred means of communication?
This set of questions goes to the heart of the corporate culture. Are reporting structures formal or informal? You will not be happy if you prefer an informal, open-door company environment and this company prefers a more rigid structure.
What goals or objectives need to be achieved in the next six months?
Here is another question to let the hiring manager know that you want to do one thing at a time starting with the most important thing.
Can you give me an idea of the typical day and workload and the special demands the job has?
This is a good question to get a sense of the job on a day-to-day basis.
This is a new position.What are the forces that suggested the need for this position?
As the holder of a brand-new position, you will have a lot of freedom to shape the job. But the first thing to understand is why it was created and what problem it is designed to solve.
What areas of the job would you like to see improvement in with regard to the person who was most recently performing these duties?
This should give you a clue about why the incumbent failed. Yes it’s true that people can learn only from mistakes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be their own mistakes. The downside is that if the incumbent left on bad terms, you risk associating yourself with some negative vibes.
From all I can see, I’d really like to work here, and I believe I can add considerable value to the company.What’s the next step in the selection process?
Express continued interest, ask for the job, and establish a time frame for the next step.
How does this position contribute to the company’s goals, productivity, or profits?
This question demonstrates your acknowledgment that every position must make a direct contribution to the company’s bottom line. Follow up with a commitment to doing just that.
What is currently the most pressing business issue or problem for the company or department?
This is an opportunity to get into a very useful conversation about the challenges you will be expected to face.
Would you describe for me the actions of a person who previously achieved success in this position?
This question gives the hiring manager an opportunity to reflect on his or her criteria for success.
Would you describe for me the action of a person who previously performed poorly in this position?
This question gives the hiring manager an opportunity to reflect on his or her criteria for failure.