The interviewer is looking for evidence that you are not only a good fit for the job, but that you are able to lead those that will report to you.
In order to show that you are the ideal candidate for the job you will need to understand the types of questions you will be asked and the best way to answer them.
The first type of question you are likely to be asked are informational questions. These are basic questions to get a better idea of who you are, the type of work you have done, and why you are applying for the position. Answer these questions honestly as they are often easily verified through references and background checks. Here are some typical examples of these questions and the best ways to answer them.
What are your responsibilities at your current position?
When answering this question try to connect current and past responsibilities with those of the position you are seeking. If your responsibilities are not directly related, explain how they have prepared you for new tasks and how you will use your experience to benefit the company. For example, “currently I supervise a smaller team, but it has grown steadily recently and I believe that I am fully capable of leading a large team,” would be a good answer if looking to manage a larger group.
Why are you looking to leave your current job?
If you receive this question it is important to stay positive. Refrain from insulting your current company or manager, as it will only serve to turn off the interviewer. Stress positive qualities of a job switch for both you and your potential employer. Employers are looking for an answer like “while I have enjoyed my time at my current job, I am looking to use the skills I have developed to make a difference and I think I can go that here.”
The other type of questions you are likely to be asked when applying for a management position are behavioral based questions. These types of questions on based on the idea that past behaviors are the best indicators of future performance. With these types of questions you will be asked to present an example from your professional life where you faced a particular set of circumstances. Some commonly asked behavioral questions are:
Tell me about a time when you had to deal upset customer.
Tell me about a time when you have to deal with an internal conflict on our team. How did you become aware of the conflict and what steps did you take to resolve it?
Walk me through your thought process when you faced with a time sensitive issue.
Typically there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Instead,the interviewer is trying to discover how you will respond to situations in the future.
When answering behavioral based questions make sure you give specific examples. If you are asked about dealing with an upset customer do not respond with “at my last job I dealt with upset customers daily and our procedures stated XYZ.” Instead chose a particular time where you went above and beyond. A better answer would be “while I dealt with upset customers often in my previous position there was one time when…”
When you are preparing to interview for a management position make being prepared to answer the type of questions you will be asked will increase your chances of obtaining a job offer.