For any organization to advance and grow, it’s crucial to hire the right managers to lead the way forward.

A good manager sets an agenda, provides leadership, drives strategy and hires other staff members, which can set up an organization for both short-term and long-term success. But a mistake in hiring a manager could have dire consequences, from employees departing to failing to meet organizational goals.

On average, it costs $4,129 to hire a new employee and positions, on average, stay open for 42 days. In larger organizations, a bad hire can cost much more.

That puts human resources professionals under immense pressure to find and vet the best candidates for jobs. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and tricks that HR staffers can use to sift through the hiring process and bring on the best manager available, including asking the right interview questions for managers.

How to Interview a Manager: Tips and Strategies

Heading into an interview, it’s important for HR professionals to be prepared, from knowing the right questions to ask to which responses to look for.

HR professionals need to have a clear idea of who will be conducting the interviews, whether they do so alone or bring in upper management to evaluate the candidates. It’s also important for HR professionals to understand a managerial candidate’s career trajectory, with many years of work listed on CVs and resumes. In preparation, HR professionals can consider giving candidates a homework assignment and, if so, they should consider what they’re looking for from the assignment.

In terms of interviewing the candidates themselves, HR professionals must consider the best questions to ask, such as asking how a candidate might handle a specific situation that may come up in the job, or how he or she may deal with the firing an employee.

Important Interview Questions for Managers

When interviewing manager candidates, it’s important to know the right questions to ask in order to learn how they would perform in a managerial role. These can be closed- or open-ended questions, but they should stay on course for what the HR professional is looking for in the interview. It’s also essential to create a rhythm and vary the question order, mixing up different types of questions.

HR professionals can ask experience questions that focus on candidates’ prior job experience; management-style questions, allowing them to describe their management styles; and skill-based questions, in which candidates describe how they would approach job-related tasks and situations.

Here are four great interview questions for managers:

  • What is your management style? This is a classic open-ended question which should allow candidates to communicate how they would manage their roles. You’ll want to find out if their management styles fit the company’s vision and philosophy, determine if they have management abilities and study how much they understand their own styles.
  • How would your prior experience translate into success? This is important for the HR professional to find out more information than is provided on a resume and cover letter. The candidates may be allowed to explain what tasks and functions they performed and any examples that might relate to the management position.
  • How would you tackle the first 90 days? Candidates should display a thorough response in how they would handle their first three months on the job. Their answers may confirm just how much thought they’ve given to what they would do if they actually got the job.
  • How would you handle a common job duty? This is an open-ended question that should prompt candidates to explain how they would handle certain job-related situations or tasks.

Become a Confident Interviewer

Hiring the best person to run your organization or a department within is one of the most consequential decisions an HR professional can make. Learn the skills it takes to ask the right interview questions for managers and become a talented HR professional with Jefferson’s fully online human resources degree. The program, which is guided by the Society for Human Resource Management, provides you with the skills you need to effectively hire employees and manage a human resources department. With eight-week courses and an asynchronous format, you can balance your academic goals with your daily schedule and complete the program in as quickly as two years.

Learn the essential concepts you need to become a top-level HR professional with Jefferson Online.