Job Interviews   >   Questions 75, 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80
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Job Interview Questions and Answers for Managers

Question 75:  Have you ever fired anyone? 

The interviewer does not want you to express either too much indifference or too much sympathy for those you have had to fire.  Tell the interviewer how you discussed the employee's shortcomings with him several times and tried to help him improve, but as a last resort, you had no choice but to fire the person.

Question 76:  How do you motivate employees?

There is not a simple way to motivate all people due to the vast number of personality types and situations in which people work.  The best answer is one that tells the interviewer that each employee must be uniquely motivated.  You should offer several examples of situations where employees were successfully motivated.

Question 77: What is your management philosophy? 

Your management philosophy should be one that is fair and balanced, meaning that you are neither a dictator nor a pushover. 

Good answer:  "I believe that a manager's job is to balance company goals with worker satisfaction in order to make the operation as efficient and profitable as possible.  This means hiring the right people, delegating work as needed, treating all workers fairly and motivating them to do the best job possible.  A good manager must also try to anticipate problems before they happen and in order to accomplish this, one cannot be a dictator or distant and reserved from his subordinates, as they will not be properly motivated to assist in this process."

Question 78:  What type of management style do you believe is most effective? 

Generally, managers should not be dictators or pushovers.  Sample answer:  "I believe that a manager's job is to balance company goals with worker satisfaction in order to make the operation as efficient and profitable as possible.  For example, a big part of Wal-Mart's success is the management philosophy of Sam Walton, who believed taking care of his employees was just as important as taking care of his customers.  You don't see that much anymore, which is why so many companies are not nearly as profitable as they could be." 

Note that many companies do not place very much importance on employee satisfaction and therefore, the sample answer above might not get you the job.  If you can, research a company before the interview to find out more about its culture in order to formulate an answer that will impress the interviewer.

Question 79:  What experiences have influenced your management style? 

Tell the interviewer about a past experience or two that influenced the way you manage.  Sample answer:  "When I was an entry level manager at Acme, there was an extremely abrasive and rude executive who had thoroughly intimidated his employees, and they in turn couldn't stand him.  As a result, employee turnover was around 80 percent.  The company spent a fortune hiring and firing new sales and marketing professionals, who were unmotivated to do a good job and lasted maybe a year before they became fed up with the tyrannical boss and resigned.  As a result, our branch office was the lowest performing division in the country and I don't think the people at corporate headquarters ever understood why.  This experience taught me that one must be approachable and listen to subordinates in order to be an effective manager.  When I left Acme, and became CEO of XYZ Industries, I made sure that the sales and marketing staff were well trained and motivated, and felt free to come to me with their problems and suggestions.  As a result, my division was ranked in the top 10 percent each year that I was CEO and employee turnover was extremely low."

Question 80:  Who have you patterned your management style after?

Think of a manager you have worked under or have learned about and tell the interviewer why you admire his or her management style. 

Good answer:  "I patterned my management style after Frank Johnson, who was the CEO of Acme Corporation.  I did so because he was the most effective manager I have ever known.  His subordinates loved him, and worked hard for him.  As a result, the company had a very low turnover rate and profits were very high.  I think this was because the employees were so motivated to do a good job for him.  He was very fair and friendly to the staff, but he wasn't a pushover.  He required his employees to respect him, but they were not afraid to approach him and give input, and he would listen to them and adopt their suggestions much of the time.   I was an entry level manager at the time and I decided back then I was going to adopt his management philosophy because I think it was why Acme was and still is the industry leader and considered to be one of the top companies to work for."

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