6 ways to show off your management skills in an interview


Interviews are stressful, but interviews for managerial positions can be even more stressful. When you’re trying to prove that you can be a good boss, the pressure is great. You need to know exactly how to show off your management skills in an interview without wasting time.

Every manager leads differently, so in a management interview your main goal is to explain to an interviewer how you do it and why you are the best person to do it for their business. It takes a bit of planning and preparation – two things managers should already master.

The hiring manager, HR manager, recruiter, or anyone else you interview will most likely have management experience themselves. For this reason, there really is no way to cheat them if you haven’t prepared yourself to explain exactly why your management skills should land you the job.

Whether you’ve managed a large team, oversaw projects, managed entire departments, or interviewed for your very first leadership role, the main point you want to make to the interviewee is that you can lead. .

What are the management skills?

To showcase your management skills in an interview, you should first have a good understanding of what skills are needed for managers, especially for that particular role. From there, you can rethink your work history and create real-life examples of those skills, and prepare to talk about them in your interview.

Below is a list of several key management skills, along with examples of how you might highlight these skills in your interview and questions you can ask yourself to better understand your own skills.

  • Planning: What strategies did you use to set goals and achieve them in your previous role? Use concrete examples to explain your planning process and how it has worked for you in the past. Now is a great time to use data from successful projects to show that the way you plan is really paying off.
  • Delegation: A good manager knows how to delegate tasks and delegate them well. To show off your delegation skills in an interview, use examples of times when you successfully transferred a task to the right person to do the job.
  • Communication: What is your communication style and how has it served you as a manager? You can also think back to times when you had a communication problem and detail what you did to resolve the problem.
  • Support: How did you show your support for your previous team? During an interview, you can provide examples of the procedures you have in place to better support your team and explain when these systems have been successful with concrete examples. Perhaps you held one-on-one quarterly meetings to get feedback that revealed communication gaps, or started a mentoring program. These are concrete examples of a manager who has exercised the competence to support his staff.
  • Problem solving: How do you approach problems at work? Give the other person specific examples of problems you discussed and detail the steps you took to overcome them. Let them know that you are not afraid to take on a challenge head on as a manager.
  • Motivation: When a team is not motivated, it is less likely to be successful. Did you run a team building activity or staff competition that pushed your employees towards a goal? You can share short anecdotes with your interviewer about when you were successful in motivating your staff to achieve a goal and how you did it.

Beyond preparing examples of your management skills, you should also have a clear idea of ​​your management style. It’s common for an interviewer to ask you questions about your management style, so be prepared to discuss what that says about you as a leader.

Even if you don’t have direct management experience, you can still look for opportunities during your interview to bring up those skills when talking about your past work experience. Your examples may be different – maybe you ran a successful campaign or solved a communication problem with colleagues – but the skills you use are the same.

How to prepare for a management interview

Before even embarking on a management interview, take the time to prepare. Often times, management interviews have less straightforward or common interview questions, and more questions that begin like “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of…” to better understand how you lead.

While these questions are extremely revealing for the interviewer, they can also be a challenge for the candidate to answer. This is why it is best to prepare your answers in advance and have in mind what you will say – more or less – when the time comes. Just like you would on a CV, use action verbs like initiated, coached, developed, directed, guided and directed to better show your management skills.

Even if the answers you prepare may not reflect verbatim how you end up explaining things in the interview, preparation can help you better understand what you want to say and you will be less likely to fumble with your answers.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare to show off your management skills in an interview:

  1. Make some research about the company. Look for them online, reach out to anyone in your network who might be connected, and gain insight into how they work, their goals, and the nature of the business. Basically, do your homework. This knowledge can help you tailor your prepared responses to interview questions that assess your management skills.
  2. Review the job description. Reread the job posting to understand how you can best highlight the necessary management skills they are looking for during your interview. For example, a job description that lists problem solving as a desired skill means that you should prepare for the interview to talk about your past experience in this area.
  3. Refer to your curriculum vitae. Browse your resume for examples of management skills that you can highlight during your interview. Pull some hard numbers from here to buttress your explanations and help provide a roadmap for how you will guide an interviewer through your management experience.
  4. Prepare and practice. Review what you are going to say about your management skills and practice putting into words examples of the skills listed above. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say, read it carefully, and then practice saying it out loud.
  5. Make a list of questions. Also think about questions you can ask during the interview and write them down. An overview of long-term company goals, culture, or expectations for this role can help you decide whether or not this role is right for you. These inquiries can also showcase your management skills by showing that you are invested in the growth and development of the business.
  6. Bring your notes. As Ringo Nishioka, founder of HR Nasty, once told Ladders, “It’s OK to bring some notes you have prepared for your interview. Businesses don’t see this as “cheating”.

Even if you are a little nervous that day, if you are well prepared to talk about your management skills, if you have practiced what you are going to say and if you have notes in hand, you will probably pass the interview with piloting. colors.


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