Interview for a managerial position – how to prepare?

IC Project IC Project , 30 August, 2019


The essence of work as a manager is achieving goals along with other people as well as properly managing human resources, material resources and financial resources of a given enterprise. However, a person applying for a managerial position is on his/her own during the interview. How to behave during the interview and make a good impression and what to do to impress the potential employer?


People holding managerial positions should demonstrate good human resources management skills. This is confirmed by Carla Northcutt: “the goal of a lot of leaders is to get people to have the best opinion about them – the goal of a great leader is to make people think better of themselves. Such belief should accompany managers not only during the recruitment process, but also every day at work. Demonstrating such an attitude during the interview, you have a big chance to gain the favour of the recruiter. You cannot predict in 100% what questions will come up during interviews for managerial positions, but it is worth using a few tips which will help you get through this process and will give you the possibility to show your professionalism and greatest merits.


Self-presentation during interview

One of the basic tasks in the recruitment process is to present yourself. When answering questions, it is worth summarising information regarding education, history of recruitment and professional experience in 1-2 minutes.

When presenting education or experience, it is worth alluding to the requirements described in the job offer. For example, a person applying for the position of a Financial Manager should present herself/himself as an employee who can supervise financial procedures and assess financial risk and trade risk and who can cooperate with entrepreneurs or representatives of various institutions. It is worth supporting your statements with concrete examples of successes and solved problems.

During the recruitment process, openness, kindness, propriety and… a smile will make a good impression on the interviewer.

Standard rules apply to every single interview:

  • clothes adequate to the position for which the applicant applies,

  • compactness of utterances and truthfulness,

  • moderate gesticulation,

  • open attitude,

  • good articulation, meaning explicit, clear, accurate and effortless utterances.


Knowledge of yourself and of the offer

The interviewer wants to check if the candidate is aware of his/her market value. That being so, recruiters often ask questions like the following:

  • “What are your strengths?”,

  • “Why should we employ you?”,

  • “What can you contribute to our enterprise?”.

By answering questions like these, you can demonstrate the knowledge of the industry and the specific nature of the offered position. You should prepare for questions like these earlier – primarily it is worth thinking about what strengths you have. However, instead of listing them, it is best to support them with specific examples.

When applying for the managerial position in the advertising agency, you can combine personality traits with requirements specified in the job offer. Instead of talking about being a person who is approachable and creative and who can find its way out in every situation, it is better to provide an example of your activities in form of a short story:

“Last year, during a coffee break at a marketing conference, I met a director of a corporation selling car parts. We started to talk about the automotive industry and an over-a-dozen-year-old car model which I wanted to renew and finished on agreeing details of a marketing campaign, which was implemented several weeks later in the advertising agency in which I was employed”.


How to turn around negative situations into profit?

Just like in the work of a manager, executive or director, negative situations can be turned into positive ones during an interview. One of them can be the answer to a question about the reason for resignation from the previous job. The response should not contain the details of the situation in the previous workplace – it is better to present the reason for resignation as interest in further professional development and willingness to improve qualifications.


Knowledge of the company’s offer during interview

During interviews it is worth having at least the basic knowledge about the given company. Answer to the question regarding the company should leave the impression that the candidate spent time learning about the company’s profile and would like to learn even more. The level of knowledge about the company to which you apply should allow free and easy conversation about the offer, brand, history and mission of the company. Preparation betokens good motivation of the candidate and the serious approach to the recruitment process.


Ability to manage human resources

Managerial positions require such skills as appropriate organisation of work of the employees. In case of managerial positions, mediation abilities are also important. It is worth highlighting in your answers during the interview that an objective approach for every single situation is important. Subordinates’ opinion is important for a good manager, which is also worth mentioning. In the eyes of the potential employer, the ability to control emotions, individual approach to employees, assertiveness and behaving towards the employees in a way setting a good example are also advantageous.

An interview is usually associated with stress, but proper preparation increases self-confidence, which facilitates answering both substantive and inherently subjective questions. At the same time, you cannot forget to simply remain yourself in each recruitment process!



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