As you prepare for an operations manager interview, it's important to consider the interview questions the hiring manager might ask you. Operational, situational and behavioral questions, in particular, can help them determine your fit for the role. Reviewing the potential questions you may face can help ease your nerves on the day of the interview and have a more successful interview. In this article, we determine what they might ask you, provide you with sample interview questions and answers and offer tips to help you better prepare.
Operational and situational questions
Situational and operational questions allow interviewers to assess your knowledge of the role you're interviewing for and help them know how you'd manage real-life scenarios as an operations manager. As they present you with hypothetical circumstances, consider highlighting your qualifications and how you'd overcome challenges or meet goals in the workplace. Here are some operational and situational interview questions you'll likely be asked:
- How would you describe the successful communication between different organizational functions and departments?
- If we asked you to assist the hiring team with talent recruitment, how would you handle their deadlines with your own?
- How would you motivate employees resistant to changes in company procedures?
- How would you cooperate with our information technology team to ensure the safety of our confidential data?
- Walk us through how you handle budget planning.
- How would you create a report about our company's production costs? Explain your method.
- What management information systems do you have experience with?
- If you had a small budget or a lack of company resources, how would you adapt and face this challenge?
- How would you address a situation in which your team is struggling to meet company or business goals?
- Explain how you would ensure the quality of work your team produces amid efficiency and productivity increase.
- How would you describe an operation manager's daily responsibilities?
- What do you consider the best approach when negotiating vendor contracts?
To get a better sense of how you'd perform in an operations manager role, interviewers might ask you behavioral questions. Rather than presenting you with hypothetical situations, these questions help them determine how you've used your skills during real-life situations in the past. These questions are an opportunity for you to share examples of your expertise and how you've handled yourself in prior roles. Here are some behavioral interview questions they may ask you as they relate to an operations manager role:
- Describe a project you oversaw that involved multiple teams. How did you manage the situation and how did you contribute to the project's result?
- How have you created presentations in the past and what was the result?
- Provide an example of how you adjusted to industry changes in the past.
- How have your ideas improved a company's overall operations? What would you do differently?
- What problems did you and your team face in the past, and how did you overcome them?
Interview questions with sample answers
Though it's important to consider the questions an interviewer might ask you, you also need to prepare your response by reviewing sample answers. Doing this can help you organize your thoughts and ensure you give the interviewer a clear and concise answer. Here are some interview questions with sample answers to consider for an operations manager position:
If a company team is struggling to meet their deadlines and we asked you to assist them, how would you juggle helping them while meeting your own deadlines?
This situational question is a great opportunity to highlight your time management and organizational skills. Interviewers ask this to determine how you prioritize your responsibilities. Show that you understand how various company departments interact and provide them with a clear approach to the situation.
Example: "I would begin by determining what the team needs and when their deadlines are. Based on this, I would set aside the tasks with later deadlines and focus on more immediate duties. I would also see if I can reassign any members from my team to assist the other team for the time being."
What skills have you previously used to solve operational issues within an organization?
This question lets interviewers know you understand the role of an operations manager. Use your answer as an opportunity to showcase your skills and how they've helped you become a better operations manager.
Example: "When a company faces operational issues, I use a variety of skills to help rectify these situations. My ability to monitor the organization helps me detect these situations as soon as possible. Using my critical thinking and problem-solving skills, I work toward a solution. My coordination and instructional skills help me ensure a properly executed solution that can prevent similar issues later on."
What is your experience with logistics management?
Interviewers ask this question to assess your ability to use one of the common duties of an operations manager. When you answer this question, remember to focus on your success in using this type of management.
Example: "I have used logistics management in all of my previous roles as an operation manager. I have used it to plan, control and implement data and product storage. This type of management has enabled me to lower costs for businesses and improve customer service all around."
While reviewing sample questions and answers can help you adequately prepare, it's also important to consider other suggestions that can help you have a successful interview. Whether you're answering behavioral, situational or operational questions, remember to give the hiring manager an accurate assessment of your abilities and provide them with clear examples of your abilities. Use these tips to prepare your answers to these interview questions:
- Review your past projects and tasks. Since interviewers want to know how you've handled certain situations in the past, it's important to have examples ready for them. Consider your previous roles and responsibilities and use them to illustrate your strengths in this industry.
- Make a list of your previous accomplishments. Highlighting your success in previous roles is important to ensure you have a successful interview. Make a list of awards or achievements you've made in the past and consider mentioning them in your answers.
- Use the STAR method to answer. Use the STAR method to give your answers some structure. Focus on the situation, the task, the action and the result of previous situations or experiences. Remember to use experiences that garnered positive results.