Operations Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated March 19, 2021
Published November 12, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
An operations manager plays an important role in overseeing the day-to-day activities of an organization. The in-person interview for this position is an important step during the hiring process, as it gives the hiring manager an opportunity to evaluate the interpersonal skills that are critical for this role.
In this article, we provide operations manager interview questions for you to review, along with advice for how to respond and sample answers.
Here are some general questions that a hiring manager might ask in order to learn more about a candidate's personality and work history:
Walk me through your resume.
Tell me what you know about our company.
Why do you want to work for this organization?
What do you think the primary responsibilities of an operations manager are?
What skills do you believe are most critical to hold a position as an operations manager?
What knowledge and experience do you think is most critical to succeed in the position of operations manager?
Why did you choose a career in operations?
Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?
What's your biggest weakness? What's your greatest strength?
What do you think are the greatest challenges for someone in an operations management position?
What aspect of this job do you expect to be most challenging within the first four weeks of starting?
Tell me about the best manager you've had during your career and why they had such an impact.
Tell me about the strategy you use to schedule your day.
Questions about experience and background
These questions help the interviewer better understand a candidate's experience and how it aligns with the qualifications they're looking for:
Tell me about a time that you failed in your position as a manager. What did you learn from that experience?
Tell me about a time that you used your initiative to solve a problem.
Have you ever had a team struggle to meet their business goals? What did you do to address the situation?
Tell me about the types of information systems you've used.
What do you know about managing budgets?
What skills do you have that help you succeed as an operations manager?
When you have a new employee starting, what steps do you take to establish rapport with them?
What tasks did you handle daily in a prior role as an operations manager?
How do you motivate members of your team?
Think back on the previous management positions you've held. In which areas of those roles did you most excel?
How would people you managed describe your management style?
Tell me about the experience you have delivering presentations.
What statistical tools do you have experience working with?
What logistics management experience do you have?
These questions help the interviewer evaluate the candidate's problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and assess how they would respond in specific situations:
If we hire you, what's the first thing you would do in your position as an operations manager?
As an operations manager, what steps would you take to monitor your team's performance?
What would you do if you noticed that someone on your team was under-performing?
Do you think there's a difference between management and leadership? Explain your reasoning.
Tell me about your leadership style.
How do you delegate responsibilities as a manager?
Tell me about a problem that you experience with an employee recently. How did you solve it?
Tell me about a time that you had to offer coaching or mentoring to a member of your team. What led you to do so and what was the end result?
What do you do if you encounter an employee who's resistant to change?
Tell me about a time that you oversaw a project that involved multiple teams. What steps did you take to successfully manage that many people? What was the end result? What would you do differently, if anything?
If you were asked to create a report about production costs by another manager, what method would you use?
How large was your last team and what problems did you encounter when managing them?
How do you handle one-on-one employee meetings?
Have you ever implemented a cost-cutting strategy successfully? What steps do you take when doing so?
Interview questions with sample answers
Here are two interview questions along with guidance for how to respond to them and sample answers to help you craft your own responses:
Do you consider yourself easy-going as a manager or do you take a more firm approach?
Companies often have a variety of different personalities on a single team. The interviewer asks this question to understand your management style and learn whether you modify your style based on the situation or the person you're working with. A great answer is one where you describe your management style briefly and then give specific examples demonstrating your approach.
Example: "I use both the firm and easy-going management styles depending on the situation and team members who are involved. For example, I've worked with many teams that had highly skilled and experienced team members. Those employees knew what they were doing and worked well together. In that situation, I only offered guidance and feedback.
On the other hand, I also have worked with employees who prefer a more hands-on management style. In that situation, I take a more firm management approach to ensure they stay on track and maintain a high level of accuracy."
How do you measure the success of your team?
It's important that every manager be able to clearly evaluate whether their team is successful when implementing processes or working on projects. The interviewer might ask this question in order to learn what methodology you have used in the past to measure your team's success. A good answer provides two to three ways that you have used as a manager to evaluate success.
Answer: "There are two strategies I use when evaluating success. The first method is to set a baseline against which I can compare our progress. As we reach each new phase in any project, I can then compare it to that baseline to confirm just how much progress we made. The other method I use is setting metrics before beginning each new project. I can then set goals for those metrics to determine whether we were successful or not."
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