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Area Manager Interview Questions

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  1. How many years of experience do you have as a manager, and how many people did you manage? See answer
  2. How do you describe your management style, and what could you do to be more effective? See answer
  3. Have you noticed changes in your management style over the years? See answer
  4. How do you handle employees who aren’t meeting their goals? See answer
  5. An employee is demotivated and underperforming. How do you handle this? See answer
  6. What are the top challenges faced by people in this industry?
  7. Your leadership style is not working on a few workers, but it’s working with the rest. How do you handle this?
  8. Tell me about your main skills that suit an area manager position.
  9. We want to update our recruitment strategies to address industry risks. Give me an example of a strategy you would propose for this purpose.
  10. We want to improve our operational standards. Tell me about a standard you could create for us.
  11. Our overhead costs are too high. How would you propose we address this issue?
  12. Tell me about the software you used in your previous jobs to manage employee schedules.
  13. Describe a solution you implemented in the past that saved your employer money.
  14. Tell me about your approach and the tools you use to track employee activity.
  15. Do you have the right personality for an area manager position? If so, tell me about your traits that suit this job.
  16. When developing reports for senior managers, what computer programs do you usually use?
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6 Area Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How many years of experience do you have as a manager, and how many people did you manage?

A:

You need to ensure the area manager candidate is not only experienced but also capable of meeting the needs of your team depending on the size. For example, if you need someone to manage a large telemarketing team, someone whose management experience is limited to a small corner store with two employees may not be the best fit. Getting the right fit for your business is key. Things to look for include:

  • Experience managing a team of similar size to yours
  • Ability to take on more responsibility
  • Evidence of adequate management experience

Example:

“I managed a team of 12 restaurant crew members for eight years. I’m ready to use the skills gained to manage more people.”

Q:

How do you describe your management style, and what could you do to be more effective?

A:

You need to know the candidate will be capable of relating to your current team. Remember, it can be difficult for some team members to accept management from outside sources, so hiring someone with a magnetic personality is a plus. For example, a fast-paced office manager may need to take a more “no-nonsense” approach, while a marketing manager may be able to allow for more freedom and creativity. Look for:

  • Attributes that match your work environment
  • Ability to acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses
  • Confidence

Example:

“I take a democratic lead and encourage participation and consensus. Although this can lead to issues with group-think, employees enjoy being able to contribute.”

Q:

Have you noticed changes in your management style over the years?

A:

Just about anyone can do the same thing over and over again. This is great if you’re hiring someone to work in a manufacturing plant. However, at the management level, you need someone who’s always prepared to adapt to change. Your management team is responsible for leading the crew, and this requires the ability to evolve over time, learn from the past and implement new technologies with ease. Qualities include:

  • Openness to change
  • Evidence of evolution in management style over time
  • Understanding of how changes made a positive impact

Example:

“I used to employ an authoritarian management style. However, scaring my team into compliance inhibited the development of a more personal relationship with team members.”

Q:

What are the top challenges faced by managers in this industry?

A:

You need to ensure the candidate is familiar with your industry. It’s great if they have plenty of experience, but if it’s in a field that’s much different than yours, you may end up spending more time educating them than it’s worth. This question will help you learn their knowledge regarding your line of work while also gaining insight into their ideas to make your business prosper. Look for:

  • Understanding of what it takes to manage effectively
  • Willingness to acknowledge mistakes
  • Evidence of alignment with your industry

Example:

“The manufacturing industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor. We must improve employee numbers while assuring them their jobs won’t be replaced by machines.”

Q:

How do you handle employees who aren’t meeting their goals?

A:

One of the primary responsibilities of an area manager is to handle performance issues. This requires the ability to recognize the qualities of each employee and match them with the best way to maximize these strengths. High turnover costs money, and it can often be avoided when current employees are properly utilized. A good manager will be capable of distinguishing a poor fit for the job from opportunities. Look for:

  • Experience in working with underperforming employees
  • Evidence the candidate can face confrontation
  • Ability to match strengths with appropriate processes

Example:

“An underperforming employee was slow using our new computer system. We recognized she is a visual learner and needed to shadow a senior employee.”

Q:

An employee is demotivated and underperforming. How do you handle this?

A:

Area managers should be able to maintain and improve performance in their subordinates. An employer can use this question to identify good leaders with team-building skills from the rest. A skilled area manager candidate would provide a reliable strategy for improving motivation and performance.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Ability to connect with a subordinate even during a difficult situation
  • Evidence of being a dependable leader
  • Skills in leadership, communication, team building and problem-solving

An example answer to this question can look like this:

Example:

"I would start by reviewing the employee's past performance and records. Next, I would schedule a meeting where I would use my active listening and other communication skills to find out if there are underlying problems causing motivation and performance issues. Then, I would devise a plan to increase motivation and performance that is targeted to my worker's unique characteristics. After deploying it, I would monitor its impact on worker motivation and output, making any necessary changes."

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