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General Manager Interview Questions

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  1. As a general manager, how do you delegate employees and tasks, and ensure they are completed? See answer
  2. As a general manager, you may need to tell a work colleague that they are underperforming. How do you do this clearly and professionally? See answer
  3. Have you had a work project that involved multiple teams? What role did you take, and how did you make sure the project was successful? See answer
  4. As a general manager, have you ever made changes to how a company does things? Did your changes result in increased efficiency and better revenues? See answer
  5. Did you ever take on a project that had both a limited budget and resources? How did you manage these issues and meet your goals? See answer
  6. How would you manage training and development for your team? See answer
  7. How will your experience in another industry transfer to effective management in this industry?
  8. There may be some light travel involved in this position, specifically meeting with managers at other branches. Are you comfortable traveling for work?
  9. Describe your customer service experience.
  10. Are you comfortable managing a budget? What experience do you have in doing so?
  11. How would you go about evaluating the current processes and procedures and finding ways to increase your team’s efficiency?
  12. Have you led a large team before? Are you comfortable with a team of over 20 people?
  13. What is your leadership philosophy?
  14. Have you seen increased productivity from junior employees you’ve actively mentored in the past?
  15. How would you prepare for a meeting with upper management?
  16. What’s your process for using data and metrics to improve your team’s productivity?
  17. In your opinion, how important are industry or market trends in the day-to-day operations of the company?
  18. Are you comfortable managing a fast-paced work environment?
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6 General Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As a general manager, how do you delegate employees and tasks, and ensure they are completed?

A:

One of the most important roles for general managers in most industries is the managing of teams of people. Because of that, it is a good idea to select a general manager that has some experience with delegating work, staying on top of employees, and making sure target goals are met on time. Answers to this question will gauge the hire’s effectiveness in these areas.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of managing teams
  • Strategies employed by the general manager for meeting target goals
  • Anecdotes regarding communication and interpersonal skills

Example:

“Once I get to know a team, I play to the strengths of the individual members. I delegate tasks that each person can do efficiently.”

Q:

As a general manager, you may need to tell a work colleague that they are underperforming. How do you do this clearly and professionally?

A:

A skill good general managers should have is the ability to see when particular members of their team might not be doing as well as they should. In addition, they should have the skills necessary to approach the team member and let them know this clearly and in a way that fosters positive change. This question helps you understand how the hire meets a difficult challenge.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to take on somewhat unpleasant roles
  • Ability to communicate bad news effectively and kindly
  • Ability to guide team members

Example:

“If a member of my team isn’t performing up to standard, I don’t try to mince words, but I also work with them to improve.”

Q:

Have you had a work project that involved multiple teams? What role did you take, and how did you make sure the project was successful?

A:

For big projects, you might expect your general manager to keep track of more than one team at a time. A skilled general manager knows how to delegate tasks on a team basis and stay on top of the project’s progress. Answers to this question help you learn how the hire’s skill with large-scale problems might be an asset to your company.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of large-scale team management
  • Ability to use different teams effectively
  • Willingness to change parameters to meet project goals

Example:

“The key when it comes to dealing with multiple teams at once is to compartmentalize the project. Ask each team to complete specific parts.”

Q:

As a general manager, have you ever made changes to how a company does things? Did your changes result in increased efficiency and better revenues?

A:

General managers might sometimes see room for improvement. They are often on the ground and in the middle of things. Your hire may have training that allows them to see how a team can be changed or improved to make some logistics within the company more efficient. Answers here will show how the potential candidate might improve your company’s bottom line and flow.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Critical thinking skills relating to work efficiencies
  • Examples of altering teams to improve workflow
  • Ability to take the initiative

Example:

“While managing a previous team, I realized that moving a few people around and giving them different daily tasks cut our work time in half.”

Q:

Did you ever take on a project that had both a limited budget and resources? How did you manage these issues and meet your goals?

A:

General managers can be faced with challenging projects that they must complete with limited time, resources, or both. Your hire should be able to adapt to these situations and use their skills to determine how best to allocate the resources they have to get the job done. Answers here might determine the hire’s ability to make quick decisions that produce a positive outcome.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to analyze resource allocation
  • Willingness to change management style to meet target goals
  • Keeping teams focused on project steps

Example:

“In these situations, I analyze what resources and time we have available and prioritize everything into segments so we can complete the most important parts first.”

Q:

How would you manage training and development for your team?

A:

One of a manager's primary responsibilities is developing and improving their team members' abilities and productivity. Knowing a few strategies for effectively training their team is a good indicator of a worthy general manager candidate. Ask this question to find out if development and continuing education are important to the candidates you're interviewing.

Good answers should include:

  • An understanding of the value of professional development
  • Clear strategies for implementing a training program
  • Past examples of successful training endeavors

Excellent candidate answers might resemble this example:

Example:

"I believe one of the best ways to build a cohesive and productive long-term team is to devote time and energy to effective training and development. As a general manager, I feel it's important for me to help develop and oversee training endeavors for my team. In the past, I've used both online modules and in person seminars to help my people gain new skills. I think that combination would work well at this company, too."

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