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Production Manager Interview Questions

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  1. A key part of a production manager’s job is creating and negotiating budgets with the people who hold the purse strings. What process do you use to determine the necessary budget for a particular job? See answer
  2. How do you handle deadlines when you are managing a production? See answer
  3. How do you go about cutting costs in a production you’re managing? See answer
  4. How do you intend to ensure quality in all areas of production? See answer
  5. The production manager is responsible for creating the large-scale production schedule and ensuring that each department has appropriate staffing to accomplish goals on time. How do you plan ahead of time to produce the most efficient schedule possible? See answer
  6. How would you handle a dispute between personnel working closely together on a production line?
  7. How do you determine the appropriate frequency for maintenance checks on production machinery?
  8. What would you do if we consistently had a production surplus? How does having a surplus impact business?
  9. Explain some of the quality assurance measures you would institute at our company.
  10. How do you make sure you’re aware of any new industry regulations or developments in best practices for health and safety?
  11. If you had to train our entire production staff to learn a new skill, how would you implement the training without disrupting productivity?
  12. How would you handle a situation where one department consistently missed production quotas or standards by a small amount?
  13. What areas of production do you think are most susceptible to wasted time and resources? What steps would you take to prevent losses in these areas?
  14. Do you have any experience outsourcing specific areas of production? What are the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing parts of the company workflow?
  15. Are you comfortable preparing complex writeups to report back to upper management about the status of production initiatives?
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6 Production Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

A key part of a production manager’s job is creating and negotiating budgets with the people who hold the purse strings. What process do you use to determine the necessary budget for a particular job?

A:

Candidates should be able to identify their process for assessing the expected costs of a certain production as well as outline some of their negotiation strategies and the technological tools they use during the job. A strong answer will also reveal their capacity to solve problems while staying within budgetary limitations that may be less than ideal. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience managing a budget and general financial management abilities
  • Strong negotiation and communication skills
  • Flexibility and capacity to solve problems within budgetary constraints

Example:

“When I’m building a budget, I look at what similar undertakings have cost in the past and communicate with various team members to see what they’ll need in order to do their jobs effectively. I’ll present my evidence to the higher-ups and try to keep them from lowering the budget too extensively.”

Q:

How do you handle deadlines when you are managing a production?

A:

Proper time management skills are crucial for a production manager to be effective. A candidate should be able to provide anecdotes or strategies which demonstrate their ability to set and meet realistic goals for their team. Even the best planned productions will inevitably meet unexpected challenges, so they might provide examples of a time when they struggled to meet a deadline and how they learned from this experience in order to improve their work going forward. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of good time management skills
  • Realistic expectations for planning a production timeline
  • Evidence of learning and growing from past challenges

Example:

“Communication is key here. I stay up-to-date with all stakeholders and reference their estimates against past experiences. It’s also good to give yourself some wiggle room in case things don’t go as planned, something I can definitely attest to given some deadline issues in the past.”

Q:

How do you go about cutting costs in a production you’re managing?

A:

Keeping costs down is an important part of managing any kind of production. Learning your candidate’s preferred strategies for solving this problem will provide insight into their general management style and how they’ll operate on a day-to-day basis. Production managers must respond to the demands of all stakeholders while still finishing on time and within an allocated budget. When unexpected challenges drive up costs, a good production manager can draw from previous experience to offer creative solutions.

  • Good business sense and a practical approach to management
  • Creative and innovative problem-solving
  • Attention to detail to reduce errors which may cost time or money

Example:

“Some of the traditional standards like streamlining production still apply, of course. However, one of the best cost-cutting techniques I’ve used is to increase production by providing incentives to workers who perform well. This might cost more in the short term, but saving time often leads to saving money in the long term.”

Q:

How would you handle a dispute between personnel?

A:

While managers are primarily in charge of overseeing production operations, those productions are inevitably made up of lots of people and occasional interpersonal conflict is to be expected. When this happens, a manager should be ready to step in and diffuse the situation by showing strong leadership and offering concrete solutions. In their role as a staff supervisor, a production manager needs to have the capacity to smooth things over with effective leadership and decisions that will keep staff motivated to get things back on track.

  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Sympathetic and patient disposition
  • Strong communication and decision-making skills

Example:

“When two employees have a problem, it’s my responsibility as the manager to step in. I’d want both parties to identify the cause of their dispute to try and find a solution. While I wouldn’t like to resort to it, disciplinary action could be necessary depending on the nature of the disagreement.”

Q:

How do you intend to ensure quality in all areas of production?

A:

A production manager is responsible for maintaining the quality of the items produced by your company. They should have a clear idea as to how they’ll ensure this consistent quality standard across the various parts of a production, and the strongest candidates will offer ideas for how your company’s production process and quality standard can be improved going forward.

  • Clear vision for their role as manager
  • Ideas for improving production
  • Hands-on experience in different areas of production

Example:

“I think the biggest asset for any manager is experience. That’s why I’ve gone to each area of production to make sure I understand how things are done firsthand. Using that knowledge, I plan to tweak our production processes to run more efficiently while still keeping the individual employees happy.”

Q:

The production manager is responsible for creating the large-scale production schedule and ensuring that each department has appropriate staffing to accomplish goals on time. How do you plan ahead of time to produce the most efficient schedule possible?

A:

Example:
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