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31 Questions to Ask a General Manager (With Example Answers)

31 Questions to Ask a General Manager (With Example Answers)

During an interview for a general manager job, you need to show your management style and leadership skills while also giving the interviewers a chance to get to know you. Getting ready for the questions you might be asked at a general manager interview can help you show off your skills better. In this article, we list the top interview questions for general managers and show you how to answer them. We also include questions about experience and more in-depth questions to help you do your best in a job interview.

Top interview questions for general managers to ask
Here are some examples of how to answer some of the most common interview questions about general management:

1. Why do you want to own a business?

You can show the interviewer how much you want to be a general manager by how you answer this question. You can talk about what you liked about something you were in charge of before. Or, if you’ve never led a team before, you can talk about how your leadership skills have helped you help other people at work.

Example: “I want to be a general manager because I like giving feedback and coaching to help my coworkers improve. I once saw a coworker struggling to meet her sales goal. I asked her if she needed help and told her what I did to reach my own goal. After that, she would ask me more questions about how she could do her job better. Now, she sells more than her goal and helps people who are just starting out in sales.”

2. Tell me about a time when you were a coach and helped a worker get better.

Coaching is a big part of a general manager’s job. They can help workers improve by showing them how to deal with problems. You can also show the interviewer how you lead by how you answer this question.

Example: “I noticed that when the restaurant was busy, one team member often lost focus. I told her about the problem so that we could figure out how to solve it. The team member said that she often forgot important details when she tried to do more than one thing at once. I suggested that she ask for help from the other people on the team. She found that she didn’t get too busy or forgetful if she worked on one thing at a time until it was done.”

3.How do people see you as a leader?

The way you try to get people on your team to do things is your leadership style. For example, some people have what is called a “transformational” style of leadership, which means they are always pushing others to do better. If you don’t know how to describe your style of leadership, you can look at different styles to find the one that fits you best.

Example: “The best way to describe how I lead is “let it go.” When I was a manager at my last job, employees would come to me when they needed help solving problems, but I also gave them the chance to figure things out on their own. I got along better with my employees when I acted more like a mentor than a boss. This is because the way I led showed that I had faith in my team. This made people on the team work harder and gave them more freedom.”

4. Why are you interested in working for us?

This question gives you a chance to show that you’ve done your research on the job you’re applying for. You can look at the job description to remember what a general manager does. You can also check out the company’s website and social media to learn more about its goals, projects, and culture.

Example: “I was excited to apply for this job because this company wants to grow into new sales territories. At my last job, I was in charge of growing a new service in a similar way. I worked with the marketing team to make a digital campaign that helped us sell more than we thought we would. As general manager, I want to help this company with what I learned in that campaign.”

5. Tell us about a time you did a good job on a work project.

Most of the time, general managers have to work on more than one thing at once. A company might ask a manager this to learn more about how they do their job. Even if you’ve never been a manager before, you can show that you’re a hard worker by talking about a big project you finished.

Example: “At a previous job, I was in charge of IT, and we had to switch to a new database program. This was a huge project that needed to be set up, updated, trained, and had a lot of problems that needed to be fixed along the way. Each member of my staff was in charge of a different part of installing the software. This gave me more time to work on bigger tasks, like meeting with department heads to talk about their questions and needs for the new database. We had no trouble getting the software to work together when we used this method.”

6. How would you tell an employee that they aren’t doing their job well?

Most of the time, general managers have to help employees who don’t do their jobs well get better. The best way to coach an employee might depend on who they are as a person and how the company works. You can talk about how you lead in your answer to this question.

Example: “At my last job, I was in charge of a team that sold software. One of my employees was great at talking to other team members, but it was hard for her to explain technical parts of our software to clients. When we were alone, I told her what was going on. We tried to come up with a script that she could use when clients asked her common technical questions about our service. The script helped her explain to the customers how to use some of the more technical parts of the software.”

7.How do you handle the stress of working in a fast-paced environment?

When a general manager has to do a lot of different things at once to get their work done, it’s normal for them to feel stressed. How you deal with these pressures can show how stress affects your ability to lead a group.

Example: “As the metro editor for a newspaper, I have to give out and edit a number of stories from my writers every day. When breaking news happens after business hours, I may have to do extra things like call photographers, work with the design desk, or talk to our social media editor. When I feel like I can’t handle everything, I sometimes take a moment to breathe and think about what I should do. It helps me make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure our readers get accurate news as soon as possible.”

8. What changes would you make if you were the general manager?

When you interview for a job as a general manager, the company will want to know what changes you plan to make and how they will help the company get better. Talk about how you would change the way a business operates in a positive way. For example, if you notice that the company doesn’t have a presence on social media, you could talk about how social media can help a company get more customers and improve its reputation instead of talking about how bad it is for business.

Example: “I noticed that the company’s social media pages haven’t been updated in a while. If I were hired for this job, I would make a part-time position for a social media manager to help this business get more people interested by posting regularly. We could even use targeted ads to get more business from people who interact with us on social media, which could pay for a new employee.”

9. What would you do to get your workers to work harder?

How you try to get people to work harder can tell an interviewer a lot about how you lead. You can answer this question by looking into how well different ways of getting people to do things work or by using your own experiences.

Example: “In my last job as a manager, I led an effort to get my employees to work harder. I got them to make more sales by giving them goals that got harder every week. By giving them rewards like a catered lunch, I gave my team a reason to work toward these goals. By the fourth week, the sales team was making more sales, so our income went up.”

10.Have you ever been in charge of a group with few tools to help you?

There isn’t always enough money, time, or people for a general manager to finish a project. How you answer this question can show how creative and flexible you are.

Example: “During the busiest time of the year, I helped run a store with a small staff. I knew that this was a hard time for my team, so I met with them once a week to answer their questions and listen to their worries. We were trying to hire more people, so I worked extra shifts so that the staff could have more options for when they could come in. During a tough time, it helped boost morale to show the sales staff that I was willing to give up my own time.”

More interview questions to ask a general manager

In addition to the above questions, an interviewer may also want to know more about your background or how you answered more detailed questions. Here are some more questions a sales manager interviewer might ask you:

Questions about work and history from the past

Here are some questions an interviewer might ask to learn more about your experience as a manager:

  • Where did you go to school?
  • Describe a time when you were in charge of something.
  • What do you think is your worst trait?
  • What are some things you’re good at?
  • Have you ever worked in this area?
  • What are your long-term goals for your career, and how will this job help you get there?
  • Can you tell me a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that you would track in this job?
  • What are some issues our business has to deal with?
  • What’s the best thing about being a manager for you?
  • How do you stay on top of your work?
  • How many times have you given talks and presentations before?

In-depth questions

Here are some detailed questions that can help you prepare for an interview with a general manager:

  • What was a typical day like at your last job?
  • How would you deal with a worker who was unhappy?
  • What would you do if an employee told you something bad?
  • Tell me about a project you worked on with people from different departments.
  • Tell me about a time you failed as a manager and what you learned from it.
  • How will you run meetings as the general manager?
  • Have you, as a manager, put a new process in place? How did it go?
  • How would you deal with an angry client?
  • If you are in this situation, how will you find out what your employees think?
  • As a manager, what was the hardest thing you had to do?

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