Questions for the Operations Manager Interview (With Example Answers)
As you prepare for an interview for the job of operations manager, it’s important to think about the questions the hiring manager might ask you. Especially operational, situational, and behavioral questions can help them figure out if you are a good fit for the role. Reviewing the questions you might be asked before the interview can help you relax and make the interview go better.
This article tells you what you might be asked, gives you examples of questions and answers, and gives you tips to help you get ready.
Operational and situational questions
Situational and operational questions give the interviewer a chance to see how much you know about the job you’re applying for and how you would handle real-life situations as an operations manager. As they give you made-up situations, you might want to talk about your qualifications and how you’d handle problems or meet work goals.
During an interview, you might be asked the following operational and situational questions:
- How would you describe how well the different parts and functions of an organization talk to each other?
- If we asked you to help the hiring team find good people, how would you handle their deadlines on your own?
- How would you encourage employees who don’t want to change how the company does things?
- How would you work with our IT team to make sure that our private information is safe?
- Show us how you plan your finances.
- How would you put together a report about how much it costs to make things for our business? Tell me what you did.
- What do you know about management information systems?
- How would you handle this problem if you didn’t have enough money or company resources?
- How would you handle a situation where your team is having trouble reaching business or company goals?
- Explain how you would make sure that the work your team does is still good even if they become more productive and efficient.
- What do you think an operation manager does all day?
- How do you think it’s best to talk with vendors about contracts?
Interviewers might ask you questions about your past actions to find out how you’d do as an operations manager. Instead of giving you made-up situations, these questions help them find out how you’ve used your skills in real life. These questions give you a chance to talk about what you know and how you’ve handled yourself at other jobs.
Here are some questions that might be asked about your behavior during an interview for the job of operations manager:
- Tell me about a project you oversaw where more than one team was involved. How did you handle the situation? How did you help the project turn out the way it did?
- How and what happened when you gave presentations before?
- Give an example of a time you had to change because your industry was changing.
- How have your ideas helped a business as a whole? What would you do differently?
- What problems have you and your team had in the past, and how did you solve them?
Sample interview questions and how to answer them
Even though you should think about what questions the interviewer might ask, you should also look at how other people have answered similar questions to help you prepare your answers. This can help you get your thoughts in order and make sure you give the interviewer a clear answer.
If you are looking for a job as an operations manager, here are some interview questions and sample answers to think about:
How would you help a team that was having trouble meeting deadlines while still meeting your own?
This situational question is a great way to show how well you can manage your time and stay organized. This is a question that interviewers ask to find out how you rank your responsibilities. Show that you understand how the different parts of the company work together and give them a clear plan for how to handle the situation.
Example: “I’d start by asking the team what they need and when they need it by. Based on this, I would set aside the tasks that don’t need to be done right away and work on the ones that do. I would also see if any of my team members could help the other team for the time being.”
What skills have you used to help a business solve operational problems in the past?
You show that you know what an operations manager does by answering this question. Show off your skills and explain how they’ve helped you become a better operations manager in your answer.
Example: “When a business is having trouble with its operations, I use a variety of skills to help fix the problem. Because I can keep an eye on the organization, I can find these problems as soon as possible. I use my ability to think critically and solve problems to try to find a way out. My coordination and teaching skills help me make sure that a solution is done right and can stop similar problems from happening in the future.”
How much do you know about logistics management?
This question tests how well you can do one of the most common jobs of an operations manager. Think about how well this kind of management has worked for you when you answer this question.
Example: “In all of my jobs as an operations manager, I have used logistics management. I’ve used it to plan, organize, and set up how to store data and products. I’ve been able to cut costs for businesses and improve customer service everywhere with this kind of management.”
Tips for an interview
You can prepare for the interview by looking at sample questions and answers, but you should also think about other tips that can help you do well. Be honest with the hiring manager about your skills and give clear examples of how you’ve used them in the past, whether you’re answering behavioral, situational, or operational questions.
Here are some tips to help you get ready for these interview questions:
Look at the work you’ve already done.
Interviewers want to know how you handled different situations in the past, so it’s important to be ready with examples. Think about the jobs and responsibilities you’ve had in the past and use them to show what you’re good at in this industry.
Write down all the good things you’ve done in the past.
To make sure your interview goes well, you should talk about what you’ve done well in the past. Make a list of any awards you’ve won or things you’ve done that you’re proud of, and think about how you can talk about them.
Use the STAR method to answer.
Use the STAR method to figure out how to organize your answer. Pay attention to the situation, the task, the action, and the results of similar situations or actions you’ve had in the past. Don’t forget to think about what went well.