Interview Questions to Gauge a Candidates Management Potential

Asking the right questions in an interview can help interviewers identify leadership qualities by getting a sense of their character and how they have handled prior situations. Standard questions give standard responses. Take the time to think about what you need for this role, what the company needs, and tailor your questions to reflect that. Leadership has a tremendous impact on productivity and engagement. Here are a few questions to help ensure you have the right person for the role.


A candidate who is engaged in their team will have stories of employees who were promoted, improved performance, or overcame an obstacle. This shows the candidate values development and accomplishments. Here are a few questions to help you gain some insight:

1.    Tell me about your biggest employee success story.

2.    Give me an example of a time when one of your employees made you proud.

3. Follow-up question: What role did you play in that success?

Respect is earned and does not come automatically with a job title. Responses to questions regarding respect should be about communication, integrity, consistency and honesty. Be on alert for responses that indicate intimidation or demanding of respect.

4.    What do you think a manager can do to ensure their team respects them?

5.    Tell me about your favorite boss? What were they like?

6.    What do you think makes a good manager?

When it comes to performance, you want a manager who will clearly communicate what goals and expectations are required for success. A weak manager will jump right to disciplinary action when performance dips below expectations. A good manager will acknowledge that not all situations are black and white, that each individual has their own different strengths and weaknesses, and determine the most appropriate and effective way to move forward. Here are a few examples of questions regarding feedback and performance.

7.    What are some ways you reward your team members?

8.    How often do you have informal or casual conversations with your direct reports about their performance?

9.    What steps do you take to bring a poor performer up to the standard of the rest of the team?

10.  How do you ensure all work is carried out correctly and to the highest standard?

Figuring out what questions to ask candidates can seem like an overwhelming task. Incorporating a few of these suggestions coupled with a robust interview team will hopefully help you feel more confident in the selection process.