Manager Interview Preparation

A manager must prepare to interview candidates for various positions.
A manager must prepare to interview candidates for various positions. (Image: office manager image by Mat Hayward from

Just like candidates for a job, a manager must also prepare for each interview. Managers usually work with the human resources department when they have a job opening. They tell the human resources manager or director what qualifications they are seeking in a candidate, and the selection process begins. Once the human resources manager finds several key candidates to interview, it is up to the hiring manager to find the right person for the job.


Hiring employees is an expensive endeavor. In addition to the initial selection process, it can take weeks to conduct all of the interviews and do the background checks. If a manager does not take time to look over each candidate's resume and take some initial notes, he may select the wrong candidate and need to start the interviewing process over again. Managers should start preparing for their interviews by jotting down specific questions for each candidate about his background. These questions will help spur each candidate to elaborate on his experience.


The manager should match each candidate's experience with the job specifications of the open position, which lists the key duties and requirements for the job. A simple check list can be used for each educational or experience requirement listed in the job specifications. The manager can then cross-reference each candidate's resume with the job specifications and get an idea which candidates best fit the job requirements ahead of time.


A large part of the manager's interview preparation should be spent thinking of a series of questions to ask every candidate. These questions should be separate from the specific ones the manager has about each candidate's background, according to "Manager Interview Questions" listed at Examples include: Tell me about yourself, what do you know about our company and why should I hire you. These questions will help the manager study the thought processes of the candidates or test how much they prepared for the interview themselves. The question about the company can potential reveal a candidate's interest in working for the manager's company. A manager may also ask each candidate about her short- and -long-term goals.

Time Frame

The manager should set the interview schedule for each candidate in advance. The manager needs to contact other managers or employees in the company and have them meet with the candidates as well; that way, the manager has additional input on which candidate best fits the job specifications. The manager will need to include each employee's time frame on the interview schedule as well. It is best to allocate about a half hour for the candidates to meet with each manager or employee.


The manager should spend at least part of his interview-preparation time deciding what personality attributes he is looking for in a candidate. Perhaps he wants someone who is outgoing to complement his quieter nature. The manager may want to hire a heavy task-oriented individual to complete projects quickly, especially if he has not had anyone in the position for awhile. Personal attributes are not necessarily listed on a resume. The manager may not know exactly what type of personality he prefers in the position until he meets a certain candidate; however, regardless of a person's qualifications, the manager will need to hire someone who he can get along with.

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