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Interim managers: 5 questions you could get asked in an interview

Big interview coming up? Our dedicated team has come up with some questions you might encounter to help you prepare. 


1.Have you ever failed to meet a deadline? 


As an interim manager, you’re being hired to make a noticeable impact as soon as you walk in the door. In harsher words, you’re here to get the job done and leave – that’s the expectation. Therefore, your prospective employer wants to know how you get back on track when plans go skew-whiff. We understand that no one is perfect, but as an interim manager, your team will be looking to you to find resolutions and at pace. 


2. How would you help an underperforming employee? 

Here, the employer is trying to work out how you handle uncomfortable situations and what your communications skills are like. It may sound obvious, but make sure to paint yourself in the best light as an understanding manager here. That means maintaining a positive tenor and leading with examples where you have helped a member of your team upskill. Underpin with examples of how you found solutions and where you saw improvements in the individual’s work as a result. 


3.What made this role in particular stand out? 

Interviewers will want to make sure that you are a good fit, not only in terms of skills but also for the wider company. Even though you may only be there for a short period of time, it is paramount that you settle in quickly and make a good impression – especially to the team that you will be managing. Place emphasis on how your skills match the job description and how you align to the company’s values and ethos. 


4.Which qualities do you think make a good interim manager? 


Your interviewer might ask this question to gauge what you prioritise as an interim manager. Highlight your key skills and explain how they have helped you be successful in achieving positive outcomes in past interim roles.  Most importantly, you need to demonstrate that you are capable of helping this specific organisation move forward with their goals. Again, doing your research will certainly pay off when answering this one!


5.What would you say is your biggest professional achievement? 


We know it’s generic, but it could come up and you need to have an answer ready. Ambition is a great attribute to have as an interim manager as it shows that you have the drive to reach goals and deliver big. However, remember to stay humble when approaching this question as interviewers will be looking for a manager who is down to earth and that their current workforce can get on with without ego-clashes along the way. We recommend using the STAR method to structure your answer so that the employer can understand how you strategise. 


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