Top 11 People Management Interview Questions

Top 11 People Management Interview Questions

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Oct 5, 2023 19:09 IST

Here are the most frequently asked interview questions for the people manager. Prepare these insightful answers on what you should be focusing on while answering the recruiter.

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People management covers a lot more ground than motivating employees. This subset of HR Management serves a company’s administration and fulfils talent acquisition, training, mentoring and various problem-solving tasks. And, it is not limited to the human resources department. Every manager becomes successful because of his/her people management skills that include leadership and communication. Whenever you apply for a new managerial position, even as a business consultant or HR manager, assess yourself with the commonly asked people management interview questions. 

People Management Interview Questions

Mentioned below are the most popular people management interview questions with answers. 

Q1. Mention the 5 Cs of people management. 

Ans. People management is governed by 5 important aspects that start with the letter ‘c’. Depending on the department, they are often interchanged with other concepts beginning with the same letter. The people management best practices in a human resource department can broadly include the following. 

  1. Clarity – This aspect implies that managers should clearly define the roles and processes to employees. It is instructional in nature. It also goes beyond the formalised structures of hierarchies and individual functions. Clarity is better understood through daily tasks and how each employee’s work is connected to others in the team to achieve one common business goal. 
  2. Context – It gives importance to empathy, fairness and justification before taking any action. For instance, an employee may underperform. S/he will likely have reasons for it. People managers focus on understanding and resolving such matters. 
  3. Consistent – Consistency in work policies, reward systems, etc matters a great deal for employees. This creates a satisfactory work environment and helps in employee retention.
  4. Courage – In the HR management context, it is essential to be assertive to tell employees to make a positive change to meet the KPIs and business goals. It is also essential to resolve conflicts as a people manager. Courage is important because the manager takes the hardest decisions. 
  5. Commitment –  Demonstrating commitments to workplace rules and safety, continuous evaluation, and being result-oriented is necessary for a people manager. This is how they can inspire employees to meet their goals. 

Q2. Describe the best possible methods of interaction with coworkers.

Ans. This management interview question checks how adaptable you can be in light of different organisational cultures. Good leadership requires empathy, transparency and the ability to show that you are trustworthy enough for employees to share their concerns. Provide examples of how you gain that trust and maintain it. You can mention how you put yourself in their shoes, listen carefully to their questions, and/or offer advice on how to best take ownership of work, etc. Do not forget to mention the necessity of timely communication and tracking daily activities without micro-managing. 

Q3. How do you keep yourself and your team motivated?

Ans. Tell the recruiter that you are self-motivated and you overcome challenges with a positive outlook. For such type of people management interview questions, you should also show that you are not afraid to take risks and fail, only to learn from your past mistakes and constantly try to reduce them. And for your team members, you look into the individual’s strengths and acknowledge every time they perform well. You can even talk about how you provide personalised constructive feedback instead of negative reinforcement when anyone underperforms. This helps them learn from mistakes. It also builds loyalty and high team morale among employees.  

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Q4. How would you help coworkers advance their careers?

Ans. You have to highlight your mentorship skills here. The recruiter wants to see how you help each individual realise their goals despite communication challenges in the new hybrid work environment. Scheduling one-on-one catchups, frequently encouraging open-ended discussions and team-building exercises help. You can even mention the 3 As of mentorship – active listening, availability, and analysis, and give examples. 

Q5. How do you assign tasks and ensure successful delivery?

Ans. Distributing workflow evenly is essential. Otherwise, it will create a stressful environment and affect efficiency. You identify their strengths based on the defined objectives to provide a timeline that all mutually agree. Also, it is ideal to not follow up daily but at comfortable well-paced times so that coworkers are able to highlight their doubts (if any). When delegating tasks you should ask for honest feedback regarding workflows and timelines from your peers. These aspects will highlight your organisational expertise. 

Q6. Why is conflict management important at work?

Ans. Conflict management removes toxicity and tension at work. Spotting conflicts proactively before it creates a negative snowballing effect is necessary. People managers have to see the early signs which could be a sudden drop in performance, requesting too many leaves, or too much confrontation when assigned a different team or new project. Some of the best possible solutions are asking the right questions one-on-one, objective discussions, acknowledging their boundaries and comfort, showing that you are unbiased and respectful towards their individual differences, etc. 

Q7. How would you acknowledge a coworker’s success?

Ans. Rewarding for any minor or major success builds a positive team culture. Some examples include a well-balanced praising for efforts and commitment, offering flexibility to make judgements, gift cards, organising team lunches, inspiring others with one’s efforts, etc. 

Q8. What aspects should you avoid while managing coworkers?

Ans. People managers can manage a team perfectly when they avoid the following. 

  1. Giving but not open to receiving feedback. 
  2. Not taking any responsibility for an individual’s underperformance. 
  3. Not developing rapport and creating transparency within the team. 
  4. Favouritism.

Q9. Which skills do you think are important for people managers?

Ans. You should answer this people management interview question based on your previous experience. Some of the important people manager skills are highlighted below. 

  1. Emotional Intelligence
  2. Communication
  3. Ability to inspire and encourage improvement
  4. Showing appreciation
  5. Conflict resolution
  6. Being accountable
  7. Giving and receiving feedback
  8. Building rapport with stakeholders

Q10. Why are you leaving your organisation?

Ans. You should be as honest as possible to answer this question. It will be ideal that you focus your answer around your professional development than negatively talking about your current company. 

Q11. Can you share an experience where you had the option to take a shortcut on a project, but deliberately decided to take a more extensive approach instead?

Ans. This is an important people manager interview question where the interviewer wants to check your honesty.

You can talk about scenarios like this. You scheduled one-on-one meetings with your coworkers to understand their challenges individually before starting a deadline-driven project. Based on the conversations, you restructured the project and constantly motivated them to boost productivity. You could mention that you could have just told your members to complete the project without understanding their strengths and weakness, but you chose the longer route.

Conclusion

These people management interview questions are frequently asked everywhere. Try giving as many examples from your previous experiences and highlight your successes for these questions. Focus on describing your abilities and willingness to seek knowledge for this role. Good luck!

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Senior Executive Content

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio

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