Operations Managers serve an integral role in every company. They are often in charge of the process behind getting your product or service to the consumer. Without operations, your company does not function. Finding a new leader for this team can be a stressful and difficult experience.
In order to best find your next hire, use these operations manager interview questions on your next candidate!
Screen for the Best Candidate with These Operations Manager Interview Questions
What would you say is your leadership style?
Your operations manager will be in charge of your operations team. This should not be news to you. You should also be aware of what leadership style fits best with your company and with your existing team. Your perfect candidate should be able to articulate how they lead, and why, and fit in with your company ideals.
You have an underperforming team member–how do you handle that?
At any company and in any leadership position, you will eventually have to work with an underperforming employee. People have bad months, and having a leader of your team that can work with employees to help them perform at their best is someone you want. Your perfect candidate will also be aware that not all underperforming team members are ones you want to keep on your team. Having someone who is realistic about this will ultimately be the best choice.
Your team’s morale has been low–how would you go about fixing that?
An Operations Manager will be in charge of a very important team. They are in charge of keeping your company running smoothly, and successfully. A manager who is cognizant of their mood and motivation and is willing to fix it is ultimately a manager you want.
Tell me about a past project that did not go as planned. How did you handle that?
As much as we all would love operations to be a smooth and consistent department, that is not always the case. Your new operations manager should be aware of this, and know how to handle it. Someone who cannot roll with the punches and problem solve is not someone you want leading your operations department.
What is your preference for budget planning, and how do you do it step-by-step?
Your operations manager will have a budget for their team, and it will most likely be a strict one. Having an operations manager who is familiar with budget planning, and has a preferred system is a candidate you want.
What is your experience with logistics?
Operations can mean a myriad of things at many companies. However, getting things to where they need to be is often something that falls under the operations umbrella. Someone who is familiar with logistics is definitely a candidate that should stand out among the pack to you.
Have you ever negotiated contracts with any vendors or suppliers? What, in your opinion, is the most effective approach?
In order to effectively supply whatever your product is to a consumer or business, you will most likely need to receive products or services from outside vendors. Having someone who is a good negotiator and has a tried and true system to do it is someone you want on your team.
We want to ensure that our information and data are stored in a secure manner. Are you familiar with working with IT teams and information software?
In this day and age, security is extremely important, especially for personal information. An operations manager who likes to keep things on paper or isn’t familiar with information and technology security might not be the right choice for your company.
How large was your last team, and did you enjoy managing that team size?
Some leaders do not relish leading large teams, and some excel at leading groups of over a hundred people. You need to tailor this question to your company and team size. Know that a candidate who is perfect in every way, but doesn’t enjoy leading a team that is your size, is a candidate you should pass on.
What is your experience with presentations?
Your operations manager will be presenting budgets, new ideas, and anything else necessary to their role to a wide range of people. They need to be able to articulate their thoughts, and be comfortable presenting in front of people in order to be successful in their role. This is another big red flag question, if they don’t answer in an affirmative, then they aren’t right for you.
These are only a few of the questions you can ask during your operations manager interview. Are you having difficulty finding a new operations manager? Reach out to our expert recruiters, we’d love to assist!