Interview questions for POM

An Overview

When interviewing a potential Operations Manager, you want to get as much useful information as humanly possible. There are plenty of questions aside from the typical recitation of the resume and, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” that can tell you what you need to know.

Generic interview questions won’t be enough to help you identify an exceptional Operations Manager for your business. These managers will have a lot of responsibility in your organization, so it is important to find someone with the right experience and skills. The main duties of operation managers is that of planning, handling and correlate all the day to day activities in an organization.

This helps to enhance effectiveness, performance and also productivity of the firm you are working for. Also, operations managers are responsible for all the things relating to logistics to resource managing and a few other things too. When interviewing a candidate for an operations manager, you need to check his experience and knowledge regarding the work.
Interpersonal skills are the most important and looked after feature in the role of operations manager.

1. What are your strongest traits?

An interviewer asks this question to establish how you view yourself as a leader.
“My strongest traits are empathy, communication and conflict resolution because I value people, positive interactions and working to find solutions.”

2. How would you describe our company?

An interviewer asks this question to determine what research you have completed on their company.
“I would describe your company as a successful, multi-million-dollar operation rooted in family-run values that contribute to treating every customer like family.”

3. As an Operations Head, what sort of tasks were your handling daily?
How do you make decisions when it comes to staffing, warehousing, accounting, operations, sales?

If you were to answer, you would be listing out the various tasks. But try to provide examples with each task that you were involved in. This will help the employer know, to what level your functions were.
For example, if you were involved in arranging resources, then you could say preparing budgets for various programs and ensuring that it was put to complete use.
If you are part of logistics then you could say taking control of inventory and logistics. If you got involved in human resources especially hiring then say as conducting job interviews till the final stage.

4. Why do you want to be a leader in our company?

Your answer to this question helps an interviewer understand whether your professional values align with the values necessary to lead the company.
“I want to be a leader at this company because I admire its eco-friendly mission and want to continue to contribute to its clean-up programs in the Gulf of Mexico.”

5. What methods do you employ to communicate your message? How do you do it?
What is your experience in making presentations?

Operations Head need to be equipped with making presentations as it is the best method to display to the inside and outside part of the organization.
As they are constantly posed with displaying the progress of the company or any new projects and/or future expansions that are envisaged, this part of communication skill is best utilized in this aspect.
You will need to have some sample work projects that you had developed to give as examples. Indicate the methodology that you have employed to make the message clear.

6. How do you manage budgets? At your previous employer, what steps did you take to cut costs?

Head of Operations carries out tasks bearing in mind the budget restraints. He/she will be involved in budgeting for all the departments and also review to see how much is utilized and how much is remaining. From that, they will decide on making the purchase based on the restraint.
Their aim is to know where to cut costs and where it is needed. Future resource planning is also in their job scope.
Hence, you will need to revive all the work executed with examples to showcase your skill in managing within budget. Sometimes Operations Manager is involved in procuring loans for the company. In case you had been involved make it clear about the type of loan depicting the examples.

7. What is your management style?

An interviewer asks this question to learn more about how you view yourself as a leader and how you plan on managing your employees.
“I would describe my management style as democratic because I value the input of my team.”

8. Can you describe your last supervisor? What traits of theirs did you admire?

This question helps an interviewer determine what traits you admire from your past employers and what leadership traits you uphold.
“My last supervisor always made a point to ask how their employees were doing. They helped make each employee feel valued and understood. For example, when I got sick, they allowed me to work from home and made a point to ask how I was feeling.”

9. What in your terms is ideal operations management team?

Mostly Operations head must be like-minded. But you could indicate what kind of people you would like to work with.
You could say that you intend to work with result-driven people and surround yourself with self-motivated people who work in a team towards a common goal.
Most of all you like to be surrounded by positive thinking people. You could cite examples where how one of your best projects went well with the team members’ details.

10. How big was the team you had last worked with? What were the difficulties you had to face? How did you manage them?

Operations Managers are always working with teams. Team members should be motivated and appraised during situations whenever required.
Here the operations head handles his /her team with ease using their management skill. You could explain the details of the team that you had handled wherein how you moved within the team by walking the talk showing them the details. Also, you could tell what the most difficult situation was where you had to take the call and smoothen out.

11. Did you ever have a negative experience with a supervisor? What caused it?

When an interviewer asks this question, they want to hear what you learned from the experience and how you use it to cultivate a better leadership style.
I once had a supervisor who would leave the office randomly and take days off at the last minute, leaving my team and me with heavy workloads and no means of communicating with upper management. We soon found out it was due to a personal family issue. It taught me that communication is crucial when you are in a leadership role.

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