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What is a "Managers Interview Guide?"

If you are interviewing at an established company there is a good chance HR or Recruiting gives the hiring managers a "Managers Interview Guide." This means all candidates have a similar interview experience regardless of who is interviewing them. Knowing what is in a "Managers Interview Guide" makes it easier for you prepare for an interview. 

This is what a typical "Managers Interview Guide" looks like.

Interview preparation

1. Review candidates materials.

2. Review the standard questions and select question(s) to ask the candidate. Develop additional questions if necessary

3. Estimate the time needed to cover each area of the "Managers Interview Guide."
  • 3 minutes for interview opening.
  • 5 minutes for background review.
  • 40 minutes for interview.
  • 5 minutes for candidate questions.
  • 2 minutes for interview closing.
4. For each question, score the candidate based on the following:

    1 = Significantly below criteria for job.
    2 = Below criteria for job.
    3 = Meets criteria for job.
    4 = Above criteria for job.
    5 = Significantly above criteria for job.

5. Interview questions must be answered in the C.A.R. format. (Context. Action. Result.)

6. Be sure to record the answers and scores using the Interview Answer form.

Interview opening 

1. Greet the candidate, stating your name and position

2. Explain the interview’s purpose.

3. Describe the interview plan. Explaining that you will:
  • Briefly review the candidates education and work history.
  • Ask questions to get specific information about the candidates jobs, experiences, and knowledge.
  • Tell the candidate you will provide information and answer their questions about the organization and the position in the last 5 minutes of interview.
  • Explain that you will take notes throughout the interview.
  • Tell them that interview answers should be in the C.A.R. format.

Interview questions.
Area: "Drive."
What to look for.
  • Maintains focus.
  • Measures progress and outcome.
  • Ensures accountability.
What actions have you taken in the last six months to help with the execution of key department or business unit initiatives? 

What strategies have you employed to make sure a major new directive was carried out? Give me a specific example of a strategy that worked and one that did not.
Give an example of when organizational systems, processes and people were not aligned to support strategic objectives. 

Describe a time when you had to significantly modify work systems, policies, or procedures so they aligned with new strategic directives. 

Give me a recent example of when a Manager was not completely satisfied with the way you completed ab assignment.

Tell me about a time you came under some pressure to sacrifice quality in order to get work done on time.

Area. "Relationships."

What to look for.
  • Seeks opportunities to build relationships.
  • Clarifies shared goals.
  • Develops others’ and own ideas.
  • Facilitates agreement.
  • Involves others.
Describe a time when you wished you'd been more collaborative with others at work. 
Tell me about a recent idea you explored and developed with another peer.
Describe a situation in which you proactively developed an important relationship outside of your work group. 

Describe a time when you tried to work out an agreement with another team member.

Give me an example of a time when you helped a colleague develop an idea.

Area: "Planning."

What to look for.
  • Prioritizes.
  • Determines tasks and resources.
  • Schedules.
  • Leverages resources.
  • Stays focused.
  • Stays informed.

Tell me about a time when you faced conflicting priorities. How did you determine the top priority?

Describe a time when you had to align resources from different locations to accomplish a task or goal.

Can you tell me about a major project that you led. How did you monitor progress and measure results?

What have you done to make your team more efficient or organized?

Tell me about a time when you had to coordinate resources (people, processes, departments, and equipment) to complete a complex project. 

We've all been in situations in which we couldn't complete everything we needed to on time. Tell me about a time when this happened to you.

Post interview.

1. Evaluate the answer to each question.
  • Review each C.A.R. to determine if it is complete and in the right area.
  • Determine whether each C.A.R. is effective or ineffective.
  • Weigh each C.A.R. by considering similarity, impact, and recency.
Rate the overall competency with final comments to support selection decision.

2. Hiring Manager will transfer interview rating scores for each panelist to the Candidate Score Form.

3. Panel will conduct calibration session to discuss and Hiring Manager will document final team comments on Candidate Score Form.

The "Manager Interview Guide" will vary depending on what the organization values but this gives you can idea of what the Hiring Manager is expected to follow.

A career coach can help you prepare for an interview.

You might also be interested in reading: Take your CAR to the interview.