If you’re a few years into your career, there’s a good chance you will start considering a role with more responsibility, whether through a promotion or a new opportunity at the next level.
If you’re considering your first management position, one of the questions you’re likely to encounter during your interview is, “Why do you want to move into a management role?”
Why Employers Ask This Question
One of the biggest challenges of moving into a management position is communicating your motivations. Hiring managers recognize that success in the role is less about your technical skills and ability to do the specific job and more about motivating and facilitating others to do the work.
Managers will seek evidence of your empathy and a genuine heart for leadership. To give an answer that impresses the employer, you need to shift your mindset away from your personal deliverables and instead showcase the desire to help others be as successful as possible.
How to Answer This Question
As with any other open-ended interview question, the key to successfully answering this question will come from company research. You’ll need to express how you’re the perfect fit for both the team and the position.
Understand the Needs of the Role
The best way to learn about a company’s needs is to devote time to becoming its biggest fan. Explore the company’s social media, and get very familiar with its organizational structure and products. Pay special attention to any new projects or negative reviews they’re getting.
After a solid overview, consider how the role you’re applying to fits into the company’s structure. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are some challenges that the team might face?
- How can I help the team and the company succeed?
- What would a reasonable next step for the team be?
- How will I help team members develop skills to achieve those goals?
- What part would the team play in meeting the company’s deliverables?
Once you’ve developed a well-rounded view of the role and how it fits into the company, you can start connecting the dots between your experience and the position.
Show How Your Skills Align With the Role
One of the ways that interviewing for your first management role differs from your previous interviews is that you need to move to a results-oriented mindset.
As a manager, you’ll be able to create an incredible impact on an entire team or department. Hiring managers are looking for you to have an awareness of that. But even more, they’re hoping to discover that you’re excited by the possibility of how you can create growth and meet standards for the team you’re seeking to lead.
So, avoid focusing on the technical skills that align with the role. When you bring them up, use them as an example of how you’ll build connections with your team, rather than utilize those skills yourself.
Craft Your Answer
Avoid using vague action words, like “I’m great at motivating others.” Instead, you’ll want to craft a response that will paint a vivid picture for the interviewer.
For instance, you could say something like:
I enjoy finding creative ways to motivate everyone on the team to succeed. On my current team, we were struggling to meet our sales goals, so I created a bingo game to help everyone visualize our opportunities. We consistently beat our sales goals by breaking them into smaller, more attainable steps.
Example Answer 1
I see the role of a manager as a guide and facilitator more than anything else. I’m excited about the opportunity because I know how a great manager has impacted my career. I’m looking forward to being a mentor and motivator for others. As a senior trainer for my team, I’ve been able to help over 35 team members be successful in their roles, and I’m excited to put those skills to work at an even higher level.
Why this works:
If you’ve done your research and discovered that the company sees their managers as less authoritarian and more in line with career coaches, this is a great answer. You’re clearly stating how you view the role, and you’re weaving in your experience with helping teammates find success.
Example Answer 2
I see the role of a manager as primarily focused on helping others achieve results. I’m excited about this role because it’s an opportunity to take my skills in sales and marketing and help sales partners develop those same skills. In my previous role, I increased sales by 25% in six months by working with my team to develop creative marketing strategies. I’m confident I can bring that same focus on team collaboration to this role and achieve the needed results.
Why this works:
This is an excellent answer for a role focused on results because it shows that you realize that your skills will directly impact the team’s overall goal. You back up your claims with data, which is always impressive to interviewers.
Shine During Your Interview
When one of your career goals is to move into a management role, the tone of your interview needs to straddle the line between how you’ll use your skills to help the team succeed and showing that you’re likable and relatable.
Do your research and ask thoughtful questions about the team and its goals. Doing so will help the hiring manager recognize the value you offer.
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