15 Interview Questions for a Professional IT Manager

IT manager behavioral interview questions
Created by CakeResume

Moving to a management position in IT? Let us help you prepare for your IT manager interview!

Interviewing for an IT manager position is naturally different than interviewing for an IT technician position. 

As an IT manager, you will be responsible for overseeing a team of technicians or IT specialists and ensuring that they deliver. You will also be responsible for training new employees and managing projects. 

Interview questions for IT manager candidates will typically revolve around your leadership style, experience, and, of course, technical skills. 

To help you nail your interview, we prepared some of the most common IT manager interview questions and answers!

Common IT Manager Interview Questions and Answers

💡 Operational and Situational Questions for IT Managers

  • You are the IT manager for a small company. One of your employees has been caught with gross misconduct. How would you handle this situation?

Answer: As the IT manager, I’d investigate the situation and determine if the employee did indeed commit gross misconduct. If they did, I would work with human resources to determine the appropriate disciplinary action. This could range from a warning to a contract termination, depending on the severity of the offense. I would then schedule a private meeting with the employee and give them a chance to explain their side of the story. With this kind of situation, it is crucial not to leave any room for misunderstanding. After that, I would make my decision.

  • Your team has been working tirelessly on a project for the past few weeks. One of your employees comes to you and says that they are unable to continue working on the project due to personal reasons. What do you do as an IT manager?

Answer: Personal reasons are a tricky one to handle because half of the time it isn't really something "personal" that is going on. In this case, I would have a heart-to-heart talk with the employee and see if there is anything that I can do as an IT manager. Workload, conflict within the team, or lack of resources are some of the things that I would explore. If there is something that I can do to help, then I will do it. However, if the employee insists on leaving, then I would ask them to propose a handover plan for their remaining work. I would then try to find a replacement or fairly divide the workload among the rest of the team.

  • You are an IT director. You have been assigned to lead a project that is outside of your area of expertise. How do you go about completing the project?

Answer: I would leverage internal IT resources to support me as needed. For example, I might talk with other IT managers or my IT technicians about how past projects similar to this one were carried out and piece together a plan from there. I would also consult experts in the field, if possible, to get a better understanding of what needs to be done. Finally, I would keep an open mind and be willing to learn new things throughout the course of the project. If resources and time allow, I would also try to hire a consultant to help me with the project.

  • A member of your team has come to you asking for help with a personal issue that is impacting their work. As an IT manager, what do you do?

Answer: Listening without judgment is key. If the culture of 1:1 meetings is not already established in the company, this is an opportunity to do so. I would then try to find a solution that works for both of us. If the issue was something that I couldn't help with, I would direct them to the appropriate resources. As an IT manager, I would make sure to follow up with them after the issue has been resolved to make sure that they are back on track. Depending on the severity of the issue, I would also keep a close eye on their work to make sure that they are not struggling personally or professionally for a while.

  • You are responsible for leading a training session for new employees as a IT manager. During the training, one of the new employees asks a question that you are not able to answer. What do you do?

Answer: There will always be things that I don't know even if I am already an experienced IT manager. In this case, I would be honest with the employee and let them know that I am not able to answer their question at the moment. However, I would also let them know that I’d find an answer for them. This can be done by doing some research on my own or reaching out to other IT professionals. Once I have the answer, I would follow up with the employee either in person or via email.

💡 Behavioral Questions for IT Managers

  • Describe a time when you had to give critical feedback to an employee as an IT manager.

Answer: I had to give critical feedback to an IT team member once because they were not meeting their deadlines. I explained the situation to them and made it clear that this was not acceptable. I also outlined what they needed to do in order to correct the issue. I asked them to come up with a plan to meet their deadlines and to let me know if they needed any support from me. After that, I followed up with them regularly to make sure that they were on track. In the end, they were able to meet their deadlines and we avoided any negative consequences.

  • How would you handle conflict within your IT team?

Answer: As with solving any problem, I would first try to understand the root cause. I would arrange meetings with each IT team member involved in the conflict to get their side of the story. Once I have a clear understanding of the situation, I would work with the team to come up with a resolution. This might involve coming up with a new plan or process, or it might simply be a way to communicate more effectively. It is also important to announce the resolution to the team so that everyone is on the same page.

  • How do you handle team restructuring?

Answer: In my experience, the best way to handle team restructuring is to first understand why it is necessary. I would meet with each employee affected by the change and explain what is happening and why. I would then work with them to come up with a plan for the future. This might involve transferring them to another team or department. Working with HR, I would also make sure that each employee affected by the restructuring receives the appropriate support needed to minimize the impact on their work and career, as well as the impact on team productivity. It is the IT manager’s responsibility to ensure the whole process is as smooth as possible.

  • How do you prioritize your work?

Answer: Having regular meetings with the management team is key to aligning team objectives with business goals and is an important part of an IT manager’s duties. I like to implement OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) in order to help me prioritize tasks for me and also my team. Tasks that contribute the most to achieving our objectives will be given the highest priority. This is an important method so no one gets carried away with individual tasks and fails to see the big picture. Daily standup meetings with my team also help me keep track of everyone's progress and identify any potential roadblocks and make sure we aren't leaving any urgent tasks behind.

  • How do you handle stress and pressure in the workplace?

Answer: It sounds like a movie cliché, but boxing is one of the best ways to relieve stress for me. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I take a few minutes to step away from my work and go to the boxing gym in our office. This allows me to clear my head and come back to my work with a fresh perspective. I also try to take breaks throughout the day, even if it is just for a few minutes. Taking a walk or getting some fresh air can do wonders for my stress levels.

💡 Technical and Role-Specific Questions for IT Managers

  • What is your experience leading and managing a team of IT technicians?

Answer: I have experience implementing ITIL processes in my previous role as an IT manager. I am familiar with the various ITIL best practices, such as incident management, change management, and problem management. I have also used ITIL to help improve service delivery in my team, and the result was a 32% increase in IT operation efficiency, leading to cost savings for the company.

  • What is your experience with ITIL?

Answer: I've led teams sized between 3-10 technicians before, and I understand the various challenges that come with managing this type of team. One of the most important things is to ensure that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities. This can be done by creating clear job descriptions and holding regular team meetings. It is also important to establish a good working relationship with each IT technician as a manager so that they feel comfortable coming to you with problems or concerns.

  • How have you implemented changes to IT systems in your previous roles?

Answer: In my previous role as an IT manager, I was often responsible for making changes to IT systems. I typically start by understanding why the change is necessary and what the desired outcome is. Once I have this information, I work with the relevant team members to come up with a plan for making the change. This might involve creating new processes or procedures, training employees on how to use the new system, and testing the system before it goes live. It is also my job as an IT manager to ensure all internal and external stakeholders are aware of the changes and understand how it will impact them.

  • What is your experience with budgeting and forecasting?

Answer: When I was with XYZ company, I was responsible for the IT department's budget. This involved forecasting IT costs for the year ahead and making sure we stayed within our allocated budget. I also regularly monitored IT costs to identify any areas where we could make savings. In one instance, I was able to save the company $100,000 by negotiating a better deal with our IT service providers.

  • What is your experience with managing remote teams?

Answer: I managed a team of remote IT technicians for XYZ company. The team was based in the US, Canada, Germany, India, Korea and the Czech Republic. I created a streamlined workflow using various tools and technologies to stay in touch with my team, such as Zoom, Slack, Notion and Confluence. I also made sure to schedule regular catch-ups with each member of my team so that I could check in on their progress and offer any assistance they may need. Virtual team building events also helped to create a sense of team spirit and camaraderie amongst my team members.

Questions to Ask in an IT Manager Interview

IT managers must be able to effectively communicate with all stakeholders in an organization, from senior management to front-line staff. Asking questions is a key part of effective communication, and it's important to ask the right questions in an IT manager job interview. 

5 IT manager interview questions to ask that will help you get the information you need about the role:

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the IT department?
  • What are the department's priorities?
  • Is there anything else I can do to demonstrate my qualifications for this role?
  • What kind of authority would I have as an IT manager?
  • What culture does the IT department have?

We hope this article has been helpful in preparing you for your IT manager interview. Remember to ask questions that will help you understand the role and the organization, and be sure to listen carefully to the answers. With preparation and practice, you'll be able to ace your IT manager interview and land the job you want.

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--- Originally written by Candy Ho ---


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