Interviews can be a little awkward on both sides of the table. For the interviewee, everything you say is being scrutinized to see if you know your stuff and aren’t just spouting canned answers. For the interviewer, you’re the first contact for the interviewee, and the way you conduct the interview represents your company.
To make the experience a little less stressful, it’s worth doing some research, so you know what to expect. No matter if you’re trying to get the job or trying to hire the best IT manager talent, knowing the best questions can make you feel more comfortable during the interview.
Table of contents
- 15 of the top IT manager interview questions
- General IT manager interview questions
- In-depth IT manager interview questions
- How do you motivate people?
- Do you prefer outsourcing tasks or developing internal talent?
- In your opinion, what’s the most important role of an IT manager?
- What are the most important skills in IT today, and why?
- How important is documentation to you?
- What value would you bring to the IT department?
- Questions IT manager candidates should ask in interviews
15 of the top IT manager interview questions
We’re going to break this up into sections to help you quickly find the areas you’re most concerned about.
General IT manager interview questions
What are your roles as an IT manager?
This is the standard question in any interview. Though it seems like a mundane question, it actually serves as a great starting point. The answers will help you quickly identify which candidate has real experience in the field and which candidate has simply Googled the role and memorized the generic job description.
Describe your management style
There are many different methods and frameworks we use to manage our teams. This question allows you to better understand the candidate and how they operate. You can see which candidates will fit best with how your team works by asking this question.
What led you to pursue a career in IT?
It’s always nice to hear how people have worked toward this moment. This question also lets you see who is the most passionate about their work.
What’s your technical background?
This is where we get into the real nitty gritty. One of the most common questions for any IT role involves running through the candidate’s technical work. The question lets you see if the candidate’s technical background fits the company’s current objectives and processes.
In-depth IT manager interview questions
How do you motivate people?
Management requires great people skills. The team won’t always be functioning at 100%, and morale will dip at some point during the project. That’s not a reflection on management style. It’s just an inevitable part of life. What’s important here is to discover how your candidate will bust that lull and motivate the team again.
Do you prefer outsourcing tasks or developing internal talent?
This is quite a specific question that can help you understand how invested your candidate will be in the success of their new team. Do they prefer to get as much work done as quickly as possible? Or do they prefer to have a solid team that they guide and help better their abilities?
Of course, the type of manager you want depends on your existing processes.
In your opinion, what’s the most important role of an IT manager?
You need to ensure your candidate has the same sensibilities as your company. This question helps you identify the candidate’s priorities and areas of expertise. It helps to tick a few boxes on your perfect candidate list as it shows which areas the candidate can occupy.
What are the most important skills in IT today, and why?
Management skills and technology are rapidly changing. What was a popular framework a year ago may be completely outdated now. This question helps identify who has the most up-to-date knowledge to ensure you won’t need to train your new hire on recent developments.
How important is documentation to you?
Documentation is incredibly important. If your candidate doesn’t respond with a similar notion, it’s time to move on.
What value would you bring to the IT department?
This is the candidate’s opportunity to sell themselves. This is where they can let their passion and expertise shine. Ideally, the answer to this question will be fresh rather than rehashing what they’ve said earlier in the interview.
Questions IT manager candidates should ask in interviews
If you’re going for a role, you should make it clear that you have an active interest in the role, the company, and the team you’ll be working with. By asking questions, you can show the interviewer that you really care about the role.
Questions about the team
What’s the team I’ll be working with like?
As much as the interviewer is looking for a perfect fit for their teams, candidates also need to make sure they’re heading into an environment they’re comfortable with. This question helps clarify to both parties that the candidate will fit perfectly into the company’s existing teams.
What’s the management style the team responds to best?
Again, this question helps both parties assess how well the candidate will fit in with the team. There are many management frameworks, especially in the tech world. You can have a brilliant manager, put them on a team that works with a different framework, and they’ll struggle to be as effective as they usually are.
Questions about the company
What’s the company culture like?
Company loyalty is hugely important to how well someone works. If you’re jumping into a new company with a culture that doesn’t sit right with you, you’re going to be looking for a new job very quickly.
What are the company’s values?
You need to be sure you share the same values as the company you’re working for. You need to have pride in where you work, which gets much harder when your values don’t align with your company’s values.
What’s the company’s view on upskilling and professional development?
This is a great question for an interviewer to hear because it shows you have a long-term plan for this new role. Businesses want to hire someone who sticks around for a long time, but sometimes they can’t offer any way to climb the ladder. By asking about a company’s progression opportunities, you can gauge if you’re going to settle down or if you’ll be looking for a new job in a few years.