A general manager (GM) has several responsibilities over a business or part of a business, from checking inventory, stocking shelves, hiring and handling employees, to ensuring the location is performing well and meeting revenue numbers and customers are satisfied.
As a GM, you may serve as the top executive of your location or region, and you may be responsible for strategy, finances, and revenue, hiring and firing, and reporting.
If you’ve applied for a general manager role and are scheduled for an interview, that’s great! To have a successful interview and be hired for the job, it’s time to do some research and prepare for the interview.
Research the role and company.
You should always research the position you’ve applied for and the company you’re interviewing with. Understand the job responsibilities listed in the description and recommended requirements for an ideal candidate. Think about how you meet those requirements and what experience you have with those responsibilities.
Also, read about the company, including the history, mission, values, and anything else that you may want to know. This helps show the hiring manager you did your research and are interested in both the role and the company.
Prepare answers to common interview questions (including examples).
This list of common general manager interview questions and answers is a great place to start. Having an idea of what to expect in the interview, and preparing your responses ahead of time, can help ensure you have strong answers and showcases your preparation. It also gives you time to think through examples to support your answers.
When thinking through answers, focus your responses on leadership, energy, and enthusiasm. A general manager’s main responsibility is leading a team and ensuring the success of a unit, location, or region. Most of your answers should somehow reflect how you’d be successful in that role.
Write down questions to ask the hiring manager.
You should always have questions to ask the hiring manager, whether about the job, company, or your future there. You can ask questions like “Can you walk me through the next steps?” that are related to the hiring timeline. Or, ask the manager about why they like working at the company, about the company culture, the mission or values, or specific questions about the role.
A general manager role is a leadership role with a variety of responsibilities. You’ll not only be overseeing a team of employees but also working regularly with customers and management. Your professionalism should show in how you dress, speak and act during the interview. Being prepared also helps.
Whenever you can, share brief examples that support your answers or statements. Not only will this showcase your experience, but it will also help the hiring manager feel more comfortable that you’ve dealt with a variety of situations a general manager faces.