Every business organization is run on the basis of several operations, which are related to finance, human resources, sales, marketing, etc.
To ensure maximum productivity from the different business operations besides maintaining their quality a specialist known as an operations manager is usually hired by the companies.
Just like a strong thread, which binds several sticks into a bundle, an operations manager acts as an adhesive, which clasps a business organization. Being a highly respectable position, it offers numerous benefits and incentives. Thus, prepare hard for your upcoming interview session and read out the frequently asked interview questions mentioned below:
21 Best Interview Questions To Study
1. As An Operations Manager, What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Will You Introduce In Our Production Department?
KPI setting is a common job role of the operations manager. Hence, answer this question logically using rich facts and rationales.
Sir, KPIs are primarily used to maximize the potential of the department in which they are introduced. For the production department, I would like to introduce the following KPIs:
- Number of completed products
- Overall equipment efficiency (OEE)
- Downtime hours
- Coefficient of total production capacity utilization
- Production cycle efficiency
2. What Is Your Understanding Of The Organizational Flow of Communication? Can You Tell Why It Is Necessary?
This question tests your understanding of the organizational hierarchy and its importance for conducting business.
Sir, organizational hierarchy or organizational structure refers to the pyramid in which all the different levels of management are arranged. Usually, any communication that is required to be conveyed, follows this flow in the pyramid. It can take two approaches which are:
- The top-down approach: Information flows from top-level management to the middle and lower-level management
- The bottom-up approach: Information flows from lower-level or middle-level management to top-level management
This helps to maintain a positive atmosphere in the company, along with preventing the employees from possible instances of chaos, confusion, and lack of clarity. It promotes the productivity of the employees and also maintains the quality of processes.
3. What Is Your Understanding Of The Inventory Holding Cost? Please Also Tell us About Its Different Components.
As an operations manager, you will be required to manage inventory levels and all the associated costs.
Sir, Inventory holding costs refer to the cost incurred for storing the inventory of manufactured or purchased finished goods. It has different components, which are:
- Warehouse storage expenses
- Property taxes
- Salaries paid to security guards, janitors, and warehouse supervisors
- Opportunity cost associated with stored inventory
4. Differentiate Between A Static Budget and A Flexible Budget.
This question tests your understanding of the various methods following which budgets can be prepared.
Sir, a static budget or a fixed budget remains unchanged and ignores all the changes in the levels of business activities performed by the business organization. However, on the other hand, the values contained in the flexible budget change and move up and down in accordance with the changes in the level of sales and production.
5. What Are The Various Types Of Budgets?
As an operations manager, your key responsibility will be to prepare, monitor, and manage different types of budgets. Hence, you can always expect a question from this topic.
Sir, budgets are prepared to manage finances and associated operations in a better way. These are different types of budgets, which are presented hereunder:
|Name of the type of Budget||Explanation|
|Master Budget||It is a collection of several smaller budgets, such as raw materials, purchases, sales returns, etc. that are prepared by the heads of different departments or functional units|
|Operating Budget||It represents the forecasted figures of revenues and expenses of a company. While covering all the sources of income, it also includes all the fixed costs, variable costs, and mixed costs incurred in the production process|
|Cash Budget||As its name suggests, a cash budget is to record all the inflows and outflows of cash. It shows whether or not a company is using its working capital effectively and is on the path to profitability.|
|Labor Budget||A labor budget records all the expenses that are incurred upon the workers employed in the production process. It helps in payroll management and effective allocation.|
|Financial Budget||A business is always in need of funds to run its operations smoothly. A financial budget helps the businesses to identify:|
1) The appropriate times at which the capital must be raised
2) The quantum of capital to be raised
6. What Are The Different Business Functions Into Which An Organization Is Departmentalized?
This question tests your understanding in relation to the creation of departments on different bases.
Sir, a business simply consists of ample functions. With a view to maximizing the potential, efficiency, and productivity of these functions, separate business departments are created. Some common departments found in every company are:
- Sales department
- Finance department
- H. R. (Human Resource) department
- Production department
- Marketing department
- P. R (Public Relations) department
7. An Operations Manager Usually Works At The Top Level Of Management. But Still, Your Performance Is Appropriately Measured and Evaluated. How Open Are You To Accepting Criticism and Negative Feedback?
Through this question, an interviewer wants you to share your views in relation to workplace criticisms.
Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this interview question. It is common for the employees to feel bad and even offended after receiving negative feedback in respect of work done by them. However, I am not like them and follow a different ideology.
In my humble opinion, criticism gives an opportunity using which one can improve one’s performance by plugging all the loopholes and working upon the identified weaknesses. Thus, I am very much open to negative feedback.
8. List Out The Three Primary Duties Of An Operations Manager From A Typical Workday.
This question checks how much you understand your profession.
Sure, sir, These are:
- Training the employees through the implementation of the training programs and monitoring their performance through quality assurance programs
- Contemplating. evaluating and strategizing all the different types of process improvements
- Ensuring that all the business departments are working together in tandem and a positive synergy is established
9. Managing Safety and Safeguarding The Workers From Possible Mishappenings Is The Duty Of An Operations Manager. What Are Some Typical Worker Safety Regulations Followed By The Organizations?
This question tests your understanding of the various common safety regulations that must be followed by the workers at all times.
Sir, safety regulations or rules are practices that create a safe working environment in which the chances of occurrence of mishappenings are minimal. Some common safety rules are:
- Always work on a clean, hygienic, and sanitized work floor
- Follow the procedure completely and never take any shortcuts while performing your tasks
- Keep the route to emergency exits clear and free from blockages
- Be vigilant, alert, and non-lethargic while being on duty
10. Assume A Situation In Which A Group Of Employees Are Dissatisfied With The Workload Put On Them. They Think It Is Unbearable and Demand For A Pay Hike. How Would You Handle This Situation?
This is a situation reaction test in which you are presented with any real-life situation. Just be calm while answering this question and present arguments that are logical.
Sir, if I am supposed to interpret this situation, then, in my opinion, it is a highly doubtable scenario. This is because, if the workload is unbearable as stated by the employees then how come they can do it when the pay is increased, given the working hours remain constant.
In such a situation, I would understand all the employee’s issues and would counsel them to remain loyal to the company, besides guiding them to return to work.
11. Our Organization Moves With Technological Developments and Have Deployed Some Of The Best Software At Our Workplace. Can You Tell Us About The Various Popular Software Used To Manage Business Operations?
This question tests your understanding of the various software used in your industry.
Sure, Sir, these are:
12. What Are Your Views On Employee Motivation? Can We Motivate Them?
As an operations manager, you will be responsible to manage the employees as well as motivating them to reap maximum benefits.
Sir, employee motivation is a necessary process, which not only makes them more hardworking but also creates a feeling of belongingness in them. We can certainly motivate them, using a slew of monetary and non-monetary measures such as recognition, incentives, family vacations, accolades, rewards, coupons, vouchers, etc.
13. How Should A Typical Operations Manager Must Look Like? Can You Define His or Her Five Best Qualities?
This question tests your understanding of your job role.
Sure, sir, These are:
- Critical Thinker
- Excellent Communicator
14. Describe A Situation In Which The Changes Implemented By You Were Widely Protested By The Employees Of The Organization.
Devising, implementing, and communicating the changes is a common duty of the operations manager. This question undoubtedly represents a negative situation, but you just cannot avoid it, as doing this can deplete your selection chances. Hence, always attempt this question and share a logical response.
Sir, “change management” is a critical process, which is often confronted by the employees with all their agony. I remember a situation in which due to the availability of some better technology, I told the accounts team that we are migrating from Software X to Software Y.
Since Software Y was highly sophisticated and automated several processes, a few felt that they won’t be able to operate it and the other few thought they would lose their jobs. This led to protests, but, with active listening skills, and my creative thinking, I was able to counsel all of them effectively and they all agreed to the proposed changes.
15. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses As An Operations Manager?
This is a common interview question and is asked in almost all the interview sessions held across the world. Thus, it is necessary to prepare a perfect response for this interview question using the following steps:
- Read out the job description issued to you by the hiring manager
- Understand all the details and write down all the major requirements
- Prepare for the strengths that align with these requirements and the weaknesses that do not conflict with them
16. Our Employees Are Often Exposed To The Challenging Business Environment In Which We Operate. This Usually Leads To Stress and Anxiety When Done On A Long Term Basis. How Do You Manage This Phase Of A Corporate Job?
You ask the people residing in this world and a majority of them would say either they are currently stressed or were stressed at some point in their life. Thus, stress is a common issue and has grappled this world with authority. Employees are no exception, and most of them are under depression, anxiety, and stress.
Thus, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various strategies and techniques using which you can manage your work-related stress. The various deep breathing exercises, positive pep talk, counseling sessions, and yoga has proved to be some of the best techniques to manage work-related stress.
17. Every Employee Has His/ Her Own Style Of Working At The Workplace. What is Your Preferred Mode Of Working – In A Team or Alone?
Most business organizations have moved on from isolation or individual mode of working to team mode due to increased benefits and employee productivity. In a team set-up, the workforce of an organization is divided into different groups largely on the basis of their education, skills, and nature of the tasks to be performed.
Hence, ideally, you should opt for the team mode of working as your answer and also list out some of its major benefits. However, in case you are more comfortable working individually, and even have some strong rationales to prove your selection, please go ahead.
18. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
Usually, a job offer contains the salary offered by the company for the specific job role along with all the duties to be performed. However, in some cases, it is not present and in some simply “negotiable” is written.
Be it any situation, it is common for the interviewers to ask about your salary expectations during the interview itself. To prepare a perfect response, just research your industry and determine the average salary offered. Post this, base your salary expectations on this average salary.
19. Corporate Careers Are Unpredictable and Almost All The Employees Have To Face A Low Point In Their Careers. How Do You Manage Your Workplace Failures?
In a perfect world, God would have endured all the sufferings and blessed people with immense success. Alas! This ain’t true and some people even doubt the existence of God.
Success and failure come naturally to humans in periods of lows and ups. It is an established fact that a failed employee usually enters into a depressing phase wherein he or she usually cuts a sorry figure. Hence, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various techniques that you use to manage your stress levels.
20. What Is Your Dream Job? State From The Context Of Business and Corporate Employees.
Oh! Dreams you are so pretty, but why are you so hard to achieve.
This is a common perception of most people, especially corporate employees. An interviewer with an aim to assess your personality is always interested in knowing what are your various dreams or your expectations from your employer. This could be anything from a desire to work from a separate office cabin to an urge to work 4 days a week.
21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Every interview session, be it for a position at any level of management, is concluded with this interview question. This last nail in the coffin gives you one last opportunity to impress your interviewer.
Hence, in an ideal response to this question, just ask all the relevant doubts and apprehensions that you might be having in regards to the business organization. Be specific, and never ask wayward questions. Read out the sample questions mentioned below for a better understanding.
- What are the various incentives and allowances that are offered by the company to its regular employees?
- Sir, can you please tell me how are the promotional opportunities in this organization?
- Please share a list of all the shift timings that are followed by the company.
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For Operations Manager interview):
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