15 Business Operations Manager Interview Questions (2024)

Dive into our curated list of Business Operations Manager interview questions complete with expert insights and sample answers. Equip yourself with the knowledge to impress and stand out in your next interview.

1. Can you describe a time where you had to manage a complex project with multiple stakeholders?

In answering this question, the candidate should demonstrate their experience in coordinating multiple stakeholders and handling complex projects. They should give an overview of the project, the stakeholders involved, the challenges they encountered, and how they managed these challenges.

I once led a cross-functional project that involved internal teams, external consultants and suppliers. There were differing opinions and priorities which caused conflicts. However, I managed to align everyone by setting a clear vision and goals, facilitating open communication, and ensuring each stakeholder was heard and valued.

2. How do you handle underperforming team members?

This question assesses the candidate's leadership and people management skills. The answer should highlight their ability to address performance issues proactively, professionally, and compassionarily, all while maintaining the team's morale.

In a previous role, I dealt with an underperforming team member by first having a one-on-one discussion. I made sure to understand their perspective, then provided constructive feedback. I also worked out a performance improvement plan with them, which helped them improve eventually.

3. Can you talk about a time you had to make a difficult decision that not everyone agreed with?

Candidates should demonstrate their decision-making abilities under pressure and their skills in handling disagreement. The answer should describe the decision-making process, the reasons behind the decision, and how they dealt with dissenting voices.

As a Business Operations Manager at my previous job, I had to decide to cut off a highly profitable but ethically questionable client. My decision was met with resistance, but I explained the reasons behind it and the potential risks of continuing the relationship. Eventually, the team understood and supported the decision.

4. How have you improved operational efficiency in your previous roles?

This question evaluates the candidate's ability to identify inefficiencies and implement improvements. The candidate should provide specific examples of how they improved processes, the strategies they used, and the results they achieved.

In my previous role, I noticed that there were redundancies in our procurement process. I initiated a thorough review, streamlined the process by automating several steps, and trained the team on the new system. This led to significant time savings and a 15% reduction in procurement costs.

5. Can you describe a time when you had to communicate a difficult message to your team?

The candidate's response to this question will demonstrate their communication skills, particularly in challenging situations. Their answer should illustrate their ability to deliver difficult news clearly, tactfully, and empathetically.

In my last role, our company had to implement a round of layoffs due to financial struggles. As the Manager, I had to communicate this to my team. I was honest, direct, yet empathetic, and offered support to those affected.

6. How do you manage and prioritize your tasks?

Here, the candidate should describe their methods for managing workload, prioritizing tasks, and maintaining productivity. They should provide examples that highlight their efficiency, organization, and ability to meet deadlines.

I usually start my day by creating a to-do list, prioritizing tasks based on their urgency and importance. I also use project management tools to track my tasks and deadlines. This approach helps me stay organized and efficient.

7. How do you approach problem-solving in the face of operational challenges?

The answer to this question should highlight the candidate's problem-solving skills, creativity, and resilience. They should provide an example of a challenging operational problem they faced and how they resolved it.

In my previous role, we had a major system outage that disrupted our operations. I convened a team to identify the root cause, brainstormed solutions, and implemented a fix. We also improved our system redundancy to prevent similar incidents in the future.

8. How do you keep your team motivated and engaged?

In their response, candidates should demonstrate their leadership skills, particularly their ability to inspire and motivate their team. They should share strategies they've used previously to maintain team morale and engagement.

To keep my team motivated, I strive to create a positive and supportive work environment. I regularly acknowledge their efforts, provide constructive feedback, and offer professional development opportunities.

9. Can you share an example of a significant change you implemented and how you managed it?

Candidates should demonstrate their change management skills in their answer. They should describe the change, the steps they took to implement it, and how they managed the impact on the team.

I once led the implementation of a new CRM system. I managed the change by involving the team early in the decision-making process, providing thorough training, and addressing their concerns promptly.

10. How do you measure success in your role as a Business Operations Manager?

The answer to this question will reveal the candidate's understanding of their role and their ability to gauge their performance. They should explain the key performance indicators (KPIs) they use to measure their success.

I measure my success by the efficiency of our operations, the satisfaction of my team, and the achievement of our business goals. If our operations are smooth, my team is happy, and we're meeting our targets, then I consider myself successful.

11. How do you ensure your team meets its goals and targets?

Candidates should demonstrate their ability to drive team performance and achieve business outcomes. They should describe the strategies they employ to ensure their team meets its goals, including setting clear expectations, tracking progress, and providing feedback.

I set clear and achievable goals for my team, regularly monitor our progress, and provide constructive feedback. I also foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement to help us meet our targets.

12. How do you handle conflicts within your team?

Candidates should demonstrate their conflict management skills in their response. They should provide examples of how they've resolved conflicts in a fair, balanced, and professional manner.

Whenever conflicts arise, I approach them proactively. I facilitate open discussions, encourage everyone to express their views, and guide my team towards finding a mutually acceptable solution.

13. How do you stay updated on industry trends and changes?

This question assesses whether the candidate takes the initiative to stay informed about industry trends. Their answer should highlight their methods for staying current and how this knowledge informs their work.

I regularly read industry reports, attend webinars, and participate in professional networking groups. This not only keeps me updated on industry trends but also provides insights that I can apply in my role.

14. Can you explain how you manage risks in business operations?

Candidates should demonstrate their ability to identify, assess, and manage risks in their response. They should describe their approach to risk management and provide examples of how they've mitigated risks in the past.

When managing risks, I first identify potential risks. Then, I assess their impact and likelihood. Based on this, I develop mitigation strategies. For example, to mitigate the risk of system outages, I implemented regular system backups and maintenance.

15. How do you foster a culture of continuous improvement within your team?

The candidate should demonstrate their commitment to improvement and innovation. They should discuss how they encourage their team to continuously improve and provide examples of improvements they've implemented.

To foster a culture of continuous improvement, I encourage my team to share their ideas and feedback. I also invest in their professional development and regularly review our processes for potential improvements.