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Operations Manager job role interview questions

Admin | September 10, 2022

Operations management is a procedure that involves effectively controlling the processes and resources used to produce goods and services for sale by a business. This kind of management is concerned with how the business uses its resources. Managing the resources, technologies, people, and goods that keep a business functioning may also fall under the purview of operations. 

Every industry in the economy offers job prospects for operations and supply chain specialists because all businesses have suppliers, consumers, and processes. Like manufacturers of automobiles or home appliances, service companies in industries like information technology, healthcare, and hospitality management require planning, scheduling, and coordination. Additionally, there are openings in local, state, and federal government, non-profits, consulting firms, and specialized businesses that manage operations and supply chain work that is outsourced from other businesses. 

Business process reengineering (BPR), which entails redesigning processes to increase performance and efficiency for the overall quality of products, is a common reason businesses recruit operations managers. There are several career prospects for operations management students across a variety of sectors. Supply chain analysts, operations managers, procurement specialists, healthcare operations managers, etc., are examples of typical positions that a student of operations management can apply for after completing their course. Businesses hire operations management students in various sectors, including consumer products, retail, logistics, and pharmaceuticals.

Useful article: Job roles in MBA Operations Management

Is an MBA in Operations Management a good career choice?

After completing your graduation, if you are considering an MBA programme in Operations Management, you are on the right path because it is a fantastic career option for individuals interested in working in the primary business functions. Operations managers are behind the success of finishing multiple jobs or projects with the appropriate utilization of workforces and resources. In order to ensure that everyone completes their tasks on time, an operations manager also plans strategy updates. Each commercial firm, no matter the sector, needs an operations manager to manage their organization’s daily operations and business processes, from hospitals to banks and retail establishments.

Thus, an MBA in Operations Management is a good career choice for individuals planning to get into managerial roles. There are quite a few benefits of pursuing an MBA programme in Operations Management, as operations management is required in almost all businesses.

The likelihood of employment will also grow with an MBA in Operation Management, making it a wise career choice. Aspirants can, in reality, enter any industry or sector as they would be adequately qualified to handle practically all of the functions of the manufacturing department of a business.

The benefit of operations management is that it has been extended to several industries rather than being restricted to just one. It can be a good option if you’re interested in becoming a manager after gaining some experience.

An MBA in Operations Management engages students in the area of logistics and supply chain management and attempts to teach students how to effectively manage business activities in an organization.

Following are some of the basic information which a person must have before starting their MBA journey in Operations Management:

Name of the programMBA in Operations Management
Time required2 years
RequirementAt least 50% in any under-graduation program
ExamsCAT, GMAT, XAT, etc

The article provides some probable operations manager interview questions to help you land your dream job as an operations manager.

Also read: Important concepts to learn during an MBA in Operations Management

Operation management interview questions and answers for job aspirants 

Here are some of the important operations manager questions and answers to guide you in landing a job in the operations department.

What do you know about logistics management?

Assuring the smooth delivery of commodities, freight, packages, raw materials, finished inventories, and packages from their point of origin to their final recipients requires a number of processes that fall within the purview of logistics management. Depending on the level of digitalization a company has, these processes might be either automated or manual. With the help of technologies like Artificial Intelligence(AI), Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things, among many others, modern and efficient logistics management enables companies to discover fresh revenue streams, improve delivery profitability, and produce wonderful customer interactions.

Processes for managing inbound and outbound logistics flow are the foundation of logistics management. Moving supplies from suppliers into a storehouse and then into a manufacturing facility to create products is known as intound logistics. Raw materials, instruments, component components, office supplies, and office equipment can all be a part of inbound logistics. Moving finished goods from warehouse inventories and transporting them to clients is known as outbound logistics.

The administration of all the operations involved in returning goods and commodities is known as reverse logistics. Reverse logistics deals with returning products to the source company from the consumer or end location so they can be recycled, repaired, refurbished, or reused.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of an OM?

The recruitment of new employees and team training are among the human resources-related responsibilities of an operations manager. Their objectives are to raise staff output while upholding corporate standards and quality control. Operations managers make sure everyday activities go without a hitch in all departments. Depending on the respective industry, an operations manager may have different duties specific to the business. 

An operations manager employed in construction, for instance, concentrates on budget development and procurement, whereas an operations manager employed in online shopping or e-commerce is in charge of inventory management and sales tactics. 

The following are some of the general duties and responsibilities of operations managers: 

  • Organizing events to increase staff motivation and engagement
  • Analyzing user data to calculate the cost-benefit ratio locating problems in the company’s supply chain through quality control checks
  • Establishing and monitoring employee schedules 
  • Creating strategies for employees’ professional development 
  • Establishing objectives for increased output and improved efficiency
  • Monitoring the overall budget of the business as well as departmental budgets 
  • Establishing corporate guidelines and carrying out periodic updates regarding workflow and process
  • Resolving disputes between departments about resources
  • Examining the company’s resource management and looking for ways to boost employee productivity 
  • Developing tools to automate repetitive process monitoring on-site projects and field operations
  • Resolving inventory management concerns

Have you worked on any management information systems? If so, what are they?

The study of individuals, organizations, technology and their interactions is known as management information systems (MIS). MIS specialists assist businesses in maximizing the return on their investments in people, equipment, and business operations. MIS is a people-focused industry with a focus on providing services using technology. A degree in MIS might be right for you if you are interested in technology and want to utilize it to aid businesses in improving their processes. 

Data sources for managing data are made by MIS professionals. They also oversee numerous information systems to serve the demands of management, employees, and clients. MIS specialists can play a significant role in areas like data protection, integration, and exchange by collaborating with other members of their work group in addition to their customers and clients. 

Tell me about cost analysis tools.

Cost Analysis is a simple-to-use visualization tool that will assist you in tracking and managing the cost of your Cloud Infrastructure. A cloud cost analysis tool is a software application that helps businesses reduce the cost of their online operations. The tool provides useful insight into how a company uses its cloud computing resources in general. You can create graphs and get precise, trustworthy tabular reports of cost data with cost analysis tools. You can use cost analysis tools to produce reports and perform spot checks on expenditure patterns. 

What are the best practices of financial management?

Some of the best practices of financial management are:

  • Doing responsible money planning
  • Attempting not to complicate the procedure
  • Accountability and openness are crucial for improving the efficiency and smoothness of the financial management system
  • Create separate accounts for personal and professional use

Managing financial transactions is the one common interest shared by all organizations. Making several crucial financial decisions is necessary for running a firm.

What is the best approach for negotiating vendor contracts?

Always consider whether the vendor meshes with your business and is consistent with your current objective. Mutual interest is the one factor that unites all partnerships. The likelihood of developing a lasting connection increases with the number of shared interests you have. 

On the other hand, it is always preferable to leave if your ideals appear to be at odds. The next step is to create a thoughtful list of the requirements you are looking to fill. Consider the obstacles the supplier will need to conquer, the services or costs you are willing to bargain for, and the issues you will not be willing to compromise on. 

Never enter vendor contract discussions without having a strong backup plan. This is the guiding principle while negotiating supplier contracts. Additionally, you can always advocate for what’s best for you while exploring the options with more than one provider because you won’t have to worry about damaging a connection. 

Converse with several suppliers at once. Inquire about their costs, the method they use to transport their products, and other facets of their operation. Gather a lot of information to aid in weighing the competing offers from each provider. Comparing various bids ensures that you are not entering a negotiation without any market expertise. 

Risks and liabilities are other issues to watch out for during vendor contract discussions. It’s usually advisable to establish limits for risks and responsibilities that are specified to avoid being caught off guard. Recognise when you should renegotiate a contract or when you can afford to cut your expenses and part ways with a vendor.

How would you motivate employees resistant to changes in company procedures?

  • Encourage a positive workplace culture. Employees are far more likely to swiftly embrace the change if they perceive you, to be honest, and if they feel loyal to you and trust you. Your efforts in creating this kind of connection will benefit you during a change.
  • Describe the changes. Any change initiative will result in job changes that leaders might not have expected. Encourage employees to discuss the change, so they are aware of the advantages it provides to them personally and the beneficial effects it will have on their jobs.
  • Justify the change’s cause. Just describing the changes is not sufficient. Make the change’s purpose clear to staff members who weren’t involved in its planning. Give them the justification for the modification.

How would you help your team achieve the company’s goal?

Request cross-departmental cooperation: Efficient internal communications are essential to achieve company objectives. It can also boost efficiency and productivity. When it comes to forming partnerships to accomplish goals during the design of a product, service, or project, an effective internal interaction plan is essential.

Hire experts: When your team doesn’t succeed in reaching its objectives, it may be essential to hire a senior expert profile. In-house capabilities can be strengthened by qualified specialists with adaptability, and they can satisfy urgent business requirements on schedule. Motivation is the key: You lose productivity when you multitask frequently. The simplest approach to avoid feeling intimidated by a major objective is to break it down into manageable steps. You can work with your team to improve delivery performance by streamlining internal procedures. When making clear, manageable goals, strive to be realistic about what you can accomplish and keep things simple.

How does company culture affect your work?

The important role of company culture is it aids the organization in maintaining its own identity. It gives the organization’s employees a feeling of stability and belonging. Top performers and valued talent are more likely to stay with an organization because of its culture. It fosters a climate of involvement and raises staff output. It keeps employees joyful and enthusiastic about their jobs.

Did you and your team face any problems in the past? If yes, how did you overcome them?

The team needed a more effective training strategy to run operations. So we designed a strategy that covered all aspects of operation and was efficient and simple to learn. The crew ultimately adored the curriculum and felt incredibly powerful following training with the guide.

Explain how you handle budget planning?

Zero based budgeting and flexible budgeting processes are reasonable approaches to budgets. Cost reductions are a planned outcome of using these two strategies and can take place concurrently. As a result, there is no longer a need for cost-cutting initiatives that would be necessary if a rolling forecasting or static budgeting method had been employed. The plans can be adjusted, and unpleasant surprises can be avoided with a monthly check against P/L. When using a rolling forecast or a standard static budget, one must make sure that the goals are established by the frequency of occurrence and must, as a general rule, be between 1 to 2 degrees of separation. Budgeting and cost-cutting efforts that use averages as a benchmark are doomed to failure.

How will you solve operational issues within an organization?

Operation manager employs a range of abilities to support a company when it has operational difficulties. They can identify these circumstances as soon as feasible because of their ability to monitor the company. Work to find a solution by applying critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The operation manager can guarantee a properly implemented solution that will assist avoid such problems in the future thanks to coordination and teaching abilities.

Why do you think you can be a good operation manager?

  • ·An excellent operations manager can interact with the operational personnel and recognizes the value of the workforce. This entails stating the obvious, offering meaningful and constructive feedback, and paying attention to empowering team members.
  • An efficient operations manager is one who effectively controls resource intake and output. These experts streamline procedures to lower the cost of goods per unit, enabling them to sell for less while still leaving a sizable profit to stay flexible in cutthroat business situations. The hard effort of the production teams can often be rewarded when processes are carried out in this way.
  • When objectives are not achieved, leaders go further to identify the root causes of the issues. Setting up regular meetings with different managers and department heads enables careful supervision without displaying an outward presence among employees, which is something operations managers who believe it is their primary obligation to keep a tight check on certain procedures.

Have you implemented any cost-cutting strategies previously? 

Outsourcing: Small companies and startups do not have significant revenue streams. As a result, using freelancers or outside firms to outsource your needs is more cost-effective than hiring full-time staff. One of the many services that would be best handled by a third-party business is marketing and advertising. Cost-cutting is essential while business is still in the early stages since, as it expands, you will need to hire full-time personnel for all areas.

Looking for lower prices: Create a bidding process for projects and tenders before making the final selection. Send out requests for proposals to potential vendors with as much detail as you can, then compare costs. Never sacrifice quality and value for lower prices while you search around for the best deals.

Adapt to technology: In the business world, embracing technology and implementing it will help lower operational costs because it eliminates errors, which frequently charge your company time and money. Robots are a great example because they operate more quickly and accurately than humans. Additionally, ERP software gives you the ability to boost precision and automate some organizational tasks, which lowers operational and administrative costs.

Paying bills timely: You’ll save money by making sure you pay invoices on time in two different ways. First of all, there would be no delayed payment fees. The same holds true for any loans you may have. Vendor discounts are the second benefit of clearing your payments on time. 

Explain how you would create a report about our company’s production costs.

A production cost report formally presents the four essential phases of allocating costs to units sent out and units in ending WIP inventory. A processing department’s output and cost activities for a reporting period are compiled in the production cost report. 

What skill makes you a successful operation manager?

Technical competence: Operations management demands technical application expertise in areas like data entry, industrial automation, and computer access to plan data, budget tracking, and design procedures. Numerous companies and organizations combine technical applications for managing customer connections, measuring costs, and automation business procedures. Technical expertise is a crucial component of your operational and managerial skills due to the large variety of operations that businesses rely on.

Plan strategically: Rational reflection and strategic planning are two crucial components of the operational management skills you’ll need to succeed in your career. Operations managers need to be able to spot potential problems before they arise and come up with innovative solutions to problems that assist teams in achieving their goals. Possessing the ability to evaluate data and input required for business process decisions is another aspect of strategic planning.

Product designing: The stages of a programme’s product development are often participated in by operations managers. Operations managers must comprehend the product development procedures that enable firms to create income to oversee the design and creation of new items, supervise the quality control of final goods, and keep an eye on budgets. You must possess the abilities required for this position to assist market development teams and steer projects toward success. 

Data processing expertise: The collection, entry, and distribution of operational data into your firm’s computer network may be your responsibility as an operations manager. For tracking a variety of corporate operations, such as sales, receiving and outgoing cash flow, vendor deliveries, account holders, product design, and supply chain management procedures, data analysis and organization are crucial.

Staff control: Operations managers are employed in management positions and are often in charge of supervising and managing several teams of workers. As a supervisor, you must possess solid abilities that enable you to assign assignments effectively, organize and maintain personnel calendars, carry out assessments, and increase employment. 

You may also like: How to become an Operations Manager?

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Conclusion

Before going to an interview, you should practice these operations manager interview questions. These operations management interview questions should help you get the job of your dreams.

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