Interview Question Guide

Director of Operations

Directors of Operations work with senior management to develop and monitor performance goals and create long-term operational plans for the business. Doing so requires them to maximize productivity and operational efficiency by analyzing and making improvements to existing processes. They develop and monitor budgets, understand, apply, and update company policies, and optimize processes and workflows. In some organizations, they are also responsible for monitoring employee engagement and satisfaction. Directors of Operations tend to work with multiple roles and departments such as finance, human resources, and general project managers as they plan, monitor, and analyze the company’s performance metrics to accomplish these tasks.

Core skills for Director of Operations roles


Critical Thinking


Verbal Communication




Strategic Planning


Performance Management

Effectively interviewing Director of Operations roles

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Director of Operations in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in an Director of Operations role will go a long way in helping you decide. 

But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions? 

The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates. 

At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Director of Operations role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created a Director of Operations Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process. 

Example questions for Director of Operations candidates

Question 1

Describe a time you had unexpected challenges with a financial process/aspect of a project. What happened? How did you respond to the problems, and what did you learn from the experience?

Answer Tips

  • Describes context and specific financial challenges
  • Explains how the problem arose and identifies key cause of the issue
  • Considers the pros and cons of different solutions to resolve issue
  • Communicates issue to other parties and solicits input from others if relevant
  • Explains which solution they implemented and justifies their decision

Question 2

When managing programs/operations, you often deal with stakeholders with different levels of power and investment in projects. What are some communication strategies you apply to manage different stakeholders' expectations?

Answer Tips

  • Considers different stakeholder roles (internal/external, direct/indirect, etc.)
  • Tailors communication based on stakeholder power and investment per project
  • Listens actively to their needs to develop clear understanding of expectations
  • Builds stakeholder trust through open, honest, and timely communications
  • Discusses learnings or best practices for communicating with key stakeholders

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