Photo Courtesy: Management Style

If you’ve been past a certain job level, then you might have attended a management job interview where you had to explain to the interviewer what your management style was like. This question may also be phrased as “What’s your leadership style?” although the meaning of manager and leader are deemed different in the corporate world.

Joan Malema has been working in the corporate world for the past 3 years in a junior role. She recently got promoted to a senior role. She however felt the need to move to a different company on a similar role. Albeit with little experience in management, she is equipped with the knowledge and skills to do so.

“Tell me Joan, in your past role, you have had the capacity to lead a team of seven effectively. What skills have made this possible and how would you apply those skills into your new role?”

In simpler terms, the interviewer wants to know, “what’s your management style?”

According to an anonymous VP at Glassdoor, management style varies depending on employees. Some people respond to aggressive goals; others don’t thrive on pressure. Some people prefer frequent check-ins; others prefer clear direction up front and then giving them space to get their work done.

That being laid out, below are 3 sample answers to the above question.

Sample no 1:Emphasizing on Teamwork
Good managers are all about embracing teamwork and what make their team tick. Consider phrasing your answer to something close to this

“I’ve always admired managers and leaders who seem to know just what to do in any situation. They delegate when delegation is called for and they work side-by-side when that’s what’s needed. They just seem to know how to be what their employees need them to be at any given time.

I’ve always tried to be that type of manager, and I believe I’ve been successful so far. I’ve offered my team members guidance when they needed it, and I’ve also worked side by side with them when there was need to be.”

Sample no 2: Emphasize on foreseeing the future.

This sample focus on a manger’ ability to know know the strengths and weaknesses of his/her team members. This way they can be able to push them into the right direction.

“I don’t have one management style. I think that when you get too comfortable relating to your employees one way, then you miss out on opportunities to develop them and make the most of their abilities. I believe that a good manager looks to the future and tries to push their employees in that direction.

Helping people develop their skillset can help boost productivity in the long-run and so I believe it’s important to not be short-sighted.”

Sample no 3: Emphasize on Change and adaptability
How flexible are you depending on your management style?

Consider the following phrasing…

“I just try to adapt to the situation. Going back at my own career, there have been times when I knew what I was doing and wanted my manager to let me do my work, and there were times when I was learning a new skill and could have used some help along the way.

I however think the most successful managers are the ones who can adapt their style to the employee, and to the situation. Not every employee needs the same management style.”

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