What is Your Management Style?
What is your management style is a frequently asked interview question especially if you are going into any management role. This interview question is often asked for those who have the potential, or an expectation, to go into management positions.
The interviewer is looking to find out:
- How self-aware you are. Self-awareness is a super important skill to enable you do develop into a strong manager and flex your own management style. If you can’t manage yourself well, how can you manage others.
- Your management experience. How you answer this interview question quickly tells the interviewer a lot about your management experience.
- More about your management approach or style. Luckily, everyone has slightly different approach to management, resulting in a personal management style. Clearly there are some behaviours that help as a manager and some that hinder. In our view, being a good manager requires you to be true to yourself, genuine and honest.
Also consider that the interviewer is looking to find out clues about
- In what way will you treat your team members
- How will you support and develop your team members
- The way you communicate with your team
- If you are a team player
- How approachable are you
- What focus you put on getting the job done
- How you deal with problems and changes
Think about how you approach management, your management style and how you support your team. How can you craft your answer to this question to best show the potential employer how you will get the best out of any team you manage.
Other points to think about
A good quote we like relating to the different between okay managers and great managers is:
“Okay managers play checkers; great managers play chess”
Great managers recognise the skills and experience of individual members of staff. These managers match up individuals with the most appropriate skills and experience to the problem at hand.
Think of a football or netball team. In a great team, each player has a slightly different skill set and those differences combined make them a great team. You don’t put 11 defensive players on the pitch all the time and expect to win championships.
A good leader gets them to play to their individual strengths within the wider team.
What is your management style – example answer
“My management style flexes to the situation and the person or team that I am dealing with. Everyone and every situation is a little different, and therefore the approach I take needs to reflects those differences.
Actively supporting and developing my team is a great way to achieve fantastic results. I run informal training sessions regularly and weekly one-to-ones to enable me to mentor and check up on what is being worked. This is good for the individuals, the team and the company as individuals become better and the team delivers more. This approach creates a good team culture. I also work hard on setting clear direction so everyone understands where we are going and how they can help
When managing teams through a crisis, I have employed a much more direct leadership style, setting tasks, mucking in as needed. I am quick to support and deal effectively with poor performers.
A good example that demonstrates all the above points – I was asked to turnaround a finance team that had allowed a mid-sized business with turnover of £20m to run out of money despite being profitable. During this turnaround process, I had to make a number of changes to personnel, change processes and train the team. We also implemented a new ERP system. The results included the cash balance increasing from near zero to over £3m within 12 months, and the business becoming much more forward focused, allowing 20% per annum growth to resume”
Practice answering the interview question
It remains important to practice your answer to “Tell me about yourself ?” out loud, just like an actor would learning their lines. It may be better to learn the key points to include rather than learning word for word, so it come across as more natural.
Practice makes perfect as they say.
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