During your job interview, you might encounter the interview question: “How would you describe your leadership style?” or “What is your management style?” In this article, I’ll explain the reasons why interviewers ask this question, provide you with useful interview tips and how you can structure your answer using an example.
Candidates that apply for managerial roles can expect this type of interview question. It’s a great question to find out more about someone’s ability to lead and how comfortable he or she is doing it. You don’t necessarily need to have managed or supervised colleagues in a previous job to answer this question.
√ Do share a real-life situation or story that helps the interviewer identify your leadership style. Ask beforehand: “Do you want me to provide an actual example of a moment I’ve done this?”
√ Do remember that leadership is not a one-size-fits-all skill. You can explain your default leadership style and how you apply different leadership strategies as the situation demands.
X Don’t say, “I’ve never led people in the past“, “I don’t know my leadership style” or “I’m not a born leader“. There are many leadership styles of which some you surely can use in your answer.
X Don’t say you have an authoritarian, autocratic or military leadership style without explainable reasons. Candidates that mention only this leadership style will lead interviewers to doubt.
X Don’t limit your answer to only a participative leadership style. Although this management style has many advantages, it inhibits swift-decision making and increases the likelihood of conflict.