The reason why hiring managers ask managerial style related interview questions, is to find out the candidate’s managerial approach and if he/she is able to manage their team. Understand which management styles they seek for and provide them with a suitable real-life example answer.
Example Answer (Experience)
“I believe that my default management style, if I have one, is a democratic or participative approach. When I was a [Job title] at [Company XYZ], I noticed that this style increased productivity, overall group morale and the input of ideas and opinions were important in the decision-making process.
However, I assess the situation and team before I choose my management style. At my most recent job for example, my team experienced tight deadlines and there was little margin for errors. In these circumstances I tend to adopt an authoritative management style.”
Example Answer (No Experience)
“As you might have noticed in my resume, I don’t have any professional managerial working experience. I did however, take on several management roles and responsibilities as a student. I was team leader in various group projects and managed our academic volleyball team for four years.
I took a holistic approach and focused on the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of each team member. I motivated the team before matches and provided constructive feedback afterwards. As a result, our team earned its 4th straight district title and I was praised for helping the team evolve and grow.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t say that you’ve never managed a team before. Even if you’ve no working experience, you still need to come up with a story or narrative about a situation in which you took the leadership role.
- Don’t say ‘I’m not sure‘ or ‘I’ve never thought about it‘. Also, don’t say ‘I don’t have a management style, I just accomplish the department objectives’. You’ll come across as someone that lacks interest in their team and company culture.
- Do match your managerial qualifications to the job description. For example, if it concerns a position in Information Technology (IT), then a delegative management style is often preferred. A marketing team however, usually requires a more collaborative approach for constant support.