How To Answer: What Is Your Management Style?

March 30, 2022 Catherine Tacopina

A question like ‘what is your management style’ can be a tricky one to answer! Not only must you show that you can be an effective manager, but you must convey it in a way that shows you are the right fit for the team and company as a whole.

With that said, not every management style works for every company. When a hiring manager asks you this question, they are trying to assess how you’d lead the team, if you’d meet the needs of current employees, and your ability to drive departmental goals.

While the ‘right’ answer is subjective, you still need to be prepared with a good answer. Continue reading to learn more about answering ‘what is your management style’ during an interview:

Consider what good leadership means to you

To answer a question like ‘what is your management style,’ you need to define what good management looks like to you. To do this, first take yourself out of the equation. Consider past managers you have worked with. What made them stand out? How can you apply it to your own experience?

Identify qualities that make you a good manager

After reflecting on other managers you’ve seen in action, think about the skills and qualities that make you a good leader. If you have management experience under your belt, you can describe the qualities that have made you successful in these roles. If this is your first time interviewing for a management role, you likely have other leadership experience you can draw upon. Whether that is a time you led a project from start to finish or a volunteer experience, think about the skills you gained and the knowledge you acquired that made you successful.

Understand different management styles

When answering ‘what is your management style,’ it is helpful to understand basic leadership styles. Since this can feel like such an open-ended question, having an idea of basic frameworks can help you organize your answer based on your skills, experience, and the leaders you admire. Don’t feel pressure to give a “textbook” answer, but rather, use these widely accepted management styles as a starting point.

Give an example

You’ll want to wrap up your answer to ‘what is your management style’ with an example that ties everything all together. Think about your leadership experience, whether it is formal or more project-based, and pick a story that highlights you at your best. This example should help a prospective employer understand your management style and your strengths in the workplace.

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