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10 Management Style Interview Questions: [With Sample Answers]

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Whether it’s your first time in a managerial position or not, it’s essential to prepare yourself for any interview.

That’s because having an overview of some predictable management-style interview questions gives you a huge advantage.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the answers to the most common management-style interview question for positions like account manager, project manager, HR manager, etc.

10 Common Management Style Interview Questions

In general, the interviewer wants to know about the strategy you follow, your perception of duty, your style of handling the workplace, and so forth.

Since preparation is key, the following 10 questions are among the most common management-style interview questions that you should expect to hear. So, check them out.

  1. What is your motivation strategy for employees?
  2. What do you do to avoid miscommunication between you and your team members?
  3. How do you deal with a stressful situation?
  4. What is your method of resolving conflicts with other team members?
  5. What was the most difficult decision you had to make on a job?
  6. How do you measure success?
  7. What was your biggest accomplishment in a previous job?
  8. What skills do you possess that make you a successful manager?
  9. What is your technique for dealing with difficult employees?
  10. How do you lead by example?

You can expect all kinds of questions when being interviewed for a managerial position.

From questions about leadership to planning to employee relations, interviewers usually leave no stone unturned.

So, it would highly benefit you to check out other related interview questions, like collaboration interview questions and culture interview questions.

What Should I Say in a Management Style Interview?

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, the skills of a good manager everywhere are kind of similar.

In addition, the traits that a candidate shouldn’t have are also, somewhat, notorious.

That’s why it’s critical to showcase the positive attributes of your character that would better assist you in the interview.

What Skills Are Management Style Interviewers Looking for in a Candidate?

Interviewers often look for skills showing a successful manager that’s able to establish progress in the business. Generally, there are hundreds of these qualities that you can prove you have during an interview, which include:

  • Communication: Your ability to connect with team members and co-workers to avoid any future complications.
  • Organization and Planning: Being able to come up with plans, schedule them, and organize the steps to follow allow you to predict and address any obstacle ahead of time.
  • Motivation: For any team to stay driven, it requires a highly skilled leader to motivate them on their way to success.
  • Support: The ability to offer support for your team members and how it impacts them is an excellent skill for a manager to have.
  • Delegation: The delegation skill is knowing exactly how and to whom to transfer the task for the best results.

What Traits Are Management Style Interviewers Looking To Avoid in a Candidate?

When interviewers meet with applicants for managerial positions, they search for any red flags in one’s personality. So, here are a few of the traits management style interviewees are looking to avoid:

  • Micromanagement: Some of the most alarming traits of a bad manager are hovering over the work, dictating every part of the process, and demanding constant updates.
  • Blame: Mixing up the meaning between accountability and blame can be a sign of a poor manager. That’s because, while accountability focuses on the future, blame is all about dealing with the past.
  • Lack of empathy: A manager who can feel and understand the employees is inspiring to everybody. Not talking employees through challenges and always judging them is a trait that a manager should never have.

Sample Management Style Interview Questions and Answers

Knowing the common questions and how to answer them is pretty helpful. Not only to avoid letting gaffes slip but also to leave a positive impression. So, here are ten sample questions and how to answer them.

1. What Is Your Motivation Strategy for Employees?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question helps further explore your character and work ethic.

Since your role as a manager is to ensure that employees meet the company’s goal, the interviewer often needs to determine your ability to inspire others to succeed.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

First, you need to prepare yourself by researching new motivation techniques.

Then, you should provide an example of when you used motivation to inspire a coworker and how it paid off.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You need to stay clear of appearing too emotional about it.

Although empathy is an encouraged behavior, over-excitement without a clear vision to channel it can be useless.

Example Answer

“My preferred motivation strategy is empowering employees. Giving workers the power to make decisions helps them develop their skills. In addition, I also believe in encouraging and recognizing their efforts as a part of their success process.”

2. What Do You Do To Avoid Miscommunication Between You and Your Team Members?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question is a way to evaluate your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

They want to know if you can listen to your employees and if you’re articulate enough to deliver the information to workers.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You need to focus on your ability to communicate with team members no matter how far apart you are.

So, shine a light on the methods you apply to avoid miscommunication.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid showing signs of micromanagement with too much communication, briefing, and feedback.

Remember that giving employees a space to handle things is highly encouraged.

Example Answer

“I work on changing the means of communication for each type of message I want to deliver. For example, I use chat platforms for quick and short questions. As for subjects that need future referrals, I prefer using emails.

Furthermore, when I feel that a certain message can be lost in translation, making a phone call or talking in person is the way I usually resort to.”

3. How Do You Deal With a Stressful Situation?

Why This Question Is Asked

This type of question assesses your ability as a manager to work under pressure and handle conflicts.

This, in turn, reflects how you focus on problem-solving rather than stressing over the issue.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

When answering this question, you should focus on your positive approach toward problems.

Additionally, demonstrate what you do to control your stress levels and the techniques you use to avoid future situations of this kind.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Try to avoid negative feelings and blaming others.

In addition, don’t deny that you have experienced stress in your job because this would sound like you are being untruthful.

Example Answer

“First, when I face a stressful situation, I prefer to take a moment for myself. I go for a walk and clear my head. Then, I work on outlining a plan of action to tackle this issue. With this plan, I manage to handle any problem that comes up by looping it through the troubleshooting process.

I discovered that stress, if controlled, can act as fuel to motivate a person into staying on track, especially with meeting deadlines. That’s why I set my own deadlines for all kinds of tasks to accomplish that.”

4. What Is Your Method of Resolving Conflicts With Other Team Members?

Why This Question Is Asked

By this question, the interviewer determines your policy of dealing with employees as well as your problem-solving skills.

It’s essential to know whether you listen to your team members and talk to them about conflicts.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Explain your role in professionally handling conflicts, which involves the strategy you use to do that.

What’s more, provide a detailed example of how you dealt with a similar conflict before.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Try not to mention things showing that you might not be able to handle a conflict well enough.

Additionally, don’t provide a general or vague answer to this kind of question.

Example Answer

“When disagreeing with a coworker, I prefer to sit with this person to discuss the matter.

For example, I once had a coworker that didn’t like my method of doing a certain task.

I sat down with them to hear their point of view, and we talked about other alternatives.

In no time, we reached a middle ground where both of us were content.

What’s more, this unbiased agreement we reached further helped with the progress of the business.”

5. What Was the Most Difficult Decision You Had To Make on a Job?

Why This Question Is Asked

Typically, your ability to make tough decisions measures your mindset as a manager as well as your professional priorities.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on mentioning the types of decisions you made in the past that displays your expertise in handling difficult situations.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You might want to steer away from mentioning negative instances, like how frustrated a certain employee was when you chose to let them go.

Example Answer

“The toughest decision for me to make is letting an employee go.

Though I value each person’s contribution to the workplace, such a decision can be beneficial in some situations.

Whenever I decided to terminate a worker in the past, I first made sure that I was clear about the consequences of not meeting the job goals.

So when I go over the reasons for such a tough decision, I always conclude that this person was given a fair chance.”

6. How Do You Measure Success?

Why This Question Is Asked

Interviewers usually ask this question to make sure that your definition of success aligns with their beliefs and methods.

That’s to know how you would fit into their company culture.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You need to focus on qualities demonstrating how you care about meeting personal and professional standards.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You should avoid elaborating on the general definition of success.

What’s more, try not to oversell yourself, as you might appear too arrogant and self-obsessed.

Example Answer

“I measure success by evaluating my team’s ability to achieve work goals.

Whether they’re long-term or short-term goals, it’s always a beneficial strategy.

That’s because crossing off a finished objective can highly encourage a person.

So, constantly meeting our goals and crossing them off the list is a way for us to track how successful we are as a team.”

7. What Was Your Biggest Accomplishment in a Previous Job?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question aims to discover more about how you did in your previous job and answering it correctly is a guarantee for standing out in an interview.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Most importantly, you need to research the job requirements and what skills they’re expecting from the applicant for this position.

That way you get to highlight those qualities within your answer.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Even when you can’t think of a major accomplishment, you should never lie.

As long as you demonstrate the skills this position requires, it doesn’t matter how insignificant this accomplishment may seem.

Example Answer

“My greatest accomplishment in a previous role is arranging communication.

I did that by working on the methods that we, as co-workers, use to interact with each other.

I took the initiative and worked with them to organize the tasks and goals in a way that worked for all of us.

At the end of the month, we were able to accomplish more goals than we’ve ever been before.”

8. What Skills Do You Possess That Makes You a Successful Manager?

Why This Question Is Asked

Managers of all fields usually have a common skill set that defines them as being “good” at their job.

This question aims to know how many of those skills you possess.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on demonstrating your transferable skills, like leadership and successful communication.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Try to avoid exaggerating your skills and qualities, as this might give a bad impression about your character.

Example Answer

“I utilize skills, like organization, communication, and problem-solving.

I believe that proper communication is key to building mutual trust. Additionally, organizational skills help me avoid as many issues as possible.

However, since problems are inevitable, this is where my problem-solving skills come in handy, enabling me to come up with innovative solutions for any issue.

For example, in my previous job and with the help of my co-workers, we came up with the best schedule possible for working remotely.

What’s more, communication helped us stay on track with all goals and fill in each other’s gaps when needed.”

9. What Is Your Technique for Dealing With Difficult Employees?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question assesses your ability to communicate with and understand others.

It also showcases your problem-solving skills in dealing with difficult employees.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on what matters most to the interviewers, which is your skills in handling difficult people and problem-solving.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You shouldn’t get too personal talking about an employee’s behavior.

Moreover, make sure to only highlight problematic characteristics and not debatable ones.

Example Answer

“I had an employee that was delivering great results. However, this person wasn’t the best team player, which sometimes affected the overall performance.

So, I sat down with them and clarified what was wrong with this attitude.

Then, we discussed how to work on their skills to better enhance the situation, which drastically changed things for the better.”

10. How Do You Lead by Example?

Why This Question Is Asked

Your answer to these questions shows your competency as a leader and your ability to be a successful manager.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on a real-life situation where you actually led by example and the outcome of this action.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid saying that you don’t have leadership experience.

Even never being in a manager’s position doesn’t mean you didn’t get to lead.

Example Answer

“I lead by example through tackling hard tasks.

When my team sees me doing the same tasks I ask them to do, they get inspired to develop themselves.

Even the simplest acts of arriving early or cleaning your desk can encourage your coworkers to do it too.”

Other Common Interview Questions You Could Be Asked

Aside from the previous questions, there are other more general interview questions you may hear regardless of the interview type, including

1. What Motivates You To Do a Good Job?

Why This Question Is Asked

Interviewers usually ask this question to know more about you as a person and how you would fit into the team.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on linking what you say to the job you’re applying for and not giving general answers.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid rambling and sharing too much information, as this may confuse the interviewer.

Example Answer

“Things that motivate me are meeting goals.

When I complete hard tasks and see tangible results, it fires me up. Plus, I like to look back and think, ‘I did all this.’

For example, at my previous job, we had a tough task to accomplish.

This is why we sat together as a team and came up with a strategy that eventually led us to success.

Nothing beats that sense of accomplishment.”

2. What Interests You About This Position?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question helps the interviewer ensure that you fully understand the job requirements and the skills you need to have.

Additionally, it indicates how excited you are about this job.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Prepare an answer that directly reflects your skills and experience to show the interviewer that you’re the perfect candidate for this position.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid mentioning career ambitions that are above the position you’re applying for.

Moreover, don’t give any pay-related or generic answers.

Example Answer

“What interests me most about this position is being responsible for (mention the position’s responsibilities), especially since I have previous experience with it.

Furthermore, I know this position would allow me to continue developing my expertise in new ranges of responsibility.”

3. Tell Me About a Time You Failed

Why This Question Is Asked

The interviewers use this question to determine your weaknesses and how you handle challenges.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You need to focus on a positive situation and how making a mistake helped you become a better candidate for this job.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid an apologetic tone when talking about your past mistakes.

On the other hand, don’t try to blame others or claim perfection.

Example Answer

“When I first worked as a head of a team, I thought that I could keep track of the work progress by requesting too much feedback and frequent reports.

However, that eventually led the team to get frustrated.

This mistake taught me how to empower my team members and delegate the tasks correctly, which was highly beneficial for the production process.”

4. What Is Your Work Style?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question helps the interviewer determine whether you’d be a good match for the work environment.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

When answering this question, you should focus on your specific work style attributes that fit with this position in this company.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

You should avoid using cliche answers, like detail-oriented, hard-working, etc.

Example Answer

“I have adequate organizational skills. These skills help me keep ahead of my schedule. Plus, I can juggle multiple projects without losing focus or enthusiasm.

I appreciate team cooperation and consulting with each other while updating the boss on my work progress. This way I get to efficiently complete all tasks without any issues caused by miscommunication.”

5. What Is Your Management Style?

Why This Question Is Asked

This question determines how you would fit into the company’s culture.

That’s because some workplaces prefer a hands-off manager, while others are more into a boss who’s constantly communicating with them.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Management styles vary widely.

You could be a mentor, visionary, transformational, democratic, or laissez-faire manager.

So, you need to research the kind of company you’re applying to work at and tailor your answer accordingly.

That’s to show them that you’re the perfect fit for this position.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Try not to be overconfident or self-obsessed when answering this question.

Example Answer

For a democratic manager:

“I support equality in the workplace, and how we should all work together. That’s especially when taking important decisions. I value each person’s opinions and give them the space to express their ideas.

This highly motivates them and leads to impressive results.”

For a laissez-faire manager:

“I have a conviction that employees give their best performance when you, as a manager, stop supervising them too closely. That’s because they get to work in whatever way feels comfortable to them.

Having said that, I always make it clear that my door is open for whoever needs guidance and assistance in case they feel stuck in something.”

Additional Tips for Management Style Interviews

Taking the time to prepare for the interview greatly improves your chances of leaving a positive impression. So, here are some useful pointers

1. How Do You Prepare for a Management Style Interview?

When searching for a way to prepare for a management-style interview, you’ll instantly find advice for arriving early, among other bits of advice, which include:

  • Researching the company to know its culture and environment
  • Preparing examples from your previous experience for backing up your answers
  • Practicing your answers to come up as well organized
  • Drafting a closing statement because no matter how long the interview lasts, you need to finish strong

2. What Should You Wear to a Management Style Interview?

You should wear something appropriate to the company’s environment and professional at the same time.

This is to prove you have the leader’s appearance.

3. How Should You Introduce Yourself in a Management Style Interview?

It’s critical to introduce yourself in a way that leaves a good impression on the interviewer. So, you need to:

  • Begin by greeting the interviewer
  • Say your name, where you’re from, and your personal background
  • Mention your educational qualifications, your past achievements, and experiences
  • Focus on skills related to the position
  • Add in some of your interests and hobbies

4. What Questions Should You Ask at the End of a Management Style Interview?

Just as the interviewer has a list of questions to ask the interviewee, the interviewee also has the right to ask the interviewer. So, don’t hesitate to prepare some questions.

Here are some examples:

1. What Have Previous Employees Done to Stand Out in This Role?

Asking this question shows how big an achiever you are, and how you’re willing to give your best to achieve a positive outcome.

2. How Do the Company Evaluate Success in This Position?

This question gives you an idea of what they expect from you and whether their values align with yours.

3. Why Did the Previous Person in This Position Leave?

This is a great question that shows your interest in how the company works and gives you an idea of the reason they’re looking for a new person for this position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to management-style interviews. So, check them out.

What is the best management-style interview question?

The best management style interview question is the one that’s straight to the point, like “what is your management style?”

This is because answering this question enables the applicants to showcase their skills, which qualify them for the job.

How can a person identify their management style?

Whether you have previous experience as a manager or looking to move a step higher, identifying your management style is highly recommended. Check out how to do it:

  • Determine your goals
  • Experiment with different styles
  • Identify the management style of a previous boss that you admired
  • Ask your coworkers what they think your management style is

Wrapping Up

It can be tough answering management-style interview questions, especially for those with no previous experience.

However, with the right preparation, it always gets easier.

This article should help you get an overview of what questions to expect during the interview, how to answer them, and what to avoid saying.

So that when the next interviewer asks you about your management style, you’ll be ready to impress.

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