Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. explains how to answer this deceptively difficult question “What is your management style?”
I’m back today with another one of those tough interview questions that’s designed to make you sweat bullets–today is question is, “Oooooooooooh! Today’s question is, “What is your management style?”
In the US, this has a very simple answer to it. Sometimes people get nervous, though, because it’s an interview, it’s important, it’s their career and they have to get it right. They can’t mess up. They get serious and thus don’t show their personality.
Here’s the correct answer. Let’s work with the premise that you have an idea of the management style of the organization that you’re interviewing with. If you don’t, this generic answer that I’m going to give you will be very effective because, in the US, this is generally what firms look for. The first thing you say is that you are results-oriented. You’re good at solving problems. You can take on the task and figure out what needs to be done. Results-oriented indicates that you are used to getting bottom-line results. You’re very good at getting results from the team. You’re good at getting results from the organization, giving service to people, so that in this way they are able to get what they expect of you.
Finally, in the US, they like to see that you have a participative style. It’s like, “I have an open door policy in my organization.” Talk about a participative management style but also talk about limitations. Every good manager sets limits to the degree to which they are willing to have an open door style.
Recognize that each of these is going to involve the story. For example, results-oriented requires that you tell a story about how you got bottom-line results. If you say that your task oriented, talk about problems that you solve. For participative style you talk about how having an open door policy at your organization allows you to head off problems, help solve them or teach people to solve their own problems so that, in this way, your group got results.
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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