Are You Management Material? What Kind of Manager Are You?

What is your management style?

Describe your management style. Something along the lines of, "I don't know if I can give my management style a particular title or description. I do know that in the past I've created an environment where people feel like we're all in this together. I've been very successful in getting people to do more than they normally would in many circumstances. People seem to be appreciative of that. I set examples for people and make them feel like that they are an equal part of the team. I have a number of examples of this kind of leadership." Then proceed to tell stories that all demonstrate your leadership capabilities. If you "label" yourself as one kind of management style as opposed to another, you might describe yourself differently then the hiring authority who is interviewing you. By not labeling yourself but providing examples of your management or leadership style as well as providing a story demonstrating your style, you play it very safe.

If you have paid attention to the metaphors and analogies that the hiring authority has been using, you will easily detect the management style of the hiring authority and maybe even the company itself. So, with that understanding, communicate a similar style of management. Tell stories about your management styles that are consistent with what you heard. Whatever you do, don't communicate a demanding, pushy, aggressive style of management because "that's just the way I am," when you detected that the hiring authority and/or the company have a kinesthetic, analytical, soft-spoken, amiable, or low-keyed management style. You were trying to get a job, not make a statement.

How would you define your job as a manager?

"My job as a manager is to reach the goals and objectives of the company by hiring and motivating the right kinds of people." Then maybe tell a story or two demonstrating the success you had as a manager.

What type of turnover have you had as a manager?

Be ready for this question and simply tell about the turnover that you have had. If the turnover has been high, then you might explain the nature of the jobs that you have hired people for and the reason that the turnover is high. Never blame your company or its management for the turnover that you've experienced.

How do you motivate your subordinates?

Be prepared to give examples of how you have motivated subordinates and staff. Tell stories about specific instances where the goal or task might have been difficult and you rallied your staff.

Explain your hiring procedure.

This is a simple question that you should be ready for. Since you know the hiring practices of the organization that you are interviewing with, try to describe your practices that are in line with these. Companies have had to be more careful about hiring in the last few years. So, make sure that the procedure that you describe is detailed and thorough. Communicate that you adopt the mantra of "hire slowly, fire quickly."

Describe the biggest mistake you made in hiring.

Be ready for this question. Whatever you'd do, don't say that you never made a mistake in hiring. Tell a story about the mistakes you might have made in hiring. Make sure that the story you tell isn't one that reveals that you made a bad hire based on bad judgment, like not checking references, or finding out long after you hired someone that he had an arrest record. Make sure it is the kind of a hiring mistake that most managers make, the credentials of the person were excellent, the references were solid, and that you "hired slowly," etc.; however, it just didn't work out. But make sure that you communicate that you rectified the mistake when you first detected it. Again, demonstrate that you employed the mantra of, "hire slowly, fire quickly."

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