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How to Demonstrate Manager Qualities at an Interview

The best way to advance your career is to show that you’re ready for the next step into a leadership role. But how do you demonstrate that you have management skills in an interview? What manager qualities do recruiters or hiring managers look for at an interview? What management style is the best for you?  

Advantis Global is an IT staffing agency that supports skilled talent throughout their career. Our recruiters are your personal growth advocates that always have your best interests in mind. Helping you achieve your career goals are our goals. With the help of one of our recruiting managers, Emma Lindberg, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you appeal to the interviewer for leadership and management positions.  

Table of Contents
What are the best types of management styles to demonstrate?
How to Answer Management Style Interview Questions
Different Types of Management Styles & How to Demonstrate
How to Find Management Opportunities

What are the best types of management styles to demonstrate?

"If I had to surmise a good management style in one statement, it would be: "adjust the leadership strategy to meet the unique needs of the people and business."- Emma Lindberg, Recruiting Manager at Advantis Global.

Depending on each unique situation requires a specific management quality. However, that isn't the say that you should only demonstrate one type of management style. Sometimes, a hybrid or mix is required.

How to Answer Management Style Interview Questions

One of the most common questions to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture is “what is your management style”? It gives recruiters and hiring managers an idea of how the team would operate under the candidate and if it would synergize with the existing staff at the company.

“Questions about one's management style are behavioral and would be best answered by providing examples of "how, when, and why." “- Emma Lindberg, Recruiting Manager at Advantis Global Inc.

Matrix of showing how to answer management style interview questions.

Giving specific examples of inside and outside work will help the interviewer understand that you’ve already been taking on management roles and are experienced working with a team.  

Different Types of Management Styles & How to Demonstrate

Matrix with different management styles types.

Authoritative Management Style

An authoritative management style follows a top-down approach where the leader or manager makes almost all decisions with little to no feedback from the team. This is best in environments where strict standards and procedures must be followed. Often, because of the lack of input from the rest of the team with decision making, there is a lack of innovation.  

The management qualities Emma Lindberg looks for in a person demonstrating an authoritative management style is someone who is open and transparent about objectives, preferences, and expectations. 

Demonstrating Authoritative Management Qualities

Guide for demonstrating authoritative management styles.

“This person would need to establish a roadmap for people to follow as I would consider very little micro-management involved, given that people are left to achieve their goals on their own based on the roadmap provided. Working under this umbrella would then provide more autonomy for the employees.  

During the interview, I'd like them to talk about how they have set clear goals for their previous teams while still giving individuals the freedom to make decisions and show initiative using their unique style. This manager would still need to showcase how they use feedback from time to time to assist the employees when necessary. Since this is a more hands-off and remotely operated approach, I would want them to address questions such as "how do you ensure people do not become complacent and only do the bare minimum to align with the established vision?" It is essential to continuously offer guidance towards the established expectations to ensure a happy and efficient workforce. “  

Democratic or Participative Management Style

A democratic or participative management style requires decision making that is heavily influenced by the entire team. Decisions with this management style often take time because it involves consulting multiple parties. However, it does leave employees and staff feeling valued and empowered about their opinions.  

Demonstrating Democratic Management Qualities

Guide to demonstrating democratic management styles.

Lindberg explains, “For someone indicating they take a democratic approach to management, I'm looking for someone who shows flexibility in almost every situation, as I'm a firm believer that "one size does not fit all." Here, managers can involve all parties affected in the decision-making process.  

Uncovering creative solutions by connecting people in innovative ways demonstrates adaptability, knowledge of the business, and collaborative working styles. A great way to highlight your team-building experience is to schedule follow-ups with your team to discuss what went right and what can be improved. Indicating that you cannot always be a democratic leader but will use authoritative attributes when necessary to push the team in the right direction would also demonstrate that you are a strong advocate for your team's overall success.”

Consultative Management Style

Different from the democratic or participative leadership styles, the consultative management style constantly asks for feedback from employees, but the sole decisions lie with the manager. This management style also has an open-door policy for opinion sharing and encourages employees to speak up about any concerns to help better the work environment or projects.  

Demonstrating Consultive Management Qualities

Guide to demonstrating consultative management styles.

Emma Lindberg explains, “When considering a consultative management style, I believe a fundamental skillset involves fostering a safe environment for the team to share opinions, views, and thoughts on the team's objectives. Showing an understanding of there being one leader in driving the team forward but including insights from people on the team to assist with decisions could benefit the team's overall progress and business objectives. Like a democratic approach, in terms of team building, I would be looking for someone to discuss how they consider the general thoughts of the team.”.

Collaborative Management Style

The collaborative management style is perfect for every industry and company size. Collaborative managers work closely with the team to make them feel fulfilled, satisfied, and appreciated. When employees have high morale, they have higher productivity levels. These leaders are often well-respected and sought after by businesses.

Demonstrating Collaborative Management Qualities

Guide to demonstrating collaborative management styles.

Emma Lindberg explains “I would think it is essential to set goals as a team and assist your reports in managing their daily initiatives where helpful. Leadership can establish benchmarks, but it is up to the individual how they will achieve them. Being open-minded and listening to other people's ideas has helped intensely build collaborative teamwork in the past, and I would love the see that be highlighted. To me, thoughtful communication involves being mindful of your communication style and establishing a platform for other people to feel safe to communicate, given that everyone's approach may be different from yours. For example, not everyone may feel comfortable standing up in front of the team to voice their opinions, so allowing an additional outlet is critical to gaining their feedback. 

I am looking for someone who shows strong organizational skills. Being organized doesn't only include keeping your work situated but delegating when appropriate. Help the team establish good habits regarding personal responsibility and managing their day. Entrusting your team allows them to demonstrate a higher productivity level. Ensure any train-the-trainer guidance is up to date so that future leaders advocate for the correct processes. 

The final collaborative management quality I'd like to address is adaptability. Things don't always go as planned, so staying calm under pressure and having a "solutions forward" mindset, rather than believing an immediate response is required, is a must for me. Calm, cool, and collected is an approach I recommend for all. 

Incorporating a mix of everything, giving your employees the autonomy to work on their own, regularly supporting their progress, providing feedback, and ensuring that everyone's opinion is heard is paramount.”.

How to Find Management Opportunities

At the end of the day, putting a strict label on any management style isn’t always ideal.

Emma explains, “I believe it is vital to appreciate that it may take multiple management styles to be successful. Particularly since business is constantly changing, a leader must respond effectively, ensuring the success of the individual, the team, and the company.”.

Knowing how to demonstrate specific management qualities appropriate for the team and industry is important to being a good leader.  

Advantis Global Inc. Is always looking to help skilled tech talent achieve their career goals. Submit your resume to have our recruiters reach out to you and help you achieve your career advancement goals. We can help you prepare for interviews, brush up your resume, and get you connected to Fortune 500 companies in tech. We’re your growth advocates and we mean it.

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