Is The Company’s Management Style Top-Down, Or Do Front-Line?

During an informational interview, you can expect to be asked questions by someone who is trying to get a better understanding of how your field operates. One of these questions can be: “Is the company’s management style top-down, or do front-line employees share in decision-making”

The top-down style of management is when the boss gives instructions to the other employees who need to follow those orders precisely. This type of management is great for certain occasions, but it can also be viewed as micro-managing the entire organization. Someone asking this question wants to know if becoming an entry-level employee in this field would still give them a certain amount of control or if they will just need to follow orders.

Points to Emphasize

Many employees will want at least some say in the decision-making process, so when answering this question, keep the following points in mind.

  • Be honest in your response
  • Give an explanation about why you have your particular management style

    • Explain the benefits of both if need be
  • Talk about whether or not your particular management style is used by other companies in the field

    Learning about the management styles that are often seen in your field is a way for interviewers to figure out if this line of work is actually best for them.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    You could have a very good reason for choosing the management style you have, just make sure to leave out these mistakes.

  • Don’t make it seem like there’s a right or wrong approach

  • Don’t criticize the interviewer for preferring a certain approach

  • Avoid criticizing a system a different company utilizes

    • Don’t lie about the system you use

    Management style if just one component someone deciding whether or not to go into this field will need to take into consideration.

    Sample Answer

    You should talk about your precise style of managing employees, but it should be formatted like this:

    Well, I believe it’s best when everyone gets a say in the company. I heavily rely on my front-line employees for their input regarding what decisions to make. However, I think a more top-down approach is preferable in certain situations. For example, whenever there is conflict within the company, I’ll make a decision to get it resolved quickly and efficiently.

    The person interviewing you is not necessarily trying to figure out what your particular leadership style is. He or she is just trying to figure out if your approach is best for them. That way they know what kind of bosses to look for in the future.

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