The type of manager that you like says a lot about you as an employee. Through the entire interview process the hiring manager is trying to get a feel for just that. When they ask this question they don’t necessarily care what sort of manager you like. You’re going to get the manager you get, and that’s that. However, they do want to know what you see as important in a leader. This may show how you will lead one day. It also may show what you would respond best to.
Points to Emphasize
It’s important to show the interviewer that you are flexible. You don’t need one type of manager because you can work under anyone.
- Talk about how you don’t need to fear a manager because you don’t need to be micromanaged. You’re self-disciplined enough that you don’t need someone barking orders at you.
- Explain that you don’t need a gold star every time you do something right. While it’s nice to be appreciated, you recognize that you’re just doing your job.
- Talk about past managers and what they did that you liked.
- Mention that you know it’s necessary to have a little bit of both in a manager.
Be positive about both managing styles, but also recognize that neither is perfect.
Mistakes to Avoid
Try not to praise bad qualities.
- Don’t brag about being a manager favorite, since this type of favoritism can be bad in a workplace.
- Do not make it sound like you think there should be zero tolerance for mistakes, because everyone makes mistakes.
- Do not make it sound like mistakes should be swept under the rug, because people have to learn from their mistakes.
- Don’t say that you can’t work with someone if you don’t like them.
Not everyone is going to like the same managing styles. It’s important to let them know that you can work well either way, but don’t give a wishy washy answer.
Here’s a great answer for this type of question:
I think there is a time and a place for both. It’s important for people to know who’s boss, otherwise nothing would get done, but at the same time if there’s no respect workers may not be productive. A manager has to find that sweet balance between micromanaging and not-managing. In my experience a merger of the two gets the best results from employees.
Showing that you can work with any type of person is a great way to answer this question, but make sure still answer the question.