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Interview Question: Describe Your Management Techniques

by Debra Kraft, studioD

When it's time to hire a new manager, the interview team must consider how well candidates will fit in with the company's culture and strategic direction. Questions about management technique help interviewers make such assessments. These questions look beyond credentials and focus on capabilities. If you're interviewing for a new management position, give thought to how you manage teams to achieve success -- it might just give you success in landing the job.


Consider how your role as a manager has accomplished needed results. You might be a command and control leader who sets the rules and makes sure they're followed. On the other side of the coin, maybe you take a laissez-faire approach, trusting in employees to meet commitments but still providing regular feedback. It's entirely possible your approach varies depending on the situation and the needs of the team. Help the interview team understand what your teams have accomplished and what you did to direct staff members to reach those goals.


Empowering employees can introduce risk, but it can also produce innovative results. Allowing employees to take on greater responsibility in support of their professional development and growth can be an excellent motivator. Leaders who can trust in employees to make decisions are also able to apply greater focus to more strategic issues. Share information with the interview team about how you know when empowerment works, and how it has worked well for you.


Motivating employees is central to a manager’s responsibility. Employees who are motivated are productive. Since boredom is the antithesis of motivation, think about what you've done to help employees break out of the doldrums. Maybe you've provided opportunities for them to work on challenging projects, introducing them to new skills and team members in other parts of the business. Help the interview team understand your approach to team and employee motivation.


Mentoring provides for dedicated one-on-one time between a successful leader and an employee who is interested in learning more about what it takes to lead. Mentoring also helps companies build a pool of up-and-comers who can step in when leaders retire or move on to new challenges of their own. Consider how you've mentored team members to help them grow -- or how you could, if given the chance. Send a message to the interview team that you know a company's investment in human capital can yield powerful returns.

About the Author

A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.

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