What do you want to learn from a job interview? You need to understand the details of the position, of course. But you should go further than that. You also want to understand the corporate culture and the company’s management style.
Remember: you’re not just there to sell your abilities as an employee. You want to make sure the organization is a good match for you. As such, ask questions that spark a quality conversation about management styles.
Don’t treat these discussions as a secondary matter. Matching your personality with the right management style can have a significant impact on your career. Studies have shown a significant connection between management approaches and retention. Pick the wrong company, and you may start looking for a new job much sooner than you would otherwise expect.
The best way to get a feel for management is from the interview process. As the formal part of the discussion winds down, have a series of questions ready that will let you gather information about the firm’s approach to supervision. Here are five closing questions that will help you understand a company’s management style:
How Would You Describe Your Management Style?
Sometimes, the simplest approach is the best. True, this question doesn’t come with much subterfuge or psychological gamesmanship. Instead, it provides a straightforward way to launch a discussion of management styles.
As a variation on this, you can ask, “What communication style do you prefer?” It’s a little less direct, of course. But sometimes, that can lead to a more honest answer.
Much of the action of management comes from how things are communicated. How do they direct employees? How open are they to feedback? These questions will give you a great look at the overall management philosophy.
What Are Your Reporting and Oversight Procedures?
Get into the nitty-gritty. Describing a management style in general terms can often turn into an exercise in buzzwords. Bosses have a practiced way of describing their approach – one that often obscures what day-to-day life under them really feels like.
This question lets you move beyond the fancy terms and hear a bit about the actual routine. Try to get as many details as possible. Ask follow–up questions to understand the daily routine.
How Would You Describe Your Best Employees?
It helps to talk about relationships. Management is a process that involves two groups of people: managers and employees. Try to look at the situation from both perspectives.
This question takes a manger’s eye view. You’ll learn what traits your potential boss values in their employees. With that information, you’ll have a stronger idea about their management priorities.
Do You Have Any Business Podcasts or Blogs You Can Recommend?
Sure, this one is a little out of the ordinary. It will probably only come up if the conversation has naturally drifted to that direction. However, if you get the chance, asking a question like this can unlock unexpected information.
Queries like this can give you a glimpse into the ideas that influence how your interviewers think about management. You can see what media appeals to them. And you can learn what underlying philosophy drives them.
What Do You Consider the Keys to Success?
Think about the purpose of a manager. They want to guide their team to success. In part, how they go about their business will depend on their definition of success.
What does a “win” mean for these managers? Does it just involve reaching the highest level of output? Well, if so, you can expect a hard-driving boss. Does achievement include fostering a strong work-life balance? Then you can anticipate a more sensitive management style. Does your potential supervisor list things like “teamwork” and “cooperation” as keys to success? A more collaborative experience might be on tap.
Getting a look at how your interviewers understand their goals will offer a clue as to how they guide their teams.
The perfect job isn’t just about matching skills with responsibilities. It’s about matching people. You need to find a team that brings out the best in you. A high-performing staffing agency, like Recruiting In Motion, will locate the ideal placements to drive your career forward.