How would you describe yourself as a manager?

  | James Innes

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Alternative and related questions:

What is your management style?
How do you manage people?

The meaning behind the question:

There’s nothing too complex about this question. The interviewer wants to know what your perception of leadership is and how you go about the day-to-day responsibility of management.

They’re only going to be asking this question if you’re applying for a management-level role and they’re hoping to gauge just how successful you are likely to be in fulfilling such a role.

It’s also going to be of interest to them to see how you perceive yourself. It can tell them a lot about you as a person.

Your answer:

Unless you really are the perfect manager, try to interpret this question in terms of the manager you aspire to be – because that’s the kind of manager the interviewer is wanting you to be!

There are two main aspects to a management role:

  • Getting the job done
  • Handling the people who will help you to get the job done

Your answer needs to cover both these bases.

The precise points you raise in your answer will depend on the kind of management role for which you are applying. Different employers will have different expectations of how their managers should behave and what they are expected to achieve.


I’m a very hands-on manager. While I am clearly in charge of my team, we are nonetheless a team – and I am very much a member of that team. When the circumstances require it, I will assert my authority and lead my staff in the direction I have determined we should go. However, I’m always open to input, ideas and suggestions and consider myself to be very approachable in that respect. I realise the importance of motivating my staff to deliver their best and I’m tactful and diplomatic when dealing with potential problems; I believe a lot more can be achieved through communication than through conflict. I am nevertheless very results-driven and expect every member of my team to pull their weight and help us to achieve our common goals.

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