Management styles interview questions


It is important to know the type of management style that a potential employee will use.

According to Gallupcompanies fail to choose the right candidate for management jobs 82% of the time.

According to the same study, managers have a massive impact on employee engagement, turnover, productivity and many other factors that lead to positive business outcomes.

Knowing that, being able to ask the right questions about management styles is an important factor in choosing the right candidates. HR teams should be prepared with a management styles quiz for potential applicants, so that they can see how they will fit into the preferred styles of the organization.

It is important to note that styles can (and should) be somewhat dynamic, but most managers will have one style that they prefer to use.

Management styles example questions

During the interview, HR can ask questions like:

1. A PR crisis is quickly unfolding and you and your team need to act now to handle it. What do you do?

  1. Handle it myself. I plan a strategy and delegate what needs to be done to my team, with strict instructions for them to follow up with me the moment they are done with their tasks.
  2. Gather my team for a planning session. I’ll listen to everyone’s opinion, work with the team to plan the best response, then we will all get to work handling the crisis.
  3. I leave it to my team to handle this. They are professionals and know what needs to be done. I’ll check in with them after to review how it was handled and give feedback.

In this situation, A indicates autocraticB is democratic, and C is laissez-faire.

2. There is an important project that you need to plan. How do you go about doing that?

  1. I will gather my team, give them all the information they need, and let them get to work.
  2. I inform staff of the new project, and assign all roles, milestones, objectives and timelines. Everyone will know what they need to complete, and I will continually check-in to make sure they are successful.
  3. I’ll meet with key employees, work with them to outline various plans for the project, then present the plans to the team. Whichever gets the most votes we will do.

In this situation, A is laissez-faireB is autocratic, and C is democratic.

3. Your team is going to miss an important deadline. How do you handle this situation?

  1. I’ll work alongside my team to create and implement a solution to avoid a similar situation in the future.
  2. I leave them to it. They are skilled, imaginative people and I trust that they’ll figure it out.
  3. I will make sure that teams have the resources they need to meet the deadline. Afterward, I will review the process, find problem areas, and improve the process.

In this situation, A is democraticB is laissez-faire and C is autocratic.

4. Which of the following qualities is most important for your team to have?

  1. Diligence
  2. Innovative
  3. Cooperative

In this situation, A is autocraticB is laissez-faire and C is democratic.

5. What qualities do you not want your team members to have?

  1. Unskilled
  2. Undisciplined
  3. Not a team player

In this situation, A is laissez-faireB is autocratic, and C is democratic.

6. How would you like your team to feel about their jobs?

  1. They have structure and support, their tasks and goals have been explained thoroughly, they know the exact steps to success.
  2. They are allowed to innovate and create, they are trusted to perform and they enjoy rising to the occasion.
  3. They are heard and valued. Their skills contribute to the success of the organization and they are an important team member.

In this situation, A is autocraticB is laissez-faire, and C is democratic.