A good management philosophy can be the difference between success and failure in the workplace. In fact, it can be the basis for a great career as a leader or as an employee. While different management styles will vary, it is important to highlight a few key traits and qualities in your answer to the interview question. In this third part of the series, we will discuss why companies usually ask about this philosophy in your application, how to respond to this question during your interview, and some typical example answers to help prepare you ahead of time.
The first question that most applicants are asked is “why did you apply to this position?” Answering this question will reveal much about your personality and characteristics as well as your strong manager skills. Your answers to this question must clearly show why you want the position, what makes you qualified for the position, and why you believe you are a good fit for this organization. For example, if you are applying to be a sales manager, your answer has to prove you are able to manage other people well. Showing that you have effective communication skills, leadership skills, and effective supervision will all help your appeal to an interviewer.
The second question that frequently comes up when interviewing for a managerial position is “what is your personal management philosophy?” This question shows your potential employer that you understand and respect the values and principles that you are required to uphold. However, it is important to remember that you are not expected to provide guidance to the company. In fact, you are required to show the ability to make sound decisions without having the management philosophy as a basis. If you are not willing to provide guidance to the company, you may want to consider changing your application to one that does not require such a philosophy.
The third question asked in these interviews is “what are your leadership styles?” Most people have a certain leadership style, whether it is from their college years or from a previous work environment. An interviewer will want to know how you would handle a situation where there is a difference between your management philosophy and the company’s management philosophy. You should consider providing examples of situations where you have handled a difficult situation with these leadership styles, as well as how you would handle similar situations in the future.
A fourth question often asked is “why did you apply for this position?” Again, you are expected to provide the exact reasons why you want the position. However, this does not mean you should lie about what these reasons are. Instead, provide examples of how you have overcome difficulties or hurdles in the past that you can use to convince the interviewer. Also, be sure to include how your past experiences provide guidance towards a successful future.
An important question that most interviewers ask is “what are your management skills?” This question relates to your personal philosophy, but also to how you plan on performing the duties of this job. For example, if you plan on being a team player, be sure to express how much you enjoy being a part of a team. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals, then you should provide examples of how you have assisted individuals in achieving their goals. You should also provide a clear description of how your skills and experience will help your potential employer in this capacity.
The fifth and final question that most interviewers ask is “why should I hire you?” A management philosophy provides direction toward how an individual could fulfill the requirements of a particular job. Therefore, when writing a management philosophy, make sure to be honest with how you can best serve the needs of the company. For example, if you are interested in providing direction with regards to growth within the organization, then you should discuss how you have experience managing teams that have a growth mindset.
When you are ready to share how you plan to meet the needs of your prospective employer, you will likely need to demonstrate how your management philosophy fits into the larger context of your company. For example, if you are implementing a new values-based hiring practices, then you should discuss how these practices align with how you want to communicate with your future employees. Likewise, when planning to implement strategic planning, or simply updating the way that you do things at your business, then you should demonstrate how your new policies or procedures reflect your overall values. Finally, when you are ready to present your philosophy to your next set of prospective employers, you should provide an organized outline of how you have applied your management principles. This not only allows you to relate your general philosophy to the specific demands of the position you are applying for, but it also provides an easy way for you to transition from your overall values-based principles to a detailed description of how you have applied them to specific company-related decisions.