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Answering “How Do You Like to be Managed” Interview Question

A job applicant needs to be prepared to answer several kinds of questions in a job interview. Handling questions regarding academic qualifications and previous job experiences is easy.

However, you need to be prepared to be able to answer behavioral questions like–“how do you like to be managed”?

Answering behavioral questions can be difficult for some. Which is why you need to be well-versed in understanding the company’s work culture to secure a position in the company. And if you have not been thorough with this question, expect that this might throw you off a bit when encountering it for the first time during an interview.

Hence, knowing how to answer this question will benefit you because it will give your employers the idea of your thorough review.

The best thing you can do while facing this question is to be honest. If you are not up for certain management styles, now is the time to think things through.

Or else, you will only end up with a job and an employer that will ultimately leave you dissatisfied.

Here is how you can answer this question.

Why Do Employers Ask, “How Do You Like to be Managed?”

Why Do Employers Ask, “How Do You Like to be Managed?”

In earlier times, employers never considered asking their potential employees this question. They expected to comply with whatever they were told to do.

However, employers have realized that employee satisfaction can make or break their business with changing times.

Employees must be heard, and knowing what kind of management style they prefer can help avoid many workplace frictions in the long run.

An employee may have excellent technical acumen yet might not fit in with the workplace if they disagree with how things are done.

A good professional relationship is key to ongoing communication in any workplace. It won’t be an ideal situation if an employee does not feel comfortable talking to their manager or supervisor.

Hence, employers are now asking this question to their prospective employees to understand how the working relationship might turn out in the future. And this goes for both in-person positions and online jobs.

Bonus Read: Interview Question “Who Inspires You?” (With Examples)

Factors That Can Help You to Answer the Question, “How Do You Like to be Managed?”

Answering this question can require substantial introspection, which is why you should prepare well in advance. There are certain factors you may consider while answering this question. Here are some points to help you frame.

1. Draw Upon Your Past Experiences

If you have worked with any previous employers in the past, then recalling their working dynamics can be insightful.

Doing this will help you look into your expectations for all your future employers.

It is alright if you were unsure or unaware of the working dynamics with your previous employer in your first job. But the gained experience is a perk to understanding what works for you.

For those who are newbies, you can always help yourself in preparing for this behavioral question, even with no experience.

You can answer this question by saying that you are looking for a manager who allows their employees to experiment, be independent, and work cross-functionally with other teams.

Anything which you think a manager should possess to help you work and perform better can be an answer to the behavioral question.

No one knows what kind of management style they would prefer when they start their first job, but you can always figure it out by questioning yourself about what matters to you and what works for you in a working environment to boost performance quality.

To newbie job hunters, make a list of how a manager can help you go up the ladder of growth and potentiality. The things you want will upskill your expertise and develop new skills.

For experienced job hunters, think about the specific qualities you liked about your previous employers and traits you disliked.

What did your previous employers do that helped you in your job? Did you ever feel uncomfortable in their presence? If yes, then why? Did they provide you with constructive criticism that helped you perform better the next time?

Answering these questions yourself will help you answer what kind of manager you would like.

Bonus Read: 14 Common Phone Interview Questions and Best Answers

2. Understanding The Company’s Work Culture

Understanding the Company’s Work Culture

Understanding how the authorities run a company can help you decide whether their work culture is in alignment with your managerial preference.

You can go through the “About Us” section of the company website, where the organization discusses its objectives. Also, go through their social media pages and see the relationship the employees share with their employers.

Another way is to check any online reviews where previous employees or clients have spoken about their experience of being associated with the company. This will give you a reasonably good idea of whether you will fit in with them or not.

3. Bring Up Specific Instances

Good management is something that one has to experience to understand what it is all about. Simply speaking about specific managerial techniques will not reveal what you want to express.

It is always better to provide instances in such scenarios. Hence, you can talk about something your previous manager did that helped you learn a new skill. Or, your manager told you something that helped you perform better in a team.

All of that has gone into making your content and a successful employee and can tell your prospective employers that it would be great if you had similar managers in the future as well.

This will also show your employers that you appreciate your previous employers and that you are a learner who gives credit for where it is due.

4. Do Not Highlight Negative Experiences

Not all managers know what it takes to become good leaders, and prospective employers know that. However, it is a good idea not to be overly critical of your previous managers if you were not in agreement with their management style.

It might have even been challenging to work with them, but while speaking about them in the interview, tell your prospective employers what you learned from the experience instead. You can talk about an environment from one of the previous jobs that worked for you.

If you see yourself heading a managerial position someday, you can also talk about how you would like to do some things differently, and even that is a learning experience. Choosing to see things in a positive light will increase your viability as a candidate.

5. Asking Questions

Asking Questions

While answering questions like how you would like to be managed, you might want certain clarifications. So, after you have spoken about how you would like to be addressed, you could also ask your hiring managers about their management style.

This will not only give you an insight into how things operate at the workplace, but their willingness to answer this question or not will also tell you much about the company.

They might ask you specific behavioral questions in return, where they ask you about particular situations you handled, tasks you accomplished, and the results you received. Engaging in a conversation will give you an idea of whether you can work with them long-term or not.

6. Do Not Share Too Many Details 

It is better to share specific topics while answering the “how do you like to be managed” interview questions. One of them is that you should never talk about your relationship with your employers outside the workplace.

There is no need to mention that you partied or went for hiking trips or any other happy hour activities you might have engaged in. While building rapport with your bosses is essential to your work, it would be best if you only stick to the professional aspects during the interview.

Also, try to avoid any embarrassing situations that might have happened in your previous office that portray your employer in a bad light. Keep away from making any negative comments as well.

Bonus Read: 9 Job Interview Tips To Ace Your Next Job Interview

Some Example Answers to Help You Respond to “How Do You Like to be Managed” Interview Question?

Some Example Answers to Help You Respond to “How Do You Like to be Managed” Interview Question?

Every individual prefers a different management style, which also varies according to their profession and the position they are applying for. You can customize them according to your position. Here are some sample answers.

1. Response for a Retail Associate

“I would like my manager to care about the team. Our last manager was attentive to how the team performed and ensured we had all the tools to do our job perfectly. He ensured the work was done, but was also mindful that we got enough rest and enough leaves. He never overburdened us if he could help it. I want to work with someone like that again.”

2. Response for a Junior Manager

“I want to become a leader someday, lead from the front, and set an example. I have worked with some fantastic managers who have helped me in my career and taught me valuable skills that have helped me grow as a person.

I am more confident today because of them, and I communicate better. I have learned to trust my instincts, and I am still learning to bring out the best in others, just as my managers brought out the best in me. I would love to work with someone as inspiring.”

3. Response to Marketing Intern

Response to Marketing Intern

“As an intern, I have had little experience working with top professionals. However, I am here to work and learn and would love to work with someone who will teach me.

I have studied under some exceptional professors in college, and I hope to learn from my mistakes and learn from them under the guidance of my mentors and managers. A mentorship program would be a bonus, as I will have time to have some real-life experiences.

4. Response for a Nurse

As medical practitioners, we are in a profession where we handle someone else’s health and life. I have worked with some fantastic doctors and nurses in the past, and now I hope to do even better under them and do better at my job. I want to work with someone who will teach me the nuances of caring.


Answering the “how do you like to be managed” interview question might initially seem challenging. However, if you have a good insight into what you prefer and your working style, you can figure out the person you want to work with.

You might not have always had great managers in the past, but they still gave you a lesson about what you don’t want. By answering the question with some thought, you can choose a suitable employer who is mindful of your growth and offers you the best they have.