How would I go about asking questions in an interview (where I am the interviewee NOT interviewer) so that I have a greater chance to be managed by a Manager Tools disciple?


acao162's picture

I just did a round of hiring and although I asked the candidates how they like to be managed (between the extremes of constant hovering to leave me alone unless there is a problem), no one asked me.  It was an "ok" question, without probing, you get a "oh in the middle" type of response.  With gentle probing, it became much clearer who would need hand holding and who wanted to tough it out, then ask for help.

I'm more the "tough it out" style of worker, so I like to know, up front, if you are not.  This is not a deal breaker for me.  One of my best needs her hand held far more than I'd like.  The point is, I want to treat every direct individually & according to his/her needs. 

I'd be happy to discuss my management style, relating to any number of specifics.  For instance, if asked to simply describe my management style, my answer is:

I treat each team member as an individual, with their own strengths and needs.  I provide regular feedback on performance and believe that a person should always know where they stand with me.  I believe in daily, brief staff meetings to establish priorities, weekly individual meetings to check in and constant flow of information.  I have high standards and insist on professional behaviour and results.  I push hard to make everyone better and I enjoy helping team members achieve their goals. 

This is a speech I give on the first day of employment because I want to be told if I am not meeting these objectives.  If you find a surprise in your annual review, I've done a poor job of managing you.

naraa's picture
Training Badge

ACAO:  Great management style and a great brief explanation of it!  Thanks for that.

SANDERS: I don`t think you can ask in the meeting whether your boss is familiar with manager-tools and whether they use it, but you can definitely ask what their management style is, or how do they manage the team, and cross check yourself whether that fits with the core principles of manager-tools. 

Also definitely make sure you know who your direct boss will be.  I don´t know if that happens everywhere, but where I live people get interviewed by high up managers and become really dazzled by the interview and full of enthusiasm to work for the company.  When they then decide to work for the company, they had never actually met their direct boss, and never ever see again this high up manager guy that they interviewed with!

Maybe one day, the way things go, at least here in this part of the world with the shortages of experienced professional engineers, managers will be interviewed by the prospective employees instead....


GlennR's picture

I've been an MT evangelist since the early days so bear that in mind when I say there are plenty of effective managers out there who have never heard or used MT (Despite my best efforts to spread the gospel). There are also managers out there who are familiar with MT but who still haven't become the kind of manager you want. Therefore, I would avoid asking specifically about MT.

I agree with Nara in her response to Sanders above. But remember there are many management styles and philosophies and shopping around to find ones you are comfortable with could be detrimental in that you might be limiting yourself and reducing your opportunities or, by turning off the interviewer, shooting yourself in the proverbial foot.

I've experienced a variety of different management styles in my supervisors. Some I was more compatible with than others. But I prospered in each and learned something from each.

Finally, I wonder how accurate an answer you would get unless your supervisor is part of the interviewing process.