One of the most common questions asked in an interview for a management position is, “What’s your management style?”

For whatever reason, this always seems just a little awkward to answer. It’s always a bit odd to talk about your abilities without sounding braggadocious, but in an interview, you need to show how you can be an effective leader.

There are a lot of way to hit the right equilibrium between sounding confident and cocky, below is one approach to providing a good response that conveys your highly competent personal approach to management.

Outline Qualities of a Good Manager

The key to a good response is establishing the various aspects of effective management up front.

To achieve this, you want to lay out one or two things that make for a good manager. This helps put you and your interviewer on the same page. It also sets the stage for you to share an example of effective management from your past.

For example, you could say an effective manager gives very clear directions and trusts their employees to follow them, but is always prepared to jump in to provide assistance, knowledge and support when necessary.

Be sure to mention how you strive to represent the qualities you have outlined.

Talk About Your Personal Approach

After you have defined the qualities of an effective manager and talked about how you try to exemplify them, move on to talking about your personal approach to the established qualities. Setting the parameters at the outset of your response will permit you to introduce additional traits or more detail on how you are an exceptional leader.

In this part of your response, it’s also a good idea to set up an example of when you showed great leadership that led to specific results. For instance, if you are looking to talk about a time you made an unpopular but smart decision that led to positive results, you could set up your anecdote by talking about your decision-making process and why you think it’s effective.

Give an Example

Of course, the best way to describe your management style is to give a real-life example. A brief story setting out the characteristics you identified earlier can also function as proof of your management ability. Due to the fact that management can be such a substantial topic, you’ll need to be conscious of using a story that piques the interest of your interviewer.

Avoid telling a story that is too long and topics that are on the dull side. Be sure to provide as much specifics as possible, such as hard numbers and facts. For instance, you could talk about how your thorough approach to making a smart decision helped your company avoid making a $1,000,000 mistake.

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