Why is knowing your leadership style important?

One of the common questions asked by recruiters during interviews, especially for managerial roles, is about your leadership style.

Yes, even if the role you’re applying for is not a management role, recruiters would want to know about your leadership qualities to see if you are a suitable fit for the company in the long run.

So, how can you define your leadership style during interviews?

First things first, you need to have a clear understanding of your leadership qualities and skills before you try to answer that.

Are you good with leading by example? Or are you more of a delegator with great communication skills?

If you’re not sure about your answer, there are plenty of ways you can assess your management style.

Read on to determine what is your leadership style and get clarity on the following questions:

4 Different Types of Leadership Styles

Your management or leadership style refers to how you lead, manage, and guide your team members as a senior professional.

While some may argue that a particular leadership style is better than the others, a good leader has to know how to mix & match different approaches as the need arises.

Given below are the 4 most common types of leadership styles:

Authoritative or Autocratic Leadership Style

A leader with an authoritative or autocratic leadership style follows the “do as I say” approach to guide his team members.

They make all the decisions and leave little to no room for input from the employees working under them.

Although these types of leaders are a good fit for leading a group of inexperienced team members, an authoritarian leadership style is likely to create frustration and dissatisfaction among team members in the long run.

Democratic or Inclusive Leadership Style

Leaders with a democratic or inclusive leadership style seek the input and opinion of their fellow team members while making team decisions.

This leadership style decentralizes the decision-making process and harbors trust, corporation, and team spirit among workers.

These leaders lead by example and offer benefits such as:

  • Increased motivation among workers
  • Offers better personal and professional growth
  • Improves employee retention and reduces grievances

Coaching Leadership Style

This leadership style is a supportive role that is characterized by guidance, motivation, and collaboration.

The leaders who follow this approach try to unlock the true potential of their employees by providing constructive criticism, encouraging good communication, and providing support.

Even though there are many benefits to this leadership style, it can be time and resource-consuming, which might not be suitable for startup companies and organizations.

Laissez-faire or Free-rein Leadership Style

The complete opposite of an autocratic leadership style, leaders who follow the laissez-faire leadership style leave all the decision-making and goal-setting responsibilities to their team members.

They delegate the work to their subordinates and play little role in management. This style of management is driven by the belief that employees work best when they are left to themselves.

However, this leadership style is suitable only when you are leading a group of highly experienced, skilled, and self-motivated professionals.

Otherwise, you risk floundering the organization with a lack of direction and control.

Also read: What are some top interview Q&As for supervisors in 2022?

How to Determine Leadership Style?

To find out which leadership style best suits you and your organization, you must assess various factors and situations.

As stated earlier, being flexible and using different leadership styles allows for a more thriving workplace environment as opposed to rigidly following a set leadership style that can hinder growth.

Meanwhile, here are some tips that will help you determine which leadership style you resonate with the most:

Probe Your Personality Traits

To determine which leadership style works best for you as a leader, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses.

Consider your skills and assess how you generally make decisions.

Analyze how good or bad you are with communication and work delegation. If you are not sure about the same, you can ask your friends or colleagues for feedback.

Know Your Options

Before you settle for a particular leadership style, research and learn about the different styles of leadership to get clarity on their pros and cons.

You must also consider the type of organization you are working in and the type of employees you will be managing.

For instance, an authoritative leadership style may be suitable for managing interns and running small businesses, while a democratic leadership style might be more suitable when you working in the marketing industry.

You can also take an online leadership style quiz to determine the best fit for you.

Also read: How to be a good manager?

Answering “What is Your Leadership Style” Interview Questions

Once you clearly understand the common leadership styles and are clear about your leadership style, it’ll be much easier for you to answer interview questions about your leadership style.

Given below are some do’s and don’ts that you must consider when framing your interview answers for what is your leadership style:

Avoid Saying You’ve Never Led a Team

Even if you lack professional experience and have never managed or led people, you might at least have experience in leading a class project or extracurricular activities.

Whatever may be the case, avoid saying that you don’t see yourself as a leader or that you’ve never been in the position.

You might be startled if the recruiters ask you about your leadership style when you are not even applying for a managerial role.

But what recruiters really want to know when they ask you this question is how aware you are about your professional traits and whether or not you have the potential to advance to such roles in the future.

Talk About What Works Best for You

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to answering what is your management style during interviews.

You could be a great manager with a democratic leadership style or a coaching leadership style.

With this question, recruiters simply want to probe if you have set up a system or method that works for you and how successful you have been at it.

Provide Examples

Don’t simply state your management style when you are answering this question during interviews.

You need to back it up with instances that show that your leadership style is a tried and tested approach that is not based on personal choice alone.

However, you need to ensure that your answer is concise and avoid going into details as it may bore the interviewer.

Also read: What are some common interview questions for shift leaders in 2022?

Key Points from the Blog

  • What is your leadership style is a common question recruiters ask to know about your leadership skills and capabilities during interviews.
  • While some may argue that a particular leadership style is better than the others, a good leader has to know how to mix & match different approaches as the need arises.
  • Authoritative, coaching, democratic, and Laissez-faire are some of the common leadership styles seen in companies and organizations.
  • To find out which leadership style works best for you, you must assess your personality, consider the industry type, and even take a leadership style quiz.
  • While answering what is your leadership style questions during interviews, avoid saying you’ve never been in that position before.
  • Describe your leadership style by highlighting a method that works for you and providing suitable examples.

If you need further assistance in determining your leadership style and describing the same during interviews, head on over to Hiration 360 degree Career Platform that offers 24x7 chat support to answer all your questions. You can also reach us at support@hiration.com.