What Qualities Should a Successful Manager Have?
During your interview for a management position, your employer may ask, “What qualities should a successful manager have?,” to analyze and understand your approach to management and your candidacy for a managerial role.
In some cases, you might be asked this question even in an interview for a non-management role. In this situation, the interviewer will be assessing your expectations for management support and your work style. The interviewer will also be determining if you would be a good fit with the current management team.
Here’s how to prepare your answer for this question.
How to Research the Company’s Management Style
Prep for questions like this by reviewing as much information as you can find about the organization on the company’s website, its social media pages, and through any connections you may have.
Look for cues about their philosophy of management. If you are a candidate for a management job, then the job description may reveal some of the employer’s preferred qualities for managers.
It will also help to get an idea of the organization’s company culture. Is it a traditional, hierarchical structure with direct reporting and clearly outlined ordinances? Or, does it seem to be a more flexible, start-up environment where management is more horizontal than vertical? You can get a sense of this by reading through the company’s mission statement, their team or staffing page, or analyzing their tone of voice on social media posts or emails.
You can eliminate by the guess work by reaching out to your network and your college’s alumni network to figure out if you have any contacts working at the organization. If so, ask them to inform you about the preferred approach to management at that employer.
The Best Way to Respond
The safest approach to answering this question if you are a candidate for a non-management position is to start with a statement about your flexibility and adaptability in dealing with different styles of management.
Be ready to share examples of your productivity with a few different past managers who have different styles. Then you can go on to share some of your own qualities as an employee and how they complemented the various managerial styles.
If you are a candidate for a management job, select some qualities like the ones below and cite examples of how you have applied those assets to bring about positive results as a manager.
If possible, share how you may have adapted your approach within different organizational cultures, with different types of employees and with emerging challenges.
Top 35 Qualities of Effective Managers
- Sets clear expectations for employees
- Empowers subordinates to determine the best way to reach objectives when possible
- Provides frequent feedback regarding performance
- Issues criticism in a calm, constructive and respectful manner
- Recognizes accomplishments of staff and gives credit where it is due
- Expertise in their professional discipline
- Supports the professional development of staff
- Openness to suggestions for improvements in the department
- Displays commitment to their own professional development
- Adapts to changing circumstances
- Remains calm under pressure
- Inspires loyalty
- Treats employees with fairness
- Takes an innovative approach to solving problems
- Has the respect of her superiors
- Creates a fun atmosphere when possible
- Is concerned about employee morale
- Possesses a sense of humor
- Facilitates productive meetings where the input of all staff is heard
- Draws consensus on major directions when possible
- Embraces change when it is warranted
- Maintains an optimistic but realistic outlook
- Treats employees with respect
- Factors emerging trends in the field into management decisions
- Assertiveness to say no to departmental requests or lobby for additional resources
- Strong presentation and public speaking skills
- Explores new technology applications relevant to the department
- Solid organizational skills
- Dependability and reliability
- Delegates responsibility to subordinates
- Explains the rationale behind directives clearly
- Active Listener
- Demonstrates ethical integrity
- Exudes energy and enthusiasm