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Episode #007 – Describe your management philosophy

Describe your management philosophy

Career Fitness – Job Interview Preparation Series for Mid Career Professionals (Technology, Product, Corporate, Startups)

I have conducted 1000+ interviews, not as a recruiter but as a co-founder of a company. I have been recruiting for my own company. So it is 100% ownership with very high diligence to select people at entry level laterally and even leadership hiring.


Describe your management philosophy. So this question is going to come to you in different form factors. 

  • How do you lead? 
  • Do you have a dominant style of operating? 
  • What’s your management philosophy? 

The key thing to note over here is – to break down this question into multiple smaller questions. One is, if it’s a management philosophy, there are a couple of words that you want to be mindful of; 

  • Team 
  • People (Understanding them) 
  • You’re able to drive results with the help of the Team. 


And that’s what you want to get across to the people. So the best thing to do over here is that you need to quantify your own leadership profiling. When you position yourself as a manager, as a senior manager or as a director. You need to be able to position yourself and quantify your leadership profile on different axes. It can be multi-dimensional. You need to say that I’m very high on relationship, high on execution, and high on vision. 


When it comes to being operational, I’m not the strongest, I am more near mid-strength. You need to be able to quantify your leadership profile. And that’s the most important thing so that you know yourself, you’re demonstrating self-awareness, and you’re coming across as someone who knows what he or she is getting into. That’s a very, very important part. 


So, what you want to do over here – when something like this comes is that you don’t want to give out a blanket answer. You don’t want to give out a blanket answer. When you get into a team, a team of size 30, 40, 50, 100 or whatever it is, you will first make an effort to understand the Team, understand the composition of the Team, the people, personalities, and their motivations. 


If you’re able to get this message across that, you will unlock. You will understand all of it, audit the whole situation, audit the whole Team and then come up with a way of taking this thing ahead. Finally, we’ll find a way to structure the Team. It can be the old guard v/s the new guard, based on the vintage, skill sets or Skill vs Will metric. 


Again, there is not a single answer that suits or makes or works for every situation and every organization. But what is important is – that you’re able to segment out your audience; we’re able to segment out the whole organization that is reporting to you and then be able to work towards it. And please mind well that this is beyond the org structure, and this is something that you’re able to put your own frameworks on top of the people who we work with. This is not being judgmental. This is not being judgmental. This is about being able to appreciate the inherent goodness and inherent qualities, and talent in each and every one of them and being able to align and unlock them for the betterment of the organization. 


Finally, you want to just take this opportunity to bring out your leadership skills. If you believe that you’re empowering, you are meritocratic, and you’re someone who believes in building out the leaders of tomorrow, build the capabilities within the teams. Then you want to bring out all of those things when you’re answering a question around the management philosophy because ultimately, what your management philosophy is going to define –  how your output is going to be from an organizational perspective, and a lot of it will depend on the Team that you anchor; the Team that drive.


So I hope this helps you structure up your thoughts with respect to how you define your management philosophy. So again, you want to definitely hop on the team aspects of your understanding of the Team, your understanding of the ability to structure out the Team, and align them for the larger good of the organization, and that is what the crux of your philosophy is. Again, make sure that you quantify your leadership profile. You quantify your traits as a leader and bring them out and present them very, very clear when you speak about the management philosophy. I hope this helps. 

Career Fitness – Job Interview Preparation Series for Mid Career Professionals (Technology, Product, Corporate, Startups)

For 6 – 14 years experience bracket folks. People who are looking to meaningfully pivot the career, leapfrog into a new domain, change focus areas. Advice on how to navigate your career for stronger longer-term RoI.

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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