Zippia Advice

How To Answer “How Do You Like to Be Managed?”

Heidi Cope
by Heidi Cope
College Grad Jobs - 9 months ago

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Congrats! You are probably reading this because you are preparing for an interview. One of the hardest parts of the job search is landing an interview and blowing the interviewer away with amazing answers.

So here is a more difficult question for you to prepare for: How do you like to be managed? If you’ve had amazing job experiences with great managers, then this question may seem easy. If you’ve had some troublesome experiences, you may feel somewhat at a loss about how to answer this question.

No matter what your previous experiences were with managers, there is a correct angle from which to answer this question.

Here are the main things to keep in mind when constructing your answer to “How do you like to be managed:”

  • Focus on the positives and explain how you do like being managed, versus how you don’t like being managed.
  • Frame negative experiences as learning opportunities.
  • Avoid talking about topics that involve your managers that were not work-related, like after-hours drinking adventures with coworkers.
  • Research what the company is looking for in an employee and think about how it meshes with what you are looking for in a job.

How Do You Like to Be Managed Interview Question

This is a question you should have prepared an answer for in advance. Crafting your answer beforehand allows you to tease out experiences that were positive and highlight you as an employee versus focusing on management types that you dislike.

The purpose of this question is to find out how you interact with coworkers and managers. They want to know how you feel you best fit in the company and after hearing your answer, they will determine if they think you are a good fit.

Generally, they want to find someone who can do two things: work independently and work well with oversight. Doing research into the company’s team dynamics is an important step into finding out what they are looking for in a candidate.

They are also looking to see how you view relationships with managers that may have not worked well. When you first think of how you want to be managed, you are likely thinking of the exact opposite: how you do not want to be managed.

The last thing your interviewer wants to hear is several stories of you bashing old managers. If you are open to speaking negatively about previous managers, what does that say about you if you don’t mesh well with your new manager?

Most people have had a negative experience or two, so crafting your response in an interview to show your experiences as constructive, versus negative, is crucial.

How to Answer Do You Like to Be Managed

In order to craft your answer to this question before the interview, you will have to do a little research. Before you can answer this question in an interview, you will need to be able to answer it to yourself.

What do you look for in a manager? What do you look for in a team or work environment? Do you like more management or do you like more independence? How would you like that relationship to change over time?

To start answering these questions, think back to a time where you really liked your work environment. Come up with a list of experiences where you did like how you worked with your managers and why you liked it.

It is OK to mention aspects of management you didn’t like, but frame it as a learning experience. They will likely ask you what didn’t work well with you in the past, so think of answers to these questions in advance.

Once you know what you want in a manager and in a work environment, you will need to research how you will fit in with the company. It’s great to know how you like to be managed, but if that management style isn’t in tune with the company, the job likely won’t be a good fit.

For example, if you say you only work well in start-up work environments and you are applying to a massive corporation, they may dismiss you as a potential employee because of the work fit.

To find out what the company looks for in an employee, research how the company you are applying for is organized. Take a look at their social media pages, LinkedIn, their profile on Zippia and on company reviews sites like Glassdoor.

Research the company values and ask yourself, do they match my own? If they do, find ways to incorporate that into how you like to be managed.

Finally, make sure you avoid certain topics when talking about what you look for in a manager and how you like to be managed. Keep the answer work-related. Everyone loves being able to go out with coworkers and managers for happy hour after work, but that’s not what needs to be talked about in an interview.

At the end of the day, they want to know how you can fit into their work environment and how to best utilize your skills to get the best deliverables.

Avoid partying topics, trash-talking old companies and managers, and negative stories. Shape your experiences so that you can show how you will best fit into the position you are applying for.

How Do You Like to Be Managed Example Answer

Here are some example answers to help you craft the perfect response about how you like to be managed:

I like a dynamic work environment in which coworkers work together as a team. I like having clear direction on tasks and projects from my manager, with the ability to meet and collaborate with them on projects. However, once my part on the project is clear, I like being able to work independently and then bring my work to the table with my teammates.

I like working closely with my managers and knowing what my tasks are in advance. I am fine working independently or in teams on projects. I like brainstorming independently and bringing my ideas to the table to help drive innovation on projects. I welcome any and all feedback from my managers to improve as an employee.

I enjoy having a lot of creative freedom on projects and being able to individualize my deliverables. My relationship with managers is usually a mentee-mentor relationship, in that they help give me direction and guidance during projects. I am deadline-driven but work best at my own pace within deadlines. I like knowing that my managers can trust me to do a good job at the task and know that I will ask for help if needed.


Being asked how you like to be managed in an interview can be scary if you did not prepare an answer beforehand. However, taking the time to craft a response beforehand shows that you thought deeply about what you are looking for in a position and how you will best fit into the company’s framework.

If you need to research a company, check them out on Zippia and if you need more career advice, we have many articles to help you ace your interview and get the job you want.

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