Here you ask the hiring manager about their management style. Our intent is to find out what the manager believes is important in his role as a people manager. It is less about the requirements cast upon him by potential senior managers or corporate culture.
Of course these play a role in developing a management philosophy, but different managers manage differently, no matter where you find them. Finding out about the corporate management style will help you understand if you can thrive in this environment.
What core beliefs does your manager bring with him? What experiences has shaped him into the manager that he is today? What concepts and principles does he apply in his management?
Understand the Mechanics behind the rules, not the rules: The purpose of this question is not for the manager to list their top 5 rules for subordinates. We are trying to identify the concepts and beliefs that make the manager manage the way he does. If the manager believes that people are only productive when they have a stick hanging over them, it is not a perfect match for carrot-loving bunnies. Like a lot of questions it dwells down to what you value, what you believe in. What is important for you in the job role? What are your own core beliefs? Why have you been less productive for some managers and more productive for others?
Initiate a discussion: The most important goal for this question is probably to start a discussion. Talking about a philosophic attitude to management is a short leap away from discussing everyday interaction. Ask follow-up questions like: What makes the people working for you productive? Why do you think people are productive?
Putting Employees First: Overall you want to find a manager that understands that he should be putting the needs and requirements of his employees first. You want to have a manager that shields you from the corporate bullshit (unless you are a manager yourself of course), ultimately enabling you to do a better job for him!
All Questions to the Hiring Manager at Job Interview