A job seeker at my career transition ministry asked me the following.
I have a major interview coming up soon with a start up company. I will be interviewing with and ultimately reporting to the CEO. I have one question that I need to ask someone, but I am not sure who. — What is the CEO’s management style? Do I ask him, or do I ask some, or all, of his subordinates? Or should I ask both sources? The main concern I have about the job is whether or not the CEO is a micro-manager.
Here is my answer.
Simple. Go ahead and ask “would you mind sharing with me something about your management style?” All managers will have an answer for that. The good ones can describe the way they like to lead people versus “managing” people. Bad ones will likely talk a lot about metrics, systems, and results, leaving out the human elements of the answer.
Of course the best answers will need to come from the people who work for them or know them. This is a great example of a LinkedIn question to ask someone. Use LinkedIn to find former employees of the target company. Then make personal, direct inquires to those people. Tell them you might be interviewing at their former company and would like them to share some insights. (Point 7 in my “12.5 Ways to Get Ahead on LinkedIn”). I have used this approach for several years and have gotten some amazing information to use.