What's your management style?
No manager or manager-wannabe likes this question. Most are caught flat-footed because they’ve never given it any thought until they’re moving on or up. That’s precisely the wrong time to wonder.
In fact, the question is far more valuable to ask yourself while you're managing than for it to be asked of you while your pursuing a management position.
Your style is whatever you think it is. Don't waste time researching “management styles” and finding the category into which you best fit. It’s not about finding your pigeon hole, it’s about defining the one you call home.
If you haven’t thought about what your style is since your last interview, it’s likely you’re not managing consistently. A “style” is a like a mission statement, a blueprint. It guides you in making decisions. An undefined style is an unpredictable manager.
If you're unsure of your style, rest assured you have one. Just ask your staff. They'll likely give you a more accurate (read: painful) assessment.
That's the one the empowered manager wants.