Top 25 Leadership Interview Questions
Many candidates assume that only managers have to face off against leadership interview questions. It makes sense that leaders would need to prove that they can, well, lead. Its a core part of their job, after all.
But, in reality, anyone may actually find themselves staring down a leadership question.
Because leadership is a ridiculously valuable soft skill. Those who know how to lead often step up during a crisis, and they are willing to guide others, sharing their expertise to help others thrive. Its a great quality, and hiring managers are chomping at the bit to find it.
What does that mean for you?
That you need to be ready to put your leadership capabilities on display. Lets look at how you can make that happen.
Top 16 Interview Questions And Answers
As you prepare for your interview, you may be considering which questions the employer is going to ask you. While theres no way to know for sure what topics will be covered, there are several popular interview questions you can expect to be asked.
Heres how to answer the 16 most common interview questions:
Every interviewer is different and their questions may vary. By preparing your answers to these common interview questions, you can develop compelling talking points to make a great impression during your next job interview.
Common Situational Interview Questions And Answers
To help you prepare for a situational interview, we have compiled a list of six common scenario interview questions that could come up. Each question is accompanied by a sample answer to help you see how a candidate may respond to the question.
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What Are Your Biggest Strengths
I’m not sure why interviewers ask this question your resume and experience should make your strengths readily apparent.
Even so, if you’re asked, provide a sharp, on-point answer. Be clear and precise. If you’re a great problem solver, don’t just say that: Provide a few examples, pertinent to the opening, that prove you’re a great problem solver. If you’re an emotionally intelligent leader, don’t just say that: Provide a few examples that prove you know how to answer the unasked question.
In short, don’t just claim to have certain attributes — prove you have those attributes.
Is There Anything About This Interview Process That You Would Change
This is a question that no candidate can prepare for and it takes some by surprise .
It will give you an indication of how candidates are feeling about the process and forces them to think on their feet.
If you’re hiring for a management position it can also show you how a candidate thinks about process efficiency and illustrate the thinking style that they may apply to other areas of your business if hired.
This can also be a great way to get constructive criticism and improve your interviewing process and boost candidate experience.
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Go Beyond The Common Interview Questions
Yes, the job search is intimidating, but reviewing interview questions and answers in advance is one way to calm your nerves and boost your confidence. Are you looking for more ways to stand apart from the competition? Set up a free profile with Monster and we can send you career advice, workplace insights, and more job interview tips directly to your inbox. It’s a quick and easy way to stay one step ahead.
What Do You Think We Could Do Better Or Differently
This question can really do a number on you. How do you give a meaty answer without insulting the company or, worse, the person youre speaking with? Well first, take a deep breath. Then start your response with something positive about the company or specific product youve been asked to discuss. When youre ready to give your constructive feedback, give some background on the perspective youre bringing to the table and explain why youd make the change youre suggesting . And if you end with a question, you can show them youre curious about the company or product and open to other points of view. Try: Did you consider that approach here? Id love to know more about your process.
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Tell Me About This Gap In Your Resume
This is one of several very common HR interview questions that may refer to anything out of the ordinary or interesting in a candidates resume, such as a job that lasted for only a few months or that was seemingly unrelated to the candidates background, or an outright gap in the candidates employment history. The purpose of these HR interview questions is to clarify these points and make sure there arent any red flags.
After I finished my masters degree, I started working non-stop for six years. Thats why I decided to take a break from work and travel to other countries to volunteer. This helped me clear my mind and help other people, while acquiring new skills .
Question: How Did You Find This Job
You may have found the opportunity through research on ideal jobs where you can make the most impact and hope to grow professionally.
I would also hope you looked for companies that you feel meet your standards for corporate culture, investment in employees, successful business model , and any other aspects you feel are important to you.
Make sure you can go into a little detail on what you found in your research.
The job may have found you. In that case, you can say you were contacted by HR or a recruiter who felt you were a good fit. But dont leave it there.
You should still mention you did your homework and verified that this is right for you as a potential contributor to the companys success, and as a good match for what youre looking for in an employer.
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Q: What Is The Most Difficult Situation You Have Had To Face And How Did You Tackle It
A: The purpose of this question is to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. In order to show yourself in a positive light, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be quickly explained in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was. Always end on a positive note.
If I Were To Go And Speak To People Who Don’t Think Very Highly Of You What Would They Say
This question is clearly designed to probe the depths of a candidates self-awareness. But Gabriel Otte is also hunting for another quality: empathy.
Self-awareness isnt just about understanding your own shortcomings. Develop empathy for the people who dislike you otherwise youll get caught up in justifications and evasions that make it tough to truly internalize the criticism.
When I pose this question to candidates, Im always looking to see how much empathy they have for the people who dont like them, says Otte, the co-founder and CEO of Freenome . Do they evade or try to justify why people might not like them? Or are they in denial and think no one dislikes them?
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How To Answer The Most Common Interview Questions
Are you ready to ace your upcoming job interview? One of the most important parts of interview preparation is being ready to respond effectively to the questions that employers typically ask.
Since these interview questions are so common, hiring managers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.
You don’t need to memorize your answers, but you should think about what you’re going to say so you’re not put on the spot.
Your responses will be stronger if you know what to expect during the interview and have a sense of what you want to focus on. Knowing that you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you minimize interview stress and feel more at ease.
Here are the top 10 interview questions employers are likely to ask, plus 100+ more common job interview questions, example responses, tips for giving the best answer, and advice on how to ace the interview.
Give An Example Of A Time When You Handled A Major Crisis
Feel free to reframe the question. This is similar to asking âCan you give an example of a time when you had to cope with a difficult situation?â or âGive an example of a time when you had to cope under pressureâ. However, âcrisisâ is a much stronger, more emotive word. You may find it easier to give an example if you think back through your work experience, study, extracurricular activities and travel and come up with a time when you had to cope with an unexpected problem.
- Find out how not to reply to the question, âGive an example of a time when you handled a major crisisâ.
Analyze The Job Posting
Reread the job posting and analyze it to determine what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Then make a list of the skills, knowledge, professional, and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are most important for success in the job. Be ready to describe the attributes that make you the perfect match for the job. The closer your qualifications match the job requirements, the better chance you’ll have of getting a second-round interview and a job offer.
How Do You Set Goals Outline The Process
Most of your best employees will be highly goal-oriented and results driven, hardly surprising then that hiring managers want more of the same!
This interview question is great at ensuring that candidates are going to match up to the goals that you set them, and should show you whether they have sufficient initiative to set their own targets.
The best candidates will articulate their exact goal setting process. This should involve: how they select goals, how they split these lofty goals up into smaller tasks, how they plan to tackle these tasks, and ultimately how they measure success.
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Communication: Give An Example Of How You Are Able To Adapt Your Communication Style To Different Audiences
Context: One of the major parts of my job is to pitch to prospective clients, and my success hinges on my ability to adapt my communication style to different people and organisational cultures. I demonstrated this ability recently when I pitched to a technology start-up known for its fun culture and young staff.
Action: Understanding that a formal and conservative approach wouldnt work effectively with this organisation, I made sure to keep my style and language friendly and informal, dressed casually, and ensured my presentation was visually appealing and fun, despite being quite technical. I knew that delivering the presentation in this manner would help establish rapport and make them feel confident not only in our technical ability, but in our ability to work effectively with them on a personal and cultural level.
Result: We won the pitch and were later told that our friendly and enthusiastic approach helped get us over the line as they wanted to work with a company that would be both technically adept and fun to work with. This company is now one of our key clients, who we continue to work with as they expand.
What Have You Done Professionally That Is Not An Experience You’d Want To Repeat
A candidate’s answer to this question will give you an idea of how they viewed work they weren’t very happy with, which is bound to happen to everyone in every job at one point or another.
A good answer to this question:
HubSpot’s VP of Customer Service and Support Michael Redbord says candidates’ answers generally fall into a few categories:
Even the category of what they consider an experience they wouldn’t want to repeat is interesting, says Redbord. When you talk about extreme experiences that get people emotional, it can be very revealing. Keep in mind, however, that good answers don’t have to fall into any one category — what’s most important is if they extracted value from the experience despite their lack of interest in doing it again.
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Why Do You Want This Job
Can you admit that you primarily want this job because it will allow you to work from home? Not necessarily.
Employers like to hear why you want to work for themand mentioning something general that many other companies also offer wont help them understand what your admire about their company.
Flatter your boss-to-be by mentioning the companys solid reputation, its admirable diversity policies, and its excellent mentorship programs instead.
For example, Im really impressed with this companys reputation in the industry and I would love to help contribute to your mission.
What Is Something You’d Be Happy Doing Every Single Day For The Rest Of Your Career
While it’s important to hire for skill, it’s also important to hire someone who’s likely to be happy in the job for which you’re hiring. A question like this one will help uncover what makes each candidate happy at work — which is a great way to gauge whether they’d enjoy their role and stay at the company for a long time.
A good answer to this question:
There’s no right answer to this question — it’s more of a learning opportunity for you to see what your employees most enjoy in the industry. Nonetheless, a candidate’s answer to this question should align with the core responsibilities of the job for which they’re applying.
A sales candidate who says they could lead client kickoff meetings every day, for example, is a much better fit than a sales candidate who prefers to create lead-generating campaigns .
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Work On Your Interview Technique
A job interview gives you a chance to shine. What you say and what you do is going to either move you to the next round of consideration for employment or knock you out of contention for the job. The more you know about successful interview techniques, the smoother the interview will go. If you’re one of those people, and it happens to almost everyone, who gets really anxious about interviews, there are coping strategies you can use to help minimize stress.
Tell Me About A Time You Made A Mistake Or Failed At Something What Did You Learn From This Experience Can You Give Me Two Other Examples
As an alum of Glossier, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Product Hunt, Corley Hughes has serious team-building chops. When hiring, she likes to focus on how a candidate has learned from failure but shes found that asking about it just once isnt enough.
Asking for three examples gives me a better sense of someone’s actions and natural way of working. Everyone whos adequately prepared for an interview has one rehearsed answer on learning from failure in their pocket, she says.
The folks who can point to three different times theyve messed up show that they have a well-honed habit of looking objectively at a situation and talking openly about what theyd do differently. Ive found that these people tend to naturally self-course-correct, are constantly learning, and are willing to share bad news quickly, which are must-haves on my team.
When listening to the answers, shes specifically looking to see whether the candidate can:
Speak comfortably and openly about mistakes.
Reflect and apply what they learned.
Demonstrate that they dont take themselves too seriously.
Every candidate has one canned answer on learning from failure in their pocket. The people who can point to three different examples are the true constant-learners and the folks you need on your team.
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What Single Project Or Task Would You Consider Your Most Significant Career Accomplishment To Date Walk Me Through The Plan How You Managed It How You Measured Success And What The Biggest Mistakes You Made Were
Lou Adler, one of the world’s foremost recruiting thinkers, has made no secret of his 10 year search for the perfect interview question. After all his research, this is the question that he landed upon. He believes it’s the best indicator of whether you should, or shouldn’t hire someone.
Interview questions like this are the whole package. Candidates have an opportunity to give you a behind the scenes tour of the professional accomplishment that they’re most proud of. You’ll get insights into how they plan and run projects, as well as how the bar they set for success.
Top candidates will also use the “biggest mistakes” part of the question to display a sense of ownership for any weak points in the project.