Use Your Gut Instincts
The 21 questions weve revealed above will go a long way to helping you find a strong leader for your business.
As always, we recommend using a variety of different interview questions to assess your candidates dont just use all of the 21 above.
If you use every single question you risk making your interview sound a bit stilted and wooden, and it needs to be more rounded and natural sounding.
Try if possible to use a selection of the most appropriate questions.
If you need more inspiration about what makes a great leader, make sure you
Recruiter Pro Tip.
There are, of course, other leadership attributes that cannot be revealed by mere questioning.
To assess these intangibles, youll have to use your gut instincts and keen eye for body language.
You should ask yourself questions like
- Is this candidate likable?
- Are they confident enough to lead other people?
- Will they fit in with my team?
- Do they seem arrogant?
- Are they going to cause friction?
People are a lot more likely to follow and be inspired by leaders that they actually like and trust!
Always let your conscience be your guide!
Get Specific About What You Did
- The best stories include enough detail to be believable and memorable. Show how you were a leader in this situation and how it represents your overall leadership experience and/or potential.
- At the same time, you must make an effort to keep the story concise. It can be tempting to go off on tangents, particularly if you havent prepared in advance. Using the STAR format will help you keep it focused.
- Remember: Dont try to script your story out word-for-word. The example above is far more scripted than you want or need. We took this approach to make it easy for readers to understand. However, for your own stories, you can just jot down the key bullet points for each section. The idea is to create a framework that ensures you cover the most important and impressive aspects of the experience.
The 50 Most Powerful Questions Leaders Can Ask
The best leaders dont engage in monologues they stimulate conversations. They understand conversations are not competitions to be won, but opportunities to enrich, inspire, challenge, illuminate and learn. So, what makes for great dialogue? Great questions.
Ive always said, a leaders job is not to leverage their people, but to create leverage for their people. Put another way, smart leaders find out what their people need to be successful and then provide those things to them a difficult task for the disengaged leader
Whether you like it or not, your success as a leader will be largely tied to your team building ability. Not only do great leaders understand how to recruit a top executive team, but they also understand how to build cohesion among team members through collaboration while addressing specific situational and contextual needs. They understand how to use intelligent questions to advance the betterment of those they lead.
The best leaders always have a great feel for the pulse of their organization. They realize the importance of being consistently, purposefully and intensely engaged with their team. They understand how to unlock hidden value and unleash creativity and passion with the use of well-timed questions.
2. Other than your title, why should anyone be led by you?
3. How can I help you with that? What do you need from me in order to make that happen?
6. What rules should we be breaking?
26. How will this impact ?
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Use The Star Interview Response Technique
A thoughtful, relevant anecdote is often the best way to answer these kinds of questions, particularly when they are behavioral interview questions. These are questions that ask you to provide examples from past work experiences to prove your qualifications for the job at hand.
When answering behavioral interview questions about leadership, use the STAR interview response technique:
- Situation: Explain the background of the situation. What was your job?
- Task. What was the particular task you had to perform? If there was a particular problem you were addressing, explain what it was.
- Action: What action did you take to complete the task or solve the problem?
- Result: What was the outcome of the situation? Did you complete the task well? Did you solve the problem?
How Do You Give Feedback To Employees
Communicating your evaluation of an employee’s performance is a huge part of being a leader. The candidate must be able to give both positive and negative feedback in a way that nurtures employee growth. Leah Ward, Chief of Staff at Teampay, often asks interviewees how they give feedback because they’ll constantly be required to direct their team and communicate their strategies to other leaders in the organization.
The candidate should be able to give feedback that helps employees learn and improve their performance going forward. They should have established methods for doing so often and openly.
In the follow-up discussion, probe their ability not just to give feedback, but to receive it from their peers and those they manage. Have they established ways for employees to give feedback anonymously, for example?
Follow-up question: How do you like to receive feedback?
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How To Answer What Is Your Leadership Style In Job Interviews
If theyre asking you this question in an interview, it means they care about your leadership ability and are likely using it as a factor in deciding who to hire.
This doesnt have to be direct leadership. You dont need to have managed or supervised people in a past job.
And you might even hear this question for a position that isnt going to require any direct leadership.
But maybe in a few years they plan on promoting you. Maybe they want someone who can lead by example and mentor newer people in a year, etc.
For whatever reason the interviewer wants to know how you lead and more importantly- how comfortable you are doing it
So you need to show them youre confident when leading and that youve done it before!
Lets get into some dos and donts now, so you can give a great answer.
How Would You Describe Yourself As A Leader
This is similar to some of the questions above and it is one more way they might try to learn about your approach to leading a team.
The best way to show them that youre a great leader to is talk about specific successes in the past, so along with giving them a general idea of your approach here, try to provide an example of a team success you led.
This article has some general examples for how to describe yourself effectively.
In What Ways Do You Demonstrate Leadership Qualities Outside Of The Office
By getting the candidate to talk about something outside of the scope of their normal job duties, you can catch a glimpse of their natural leadership abilities. Sofia Quintero, the CEO of EnjoyHQ, likes to ask about a potential hire’s side projects: I want to understand if they can make something happen from scratch. Especially if they have done it with other people, as a team and outside their regular job.
Their answer could encompass anything from a side business they created to their experience as a leader of the PTA. This is the candidate’s chance to demonstrate that they are self-motivated, creative and that they can inspire connection and belonging outside the office. Can they organize and inspire a team organically? Do people trust them and want to be around them, even when they aren’t required to?
Follow-up question: How do the skills you developed doing that activity transfer into your professional role?
Why Employers Ask What Does Leadership Mean To You
Employers ask this question to learn about your views on leadership, what you consider a leader to be and what you value in a leader. This information provides insight into your personality and helps employers assess your fit in the organization. Regardless of whether you are applying for a managerial position or not, how you answer this question speaks volumes about your confidence and personal values.
If you are applying for a managerial position, this question helps employers assess what kind of leader you will be and if your leadership philosophy is a good fit in the organization. It gives them insight into how you will manage a team of employees and what employees can expect from you as a manager.
If you are not applying for a managerial position, this question helps employers assess what you value in a leader, what style of leadership you respond to and your confidence in your skills and abilities. Leadership does not only reside with people in managerial positions but can come from all levels of an organization. Employers use this question to estimate your ability to collaborate on a team and drive innovation even when you are not in a managerial position.
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.
Q7 Have You Ever Failed As A Leader
TIP #1 Give an example where you have actually failed.
TIP #2 Tell the panel what you learnt from the experience.
TIP #3 Tell the interview panel how you have matured as a leader from the experience.
Yes, I have. In the early days of being a leader I remember leading a team by using an entirely autocratic approach. I was basically dictating what I expected of the team and what I wanted them to do. This was a mistake, simply because I failed to get to know my team and also what motivated them as individuals. I soon realized that my approach to leadership would fail, and so I decided to change quickly. I believe that initial experience of leading people stood me in good stead and has made me the leader I am today. I continually analyze my performance to look for ways I can improve. I feel this is an important quality of an effective leader, and being reflective of ones own performance is a key ingredient of being successful.
For further Leadership Interview Questions or resources to develop your Team Leader Skills check out our Free Online Interview Training Course.
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What Are The Questions Asked In Team Leader Interview
Team Leader interview questions
- Examples of Team Leader interview questions:
- How would your colleagues and team describe you?
- How would you mitigate a dispute between two team members who disagree over their responsibilities?
- What techniques have you used to motivate a team?
- What are your preferred methods of communication and why?
Would You Rather Be Respected Or Feared By Your Employees And Why
I do not recommend saying, feared here. But I wouldnt just say respected and leave it at that, either.
Id recommend responding with something like this:
Id rather be respected by my team. I think its also important to be trusted. You cant always make the popular choice when leading a team. But if youve built trust, your team members will give you the benefit of the doubt that this decision is best in the long run. Thats how Ive been able to get my past teams to buy into the decisions Ive made.
This type of answer will show that you have a great understanding of what it takes to be a leader and that youve built strong leadership skills in past roles.
This is the type of answer that will set you apart in a leadership interview, so practice talking like this.
Also Check: How To Ace A Behavioral Interview
How Do You Motivate Your Team
This question is meant to get your candidate talking about their philosophy on people management. Remember that good leaders are able to nurture growth and empower their team by creating a safe and trusting environment.
Listen for well-developed strategies for encouraging career growth and strong performance from their employees. Do they use a carrot or stick approach? Do they create a feeling of succeeding or failing together for their team? Are they able to provide concrete examples of how they have motivated teams in the past, or does the candidate mostly speak in generalizations?
You are also looking to see if they are realistic in their expectations for employee performance. Use follow-up questions to learn how they get under-performing employees back on track.
Follow-up question: How would you approach a team member who remains unmotivated?
Other Ways An Interviewer Might Ask Why You Want To Be A Leader
During the interview process, questions related to a candidates leadership skills are frequently asked. A common question is âWhy do you want to be a leader? It may be asked in a variety of ways such as âWhy are you interested in a leadership role? or Why do you want to be a team leader?
Learn more:20 Customary Leadership Interview Questions
You may be wondering how to answer that question. To help you prepare to effectively answer this interview question and others like it, this guide explains why leadership skills are important to employers, what leadership skills employers look for, and how you can best portray your greatest leadership skills to increase your chances and stand out to potential employers.
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Can You Explain Your Leadership Style And Why You Are Suited To Our Company’s Team Leader Position
There are many kinds of leadership styles that can benefit different workplaces and teams. This question aims to assess a candidate’s leadership style and whether it matches your company. What to look for in an answer:
- Strong leadership capabilities
- Experience delegating tasks
“I consider myself to be a coach-style team leader because I focus on identifying and nurturing individual strengths of each member on my team. I implement strategies that encourage teamwork by delegating tasks based on a team member’s expertise. I am suited to be a team leader at your company because I have the technical background for this role along with motivational and time-management skills to effectively lead my team.”
Why Did You Choose This Career Path
The interviewer will likely want to know how you got started in this industry and this field of work, and finally why you chose a leadership path.
Thats why they ask about your reasons for choosing this career.
So be prepared to talk about what you enjoy about this career and how you got started both in the industry and in your specific area of focus .
Describe How You Set A Positive Example As A Team Leader
The goal is to assess a candidate’s ability to set a positive example for their teammates. What to look for in an answer:
- Sets clear goals
- Rewarding of hard work
“I believe that my actions as the team leader can directly influence my team, so I try to set the best example possible. I maintain an upbeat and positive attitude toward all clients, projects, and coworkers while showing enthusiasm for new tasks. Likewise, I follow company rules, ensuring I am at work on time and leave once I have finished all my work for the day.”
What Is A Behavioral Interview
Behavioral interviews are now standard practice for many employers. Your interviewer wants to test not just whether you possess desired skills, but whether you can evidence times you have demonstrated those skills. The purpose is to predict how you will perform in your new position.
Many start with, Tell me about a time you because you are required to talk about specific situations, explain what action you took and what the result was.
Leadership Interview Questions To Help Assess Management Potential
- 10 leadership interview questions to help assess management potential
A company’s success rests on the shoulders of competent leaders, but sizing up an applicant’s leadership ability is often difficult to evaluate throughout the interview process. It can’t be assessed simply by looking at a candidate’s resume, and even a background in management doesn’t guarantee the person possesses the personality traits and professional qualities of an effective team leader.
Part of the issue is knowing what to look for. In a study published by the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Sunnie Giles asked 195 global business leaders to choose the leadership skills they felt were the most important. Surprisingly, the top traits weren’t related to meeting company objectives, strategic thinking, or self-confidence. Instead, the attributes most prized by leaders related to creating a safe and trusting environment for team members to grow within.
When assessing leadership potential, behavior is just as important as past management experience. All candidates claim to possess communication and motivational skills, but behavioral and situational interview questions can help you evaluate whether they know how to use these skills in real-life scenarios.