Saturday, June 15, 2024

What Questions To Ask In A Leadership Interview

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How Do Goals Help You Become A Better Leader

LEADERSHIP Interview Questions and Answers!

Good leaders know how to set goals for both themselves and for their team. Tools like SMART goals can be useful in creating objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Discuss what goal-setting strategies you use when leading your team. Consider giving an example of when you used the SMART method to help your team improve their productivity and achieve their goal. If you are not already in a leadership position, you can explain how you set goals to practice leadership skills and why you feel you have potential.

Example: In order to successfully complete tasks, my team works best when they know exactly what they have to do and in what time frame. I use the SMART goal method to establish daily, weekly and monthly objectives and guide my teams productivity. For example, I wanted to make sure my team was able to finish inventory by the end of the month. I delegated specific daily tasks to team members based on individual strengths. I created a visual progress tracker to measure our weekly objectives as we reached our achievable end-goal by our deadline.

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How Do You Come Up With Ideas

Trust me when I say, creativity may be the single biggest asset when it comes to evaluating leadership potential. Whether it is finding innovative ways to solve a complex problem or clever motivation and team-building tactics, creativity is at the heart of good leadership.

Use this question to find out how the candidate comes up with their brilliant ideas. Do they brainstorm with colleagues, look for inspiration around them, internalize the task, or lean on research and online resources? This will give you a better understanding of their creative process, and it gives you an opportunity to review their capability to find your company’s next big idea and inspire your team to do the same.

How To Choose And Develop Your Leadership Style

As someone who is interested in the leadership path or looking for more structure in their leadership approach, it can be helpful to choose a leadership style that feels authentic to you. Some questions you may ask yourself when trying to determine which style is right for you include:

  • What do I value moregoals or relationships?

  • Do I believe in structure or freedom of choice?

  • Would I rather make a decision on my own, or collectively?

  • Do I focus on short or long-term goals?

  • Does motivation come from empowerment or direction?

  • What does a healthy team dynamic look like to me?

These are just a few examples of questions to ask yourself while reading through leadership styles to help you decide which style you relate most with. To develop your leadership style consider these strategies:

While a certain leadership style may be impactful in a specific jobfor example, autocratic leaders tend to do well in military settingsthe best leadership is using a blend of these styles. Knowing what style to enforce in workplace situations comes with time, practice and emotional intelligence. Remember, most leaders borrow from a variety of styles to achieve various goals at different times in their careers.


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Who Are The Mentors That Have Had The Greatest Impact On You

Leaders typically have multiple mentors in their professional life. This question makes them think about their most beneficial mentorship relationship and why it was important. In their answer, they may provide essential tips about picking a mentor for yourself and maximizing mentor relationships. Engaging with a mentor may challenge you, but insight might improve your experience. It is also possible that you and the leader admire the same people. They may introduce you to that person and speak highly of you. This can be a way to bond and create a stronger relationship.

Describe A Time You Managed An Employee Who Was Struggling Or Causing Strife

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When asking this question, your interviewer wants to know if you can handle a sensitive situation and how youll go about it. The story about the chronically late employee who came on time once he took on a new responsibility , is a great example of how to answer this question, as it showcases the managers innovation in people management.

In your preparation for the interview, think of at least two people youve worked with who struggled or disrupted a teams work in some way and how you dealt with the difficultiesthen choose which situation better exemplifies your management skills and style and makes sense in the context of your conversation. For example, I know a leader who might have talked about the time they inherited a team on which two employees division on a hot-button issue created an unmistakable feeling of tension at every meeting, and the leader had to quickly figure out how to repair the rift before it derailed the teams work.

Your example also doesnt have to result in a fairytale ending where everything works out perfectly. Some employees performance or behavior will improve only marginally. And if an employee continued to have or cause problems in the workplace, termination could be a perfectly fine end to the story as long as you thoroughly explain why and what steps you took. A story ending with an employee being let go can show your ability to assess the right staff and/or follow through on ethical standards on behalf of the company.

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Not Every Product Manager Should Be A People Manager

Good salespeople often make terrible sales managers because the skills that help you close a deal are entirely different from those that help you motivate your staff. While theres a little more overlap on the product side, the same dynamic is also in play. Someone who loves immersing themselves in the details of their specific domain may not have the mental and emotional skills to add value across multiple products and product staff at a higher level.

With this in mind, its important to remember that people can climb the corporate ladder without necessarily taking on people management duties. Paying attention to how candidates answer some of your questions can help you steer them into the more appropriate track.

Some people thrive on identifying problems, connecting with customers, and getting into the weeds to find new opportunities. These folks are best suited for individual contributor roles. They will likely find people management responsibilities unfulfilling even if they think thats the job they need to advance their career.

Others thrive on amplifying their impact. While theyre still passionate about solving customer problems, theyre interested in building out skills and processes for the whole team. Theyre able to trust others and delegate so they can focus on the big picture.

Behavioral Interview Questions On Leadership

If you’re applying for a new job, a recruiter may ask you behavioral interview questions about your leadership abilities. Although these types of questions might be more common for professionals applying for team leader or management positions, hiring managers may evaluate candidates of all positions on their leadership abilities. Preparing answers for some basic behavioral questions on leadership can help you impress hiring managers. In this article, we list 17 behavioral interview questions about leadership and provide sample answers to help you craft your own.


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Which Supporting Skills Do You Think Are Most Important When It Comes To Leadership

As mentioned above, being a great leader doesnt just involve one skill. Several have to come together. Otherwise, guiding a team effectively is essentially impossible.

Ideally, you want to tap on at least a few of the critical supporting capabilities. However, when you answer this question, dont merely rattle off a list. Thats the dullest approach you could use and, while it does answer the question, it isnt an impressive answer.

Instead, you want to use this as an opportunity to do one thing: share another example. Remember, when you show the hiring manager instead of just telling them, your reply will have a stronger impact.


First, I think that communication skills are crucial. I regularly use active listening when communicating with others, ensuring I fully understand their perspective. Additionally, since Ive regularly worked with stakeholders who dont have the same level of specialty expertise, Ive found that the ability to take complex ideas and simplify them is paramount for success. However, communication alone isnt enough. Accountability is also vital, as it allows me to lead by example. Similarly, critical thinking is a core component for strategic planning, and served me well when I lead a project with my past employer, which was completed on time and ultimately exceeded expectations.

When Might You Be Asked About Your Leadership Skills

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT INTERVIEW Questions And Answers (Interview Questions for Managers!)

Many job seekers assume that if theyre not looking for a management role, they will escape leadership interview questions. In fact, employers are looking for potential leaders at any employment level, including entry- and graduate-level.

Businesses look for employees who are dedicated and likely to progress within the company, and your interviewer will ask you leadership questions to assess whether you are a good long-term investment.

Therefore, whatever your experience level, it is vital you prepare for behavioral leadership questions by referring to specific times you have demonstrated leadership qualities.

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What Behaviours Should Good Leaders Avoid

Outstanding leaders have learned many of their skills, and they likely have had to adjust undesirable traits as they advanced in their careers and learn lessons about which traits hinder their advancement. Asking this question can help you identify if you have any of those problematic traits. This allows you to work on managing your weaknesses before they negatively affect your career.

Why Ask Leadership Interview Questions To Candidates

When recruiting for a senior position, look for soft skills in candidates that may exhibit their leadership styles. These can include:

  • Integrity: How they follow company policies, manage work relations and handle confidential information to become a role model for other employees.
  • Communication: How they present their ideas and concerns in front of other employees, managers, and clients.
  • Delegation: If they consider employees weaknesses and strengths while assigning duties.
  • Motivation: How they use acknowledgment and feedback to increase efficiency.

Good leaders add value to the company by promoting a cooperative environment and welcoming new ideas. Leadership interview questions help HR Managers in knowing about a candidates style of working more clearly. Use job-related examples to find out how candidates:

  • Reach decisions
  • Handle conflicts in a team and approach challenges
  • Motivate their co-workers/subordinates
  • Manager a team to achieve targets

The below-given interview questions can also help you in knowing the leadership potential of candidates, even if they are interviewing for a junior level profile. Employees with leadership skills and experience tend to show commitment to their job and overcome hurdles on time. With these leadership interview questions, you can find out if the candidates have what is required to be a great leader.

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Leadership And Management Behavioral Interview Questions

Google wants employees who have what they call emergent leadership. The Google interview process is designed to highlight your ability to lead.

Almost every job at Google will require you to work cross-functionally. This means that you not only need to lead your own teams, but will also need to work well with others who aren’t always on the same page.

Expect to answer many questions about leadership in Google interviews. Your ability to lead teams through difficult problems will score high marks in your Google interview.

As you answer this question, your interviewer is looking for these key things

  • Do you have experience managing large teams?
  • Do you understand the value of 1:1 meetings with your team?
  • Do you prioritize 1:1s over other meetings?
  • Are you invested in your employees’ long-term career growth?
  • Are you gathering feedback from your team to understand how they’re feeling about their role and work?
  • Can you explain your management style with key examples?

Here’s what a good answer looks like:

  • Tell the interviewer why you think 1:1 meetings are valuable.
  • One-on-one meetings are valuable to myself and my team. As such, I think it’s important to meet with my team regularly so I can hear from them openly. Planning meetings and office chit-chat aren’t the best place to get feedback, in my opinion.

    2. Explain how you set up 1:1s and when you like to have them.

    3. How do you structure 1:1s?

    Why is this a good answer?

    Here’s what a bad answer looks like:

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    Nobody has all the answers, and as a manager you’ll often be put in situations where you need to stretch yourself while supporting your team at the same time. This question looks at core competencies like problem-solving, creativity and innovation, as well as your candidate’s appetite for self-development.

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    Understand How Theyll Fit With The Team

    Envision what hiring them would mean for their team. Does the candidate address the underlying needs, and will they help the team grow?

    Soft skills are the other area that cant be explored by simply looking at their LinkedIn profile. You can teach some product management fundamentals and train them on tools and processesbut you cant teach curiosity and passion.

    Youre looking for examples of how theyve used their passion for a product to get things done in challenging environments, built consensus, and delighted customers. You want specifics about how theyve overcome obstacles and expanded their knowledge. Learning about the meaningful impacts on the lives of their users are the juicy bits youre looking to extract from your time together.

    What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates

    This question is another chance to brag about yourself and is not the time to be humble or say, I dont know, shouldnt you be deciding that?

    You want to give a strong answer here and name something specific that you feel makes you uniquely qualified to succeed in this position.

    It can be a similar leadership experience in the past. Or it can be how your leadership style seems to fit well with their company culture. It can be a specific set of leadership skills that you have .

    That last example is one of the strongest answers you can give. It shows them that you understand what their job involves and have highly relevant experience.

    The more you can point out that youve done similar work in the past, the more likely you are to get hired for the job!

    This interview tip is true for any position and any industry.

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    What Are Good Leadership Interview Questions

    • Can you tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills?
    • Are you able to delegate responsibilities efficiently?
    • What can you do to motivate a team?
    • What values are most important to you as a leader?
    • Are you able to collaborate with others and accept new ideas?
    • Who is your favorite leader? Why?
    • Are you more comfortable with verbal or written communication?
    • Can you tell me about a time when you solved a problem for your employees/employer?

    As A Team Leader There Are Certain Qualities Which You Must Possess:

    What’s Your LEADERSHIP STYLE? (Interview Question + ANSWER!)
    • Strong communication skills to ensure that the right information reaches the right team member for the successful completion of a task without creating any misunderstandings.
    • Highly organised with a firm grip on priorities at hand so that efficiency is not decreased.
    • Ability to trust your teammates. Its one thing to verify tasks done by a new intern or team member and simply another thing to micromanage. You need to stop micromanaging and start trusting your teammates.
    • Each team member is a professional. They may be less experienced than you, but, in order to present yourself as a good leader, you need to respect them for what they contribute to the team, no matter how minute the contribution.
    • Lastly, you must be honest with your teammates at all times and work with the utmost integrity. Nobody likes a dishonest or corrupt team leader.

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    Good news and bad news, both are part and parcel of any organization. There cannot be one without the other. The interviewer might ask you this question just to make sure that you are capable of delivering bad news without hampering work efficiency.

    You need to assure the interviewer that you understand bad news is a part of the whole job process. In order to deliver bad news, it is best to gather your whole team together and explain what has happened.

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    How Do You Keep Projects On Schedule

    As a leader, you’re responsible for communicating your team’s goals and tracking progress to ensure they meet deadlines. This leadership questions helps you showcase your organizational and time-management skills. While answering this question, kindly explain how you manage tasks, track progress and set goals to stay on schedule.

    Example: I use Microsoft Project to keep a detailed schedule and set clear deadlines. I like having one point of reference that my team can use to stay on track and see our progress. Being adaptable is key, so I’m always ready to adjust the project goals and how we achieve them to ensure we meet important deadlines.

    Ask These Failproof Questions

    In essence, if you ask behavioral interview questions, you’re no longer asking questions that will lead to vague or hypothetical answers you’re asking questions that must be answered based upon fact.

    This gives hiring managers a clear edge as leadership candidates may not get a chance to deliver any prepared stories or scripted answers.

    Here are 11 questions that you’ll want to ask:

  • Discuss with me a time when you pulled your team together and raised morale through a transition or difficult time. Walk me through the process.
  • Describe what you believe are the most effective roles that a good leader plays in his or her relationship with reporting team members.
  • Give me an example, from your past work experiences, about a time when you had an underperforming employee reporting to you. How did you address the situation?
  • How do you handle the demands of being accessible to those who rely on youfor feedback and/or guidance?
  • Tell us about an idea you started that involved influence and collaboration with your team members that improved the business. What was the process from buy-in to implementation?
  • Tell me about the most difficult team you’ve ever lead…why were they difficult and how did you cope?
  • What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively?
  • When you’ve been hired for a manager position in the past, describe how you’ve gone about developing relationships with your new peers, coworkers, and reporting staff.
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