If you are applying for a job that requires you to be in a leadership role, you should expect interview questions regarding your skills and behaviors. When you are preparing, make sure to go through these leadership questions specifically and the more generic questions that are asked in most interviews. These questions would aim to evaluate and find the leadership behaviors and skills in you. For example, a good leader isn’t just a good manager but also someone who can motivate other people and get an entire team to follow them.
Interview Questions that Reveal Leadership Behavior
If you have applied for a leadership position, you should be prepared for behavioral questions as part of your leadership interview questions. But what is a behavioral interview? A behavioral interview asks you questions that demonstrate your previous experience. You will be expected to reflect upon specific instances from your past where you showed that skill. Let us look at a few behavioral questions that can be asked for a leadership applicant.
Examples of Behavioral Questions for a Leadership Job
- Can you talk about a time where you delegated work successfully?
- Have you ever taught or mentored someone? Have they become successful? If yes, please tell us briefly about it.
- Tell us about a time when you were an example for your team.
- Tell us about your most challenging leadership project experience.
- Have you ever worked with a team that wasn’t ready to cooperate? How did you make it work?
Skills that Employers Look for in Leadership Applicants
It is easier to prepare yourself if you know what your interviewer and your employer are expecting. Leadership skills are, of course, at the forefront, but that is not all you need to land a leadership job. There are a few more skills that employers look for when they interview people for a leadership role. So, before we dive into the leadership interview questions, let us take a glance at the skills required for a leadership job. If you know what skills the interviewer is looking for, you can always mention them in your interview as your strengths to get their attention.
Four Major Leadership skills
- Communication skills– If you are leading, you need to be excellent at communication to convey the job requirements clearly to the team members without sounding rude. It would help if you also were an excellent listener to listen and understand the problems people under you might face.
- Team-building skills– Working with a team undoubtedly requires team-building skills. You need to maintain a cooperative and robust team willing to collaborate towards achieving the same goal.
- Conflict resolution– When people work together, conflicts are bound to arise due to various reasons. These reasons could range from a difference in approach to a difference in work ethics. As a team leader, you would require to resolve all big and small conflicts within your team for smooth functioning.
- Teaching and Mentorship skills– If you are in a leadership role, people will always look up to you for guidance and help. You should be able to mentor them and teach them the necessary skills to work on the project. Remember that some team members might require more help and attention than others.
Examples of Leadership Questions with Answers
Finally, let us take a look at some of the most frequently asked leadership interview questions. You might not be asked these specific questions only. Take these as examples of what kind of question to expect and what would be a good answer. Would you please not try to learn these answers and take them only for reference purposes? Your answers should be personal and a reflection of who you are as a person.
As a leader, what would you say are your most essential ethics and values?
- Has conviction
- Honesty and transparency
What would you say are the differences between a management role and a leadership role?
- Management is more about delegating work, whereas leadership is about motivating and being a role model
- Leaders are visionaries, whereas managers are followers
- Leaders come up with ideas for new ventures, and managers think of ways of execution
- Leaders look at the future, whereas managers look at the work at hand.
Can you motivate your team? How?
- Getting to know the team first
- Mention work experience from the previous company where you motivated a team to work
- Working with the time, and not just giving them orders
- Creating inter-personal relationships with each team member
- Providing feedback and mentoring people who need help
- Not being authoritative
- Being cooperative
How do you handle and resolve conflict as a leader?
- Understanding the problem first
- Avoid blaming people
- Try to assess every aspect of the issue
- Arranging a meeting to talk things out
- Have a one-to-one conversation with the people involved
How do you deal with feedback and criticism from your team?
- Positive attitude
- Not taking the criticism personally
- Willing to accept your mistake and improve
- Rechecking with your team to see if there has been any improvement
Using the STAR method to answer leadership questions
STAR stands for Specific situation, Task, Action, and Result. You can use the STAR technique to answer leadership interview questions successfully. Let us take an example question to understand this.
Example Question – Tell us about a previous situation where you had to lead people.
According to the STAR method, you start by discussing a specific situation to deal with a case. Next, mention what your task was. Then talk about what actions you took and what were the results you got because of those actions.
Since you are applying for a leadership job, it would be great to appear confident, polite, and open-minded. So practice the questions mentioned in the article and learn to build the skills. The more you practice before an interview, the higher your chances of acing it. So practice well, and show up as your best self on the day of the interview!