“Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H McGannon
Interviewing for a leadership position means you need to clearly demonstrate to the employer that you have highly effective leadership skills. This goes way beyond just having the word ‘manager’ or ‘leader’ in your current job title, you need to show you have these skills in every answer you give to all the behavioral questions about leadership they will ask you.
Basic Interview Questions About Leadership:
If you are moving into your first leadership role you should familiarise yourself with key leadership concepts such as team building, motivating others and clear communication. You should also be well aware of the key soft skills employers want to see in their team leaders.
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If you are already in a leadership role make sure you are very familiar with the 6 Leadership Styles and be prepared to answer questions about which style/s you employ when managing your team. You also need to show that you have a high level of emotional intelligence, this is widely recognized as one of the most important leadership skills.
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Specific Behavioral Interview Questions About Leadership:
Most interviewers will ask very targeted behavioral interview questions about your leadership style to understand exactly how you interact with your team, peers and senior management. The following are 10 behavioral interview questions about your leadership which you should be prepared to answer. Think carefully about your leadership style before you start preparing your answers. You need to show that you can employ a number of different leadership styles depending on the needs of your team.
Below are some prepared answers for leadership questions:
Give me an example of a time when you were leading a project team or group that did not work out as well as you would have liked. What happened? What did you learn?
Describe the most difficult work team you have had to lead? What made them difficult? How did you go about overcoming the issues?
What do you consider your greatest leadership achievement in the workplace? What steps did you take to achieve your goal?
Describe a situation where your leadership was able to motivate your team to improve their performance. What actions were the most effective?
Describe a leadership role you have undertaken outside of work. Why did you choose to commit to this role in particular? How did you benefit from this role?
What have been the greatest obstacles you have faced when managing a work team? What steps did you take to overcome these obstacles?
Tell me about a project where you had to manage a number of people to achieve a goal or outcome. What Leadership style did you use to achieve this objective?
Tell me about a situation where you found it difficult to get your team to accept your ideas or direction. How did you overcome the problem? What was the outcome?
What is the most significant conflict that has occurred between members of your team? What did you do to diffuse the situation?
Describe a time when you took on an informal leadership role within a group. Why did you take on this role? What did you do?