MockQuestions

Leadership Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your job interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples focused on your leadership skills.

Leadership was written by and updated on June 11th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

How to Answer

Most organizations want to avoid onboarding someone who will make sweeping changes immediately. Sudden changes are hard on a team and can often result in knee-jerk reactions such as resignations.

Explain to the interviewer that you plan first to observe to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics. Focus your discussion on building a strong rapport with your new team.

If you are applying for a promotion within your current organization, you may already know what changes you would like to make upon receiving this position. Share with the interviewer what you have observed while in your current job, the changes you would make, and why you would make those changes.

Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

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30 Leadership Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

      How to Answer

      Most organizations want to avoid onboarding someone who will make sweeping changes immediately. Sudden changes are hard on a team and can often result in knee-jerk reactions such as resignations.

      Explain to the interviewer that you plan first to observe to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics. Focus your discussion on building a strong rapport with your new team.

      If you are applying for a promotion within your current organization, you may already know what changes you would like to make upon receiving this position. Share with the interviewer what you have observed while in your current job, the changes you would make, and why you would make those changes.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "If offered this position, I do not believe that major immediate change would be the answer. My initial approach would be to have a 1:1 meeting with everyone on the leadership team. I want to learn what the greatest challenges are and how I can alleviate those difficulties. From there, the trickle effect will be strong, and we will see an increase in sales and employee engagement. Only after that first positive shift would I consider a stronger approach to change."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Admin

      "I would address any urgent and glaring issues immediately; however, I want to wait for the implementation of significant changes only after I have a thorough understanding of your organizational dynamics."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Manager

      "I would prefer to observe the everyday activity within your organization before making significant changes. I plan to make an impact quickly; however, I don't want to jump the gun and make costly mistakes."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Marketing

      "Being the newest person in the organization, I would be wary of making any big changes off the bat. That said, I'd look at what has happened in the previous years' calendar for marketing initiatives and how they impacted sales. I would sit down with the team to understand the goals for the next 3, 6, 9, and 12 months so that I can make my best recommendations on how to be impactful in the coming year."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Retail

      "I like to train in current processes before making changes. I know that my first question would be to ask what is not working. If I can see a quick fix to try, I will go after it, but I would likely still need to learn more about the business' operations and current struggles before making any changes."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Sales

      "It's important for me to first understand the company culture, dynamics, values, and individual players, not to mention the short and long-term goals of the organization before making changes. I would wait for my onboarding process to be complete, then shadow the key players on my team and within the organization, to understand how the pieces fit together. I think it's essential not only to observe but also to listen to the team that predates me. I want to hear what they think is or is not working. Only after active listening and learning, watching, and evaluating would I begin to effect change."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Teacher

      "I would take a week or two to observe my class before making any changes. I am wary of shuffling kids around too much as most tend to be creatures of habit that resist change. My changes might be in the form of introducing more multi-media and hands-on opportunities or perhaps swapping the seating arrangement."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I wouldn't change anything right away. I would listen to the team and observe for a few weeks, then make priorities on what I would like to change based on people's feedback and my personal observations."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful response! This is perfect.

  • 2. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?

      How to Answer

      Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.

      Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be the face of the organization when challenges arise.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current position, I am the President of the Social Committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example, no matter my position. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentorship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Admin

      "Although I have never officially led in the workplace, I do take on a volunteer coordinator role on the weekends with the local animal shelter. I have many qualities that will make me a good leader. I am a keen listener, and I understand how to look at the big picture without losing momentum while performing small tasks."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Manager

      "I do see myself as a leader. I currently oversee 50 employees in my company's 2nd shift production line. I host team meetings, disseminate information, monitor performance, approve scheduling and timesheets, and more. I enjoy being responsible for the activities of others while also encouraging them to take accountability for their performance."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Marketing

      "I would certainly consider myself a leader, though I'm not currently in a management role. In my previous career, I managed a small sales team. Now, in marketing, I collaborate with and encourage my team without being in an official management position. In my next leadership role, I will lead my team by showing respect, setting high but reasonable expectations, and fostering a collaborative environment where all ideas are encouraged. The beauty of being a true leader is that I don't need to be in an official position of management to exude leadership qualities."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Retail

      "I have always been a confident leader, and I thoroughly enjoy being a team leader. I have been the Assistant Manager with my company for two years now and love to lead by example and train new employees. I lead a team of eight and usually train a new employee once per month."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Sales

      "I see myself as a leader. Not only have I managed a junior sales team in two prior roles, but I also believe that leadership does not always equate to management. I am sure to lead at all times by providing the best model of enthusiasm and work ethic. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Teacher

      "I do see myself as a leader. I lead in the classroom, I help coach extra-curricular athletics, and I encourage my fellow educators. Leadership, to me, is a mindset versus an official title."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Leadership is about influence, and I have the ability to influence people, so I see myself as a leader. I have led my team on several occasions, the latest being to implement the SQCDP process, which helped to improve safety and delivery performance up from 60% to 95%."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great response! This answer can affirm your confidence as a leader.

      "I certainly consider myself a leader; I lead by example and positively influence those around me. I have led teams many times throughout my career. A notable accomplishment was leading a team to success by improving safety and delivery from 60% to 95%."

  • 3. Tell me about your leadership qualities.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be your best leadership qualities and how these qualities apply to them and their needs as a company. When describing your leadership qualities, avoid general terms or cliche statements, and give a unique answer.

      A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements.

      To get you started, with which of these qualities do you most identify?

      - Confident
      - Optimistic
      - Encouraging
      - Accountable
      - Engaged
      - Passionate
      - Integrous
      - Loyal
      - Charismatic

      When describing your leadership qualities, be sure to tie your response to the characteristics and approach the company is seeking. You can uncover this information by carefully reading the company's job posting, website careers page, or social media posts related to its teamwork approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "My leadership qualities have grown over the years, and continue to shift as I find new resources. Lately, I have been learning a lot from Robin Sharma, the author of 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari' book series. Robin takes an approach that balances mindfulness with stress management, which then equates to a balanced leadership approach. I know your organization is seeking mindful leaders who encourage, teach, and lead from a place of understanding, which was why I chose to apply for this leadership opportunity."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Admin

      "I possess leadership qualities such as diligence, tenacity, and two-way communication. I am diligent in the sense that I follow company policy and lead by example. When it comes to tenacity in leadership, I am a consistent source of help and information to my other team members. I communicate like a leader because I make myself available to teach and also to learn. From my research, I understand that these are core characteristics of your existing leadership team, which makes me believe that my leadership qualities will be a natural fit."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Manager

      "I have taken many workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills over the years. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my employees' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "I believe I lead effectively by showing others respect regardless of their position or title, creating an open environment in which everyone knows that ideas are welcome, and setting achievable but high expectations for myself and the teams that I work on."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "My strongest leadership qualities are empathy, drive, and a passion for mentorship. Before approaching any personnel situation, I put myself in their shoes and figure out how I should approach the person to create the most constructive conversation. My drive and enthusiasm in the workplace are contagious. This drive ensures that, whether I am in a formal leadership role or not, I am still a positive influence on my coworkers. As a mentorship-minded leader, I naturally seek out the best in people, then help them to increase their performance based on their strengths."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Sales

      "AI am enthusiastic, adaptable, and thirsty for knowledge. As an enthusiastic leader, I want to nurture others to their fullest potential. I display adaptability by taking a positive approach in the face of change, even if my team doesn't always embrace that change at first. I love to be an example to follow and to guide others to boost their careers, which is why I spend a lot of time listening to leadership-focused podcasts and reading books on leadership. I like to take this knowledge and pass it along to my team and peers. Do you feel that my leadership qualities would be a good match for your organizations' culture?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Teacher

      "I lead my students by being passionate and charismatic towards new learning concepts. I encourage exploration and let them know that it's okay to make a mistake while learning new concepts."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I possess integrity, problem-solving skills, and self-motivation. I have integrity and when it comes to tough decisions, I am ethically and morally grounded and would not compromise others. I love to problem solve and try to figure out an easier or quicker way of processes without losing quality. Finally, I am self-motivated to do my best and I think this is important because as a leader you lead by example, and motivating yourself can lead others to be self-motivated too."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      Integrity, problem-solving, and self-motivation are all valuable leadership qualities. You could strengthen this response by providing a specific example. For example, if you have faced a tough decision at work when you showed integrity, you could briefly share that situation and how you exhibited integrity.

  • 4. When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your leadership abilities and that you understand when your leadership skills have been most useful.

      Perhaps you best demonstrate yourself as a leader when your manager is away. Maybe you often jump into a leadership mindset when a co-worker is struggling. Think about a recent time when an employee on your team was victorious at something because of your leadership skills. Discuss the scenario and how your leadership skills made the difference.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I work well under pressure and demonstrate leadership in difficult situations. I am able to stay calm, flexible, and come up with creative, positive solutions to problems. When presented with an occasion, I tend to rise to meet it."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You could complete your response without the final sentence, as it sounds a bit unsure. Other than that, great response!

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  • 5. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you have the confidence to lead a meeting. Think about a time when you have conducted a successful meeting - big or small. This example could be a phone meeting, a lunch and learn, or an extensive client presentation.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I started the morning meeting in my previous role. This acted as the catalyst for improved delivery performance up from 58% to 95%."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a fantastic response! I provided a follow-up question you may be asked.

      "Possible follow-up question: "What about your delivery of morning meetings do you believe impacted the performance to jump from 58% to 95%?""

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  • 6. Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated tasks.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of confidently delegating tasks to your employees or coworkers. A great leader is someone who can efficiently manage their time by ensuring the equitable division of tasks while utilizing the strengths of others.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Display to the interviewer that you nurture the skills of your team by delegating tasks that complement individual strengths and skillsets.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Before going on vacation, I once had to delegate my tasks to a Co-worker. This particular employee was familiar with my duties but needed clarification on certain items. I trained him on the procedures before leaving and provided detailed written instructions. My co-worker felt very comfortable taking over my duties while I was gone due to the amount of preparation we put in."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's wonderful that you were patient and took the time to be thorough in passing the baton. Your answer highlights the care that you take in your work.

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  • 7. When have you had to lead by example?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you place importance on leading by example. As a leader, your actions, decisions, and demeanor are always under some form of scrutiny.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'When have you...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Highlight that you have genuine care when it comes to setting a good example in the workplace.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Most recently, we were asked to compile some information for one of our accounts. My colleagues grumbled and pushed back, feeling it was a 'make-work-project'. I understood the rationale behind the request so created the database, filled it out and asked my teammates to do the same. Within three days we had the document ready to submit."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's terrific that you were able to push past your colleague's grumbling and get the job done! You mention a 3-day turnaround. To help the interviewer measure the success, I recommend including details on the expected turnaround or the deadline you faced. For instance, 'We were asked to have the document ready in five business days, and by using x, y, z leadership skills, I led my team to have the document ready to submit in just three days.'

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  • 8. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a situation but the outcome was disappointing.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers understand that leaders will have failed efforts now and then. What they want to know is that you can recognize those failures, learn from them, and enthusiastically move on.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Think about a time when your leadership plan didn't go as desired. Be sure to tell the interviewer what you learned from the scenario, as well as what you would do the next time.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "When I interviewed for a job and did not get it. I learn from my failures and never give up on learning. Looking forward to opportunities."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! It is definitely disappointing to interview for a job and not get it. Can you explain more about how you prepared for the interview and how you reacted after you discovered you hadn't gotten the job? It's great that you point out that you learn from your failures and don't give up, since these are the qualities of a leader.

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  • 9. Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to hear that you have experience teaching or mentoring others, regardless of your formal leadership experience. You may have taught a new hire all of your department's standard processes. Perhaps you taught a long-standing employee how to use Excel. You may have mentored an employee who was struggling to hit their monthly goals. All of these scenarios are great examples to draw on. Better yet, if you have personally seen someone struggling with workplace skills or knowledge, approached them, and offered to mentor them, it is a shining example of leadership!

      Whatever your story example may be, tell the interviewer what you helped the person with, while highlighting the positive outcome of the improvement of their skills.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have had the opportunity to train staff and management in my current position. Additionally, each time I see an opportunity to share the knowledge that I have, that someone else may not have, I am happy to help them grow."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Nice answer!

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  • 10. Have you ever had to give an employee a poor performance review? How did you feel about that responsibility?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know how you react to uncomfortable tasks and awkward conversations. No matter how seasoned a leader you are, it is never fun to deliver a poor performance review.

      Showcase the fact that you are confident in your professionalism and communication skills, that you are capable of challenging conversations, and that you can give helpful feedback while providing valuable mentorship to your team. You could mention how you ensured that you did not humiliate the individual but that you discretely pulled them aside to have the conversation.

      Finally, be sure to mention that the person continued to have a healthy relationship with you following the discussion. This fact will highlight that you handled the situation professionally.

      If you do not have experience with performance reviews, it is okay! Tell the interviewer that you have never been in a role where you needed to give a formal performance review, but you look forward to learning the process. Add an example of a time when you provided someone with constructive feedback instead. This example can be in the workplace, school, or maybe even on a sports team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, poor performance reviews, although challenging, are part of leadership. I approached it from a perspective of reinforcement of the tasks that are being done correctly, then provided feedback on the tasks that need to be improved. To get them to engage in their improvement- I asked what tools or training did they need to help them succeed in the tasks. The result was provided with additional instruction and mentoring, which helped them improve."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It seems you are well prepared for the many challenges and responsibilities that come with leadership. This is a good approach to performance reviews.

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  • 11. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of leading your current team?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is trying to learn more about the challenges you currently face as a leader. If hired, this information will help the company to know where you could use additional training, encouragement, or education.

      Every leader has an aspect of people management that is challenging for them. One common challenge for leaders is the need to terminate an employee. Another problem could be continually motivating unengaged employees. A big challenge could also be sourcing and utilizing the best hiring resources to shave down your time spent on reading resumes. Other common problems include managing underperformers, handling conflict between coworkers, increasing employee retention, and delegating tasks.

      Share your most challenging aspect of leadership but also highlight the steps that you take to alleviate or overcome that challenge.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The most challenging is having to work with so many different cultures. In the UAE, there are cultures from all around the world and people have different values and opinions. I had to sometimes change my approach to being less direct when approaching some of my team members."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good example of a challenge, and how you have worked to overcome the situation. Nice job!

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  • 12. Tell me about a time when you tried to encourage a fellow team member. Was the encouragement well received?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you can successfully motivate others without it coming across as condescending. For this question, use a scenario when your encouragement was well received and resulted in a positive change or outcome.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I strongly believe in encouraging team members with positive words and affirmations. Stepping into a new role, for example, can be challenging for anyone. So when training a new team member, it is important to build confidence in their new skills."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Try answering this with a specific example. The interviewer's follow up question is very direct so your response should match.

      "I recently trained a new team member who wasn't very confident but was a quick learner. I understand that stepping into a new role is challenging for anyone, so I helped that person build their confidence by praising their work and checking in often. This trainee later thanked me for the encouragement, positive works, and affirmation."

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  • 13. When are your leadership skills the most effective?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know the type of situation in which your leadership skills thrive. Typically, when you have a great relationship with the individuals you are guiding, then your leadership approach will be the most effective.

      Tell the interviewer that you recognize how effective leadership begins with clear communication, trust, and honesty. Building a relationship with your team members will ensure that your leadership approach is accepted and absorbed. The more comfortable your team members are with you, the better chance they will follow your leadership approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I can apply my leadership skill best when there is an opportunity to build trust and connection with my team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good start! Do you have an example of this type of situation in action?

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  • 14. What do you believe would be your biggest leadership challenge in this role?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to learn more about your level of comfort and confidence in a leadership role. Remember, interviewers want to see you be successful! Your answer will show them where you may need extra support or training when they hire you.

      Be transparent with the interviewer about what aspect of the role you see as a challenge; however, you must avoid talking yourself out of the opportunity. For instance, if you are going to lead a group of 50 people in this position, avoid saying that the most significant challenge will be leading a large team. Keep your answer positive and provide a solution to the problem that you present.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Moving the team in a new direction."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great answer. I would add why you see this as a challenge.

      "I believe moving the team in a new direction could be a big leadership challenge. At times, it is difficult to enter into a management role when there are established team members and a well-known standard of protocols. I will employ skills I have acquired over the years and education I have obtained by seminars and books to assume the role with confidence and tact. I will offer new ways of achieving service goals while respecting the knowledge everyone brings to the job."

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  • 15. Tell me about a time when you led a difficult project. What was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you have successfully led a team, under pressure, without succumbing to the stress. Choose an example that is easy to explain. Outline to the interviewer how you kept the project in line with your excellent time management, and precise communication skills. Be sure to highlight the project's most significant successes as well!

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I led a streamlining initiative to reduce procedure request wait-times in the prostate biopsy request process. I worked out a plan to cut wait times from two to three weeks to less than one week."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This answer is a good start! With 'Tell me about a time...' questions, I encourage you to craft more robust responses using the STAR framework. Here is a guide if you'd like further review: Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method

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  • 16. Give me an example of a time when your communication style helped you to be a more effective leader.

      How to Answer

      Everyone leader a unique style of communication, and most people in a leadership role can clearly define that style. Whatever your approach to communication, take time to show the interviewer that it is well-received in the workplace. Some of the best leaders communicate through:

      - Demonstration. This approach means understanding that your actions mean more than the words you say.

      - Building meaningful connections. This approach means creating relationships that go beyond the surface; thus, building a strong foundation for leadership acceptance.

      - Transparency. This approach means valuing vulnerability in the workplace and demonstrating vulnerability and openness first.

      - Listening. This approach means that you spend time actively listening to your team. Sometimes 'communicating' means not talking! Exercising strong listening skills is an incredibly effective way to show you are a competent leader and a discerning communicator.

      Situational-based interview questions that begin with 'Give me an example of a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Your response should demonstrate your ability to articulate constructive criticism, encourage your team, or relay policy changes in a way that makes fosters a culture of acceptance from your team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Listening to others' ideas and listening to their challenges in doing their job. Like the time it takes to complete one of our tasks. Coming up with a way we can input the data in Excel and making that task a more automated process, improving the time it takes to accomplish that task."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      You provide a good example here of a time when your ability to communicate helped you to lead. You might consider showing your knowledge about various communication styles by mentioning the types (passive, aggressive, submissive, manipulative, and assertive) and then indicating which style you most identify with. Since you mention listening in your answer, it sounds like you might be an assertive communicator who tends to respect the thoughts and ideas of others while still expressing your own opinions in a calm manner.

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  • 17. Do you demonstrate leadership qualities even when you are not in a leadership role?

      How to Answer

      This question challenges you to think about how you act as a leader in your daily life. Even if you're not leading a team, you can still demonstrate the qualities of a leader!

      Rather than just tell the interviewer that you are a leader in non-leadership situations, try a 'show and tell' approach. Give an example of how you coached a coworker who was having difficulty preparing for a big presentation. Maybe you gave them confidence in their strengths by encouraging them, or perhaps you offered some helpful hints. You can be a motivator and a confident communicator in any situation at work!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Leadership is about influence, so you do not have to be in a formal leadership role."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      While you make a great point, be sure to speak for yourself rather than in generalities.

      "I believe that Leadership pertains to group influence, which is a trait that does not require formal leadership. I consider myself a positive influencer in any work group, thus making me a consistent leader. I lead by example with the intention of adding to a positive and productive work culture."

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  • 18. Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you have the type of personality where you can take the initiative without it being a formal requirement of your position. When you respond, it will be essential to show that you are happy being an engaged part of your company and team.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Have you ever...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Perhaps a new company policy was coming into place, and you helped to execute some changes. Maybe a new employee benefits program was introduced, or your company implemented a new software program. In your story example, be specific about what you did, and the impact your actions had - whether short or long term.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In a previous position, I created store events and helped increase company revenue by 20%."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Just as the store events are mentioned in question #15; I suggest expanding on the steps you took to create this change.

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  • 19. Tell me your favorite part of being a leader.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a genuine passion for leadership. Are you a people person who loves to motivate and encourage your team members? Maybe you enjoy helping others identify their strengths. Perhaps you thrive on assisting others to work towards accomplishing their professional goals.

      Whatever you enjoy most about leadership, be sure to tell the interviewer that you plan to be a passionate leader within their organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I enjoy encouraging others to fulfill their potential. I enjoy being a mentor, helping people realize their strengths and ways they can build on them."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It seems you have a genuine desire to help others grow and flourish in their career. Any interviewer should be thrilled to see this quality :)

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  • 20. How can we motivate you as a leader?

      How to Answer

      Even the most fantastic leader can be in danger of burning out now and then. The interviewer wants to know how they can be an encouragement to you, in turn. As a leader, you need to be able to identify and express what keeps you showing up, working hard, and supporting your team.

      Your motivation may come from successes and achievements. Perhaps you are working towards career advancement. Take some time to think about what truly motivates you and share your thoughts with the interviewer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "To see my direct reports working as a team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Try expanding on your response, as this one isn't very helpful to the interviewer and sounds a bit stand-offish.

      "The best way to motivate me as a leader is to cultivate an environment of teamwork, collaboration, and togetherness. As a leader, I like to work closely with my team to help them achieve their goals. This type of environment is very motivating for me."

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  • 21. What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you understand what makes a leader stand out, and what you believe defines a leader. Just because you hold a management title, it does not mean you are a leader.

      A real leader is someone who makes others want to jump on board with their mission and follow them. A manager is just someone who has direct reports. To be an excellent leader, you should inspire others. A true leader gets people excited to buy into the vision.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A leader leads others into being leaders where a manager just manages the work being done by their direct reports."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      I think your answer is on point but hard to understand because of the overuse of the word 'lead'! :) Perhaps your answer could be rephrased like below:

      "In my opinion, a true leader teaches, guides, and inspires others so they become more confident in themselves and their work. A manager, on the other hand, just oversees the work being done by their direct reports and doesn't spend much time at all on teaching or inspiring those below them. My goal is to lead others rather than just manage them. I believe that leaders can truly change and improve the lives of their team members."

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  • 22. What is the most important task of a leader?

      How to Answer

      As a leader, you may feel that the most critical task is to guide, coach, mentor, teach, encourage, or train. There is no real right or wrong answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to hear an insightful response.

      Whatever your response, consider providing a story of a time when you stepped up as a leader or experienced true leadership from another person.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The most important task of a leader is to share any new knowledge or resources that I acquire while learning."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very unique answer - it's great!

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  • 23. How will you guide your team in terms of personal development?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of self-development techniques for your team. Some suggestions for employee personal development initiatives:

      - Roadmapping of a professional growth plan
      - Setting learning goals
      - Conferences and other off-site learning opportunities
      - Related books, audiobooks, and podcast from industry influencers
      - Lunch and learns with exciting topics
      - Online learning portal or subscriptions to Udemy and other online universities
      - Mentorship partners
      - Internal volunteer initiatives or supporting their volunteer interests
      - Cross-departmental training opportunities

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In e-learning opportunities."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good idea! But don't forget to talk about how you will first get to know each of your colleagues so you're aware of their personal goals. Once you know what their personal goals are, you'll be better able to support and encourage them in pursuing and developing them. Consider allowing your team members some time for personal development. You could also help them set learning goals and offer innovative learning experiences, which could include your e-learning idea.

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  • 24. Which leadership book have you most recently read?

      How to Answer

      It's widely agreed that reading books on leadership development is essential to personal and professional growth. The interviewer would like to make sure that you are self-aware and invest in yourself.

      Also, if you spend time investing in yourself, chances are you will also take the time to invest in your employees!

      Some excellent leadership books include:

      - 'Start With Why' by Simon Sinek
      - 'Primal Leadership' by Daniel Goleman
      - 'Extreme Ownership' by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
      - 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      A must read for any leader! If you can, add in a tidbit about what you learned.

      "I recently read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and learned more about how small actions and goals can amount to a significant change."

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  • 25. As a leader, how will you measure the success of your team members?

      How to Answer

      A successful leader focuses' on leading their team members to success, but they must also remember to measure that success. By measuring success, you can show your team how far they have come towards reaching their goals or how much harder they need to work if they miss targets.

      Employees are often more responsive in an environment where they know how their performance stacks up again others. Some ways that you can measure the success of your team may include:

      - Note their attendance, punctuality, or number of sick days. You can then draw a correlation between the employee's performance and their overall engagement levels.
      - Taking note of how often they help their colleagues to succeed. When their coworkers are winning, so are they!
      - Looking at the timing between team member performance and how quickly each person completes everyday tasks. If a job that used to take a team member 2 hours, is now taking up the entire day, this is a sign that they are highly demotivated.
      - Notice the number of times a team member takes the initiative. The more proactive everyone is, the more often goals will be achieved.
      - Measuring the quality of your team members' work is a significant success metric. You can analyze this through customer reviews or co-worker feedback.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I meet with each manager weekly and set weekly goals. I also do quarterly review meetings and review the team goals that were set and set new ones."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you are highly organized when it comes to measuring team performance, which the interviewer will be happy to hear.

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  • 26. How do you present bad, or disappointing news, to your team members?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in knowing your leadership and management style when it comes to delivering less than pleasant news. Some people have trouble facilitating difficult conversations, so you must display your ability to be uncomfortable while maintaining a position of authority.

      If possible, give an example of a time when you had a challenging conversation. Explain how you were able to deliver the news professionally.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I sit down with my team individually and then as a group and explain to them what we have done well and where we missed the mark. I explain what we can do in the future to succeed. I present the news in a patient and compassionate manner."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your leadership qualities are on point!

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  • 27. How do you react when your team misses a deadline?

      How to Answer

      Missed deadlines are never a good situation and can reflect poorly on you as a leader. The interviewer would like to understand better how you react to disappointment when plans do not go your way.

      Rather than just telling the interviewer how you react, consider giving a story example of a time when your team missed a deadline and walk the interviewer through the action that you took.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Stay calm, and thank the team for their time. The next step is for me to identify what caused the delay and to fix it in the near future."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is the answer of a great leader! Nice job.

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  • 28. What do you look for, before giving someone on your team a promotion?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you are discerning when it comes to the types of people you further promote on your team. Share with the interviewer the kinds of skills, characteristics, and attitudes that you look for when rewarding employees.

      Some things you may like to see:

      - Self-motivation
      - Reliable & dependable
      - Strong work ethic
      - Great customer service
      - Goal-setting
      - Consistency
      - Helpful to others
      - Positive attitude
      - Needs little direction
      - Team-oriented and collaborative
      - Clear & effective communicator
      - Flexible & willing to adapt
      - Interested in professional development

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The characteristics and attitudes I would look for in before promoting someone on my team are self-motivated, Reliable & dependable, Strong work ethic with consistent individual contributions, and achieving personal goals.

      Helpful to others with a positive attitude

      Needs little direction

      Team-oriented and collaborative, Clear & effective communicator"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic insight! These are all very important qualities to look for before making a promotion.

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  • 29. Do you prefer group discussions or one-on-one meetings?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you are capable of facilitating group discussions or one-on-one meetings, based on what is most appropriate for the situation. There is no real right or wrong answer to this question, but be sure to back up your personal preference when you provide it. If possible, avoid firmly leaning one way versus another.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "It's important to have group discussions as well as one-on-one meetings when necessary."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Try breaking down when you believe each approach to be the most appropriate.

      "It is important to have group discussions as well as one-on-one meetings. I reserve one-on-ones for conversations surrounding professional development and performance. Group conversations are best for motivating, brainstorming, and celebrating achievements."

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  • 30. What does micromanagement mean to you?

      How to Answer

      Micromanagement is the practice of carefully observing or controlling the work of your employees or team members. Overall, the term 'micromanagement' can mean something different from manager to manager. Discuss what the word 'micromanagement' means to you. Be sure to mention whether or not you deploy a micromanagement approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Micromanagement means a lack of trust in the individual to get the job done. It can be highly de-motivating."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Lauren McCabe

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Lauren McCabe Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a very good response. I would add language around your work style and how to avoid use of micromanagement.

      "Micromanagement is lack of trust in an employee to get a job done. A micromanager hovers over the employee, which can result in lack of motivation, resentment, and feelings of humiliation. I avoid micromanagement by providing clear instructions and expectations. I also monitor progress and check-in with employees routinely so that we are meeting goals and working at an acceptable standard."

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