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Leadership Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 11th, 2020 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?
View Answers
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.
30 Leadership Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?
  2. When are your leadership skills the most effective?
  3. How can we motivate you as a leader?
  4. Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?
  5. Give me an example of a time when your communication style helped you to be a more effective leader.
  6. Tell me about a time when you led a difficult project. What was the outcome?
  7. How do you react when your team misses a deadline?
  8. How do you present bad, or disappointing news, to your team members?
  9. As a leader, how will you measure the success of your team members?
  10. Which leadership book have you most recently read?
  11. How will you guide your team in terms of personal development?
  12. What is the most important task of a leader?
  13. What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
  14. What do you look for, before giving someone on your team a promotion?
  15. Do you prefer group discussions or one-on-one meetings?
  16. Tell me your favorite part of being a leader.
  17. What does micromanagement mean to you?
  18. Do you demonstrate leadership qualities even when you are not in a leadership role?
  19. What do you believe would be your biggest leadership challenge in this role?
  20. Tell me about a time when you tried to encourage a fellow team member. Was the encouragement well received?
  21. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of leading your current team?
  22. Have you ever had to give an employee a poor performance review? How did you feel about that responsibility?
  23. Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?
  24. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a situation but the outcome was disappointing.
  25. When have you had to lead by example?
  26. Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated tasks.
  27. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?
  28. When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader?
  29. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
  30. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?
15 Leadership Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Wonderful response! This is perfect.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
Anonymous Answer
"I would not implement any changes initially. Unless there was a clear directive from my superior that changes were required immediately. I would assess the situation first to determine if changes were required."
Mary's Answer
Great response! It is important to come in with fresh perspective and objectivity when adapting to a new company/position. See edits.
"I would not initially implement changes unless there were clear directives from my superiors to do so. Instead, I would begin by assessing the current situation through observation and information gathering. From there, I would evaluate what direction or changes are needed."
Was this answer helpful? Yes (2) or No (1)
2.
When are your leadership skills the most effective?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My leadership skills are the most effective when my relationship with the employee isn't just a surface connection. I want to have true knowledge of their life and a good understanding of their career goals. When my employees feel assured that I can help them to achieve their goals, they are more likely to follow my lead and be an engaged part of the team."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My leadership skills are most effective when I can take hold of a project, enthusiastically share the vision for the project, and delegate tasks according to the strengths of others."
Anonymous Answer
"When I have taken the time to cultivate trust with clear and honest communication and made an effort to build the personal relationships within my group."
Rachelle's Answer
Very good! You show that strong leadership skills come from trust and relationships.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (1)
Anonymous Answer
"Like everyone else, I need to prove myself with the employees for them to respect and trust me. I need to show them that I am here to help them, support them and teach them, rather than just giving directives."
Rachelle's Answer
Your approach is very respectful and the interviewer should be impressed with this answer.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)
3.
How can we motivate you as a leader?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I gain motivation through words of encouragement and compensation based rewards. For instance, I could compete for a gift card or a contest where I can earn a bigger holiday party budget for my team. Being a leader comes naturally to me, so I don't find it to be a taxing task very often. My competitive nature keeps me internally motivated, as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I feel motivated when I work in a trust-filled, positive, and collaborative environment. When I can trust my team and am offered trust in return, I feel empowered to work even harder."
Anonymous Answer
"The potential to grow within a company is motivational. I value recognition, appreciation of myself and the team, and loyalty."
Rachelle's Answer
Concise and well thought out. Great work!
Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
Anonymous Answer
"To see my direct reports working as a team."
Rachelle's 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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4.
Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"(Situation) Last month our company introduced a new software program called XYZ. (Task) I was already familiar with the program because I had used it in a previous role. (Action) I offered to do employee training on the program, and my boss agreed to it. I took a lunch hour to give my presentation and then offered myself as the subject matter expert, moving forward. (Result) The implementation went very well, and my boss was thankful for my expertise and assistance."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"(Situation) At my current company, I noticed our coffee expenses rising each month. (Task) As the Administrator who handles vendor invoices, I knew that a change could greatly benefit my employer financially. (Action) I suggested that we install a higher quality coffee machine in our office rather than continue to purchase the disposable coffee pods. We calculated that the savings would be about $12,000 per year. (Result) My company agreed, and so far, we have seen significant savings, in addition to the positive environmental impact."
Anonymous Answer
"I have helped my current company in many ways. Those ways range from changing the new POS company-wide to teaching all the managers how to write and implement a budget for their restaurant."
Rachelle's Answer
These are fantastic examples that require a lot of shifting, changes, and organization.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
Anonymous Answer
"The implementation of the SQCDP (Safety Quality Cost Delivery and People) method at my last company was a significant change. It meant daily monitoring of the critical areas of concern and replaced a system where there was little or no monitoring. It took four months to implement under my leadership."
Mary's Answer
Great, specific response! Remember to include an outcome/result. See below.
"The implementation of the SQCDP (Safety, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and People) method at my last company was a significant change. This new process required daily monitoring of key areas of concern and replaced a system where there was little to no monitoring previously. After 4 months of implementation, and with sound communication and follow-up, my team adapted to this change under my leadership."
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5.
Give me an example of a time when your communication style helped you to be a more effective leader.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"(Situation) In my current role, we have undergone many policy changes over the past eight months due to a company merger. (Task) As the HR Partner, it is up to me to communicate all personnel-related changes to the entire employee roster. (Action) While communicating these changes, I have deployed a transparent communication approach. I describe my communication style as honest and often vulnerable. I show the employees that I do not have a private agenda; thus, building their trust. I communicate my intentions, the intentions of the company's leadership team, and the end goal. (Result) Typically, many people do not trust their HR department; however, I have been able to overcome that stigma by being consistently honest, open, and transparent about their employment and the direction our company is heading."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"(Situation) In our office, there have been past instances where team members feel upset after receiving an email and misinterpreting the tone. (Task) As an Administrative Assistant, so much of my communication is by email, so I am highly aware of my tone, or perceived tone, before sending an email. (Action) I will re-read my messages before I send them, looking for areas of potential misinterpretation. If the email is too complicated, I choose to pick up the phone and have a verbal conversation instead. (Result) By using this approach, our team morale has improved, and communication hiccups have reduced significantly."
Anonymous Answer
"I usually define communication strategy at the planning phase of the project, and that helps to eliminate various communication-related issues for my team and me. My communication style is a mix of professional and casual, and I try to be extremely transparent with my team and release full information. That helps me to convey the message and at the same increasing morale and trust within the group."
Rachelle's Answer
Your communication style sounds thoughtful and systematic. Any interviewer should appreciate hearing that you begin with clear communication from the start, which helps to eliminate many problems as a project progresses.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
Anonymous Answer
"In my last role, I always ensured that my team was well informed about the needs of the business. I did this by having weekly meetings where I conveyed the various business needs, and my team was then able to ask questions and get immediate feedback. It kept me engaged with the business requirements."
Lauren's Answer
This is a very strong, well-rounded response. You provided specific examples. I would conclude with noting a positive outcome of your efforts.
"In my last role, I ensured my team was well-informed of goals, deadlines, and requirements. I did so by conducting weekly meetings and continuous communication and feedback loops. By doing so, my team was well-versed on my expectations and could better meet target goals."
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6.
Tell me about a time when you led a difficult project. What was the outcome?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"(Situation) I recently led my team of researchers and recruiters in a retained search for a very high-level talent acquisition project. (Task) This project was a difficult one because the client wanted a boutique experience with particular candidate requirements. (Action) I asked my team to send me a project highlight at the end of the day, every day. From there, I would review the progress and tweak our plan of action, as necessary. (Result) In the end, we filled the positions successfully, and our client was appreciative of the close eye our team kept on their hiring needs."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"(Situation) The first project that comes to mind was a new product launch at Company ABC. (Task) I was the project coordinator on the team in charge of developing and performing the beta launch. (Action) I expertly coordinated design engineers, test engineers, and the production team. This task is typically arduous; however, I am a whiz in Excel and our project management software, which meant that I could create tools to organize the project and a schedule that kept everyone on track with their tasks. (Result) We made it to the finish line ahead of time and launched the beta two days earlier than expected. This result made me very proud of my efforts, and my manager was thrilled."
Anonymous Answer
"I recently had to open a restaurant which was supposed to have a two-week training on site. We were told by our ownership a week before to get the building that they wanted the restaurant to be in, open the following day, or 24 hours after being able to get in the building. All the managers and staff were extremely nervous. We put a plan together as a team on what kind of training we were going to be able to do offsite. We prioritized each step from urgent to important to less important. We were able to open the restaurant to the public as requested, with the least negative impact possible on our guests and our staff."
Rachelle's Answer
This project sounds very challenging, with an excellent outcome! Very good example.
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Anonymous Answer
"In my last role, my manager was concerned that we had an operations audit by senior personnel. My task was to ensure that the audit went well. It meant that my department of 20 people had to be prepared for the audit and that the operations tasks that needed to be done were in place. I had two months to do this. I created a project team and produced an action plan to ensure that the desired tasks were done. The team worked well, and the actions were completed on time, and the audit went well."
Lauren's Answer
This is a great response. Audits can be stress-inducing, and you were able to clearly lead a team to success. I made some sentence structure edits but, overall, great job!
"In my last role, I was tasked with preparing my department (comprised of 20 people) for an audit by senior personnel. I had a limited amount of time (2 months) to ensure a smooth and successful audit of operation tasks. My problem-solving, planning, and organizational skills were put to use as I assembled a project team and action plan. By giving a clear roadmap with the use of an action plan, my staff were able to take the necessary measures for the audit. Our department was successfully audited due to my direct communication, planning, and direction."
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7.
How do you react when your team misses a deadline?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My team is highly efficient, and we rarely miss a deadline. When we do, it's surprising. We had a very challenging client last year who made a significant amount of changes throughout the entire project. These changes caused us to miss our deadline. I took action after that to ensure a better client onboarding process. This new process made sure we dug deeper with each client at the start, which has resulted in fewer mid-project changes."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When my team misses a deadline, it is disappointing. On the odd occasion that this has happened, I first ask my team for feedback. I want to know what I could have done better, as a leader, to make sure we hit our goal. Then, I ask them to look internally and tell me what they honestly feel they could have done differently. I prefer a collaborative approach to these types of conversations."
Anonymous Answer
"We win as a team and we fail as a team."
Rachelle's Answer
Well said! It would be even better if you talked about how you review a missed deadline or perceived failure with your team. I have added an example below.
"My leadership philosophy is that we win as a team and we fail as a team. If we miss a deadline, I will call a team huddle and discuss where we misstepped, and what could be improved, moving forward."
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Anonymous Answer
"I remember a time when my team had to deliver a project for an important customer. We missed the project due date by a week. Fortunately, I had informed my boss about this potential failure. After we had delivered the parts required, we sat down to review where things had gone wrong so that we would learn from the mistakes being made so that they would not be repeated."
Lauren's Answer
This is a great example, because this issue can occur at any workplace setting. I made some revisions to include your thought process and work ethic.
"There was a time when my team missed a delivery for an important customer by an entire week. When unsatisfactory issues occur, I consult with my boss to discuss and strategize quality improvement. This way, we can learn from the situation to avoid repeating it in the future. After meeting with my boss, it is my responsibility as the manager to disseminate that information to my team, and work out the areas that created the issue."
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8.
How do you present bad, or disappointing news, to your team members?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I don't believe anyone enjoys delivering bad news; however, as a leader, it is part of what I need to do - sometimes on a weekly or even daily basis. When I have news to share that I know will disappoint someone, I will sit down with them, one-on-one, and express that I know how much the situation meant to them. I will then highlight to my team member what they did very well and make a plan with them to either try again or come up with an alternate plan."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Before I deliver bad news, I like to prepare my self for every possible reaction from the person to whom I am delivering the news. I will make sure to have a reply ready for someone who reacts angrily, someone who becomes emotional, and someone who may have a disengaged reaction. By having a variety of conversation approaches prepared, I can enter an uncomfortable conversation with confidence."
Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's Answer
Your leadership qualities are on point!
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Anonymous Answer
"I have had to present disappointing news, such as not receiving a bonus. I did this is a sensitive way to keep the team engaged as well as implementing company policy."
Lauren's Answer
This is a good start. I would add more depth about how you approach and disseminate the news.
"There was a time when I had to deliver rather disappointing new to my team about not reaching a goal that would have resulted in a bonus. I facilitated a team meeting and delivered the information sensitively. I engaged the group by being optimistic about reaching future goals, and ways we can improve our performance. When delivering difficult information, I think it is best to provide feedback, encouragement, and ways to improve. This is done with without harsh criticism."
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9.
As a leader, how will you measure the success of your team members?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My favorite way to measure the success of my team members is to view individual and group productivity reports, and compare the data month after month. Then, I share the results in their monthly performance reviews. When an employee knows that I notice even a small uptick in their productivity, they are more likely to perform at their peak ability."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I plan to measure the success of my team members by how engaged they are. I will look at how often they are early for work, how many times they stay late to meet a deadline, or how often they go above and beyond their regular 9-5 to help a client."
Anonymous Answer
"I will measure the success of team members by the achievements of the teams' targets and the achievement of their development plans."
Lauren's Answer
encouragement, and ways to improve. This is done with without harsh criticism. Great response. It is important to explain that you use developmental plans because that is a clear way to track progress.
"I will measure team success by the use of departmental development plans as well as individual development plans. Goals are more easily measured when there is a clear metric to monitor progress."
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Anonymous 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."
Rachelle's 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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10.
Which leadership book have you most recently read?
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

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The leadership book that I most recently read was 'The 10X Rule,' by Grant Cardone. He speaks not only of being a winner, at the front of the pack, but also giving your absolute best in everything that you do. It's one of my favorites, and I read it every year."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Just this past week, I read 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. The author is well-known in the personal growth space, and this particular book touches on vulnerability and setting out to be extraordinary in all that we do."
Anonymous Answer
"I have read Managing Successful teams by John Humpries."
Lauren's Answer
Great! Minor edits made. It would be helpful to add what you got out the book.
"I have read, “Managing Successful Teams” by John Humphries. The book allowed me to implement more ways to motivate my team by setting clear expectations, leading with confidence, and more on training and continued education."
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Anonymous Answer
"The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell."
Rachelle's 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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11.
How will you guide your team in terms of personal development?
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

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I plan to guide my team in personal development by offering unique learning opportunities. My current company has a learning portal where employees can log-in and learn a variety of new skills, from software to leadership. It's an excellent resource. Do you have anything like this in your professional development arsenal?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will guide my team members by meeting with them individually and creating a personal growth plan for the year. It's important to me that I understand the desires of each staff member and help them to achieve their professional goals."
Anonymous Answer
"I would develop a professional growth plan customized for each team member. Each year we will set learning goals for new skills. Conferences and other off-site learning opportunities Lunch and learns with exciting topics - legal, operations, marketing, sales. Online learning portal or subscriptions to Udemy Mentorship partners"
Rachelle's Answer
It seems you have some incredible ideas in store! The interviewer should really appreciate your enthusiasm.
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Anonymous Answer
"I guide my team by through a 1:1 meeting where we review how they are doing and how I can help them."
Lauren's Answer
Great response! You can follow-up with describing how 1:1s help improve morale and productivity.
"I guide my team by facilitating weekly 1:1 meetings where we review progress goals, and I provide feedback and suggestions. In my experience, 1:1s builds higher rapport, enhanced individual and team morale, and increased productivity. Setting clear goals and providing ways to achieve those goals, make everyone happier and more successful."
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12.
What is the most important task of a leader?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"At the beginning of my career I had a leader who spent a lot of time investing in my knowledge. He would give me books to read, podcast suggestions, and online audio courses. This investment in my professional growth was the most important gift he could have given me. Now, I return the favor to all those that I lead. Investing in my team in this way is, in my opinion, the most important thing a leader could do."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The most important task I can take on as a leader is showing kindness to my team members. When an employee feels cared for, they will always perform better. I exercise this approach in my current role by lending a hand when an opportunity arises. My coworkers know they can safely come to me when they need assistance."
Anonymous Answer
"The most important task of the leader is developing their staff."
Lauren's Answer
Fantastic. I added a little more depth to your response so the interviewer knows your core values as a leader.
"The most important task of a leader is developing their staff. A leader must have a clear vision for what drives and creates success. Clear communication of expectations and resources for continued learning are core values and steps I take when developing a strong staff."
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Anonymous Answer
"I appreciate that, as a leader, I have the opportunity to help other people grow in their career by mentoring them, and teaching them what I know."
Rachelle's Answer
Very nice response.
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13.
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that the difference between a leader and manager is that a manager has the job title and the incumbents, but not necessarily the required buy-in from their team. A leader gains buy-in through inspiration."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A leader is someone who people want to follow. A manager is someone who others feel they have to follow. I believe a manager or supervisor should be a healthy blend of both approaches so that they can earn their teams' respect organically but also maintain their authority."
Anonymous Answer
"Managers have people who work for them and leaders have people who follow them."
Rachelle's Answer
Great! Concise and to the point. I have reworded your response slightly, to add impact.
"A manager is someone who has people working for them. A leader is someone who other people follow because they are a good influence."
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Anonymous Answer
"A manager plans, organizes, and controls his department. A leader engages the emotions of the team. Both leadership and management are required if a team is to be successful."
Lauren's Answer
Good response. I made spelling and grammar edits as well as removed gender.
"In my perspective, a manager plans, organizes, and controls their department. A leader, on the other hand, engages the emotions of the team. I believe a combination of leadership and management are essential for a team to be successful."
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14.
What do you look for, before giving someone on your team a promotion?
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

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Before promoting someone on my team, I will read through all of the employee's performance reviews and ask for references from former managers. As far as skills go, I look for someone collaborative and reliable."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe it's important to look at someone's level of collaboration and helpfulness. If the employee has shown leadership skills without a management title, I can be sure they will pull through as a solid leader and solid manager, once promoted."
Anonymous 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"
Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic insight! These are all very important qualities to look for before making a promotion.
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Anonymous Answer
"The ability to influence others."
Lauren's Answer
Good start. It would be important to elaborate why that is a quality worthy of a promotion.
"For me, an employees who demonstrates leadership qualities and the ability to influence others in a positive way are most worthy of promotions. Influencers can enhance productivity and morale within a department and work team. Employees who lead by example always stand out to me."
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15.
Do you prefer group discussions or one-on-one meetings?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that group discussions and one-on-one meetings should be facilitated, according to the situation at hand. I prefer to have group meetings because they can turn into amazing brain-storm sessions, but I do understand the importance of more intimate conversations as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I prefer one-on-one meetings when corrective action is required. Group discussions are best when making plans for a project. I believe both types of communication are essential, but each approach must occur in their appropriate timing."
Anonymous Answer
"Both are required. Group meetings to ensure all of the team hear the same message and one on ones for personal development."
Lauren's Answer
Good response. I assisted with sentence structure.
"I believe both are required in order to lead a strong department. Group meetings are essential for disseminating information concisely with everyone present, whereas one-on-one meetings are vital for individual development."
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Anonymous Answer
"I think one-on-one meetings and group discussions are both useful. I meet one-on-one one with my managers to set weekly goals and talk about what they do right and wrong. For group discussions or brainstorming meetings, I will bring up broader subjects."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent response!
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