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Leadership Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| 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

When are your leadership skills the most effective?

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Leadership Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      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

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

      Rachelle's Answer

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

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  2. 2.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      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."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "The most important task of a leader is building trust with the team. Upon that foundation, the house can be built. You cannot motivate and lead a team that doesn't trust you. How I built trust with my students was through paying attention, listening, and letting them know that I cared about them as people."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Yes - you make a fantastic point and deliver your answer with confidence and conviction. By adding in examples of how you build trust with your students, you are solidifying your response. Well done!

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  3. 3.

    Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated tasks.

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) In my current position, I was asked to put together a team for a special client project. (Task) I was allowed to handpick the team members and organize the project timeline. (Action) I chose my strongest employees in a variety of areas. In our initial meeting, I delegated the tasks while explaining my reasoning. This opportunity was great for me to show each team member that I had the utmost confidence in their abilities. (Result) Everyone played to their strengths, and it worked out well. We delivered this special project to our client on time and under budget."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) I recently trained a new Executive Assistant to the VP. (Task) Since I am the EA to the President, the leadership group felt that I was the best person to train the new EA correctly. (Action) She had a little bit of experience; however, she did require in-depth training on our systems, programs, and more. In total, I spent around 80 hours training her on a variety of systems. (Result) I now oversee her work and delegate to-dos. It's been a smooth onboarding so far!"

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I delegated the task of producing safe systems of work to my deputy. Before assigning this task to him, I reviewed the time that he would have and the skills required to do the job. I also discussed the requirements in detail with him so that he knew exactly what to do. It was also a development opportunity for him because it was a task that he had not done before."

      Lauren's Answer

      This is a great example. You provided a well-rounded explanation of the task and the way you delegated the task. Great job! I made spelling and grammar edits.

      "I once delegated the task of producing safety systems of work to a deputy employee. This particular employee did not have prior experience with this task, so we had a training session prior to their implementation. We reviewed the time and skills requirement, as well as the process step-by-step. The deputy was able to ask clarifying questions and feel comfortable about taking on a new skill. This attention to training detail was beneficial for the employee and myself, as it would ensure correct implementation. Spending time on the onset to train and explain new things saves time for everyone involved."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous 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."

      Rachelle's 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.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
  4. 4.

    Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a natural-born leader. From a young age, I led Sunday school classes for younger children. I was a counselor at camp and was the student council president in junior high and high school. I have led numerous teams in fundraising efforts for MS, Ride to End Aids, and Ride to Conquer Cancer. In my current sales role, I lead numerous projects within our sales team regionally and nationally and projects within my accounts. I have ample examples to pull from to illustrate my leadership abilities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's evident that you have a strong history of leadership, and this list of examples is solid! It would be helpful also to mention some of your leadership qualities instead of listing the experiences on their own. For instance, what leadership qualities do you exude to ensure success in your current sales role?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I enjoy managing teams. In my previous role, I managed two people in setting up a transparency reporting program. I try to lead by example. When working in a new team, I take time to find out about employees' work interests and how they like to work and be managed."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You show a good amount of evidence of previous leadership responsibilities. Do you have any measurable results to share from these leadership approaches?

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  5. 5.

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

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "A large part of my role is to give monthly performance reviews to my team of 13 employees. When I need to deliver a poor review, the employee is already aware that I will be looking for improvement in their performance. This awareness is because I stay in close contact with all of my employees on their monthly progress. The last poor performance review I delivered was a 30-minute review that I booked with the individual ahead of time. Their productivity had been slipping for about four weeks, and it was time to make a new plan of action. I was sure to make the meeting private. I gave tangible feedback using specific examples. Then, we created a measurable plan together. This team member was appreciative of the time that I took to nurture the situation rather than reprimand them."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To be completely transparent, giving critical reviews is not my favorite task; however, if I am prepared for the conversation ahead of time, I can complete a well-balanced performance review. I have trained a few temp administrators in my current role, as we utilize a temp agency during our peak seasons. Just last month, I was asked to provide performance feedback to a new temp associate. I gave some critical points, with examples, and then offered suggestions and action steps for improvement. The temp associate was appreciative that I put in the added effort to help them do a better job."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous 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."

      Rachelle's 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.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I have to give feedback, good or bad. Giving positive feedback is good. However, negative feedback is also essential when appropriate when it enables further employee growth."

      Lauren's Answer

      Good response, but be sure to answer both parts of the question.

      "As a manager, it is my responsibility to provide positive and negative feedback. Although providing negative feedback is more difficult, it is an essential way to be an effective leader. Providing negative feedback in a performance review is part of my Best Practices. I take the responsibility as a challenge, because I want to be constructive in order for the employee to grow and be aware of deficiencies."

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  6. 6.

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

      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!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I naturally take on a leader and mentor-ship type of role with my co-workers. In one instance, I had a new coworker who was having some trouble fitting in. I took her out for lunch and talked to her about the workplace culture and semantics surrounding the various departments. I wanted her to stay and enjoy her employment with us, so I took the responsibility of ensuring she was settling in well. I believe there are always opportunities for leadership - you have to keep your eyes open!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I aim always to demonstrate my leadership abilities every day, even though I am a junior administrator. I strive to set a good example for my peers by performing my tasks quickly, without having to be told. I will also take charge when I see a task falling behind, which I believe is a good example of leadership."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

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

      Lauren's 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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      Anonymous Answer

      "Having been in a leadership role for the past 20 years of my career, I try to show my actions as a leader at work, and outside of work as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Again, the right thoughts are definitely there but I do recommend working on completing the thought or concept.

      "I have demonstrated leadership qualities for the past 20 years, as I make sure to act as a good example inside and outside of work."

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  7. 7.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      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."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
  8. 8.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      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.

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      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)
  9. 9.

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

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One challenge that I face as a leader is to avoid frustration when employees show continued disinterest in our company's education opportunities. My current company has an amazing program available for continued education, yet only about 22% of our employees take advantage. To alleviate this frustration, I am starting a company-wide recognition program for all employees who explore this option with our company."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I lead the temporary administrative assistants that we hire, from time to time, during peak seasons. It is a challenge to lead temp associates because it means re-training a new person every time the temp agency provides us with a new temp. Last week I had a meeting with our recruitment partner and asked them to send repeat temps as often as possible. I believe this request will be a happy workaround in the future."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous 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."

      Rachelle's Answer

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

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "My current team works across different states, and we all currently operate virtually from a home office. As a Senior Manager, I must understand the challenges that my team faces when working from home to prevent turnover and build a teamwork mentality regardless of distance or location. I recently introduced a virtual coffee meeting which has received an exceptional response!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      A virtual coffee meeting is a wonderful idea to keep your team engaged despite virtual work and home environments. It's great that you described your greatest difficulty while also mentioning what you have done to work around the situation. Well said!

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  10. 10.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      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.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I will measure success using departmental development plans as well as individual development plans and through regular feedback to and from team members."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good! Your answer is straightforward and shows both knowledge and skill as a leader.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  11. 11.

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

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) When I first joined my current company, the mandate was to focus on the professional growth of the team. (Task) I had big plans to overhaul the existing sales team and send them on a business development workshop weekend. (Action) Once I announced this plan, I lost of the employees ended up quitting because they didn't understand what this growth opportunity would have allowed them. Looking back, what I should have done was build a stronger rapport with my new team before sending them to a weekend workshop. They felt it was a punishment of some sort, which wasn't the case at all. (Result) I learned my lesson, hired some stellar sales staff, and forged ahead! My new team ended up gaining strong momentum and finished the year 124% above budget."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) This year our HR Manager was on maternity leave, and someone needed to take control of the company's most recent hiring fair. (Task) As the HR Assistant, I was next in line to take over the event. (Action) I worked hard to plan and leverage the few connections that I had. I attempted to build excitement through social media posts and our company e-newsletter. (Result) In the end, the hiring fair was not as successful as previous hiring fairs and, despite my best efforts, I didn't see the results that I was hoping. I will continue to learn the recruiting field and won't give up despite this disappointment."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "As the coordinator of the Teacher of the Year program, there was an error with the awards. The spelling of a recipient's name was misspelled. I apologized and assured her that it would be corrected."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Oops! It happens to the best of us, and what is most important is that you owned the error and made the necessary corrections.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I took charge of the machine shop in a previous role. The aim was to improve the output. The method was to use OEE as the driver. The shop was not ready for using a tool such as OEE, and the outcome was disappointing."

      Lauren's Answer

      It is great that provided a specific answer. It would be more-rounded if you explained why it was disappointing. Please fill in the blank below.

      "In a previous role, I was charged with improving output in a machine shop. I believed using OEE as a driver would enhance output, but disappointingly, it was not. The shop was not ready to implement a tool such as OEE because __________________."

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  12. 12.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I look for someone who is self-motivated, who leads by example, and has taken the initiative to engage in professional and self-development activities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These factors are all crucial in considering key team players. Are any of these specific qualities that the hiring company looks for in their leaders, also? Be sure to use their jargon as much as possible to increase the possibility of the hiring authority resonating with your response.

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      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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  13. 13.

    Tell me about your leadership qualities.

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "The ability to persuade and influence people are my key leadership qualities."

      Lauren's Answer

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

      "“How do you persuade and influence others?” “How does your technique vary between employees?”"

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I have always been told I am a great leader. I always stand by my team! I am very confident, and I always offer my help. I love to compliment others when I see they are improving, and let them know I appreciate their efforts. I am very encouraging and try to explain tasks in a way they understand and the necessity of each."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You seem very attentive to the work, needs, and accomplishments of others, which is fantastic! These are solid leadership qualities.

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  14. 14.

    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

      "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

      "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."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "We rise and fall together. If I am the leader, I have to share in the successes as well as the failures. If a deadline is missed, then as the leader, it will be necessary for me to bring the team together and talk about why we missed the mark, and to come up with ways we can improve our outcomes going forward."

      Rachelle's Answer

      All of the yesses to this answer :) I love that you take accountability for your actions as a leader and show an eagerness to lead others to success.

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      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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  15. 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

      "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

      "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."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a fan of group discussions, but there is a time and place for one-on-one discussion as well. Team meetings provide an opportunity for everyone's ideas and perspective to come to the forefront and a chance for team members to motivate and encourage one another."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent balance in your answer! There is an appropriate time for each setting, and you explain your understanding of this very well.

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      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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  16. 16.

    What does micromanagement mean to you?

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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

    Which leadership book have you most recently read?

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

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  21. 21.

    Tell me your favorite part of being a leader.

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  22. 22.

    When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader?

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

    When have you had to lead by example?

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  30. 30.

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

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