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Leadership Interview Questions

30 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

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

Question 1 of 30

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

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Leadership Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) My employer asked me to lead a 'lunch and learn' meeting to train 15 employees on our new client management software. (Task) I was already a subject matter expert on the software, so it wasn't difficult for me to plan the lesson. The challenge was making the content entertaining enough to keep the employees engaged. (Action) I created a PowerPoint presentation that included pop quiz questions throughout the performance. (Result) The presentation was a success, and my employer asked me to lead a follow up meeting a few weeks later."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "(Situation) Just last week, my boss had a personal emergency and could not make it in time for our monthly staff meeting. (Task) Everyone gathered, and so he called to ask me to take control of the meeting. (Action) I feel that I did a great job relaying the information in a way that was visual and easy to absorb. (Result) My boss was thankful for the way that I was able to step in."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "(Situation) In my previous role, the company required department-specific meetings before the start of each day. (Task) As the Manager of the IT team, I met with the direct reports in my department every day. (Action) The meetings focused on the days' activities and weekly metrics that would make or break project timelines. I utilized the time in these meetings very effectively. (Result) As a result, my team was always on track with project expectations."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "(Situation) When freelancing, I was on a call collaborating with my clients' marketing director and freelance graphic designer. (Task) It seemed as though each person was going to defer accountability to the other person since there wasn't a leader. Their marketing director should have been it, but she was never a person to take control of a meeting. (Action) So, rather than go around in circles some more, I stepped up to take charge of the meeting. (Result) I am certain that the meeting was a success as the outcome was clear directives for all members of the team. That particular project had the highest ROI to date for my client."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "(Situation) I host a brief team huddle every day and co-host slightly larger meetings every month and quarter. (Task) There are times when, as the Sales Floor Manager, I am reporting that we missed a goal or have mandatory overtime. Those meetings are not quite as happy and upbeat. (Action) To ensure that the right point is made, but that the situation still ends on a productive note, I will also discuss what we are doing right. I also ask the team to contribute their thoughts and ideas to help us to improve. (Result) By deploying this approach to meetings, most of them have a positive outcome."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "(Situation) In my last role, I identified the need for ongoing learning and training. (Task) As the Sales Manager, I thought it would be a good idea if I held a 'lunch and learn' meeting focused on building a stronger sales pipeline. (Action) I created a visual presentation in PowerPoint and added stats and quotes from industry experts. (Results) We saw a 25% increase in sales activity the following week. I plan to do another presentation in the next couple of months."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "(Situation) Students, parents, and teachers must be all on the same page when it comes to a students' learning plan. (Task) As a teacher, I take charge of parent-teacher meetings regularly. (Action) In these meetings, I am specific, I provide feedback based on grades and facts, and give measurable goals for improvement. (Result) As a result, the parents of my students are more engaged in their child's' learning plan, and my students perform better."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Dishwasher Interview

      "My employer asked me to lead a lunch and learn meeting to train 15 employees on our new client management software. I was already a subject matter expert on the software so it wasn't difficult for me to plan the lesson. The challenge was making the content entertaining enough to keep the employees engaged. I created a strong PowerPoint presentation that included pop quiz questions throughout. The presentation was a success and my employer asked me to lead a follow up meeting a few weeks later."

      5+ Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "rmca vision"

      Marcie's Answer

      Include more details here so the interviewer gets a full picture of what happened. Use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to explain what the situation was, what you needed to accomplish, what you did, and what the outcome was.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "Yes, we have opportunities to lead our department meetings, and I covered current topics that went very well."

      Marcie's Answer

      That's great that you've had the opportunity to lead department meetings that went well! But you'll definitely want to give the interviewer some more details here. Discuss one meeting in particular and talk about some of the topics that you covered, as well as what the outcome of the meeting was. Did you establish an action plan that was later carried out? Did you successfully train your team members on a new tool? Did you go over any new policies? Give some more details to further flesh out your answer.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "Well, I wouldn't call it a meeting, however, as a charge nurse on my previous job we met at the beginning of the shift to discuss issues that were affecting the unit both negatively and positively. Team members were asked to come up with ideas to improve patient care. Responses from TEAM members were taken into consideration and implemented, and there was a great improvement in our unit."

      Stephanie's Answer

      This is a great example. but to strengthen your response, I suggest focusing a bit more on how you contributed to leading, taking charge, and ensuring a positive outcome. The purpose of this question is to learn more about your leadership skills.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "As an Interim Administrator, I led several Special Education meetings with parents and other stakeholders. Also, I led meetings while in Human Resources, and I spoke to the Annual Teacher of the Year and retirement programs."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are great examples of taking the lead! Can you speak a bit further regarding the outcome, or what you learned/gained from the experience?

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      Anonymous Answer

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

      Lauren's 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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      Anonymous Answer

      "When I was promoted to my current position (manager clinical research operation) The company required a weekly meeting with my team. I started to conduct weekly meetings with my staff and run reports to review the progress of the staff. Discuss targets for screening and randomization visits with each coordinator and if there is any issue or problem in enrolling the patient then resolve. Project details and deadlines are also discussed. Data entered in a timely manner. As a result, my team was always on track with project expectations"

      Stephanie's Answer

      Excellent response! You do a seamless job of showing how you took charge of a meeting in a manner that illustrates your leadership capacity and ability to keep a team on track.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I volunteered to teach ABG interpretation to a group of new NICU nurses. I already had the PowerPoint but I reviewed it at home and added to some areas utilizing my experience. By giving real-life scenarios and also challenging them to think I helped them to see the importance of ABG interpretation and helped them understand. I also focused on fostering a relationship between the nurses and respiratory therapists."

      Cindy's Answer

      Ok, good! The planning and foresight you describe are effective.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "As the Budget Analyst, I had to lead the Manager and Supervisors of the Division in a monthly meeting. I was able to keep the group on task and focused. I was able to successfully obtain the information needed from the attendees to present the collected information to the next level of Management."

      Stephanie's Answer

      The specific example is great!

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      Anonymous Answer

      "In my previous position as a Senior Accountant, I was the primary contact person with the bank. I scheduled a meeting with them to review our overall business relationship. In the session, I discussed the low levels of service and high fees charged by the bank. By the end of the meeting, the bank’s manager agreed to reduce the monthly Account Maintenance Fee by 25%. My manager complimented me on the effort."

      Rachelle's Answer

      That sounds like significant savings - you should be very proud! This is an excellent example of taking charge and being an effective negotiator.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I was transitioning into a new role and the person who I was supposed to replace was running this meeting with the client. Apparently, she was not able to connect with the client on their key pain points and was getting nervous while addressing their questions. I was aware of the presentation material. Seeing my colleague panic, I offered to help her initially by answering a few client questions and then slowly taking control of the entire meeting. In the end, I was able to deliver the key messages and insights while addressing the key questions the client had in an effective manner. The client thanked us in the end for the material we had prepared and left the room happy."

      Stephanie's Answer

      Great example; it sounds like you were able to take charge of the meeting, while also being gracious to your colleague. You do a good job of highlighting the impact that your actions had.

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