The interviewer is trying to learn more about your level of comfort and confidence in a leadership role. Remember, interviewers, want to see you be successful! Your answer will show them where you may need extra support or training if hired.
Be transparent with the interviewer about what aspect of the role you see as a challenge; however, you must avoid talking yourself out of the opportunity. For instance; if you are to lead a group of 50 people in this position, avoid saying that the most significant challenge will be in leading a large team. Keep your answer positive and provide a solution to the problem.
"I believe that the biggest leadership challenge in this role will be taking on the task of getting to know each team member on an individual basis. This task will be a time-consuming one, but I am looking forward to it! I like to be engaged in the lives of my team. I feel that it creates productive employees."
"I will make a point to not only prove my credentials on paper and in practice but also once I get to know the team; I see any of their fears and objections melt away quite quickly."
"The biggest challenge that I see from the outside will be to gain the trust of the group. From what I understand, many of these team members have worked here for a very long time and have great seniority. I am preparing for a lot of 'how it used to be' comments."
"I think fitting into a team and having them see you as a leader and legitimate contributor is always the biggest challenge in a new role. There is almost always some resistance to change, even if they feel it was needed, because it may not be what they thought it should be, or they thought there should be a different leader in the position. Earning their respect and a degree of being liked is always a challenge, but a satisfying hurdle, once overcome."
"The toughest challenge when taking on a new leadership role is to understand the dynamics of the team fully. You want to make a great first impression while still being effective right off the bat. It's a fine balance!"
"The largest challenge I foresee is the perception of me being their boss. I often am younger than those that I end up managing, and I am a woman, so that can be quite off-putting for some who are not accustomed. This situation wouldn't be the first time I've faced and overcome a challenge like this, so I am not worried."
"Children often resist change, and I expect there to be some statements like 'our old teacher didn't do that,' for instance. I will start by allowing the students to ask me questions about my teaching career and my favorite things to do. Once we create a connection, everyone will be more comfortable."