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.
"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."
"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."
"My current team works across different states, and 90% of them operate virtually from a home office. As a Regional Manager, I must understand the challenges that my team faces when working from home so that I can prevent turnover and also build a teamwork mentality regardless of distance or location. I recently introduced a Friday virtual happy hour, which has received an exceptional response!"
"My current company is growing at a rapid rate. At this time, keeping a pipeline full of talented candidates has been very challenging. To meet this challenge, I recently decided to try Zip Recruiter, which has made finding and interviewing candidates much easier so far."
"The most challenging aspect of being a leader, from my experience, is managing a large variety of personalities. It takes some time to get to know everyone, and in retail, there is also the challenge of high employee turnover. To meet this challenge, I have made it a point to make a personal connection with all new hires in the first three days of their employment. Not all personalities are my favorite; however, when I get to know the person on a different level, I can always find something about them to appreciate. This connection and appreciation will also increase the likelihood of enjoying their job and staying."
"The largest challenge I've faced as a leader is working with an unmotivated employee who cannot seem to be motivated by the normal channels. Typically, this lack of motivation stems from our HR Manager, hiring a poor fit for the role. For that reason, I have shifted my focus to coaching up or coaching out much quicker than I had in the past. I have also asked the HR Manager for more thorough collaboration before he extends any job offers."
"In my current classroom, I have a bit of a power struggle between a few of the students. It is a challenge to navigate personalities and peer groups while still encouraging inclusivity. I have tried a variety of seating arrangements as well as group meetings involving the Principal. The next step will be parent involvement, which I am hoping to avoid."
"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 32% of our employees take advantage. To alleviate this frustration I am starting a company-wide recognition program to all employees who explore this option with our company."
"Having many tools at my disposal, I find that a Java solution is the best way to solve this problem. I would typically write a program to find the missing number in an array in Java, C# or another language. The method I use is to find missing elements in an area of 100 integers, which contains numbers between 1 and 100. Looking at this problem from a high level, this can easily be solved by calculating the sum of the series using n(n+1)/2, to solve this problem. It's a quick and efficient way to do it, but keep in mind that it cannot be used if the array contains more than one number, or if the array contains duplicates. Some of these solutions might require you to calculate the sum of numbers and then subtract that from the actual sum to arrive at the correct answer."
"Many times conflicts can be resolved by allowing those who have had a disagreement to have a neutral place to state their issue and have someone to help talk things out with. With that in mind, when I have had employees who are angry in the past, I prefer to talk to those involved individually so that I can get perspective on what each is thinking. Then I like to bring them together, if they are agreeable, and try to find a way to resolve the issues together. Often, when someone in a supervisory position is present, the parties will try to make amends so as not to jeopardize their position at work."
"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."
This is a good example of a challenge, and how you have worked to overcome the situation. Nice job!
"I am challenged to motivate unengaged team members."
Good start. It would be helpful to explain why.
"One of the most difficult aspects to leading my current team is motivating disengaged employees. I am working with each of them individually, but their morale has an impact on the rest of the group. It takes out-of-box thinking and a wide range of communication and leadership skills in order to tailor my approach to each person individually."
"It is challenging when tensions form between students. It is a struggle, at times, to navigate. I have tried a variety of approaches including changing seating arrangements and group meetings involving the school director. I've spent time teaching students about empathy and using emotional intelligence to deescalate situations before they boiled over. My efforts have helped in most situations, but there are still a few that continue to arise. I continue to use positive reinforcement to remind my students of the coping skills I have taught them."
You have gone far and above to ensure a healthy environment for your group of students. Good for you - you sound like a very caring and mindful individual.
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