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, audio books, 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
"I like to guide my teams in personal development by offering unique learning opportunities. My current company has a learning portal where employees can log-in and learn new skills from software to leadership. It's an excellent resource. Do you have anything like this in your professional development arsenal?"
"I will guide my team members by meeting with them individually and creating a professional growth plan. It's important to me that I understand the needs of each staff member and help them to achieve those goals."
"As a manager, I fully understand the importance of investing in my employees. For that reason, I will provide at least two off-site learning opportunities per year for each team member. This experience may be a conference, a trade show, or a seminar related to their role, goals, and of course - the company's mission."
"I like to guide my team with learning opportunities. Marketing is always changing, and the rules for digital marketing change overnight. My current agency has an online learning portal, including subscriptions to two online universities. When a team member shows great initiative or has a significant win, we will allocate credits to them to take a new course of their choice. These types of continued learning opportunities add significant value to both the employee and the company."
"Many of my employees are recent graduates or students who work part-time. I like to guide their personal development by suggesting books to read or influencers to follow. Even if they can listen to a helpful podcast while they study, or drive to work, all of the information will add up and help them to succeed in their careers and personal lives."
"I work with some highly competitive salespeople, so one of my favorite ways to help them in their professional development is through inter-office contests. I will have up for grabs, tickets to conferences or seminars of industry influencers, going to the top performers. My team loves these opportunities, and it also boosts their performance!"
"It's important that I invest in my students on a regular basis. I do not have a large classroom budget so I am often looking for book donations from local bookstores so that I can gift this literature to my students. I guide my students' development by encouraging them to discover their world through words."
There is no real right or wrong answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to hear an insightful answer. Being a leader can mean many things. As a leader you may feel that the most critical task is to guide, coach, mentor, teach, encourage, or train. Whatever your answer, be sure to provide an example of a time when you stepped up as a leader, putting your answer into action.
"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 knowledge was the most important thing he could have done for 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."
"To me, 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."
"The most important thing I can do for my team, as a leader, is to help them figure out their ideal career path and help them to grow. I like to invest in my team members by way of personality assessments and more, to help them in self-discovery."
"The greatest task I can take on as a leader in marketing is to share with others any new knowledge or resources that I acquire along the way. Knowledge-sharing is critical, especially in such a fast-moving and ever-changing industry."
"Retail is a fast-moving industry with a lot of staff turnover. What I find to be the most important task of a leader is to be an encourager. Often, my team members are young students or new graduates. I like to help them see the best of what they offer!"
"In sales, it is easy to become demotivated or discouraged, especially when you are unsure of your targets and goals. The best thing I can do as a leader is to give clear guidance to my team members. I create excellent roadmaps for each person and check in with them regularly to ensure they are on track and motivated."
"As a teacher, I am a leader in a variety of ways throughout the day. I have found that the most important task as a leader and a teacher is to be an observant and active listener. Many students will show you what they need if you observe and listen attentively."
The interviewer would like to know that you understand what makes a leader genuinely stand out. Just because you are a manager, that 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 people under them. To be an excellent leader, you should offer a balance between the two. You need to be able to have people buy into your vision but at the same time, show authority when necessary.
"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 is someone who people want to follow. A manager is someone who others feel they have to follow. I think a manager or supervisor should be a healthy blend of both."
"A manager is someone who has a team of people who answer to them. A leader is someone of influence and, I believe, anyone can be a leader - no matter their job title or position."
"To me, leadership is a mindset versus a title. A manager is more of a job title. Anyone can possess leadership skills, but a great manager will have leadership skills along with the ability to direct their team to success."
"I have worked with both leaders and managers. The biggest difference I can see is that a leader can be anyone who people want to follow. A leader will gain followers, and a manager merely has people who answer to them."
"In sales, a leader will tell you your goals and help you make a plan aimed at achieving those goals. Someone who is a manager will only tell you the company goals and send you on your way. I am the type of person who prefers to lead and guide. There is a huge benefit to investing in those you lead."
"Coaching and mentoring are activities of a true leader. I firmly believe that one does not need to be in a formal management role to lead. I have students who lead other students, and it's great to see."
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
"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."
"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, you can be sure they will pull through as a solid leader and solid manager, once promoted."
"Management and leadership roles are too often given to people who are not true leaders. Many are promoted simply out of tenure, and I do not believe in this practice. What I look for when I promote a team member is a history of professional and self-development activities. I would rather promote someone who reads regularly, and wants to learn as opposed to someone who has been cushy in their role for many years without any growth initiative."
"In marketing, we often look for those who will show self-motivation and take the initiative without being asked. Much of what we do is independent project work remotely. Before promoting someone, I would ensure the person could handle the balance between working independently and collaborating with a team of creatives."
"It can be a challenge to find a reliable staff member in the retail industry. For that reason, I would first assess the person's track record when it comes to showing up on time, staying for their entire shift, and calling in sick. If they proved to be reliable, I would consider a promotion should they be interested."
"Sales organizations and departments require organized leaders, great motivators, and managers who are competitively minded. If I had a team member seeking a promotion, I would look for those qualities. Also, I would want to see a history of success and achievement."
"A promotion would rarely be up to me, as an educator; however, if I were hiring a teacher or promoting someone to a Principal role, I would look for consistency in behavior and higher education. Also, someone that the students respect and listen to."
There is no real right or wrong answer for this question but be sure to back up your personal preference when you provide it. If possible, avoid firmly leaning one way versus another. It's best if you can show the interviewer that you are capable of either facilitating group discussions, or one-on-one, depending on what is most appropriate for the situation.
"I believe that group discussions and one-on-one meetings should be facilitated appropriately, 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."
"I prefer one-on-one meetings when corrective action needs to be taken; however group discussions are best when making plans for a project. I believe both types of communication are important when the time is appropriate."
"I am more of a one-on-one person in my personal life which I tend to lean towards in my management career as well. I prefer making a genuine connection with each of my team members. Individually. Group discussions need close moderation, so they remain on track. With that said, there are great advantages to group discussions as well. Ideas tend to flow better, and they can create an environment of camaraderie."
"In marketing, we are all about group discussions. It's pretty important to us that we have great discussions where we can brainstorm, make progress on projects, and be creative. I am comfortable having one-on-one discussions when necessary as well."
"There are a time and place for all discussion types which is why I would say that I do not lean one way or another; rather, I am discerning about the type of meetings that I call. As a leader, I am comfortable in a group or one-on-one setting."
"As a manager of a sales team, I prefer group discussions or team huddles as we call them. In these meetings, we can make plans for upcoming months while also discussing ideas on how we will meet our targets. I like to keep one-on-one meeting for making individual performance plans or taking corrective action with underperforming team members."
"Group discussions have their value, but I know the importance of connecting with my students on an individual basis as much as possible. I can comfortably facilitate either. "
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