The interviewer wants to see that you have a genuine passion for leadership. Perhaps you are a people person who loves to motivate and encourage your team members. Maybe you enjoy helping others identify their strengths. Perhaps you thrive on assisting others to work towards accomplishing their professional goals. Whatever you enjoy most, be sure to tell the interviewer that you plan to be a passionate leader within their organization.
"I love being a leader! If I had to choose one aspect that made leadership the most rewarding, it would be the fact that I can change someone's life or career path by guiding and encouraging them. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a leader for your team."
"I like to make a positive impact on the lives of others. By being a positive person, I can influence the thought patterns of my coworkers."
"The best part of being a leader in the marketing industry can teach and train new and exciting methods for advertising and content creation. I am a highly creative individual, so this leadership factor appeals to me."
"I love helping people grow and achieve their potential. It's fun for me to identify someone's potential and help groom them and support them in achieving it."
"I enjoy helping other people reach their potential. Seeing someone grow and flourish in a new role is very satisfying."
"I love the responsibility of being a leader; you get to help mold people into a better version of themselves and in the process, I know I am always being challenged. I always learn and grow with each new task, team, and challenge that comes my way."
"My favorite part of being a leader is the fact that I can influence and impact our future leaders. I am excited to see where my students will end up one day."
The term micromanagement is a relative term, meaning something different from manager to manager. Micromanagement is the practice of carefully observing or controlling the work of your employees or team members. Micromanagement is rarely looked on as a positive thing because it is demotivating to employees and is rarely helpful. Show the interviewer that you are capable of leading effectively.
"To me, micromanaging is giving unnecessary supervision to your team members, telling them how to do their job or controlling the smallest of their moves. I have been micro-managed by bosses in the past, and it's truly awful and irritating. I like to give my subordinates the benefit of the doubt and let them work their magic in peace, with the space required to do their job."
"To me, micromanagement is when you unnecessarily tell your employees what to do. It is a waste of time and, in my opinion, if someone needs to be micromanaged to perform, they should not work for me in the first place. It's important to give employees space to move."
"I define micromanagement as the practice of towering over your employees' every move. I believe this to be a waste of time. If you cannot trust your employees to do a great job, why are they on your team? Instead, I like to give clear guidance from the start and have an open door policy for all questions an employee may have."
"In marketing, there is rarely time to watch over each team members' progress every minute of the day. I do not micromanage. Instead, I show trust to those on my team. I give many opportunities for growth and learning, and check in regularly to ensure understanding along each project stage."
"When I was a junior retail sales representative I experienced a floor manager who watched my every move and micromanaged me. It was unnerving and did not help my performance. I will never do that to a staff member. Instead, I coach and mentor and make myself openly available for help and learning opportunities."
"Many sales organizations are known for micromanaging. I keep a close eye on my team members' performance as I look at their sales on a daily basis, and how close they are to target. I like to keep this close eye so that I can pivot them to success if their achievements are sliding for the month. In my mind, this is not micromanaging because it is a helpful action, versus a controlling act."
"Teachers are often known for pushing their students to work harder, and for squeezing the best grades that they can out of their students. I do not consider this micromanaging - more, I think of this as continual encouragement. When I know that a student has more in them than they are giving, I will push and encourage them to do better."
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! 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!
"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 troubles fitting in. I took her out for lunch and talked to her a bit 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!"
"I aim always to demonstrate my leadership abilities, even though I am a junior administrator. I always strive to set a good example for my peers and take charge when needed."
"I have been in a managerial and leadership role for most of my career which means that the actions of a leader are now naturally ingrained in me. I am leading by example in all that I do, inside and outside of work."
"I demonstrate leadership ability on a daily basis by effectively managing my projects and clients independently. It shows that I can take the lead on a project without having to be walked through every small step."
"I feel I'm always leading by example, with or without any managerial authority. I always come in a bit early and stay a bit late, pitching in and going the extra mile whenever possible. I feel this makes you just a good teammate and human, not to mention sets you up for a strong career trajectory. That way, when the opportunity for a true leadership role presents itself, I have positioned myself to be top of mind for the promotion."
"It's so important always lead by example; you never know who is watching. That applies to stepping foot in the office lobby, or on social media when you have your Facebook profile linked to your company or an after-work event that is serving alcohol. No matter what the situation or where you find yourself, to be a true leader, you need to pretend like your CEO is potentially watching. If you want to be taken seriously as a businessperson and leader, you have to be leading at all times. This lesson is something I learned very early on, and I put into practice daily."
"As an elementary school teacher in a small town, I have to be very aware of my actions at all times. At work, while volunteering, grocery shopping, or going for a couple of drinks - I have my leadership hat on."
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."
The interviewer would like to know that you can successfully motivate others without it coming across as condescending. For this question, use a scenario when your encouragement was well received and resulted in a positive change or outcome.
"Our business development lead was stressing out last month because she was only 88% to quota with just two days left in the month. I sat with her after work, and we brainstormed some great ideas to implement for quick results. She ended up closing the month at 104% and had an amazing ramp up to the next month. I believe that encouragement can come in many forms. In this instance, she just needed someone to bounce ideas off of!"
"I tried hard to help a new team member promoted from the production line to the office. She was very good at understanding production and quality, but her computer skills were lacking. She struggled with answering emails, understanding meeting requests and monitoring her calendar. She was getting frustrated quickly, but I encouraged her to stick with it and ask for help. I think she appreciated the encouragement."
"I have scheduled meetings with all of my team members since taking over as manager three years ago. These are meetings to discuss what they are doing right, and how they feel about their growth and performance. When my team members feel encouraged, they are more reliable and work harder."
"We had a new hire on the marketing team who was shy. This marketer had great ideas but was tentative about bringing them up. We spent some time together off the clock, running over her ideas and how to best approach our boss, and just building up her confidence in speaking up. It was in her best interest and that of the team as a whole, plus it was an important career lesson on self-advocacy."
"We had a newer retail sales member on our team who wasn't reaching his targets at first. I took him under my wing and encouraged his efforts, gave him some tips, and provided guidance anytime he needed it. After three months he was surpassing his sales targets!"
"A teammate was going to quit due to various frustrations. By putting SMART goals into place that would allow him to understand how he'd get to hit his targets, he changed his attitude at work and ultimately received a promotion. It was great to see him turn around so well."
"I often work on encouraging my fellow teachers who feel discouraged when a student isn't performing. It's one aspect of my current school that I enjoy - we all lift each other up when it's needed."
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