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Tell me about a time that you naturally took on a leadership role without being asked. Did you enjoy being a leader? Were you happy with the outcome?

8 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know if you have a natural ability and desire to be a leader, or if you prefer to be a follower. Being a leader gives us a different perspective and allows you to grow in your views. Explain that you enjoy helping others develop, while learning things yourself, and show that you are the type of leader that hopes to inspire others.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"We often work in small groups on a variety of projects, however; last month I was tasked to complete a project with a group of ten. I quickly realized that I was the most seasoned of the group and so it was natural for me to be the leader since I had the majority of the answers. I enjoyed that aspect of the work and earned compliments from my supervisor on the result. Everyone worked well together and knew their role."

Admin
Answer example

"I do not consider myself a natural leader, however, when we recently had a new employee join the admin team, I took her under my wing. I wanted to see her succeed, so I took her out for lunch, explained the office dynamics, and encouraged her to ask questions. It feels terrific to share my knowledge."

Manager
Answer example

"Before I became a manager, I was often jumping in to train new employees or assist with customer disputes. My product knowledge was impeccable. I spent hours studying the company, and production process. I truly wanted a promotion to manager. This dedication to leadership quickly paid off as I was one of the fastest promoted in company history. I love being a leader. It comes naturally to me, and I care about the success of those new to the team."

Marketing
Answer example

"Our marketing director was unexpectedly out of the office on a family emergency for two weeks. I volunteered to take on her role because I knew it well and had been there the longest. I encouraged collaboration with the team, divided tasks evenly, and incorporated daily team meetings to ensure that we were on the right track and that no detail slipped by us. When the director returned, she ended up implementing a couple of my temporary processes and complimented me on my dedication to the team and agency. It felt amazing to be a leader."

Retail
Answer example

"Since I began at Company ABC, I've sought out opportunities for leadership because I feel comfortable there. At the store, within my first weeks on the job, there was a misunderstanding occurring between part-time and full-time employees that were disrupting the culture and cohesiveness of our department. I took it upon myself to ask everyone for a quick pow-wow one evening. All the employees got together by the cash-wrap and cleared up the confusion and miscommunications, which led to a much healthier, and more enjoyable, work environment. It felt great to clear the air, and I quickly became known for my dispute resolution skills."

Sales
Answer example

"I am always sure to be a resource for the new hires. I hated walking into an office and feeling like I was in middle school where everyone already had their cliques, so I made sure never to have someone else feel that way. I started informally mentoring the new hires, and soon I had a few other coworkers who were interested in doing the same. We've continued this but also expanded into a more formal training and mentoring program with the company leadership on board. This way, we know that each mentee is getting the same type of information and resources. It's a project that I'm very proud of as it's helped others give back to new hires and helped everyone grow into a better salesperson."

Teacher
Answer example

"During staff meetings or curriculum development, I tend to step into a leadership role. I find it to be a natural fit for me, and with my years of experience and passion still firing on all cylinders. My leadership style brings out a good vibe with the rest of the team, and we seem to accomplish quite a lot!"

Heavy Equipment Operator
Answer example

"We often work in small groups on a variety of projects, however; last month I was tasked to complete a project with a group of 10. I quickly realized that I was the most seasoned of the group and so it was natural for me to be the leader since I had the majority of the answers. I really enjoyed that aspect of the work and was complimented by my supervisor on the end result. Everyone worked well together and knew their role."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 10/17/2016
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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