Leaders are the driving force of any organization, guiding their team to victory. Clear direction, support, and resilience enable great leaders to achieve their goals. Every organization looks for young minds to lead the future, hiring those with zeal and drive. Thus, leadership questions are common to ask in most interviews today.
Irrespective of the industry, all companies have certain attributes that remain the same. They want confident, strong, and independent individuals to join their team. This article gives you an idea about the probable questions interviewers can ask you regarding leadership. By reading through these, you can figure out how you could showcase your skills and other relevant qualities in the best way to impress them.
Here’s a list of questions that can help you crack your interviews:
1. What does leadership mean to you, and what leadership skills are the most useful?
Strong leadership skills are what drive any organization. This is not specific to any particular career. However, certain skills come in handy when you are on the job. When questioned in this manner, you must ensure you shine a light on your relevant skills, including communication, positivity, empathy, reliability, listening ability, patience, decisiveness, authority, team building, etc.
Sample answer: “It is a given that effective communication and active listening accompanied by good posture helps you be a good leader. However, I also think delegation and decisiveness play a key role. When I led my team to organize a campus blood drive, I understood this rather well. My team and I faced the tedious challenge of not having a sufficient number of blankets and mattresses for the donors. After some heated arguments with my teammates, I decided to gather mattresses and blankets from the hostel dorms for the event. I further delegated the task of making room for these and gathering things to keep the drive going. This is where I learned that quick decision making and delegating helps in leading a team to victory.”
2. Describe your leadership style.
The question allows the interviewer to understand your personality. You must answer this question with proper thinking as it could determine if you are a fit for the organization or not. Ensure that your answer aligns with the goals of the company.
Sample answer: “ Although we have known many dictators who were successful for a long time, I strongly oppose this form of leadership. There is a fine line between decisiveness and dictatorship. The ability to listen and incorporate different people’s ideas, thoughts, and knowledge help bring out the best in us. This is something that I understood during a particularly game-changing incident in my previous organization. In one of our meetings, we realized that our goals were department-centric, making it extremely hard for the marketing and sales teams to keep up. This affected the sales and profits of the organization. The revelation was only discovered as we patiently listened to the challenges the rest faced and then collectively concluded to have all of our goals aligned. This transformational form of leadership is what I adopt to bring out the best across the board.”
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3. Do goals help you be a better leader? Does it motivate you?
This question helps the interviewer understand your work ethic and thought process. It is important to highlight your organizational skills and ability to meet the company’s needs in a structured manner. You can also elaborate on various tools and tactics you used to stay on track. Elaborate on your goal-setting strategies and tactics to help your team work more efficiently and productively. Shine a light on your practices to determine, align, and reach your goals.
Sample answer: “Goals give you direction and establish a mission. We often tend to flail around when we do not have a sense of what needs to be done and how to do it to achieve something. To complete my tasks successfully, I often use this well-known tactic called the SMART goal method to understand the tasks in place, their priority, and the time commitment required. This tactic helps me determine daily, weekly, and monthly goals for my team and me while improving productivity. When we were challenged to host an entire dance function in 30 days, there was no room for error. Using the SMART goal technique, I delegated priority tasks daily to my team, and we hosted a very successful function in a minimal amount of time, making it seem effortless.”
4. How would you approach disagreements within your team?
Now is the right time to show your interviewers that you can defuse any verbal bomb in the workplace, one of the greatest qualities a leader can have. Showing a light on how you approach this situation positively while making the best of a bad situation can help impress them easily.
Sample Answer: “Disagreements tend to occur when one feels they have not been allowed to express themselves completely. I believe one can handle negative things with a positive approach. We encountered a disagreement when two team members approached a problem with different solutions. I approached it with no preconceived notions about choosing the right solution. I told them to prepare a detailed study, analysis, and plan of action, and the best course would be chosen. This enabled me to create this negative space into a positive one that also had some healthy competition. It further brought out the best in them, and they presented two unique solutions to the problem. Finally, they combined their ideas to form the most optimized solution.”
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5. Describe your strengths and weakness in being a leader
This question can be quite tricky. It is essential to highlight the right traits for a good impression. Attaining the perfect balance of strength and weakness is a must. Only speaking about your strengths might make you look phony or a fraud. The right approach is showing that you can make mistakes yet try to work on them.
Sample Answer: “ I would definitely say that my strengths would be patience, decisiveness, approving abilities, and positivity. However, my weakness, although not too shabby, would be conflict resolution and avoidance. I believe in complete transparency with just the right amount of diplomacy to deal with situations that give rise to negative outcomes.”
6. How do you make difficult decisions as a leader?
This question is asked to see how you deal with difficult situations. It allows you to show off your problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, and pressure-handling skills. It determines whether or not you are capable of dealing with tough situations and could potentially determine if you are suited for leadership roles or not.
Sample Answer: “ I was once given an opportunity to allow my team to attend a weekend retreat organized by the company. This was needed more than ever as my team had worked exceptionally hard over the last few months. However, we were packed with deadlines that required hard work and effort. The decision was difficult as we had many things coming up, yet my team deserved a reward. Finally, I decided to let my team know they were in a rush the coming week to make up for lost time and meet deadlines but could enjoy the retreat hosted by the organization. I thought about my team’s well-being and mental health and came up with this decision.”
All in all, the leadership interview questions and answers depend on your caliber and confidence as well. The questions asked could be variations of the above. You must ensure you speak about the right incidents that portray your leadership and soft skills. Soft skills and leadership skills are two faces of the same coin. In order to master one, you need to be well-versed with the other.
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