Common Leadership Interview Questions and Answers

Leaders play a pivotal role in achieving organizational goals besides motivating their team members to achieve their career goals. The mark of a true leader is that they encourage and motivate the entire team to do their best. This is why interviewers ask a variety of questions that can help in evaluating your personal and professional traits. This determines whether you qualify for leadership roles at managerial and C-suite levels or not.

Leadership interview questions help interviewers analyse your experience in leadership, decision-making skills, and how good are your critical thinking abilities. This is why candidates must go completely prepared to answer all the leadership interview questions with confidence and accuracy. This article will help with some common yet important leadership interview questions and the possible answers to them.

What is the Interviewer’s Approach While Asking Leadership Interview Questions?

Every leadership interview is different. The questions asked in the leadership interview will largely depend on the kind of job you are applying for. However, for nailing leadership interviews, you can follow a technique called STAR.

  • Situation: problem identification and exercising leadership skills
  • Task: talking about the tasks and the solution or route to achieve desired results
  • Action: how the plan was executed, and the team handled
  • Results: this shows the outcomes of the approach taken

The STAR approach will tell the interviewer how efficiently you executed your leadership skills.

The mark of a good leader is value addition to the business with a conducive and collaborative ecosystem and encouraging new ideas. Leadership interview is a way to gauge your working method. In a leadership interview, the following aspects are evaluated.

Motivation: Ability to acknowledge good work and improve team performance and productivity

Delegation: Understanding the team’s ability and assigning relevant duties

Communication: Ability to understand team grievances and motivate them.

Integrity: Ability to deal with work relations in adherence with company’s policies.

Common Leadership Interview Questions and Answers

Now that we know the integral aspects of a leadership interview and what the interviewer looks for, let us look at some leadership interview questions and answers to them.

As a manager, tell us of a time when you successfully demonstrated your leadership skills

This answer to this leadership question will depend on your experience and how well you handled a situation. This is also one of the most important team leader questions, and answers to it can be many. An example could be how you were the marketing team manager, and there was a sudden shift in roles. It was your responsibility to communicate the shift in roles and approach to the team. It was a testing time, but you took time to understand all the details and worked with each team member. You also ensured that members settle into their new roles with ease.

What is your approach to motivating teammates and encouraging them to give their best?

Answer this question with accuracy since it will be a testament to your motivational skills as a leader. Explain the most authentic experience or a situation where motivating and making the team perform was in your hands only. This kind of leadership style interview question is one of the most common ones.

What are the most important values for you as a leader?

The answer to this leadership style interview question should include your entire background. Pinpoint a few most essential values that showcase your leadership side. Some of these could be transparency, patience, diligence, and above all, team spirit.

How open are you to working in a collaborative environment and accepting newer ideas?

Leaders should always be collaborative and receptive to new ideas. This is why this leadership question and your answer to it will be crucial. You can talk about fresh ideas and how they allow you to explore new avenues with team and work.

What is a leader’s best asset?

Make sure to take a realistic approach while answering this question. You can talk about inspiring and motivating people to give their best as an example.

What kind of leader are you?

This question is where your past experiences will come in. Discuss how you have a clear mindset and do not believe in hidden motives or agendas. Say you believe in inspiring and not instilling fear.

What is the most challenging part of being a leader?

This question will test your awareness on the fundamentals of leadership. Adopt an optimistic approach and talk about how you will handle complicated situations with tact.

How do you measure your success as a leader?

To these kinds of team leader interview questions, your answers should be concise and straightforward. Do not sound confused, instead, be confident.

How will you deal with failure?

While answering such leadership interview questions, talk about dealing with failures with the right approach. Explain how you handled setbacks and encountered challenges.
No matter how difficult the questions appear, make sure you answer with real-life examples instead of sugarcoating the responses. An honest approach can fetch you better prospects.

How to Nail a Leadership Interview?

  • Make sure to prepare in advance and remember situations in correlation with the STAR technique.
  • Take your time to understand the questions properly before answering them.
  • Be specific and concise. Use examples from real situations wherever possible.
  • Do not waffle, rather, limit your answers to key points.
  • Avoid badmouthing former co-workers. This will indicate your positive side.
  • Do not talk about situations where you were unable to redeem yourself.

While these were some basics, there are various leadership courses offered by Emeritus prepare you for tackling all the potential challenges head-on. These courses are aimed at honing your leadership skills and ensuring that you ace any interview and job you apply for. Check out our leadership courses yourself!

Stay up to date! Get the latest content delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the Emeritus Newsletter for our latest blogs, free bite-sized videos, course updates & more.

Courses on Leadership Category