This post provides some of the most important and common interview questions for leadership positions that you should be prepared to answer if you want to succeed at the interview.
Leading a team is a tough job and it requires specific qualities to be successful. Many people have misconceptions about what skills are necessary for a leadership position; these are covered in this post.
Please, read on:
What do Interviewers look for in a Leadership Position?
Most interviewers are mainly concerned with the skills and personality traits of the candidates for a leadership job.
For instance, there needs to be a deep understanding of the job requirements. The candidate also needs to be able to communicate well.
Here is a list of qualities that interviewers look for in applicants for a leadership position:
- Empathy/Nurturing (the ability to care for others)
- Creativity (the capacity to identify new possibilities)
- Perseverance (the power to endure challenge)
- Communication Skills (ability to speak and listen with people)
- Integrity (honesty and trustworthiness)
- Flexibility (ability to adapt or change with circumstances)
- Balance (a sense of priorities that can be achieved)
- Motivation (the power to inspire and direct others)
10 Most Common Interview Questions for Leadership Positions with Answers
Here are some of the most common questions you might face in a leadership job interview, with suggested answers:
- Are you comfortable communicating with others?
Yes I am. I am a very good communicator and have no issues speaking with people. There is a new opportunity to lead a team and I will be able to do so without any difficulties.
2. What are your thoughts on leading a group of people?
I think it will be challenging but I am confident that I can do it. There is one question we all need to face and this is the conflict between our own needs and those of others. This means we should always try and put other’s interests before our own, as far as is possible.
3. How would your friends describe you?
I think they would say that I am an outgoing person who is confident in their abilities. I do not fear new opportunities and always make the very best of them.
There are also times when others need me to support them, even though at the moment I do not see what help I can offer.
4. What exactly did you fancy most about your previous job?
I liked the fact that I was always able to help others and support them when they needed it.
This is an important quality for any leader, as it means we should be looking out for people and watching over them.
More Common Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
5. What do you think are the attributes that makes a good leader?
The first thing is to consider the needs of others and ensure they are met. We all want to be appreciated for what we do, so this can be a key factor in gaining respect and loyalty from those under you.
It also means that we do not favour one group or individual over another, which has a positive effect on productivity.
6. Do you like to stick to a schedule or plan, or do you prefer things to be more flexible?
I am used to having a schedule and I know how useful this can be. For instance, it can help ensure that deadlines are met on time and without the need for impromptu arrangements.
However, every situation is different so there might be times when it is necessary to make changes or take a slightly different course of action.
7. What problems do you like to take on and why?
I like to work with people who need support and guidance, as this means I can help them build their confidence and feel more comfortable in their surroundings. I am always trying to improve myself and I like to help others make changes too.
Additional Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
8. How do you think you can make a difference as a leader?
I want to help others realize their full potential and achieve their goals. This means gaining a deeper understanding of what is important to them and then going the extra mile to ensure that they have all the support that they need.
Sometimes, people need guidance and encouragement so I want to be there for them when they need it most.
9. How would you define success in this role?
Success is about achieving the right balance between our own needs and those of others.
As a leader, we are responsible for helping people reach their full potential, but also looking after our own needs at the same time.
10. Paint a picture of your ideal work environment for me?
I like to have a schedule and be able to plan things out in advance, but I also appreciate flexibility and the opportunity to think on my feet when needed.
An interesting problem is always welcome, too! This shows that there are still opportunities for professional development and that we should be able to overcome challenges.
More Sample Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
Here are additional samples of typical interview questions for leadership positions you can use in preparing for your next interview:
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- How do you measure success?
- What motivates you to succeed?
- When were you most satisfied in your career?
- Give me an example of a goal that is important to you.
- What type of leaders do best work for you?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- Can you point out the best decision you have made as a leader?
- How do you think your team would describe you?
- What’s your preference, working alone or with others?
- When did something go wrong in your career and what did you do?
- If there were one thing that could be done differently about your company, what would it be?
Sample Competency Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
1. What is your favorite leadership quality?
2. How would you make things up, If you don’t possess all the prerequisite skills to do a job?
3. If I were your supervisor and gave you this assignment [insert project description], what would you have done differently? Why?
4. How do you handle failure and what have you learned from your mistakes?
5. What is your approach to managing conflict?
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- What is your biggest customer complaint?
- How do you handle a employee who has been consistently not pulling their weight?
- A lot of newer employees at my company are choosing to leave due to competitive salary offers from other companies. What would you do in this situation?
- A client wants us to increase the price on one of our most popular products, but we can’t afford it and if we refuse they will take their business elsewhere. Is it better for the company’s bottom-line just to let his happen or should we do something about it?
- We’re running an advertisement that veers too much away from what we sell and just doesn’t seem appropriate for our audience. Should I add more photos or add some text?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- Describe a time when you were faced with difficult team member.
- What would your direct reports say about you?
- Do you have the qualities of a leader that we are looking for in this position?
- What should team members want from their leaders?
- Are you able to work with all kinds of personalities? Can you tell me about a time when you were faced with this challenge?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- Can you articulate your skills?
- What is your team management experience like?
- How would you handle an employee who talks to the boss instead of talking to their direct supervisor?
- How do you motivate people on a daily basis in order to get things done and have everyone feel good about it when they leave at the end of the day?
- Are you able to converse with different personalities types, from CFOs down low in accounting all the way up top level executives?
Sample Interpersonal Skills Based Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- What would you do in a meeting when an employee says something offensive?
- Name 3 qualities that make a great leader.
- In your opinion, what makes a team player?
- Have you ever been passed up for a promotion? How did you feel about the decision?
- In what ways can I help my employees to develop their potential and grow within the company culture while retaining their sense of individuality and creativity?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- How would you motivate a team to succeed?
- How do you think about talent acquisition and retention?
- Do you have an idea of how the company should evolve over the next 5 years?
- Can you identify a current struggle for leadership at this point in our history, and what would be your solution to fixing it within the limitations placed on us as business owners or managers?
- Why should we hire YOU for this leadership position over someone else that has more experience than yourself
Sample Leadership Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- What are your strengths?
- What are you weaknesses?
- How do you handle conflict with people on your team?
- Give me an example of a time when something went wrong – what did you do to fix it?
- Can you tell me about any problems that might have occurred in the past, how did they impact employees and what was done to address them?
Sample Management Interview Questions for Leadership Positions
- Briefly describe your leadership style?
- Tell me about yourself
- Name one of your most successful accomplishments.
- Give us an example of an instance where collaborating with others improved results.
- If you were leading an organization, what are the top three things you would do to improve its performance?
Leadership Position Interview Success Tips
Here are some useful tips to apply to your preparation when next you are interviewing for a leadership position:
1. Understand and answer the interviewer’s key questions.
2. Keep an eye on the balance between your emotional intelligence and your IQ.
3. Stay calm and in control in difficult situations, and make sure to handle conflict well.
4. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong because it shows maturity and leadership potential.
The interview questions presented on this page have given you a good idea of the kind of questions you should expect to answer when seeking for a leadership job position.
You will therefore be able to prepare adequately for your upcoming interview and stand a better chance of being hired for the leadership position that you are seeking.