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Interview Question Database

Skill Specific

Skill specific questions are asked to determine if you have the knowledge and skills to sufficiently perform the required job. When answering skill specific questions, demonstrate that you are capable and the best fit for the job.

Leadership

QUESTION INTENT

Employers are interested in investing into future hires who have the potential to become competent leaders within the organization and can maximize the success of the company. They will be looking for candidates who have strong ethics and morals, can supporting their colleagues to keep learning and growing as professionals, and foster belonging through clear communication and capacity building.

Tell me about a time that demonstrates your leadership skills. How have you resolved difficult situations in the past by taking on a leadership role?

Many jobs present opportunity for career growth through changes in your responsibilities and tasks. In this case, the employer wants to know that your ability to lead has been proven. This question may also be used to assess your management potential.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Using an example, demonstrate how you have confidently led a team in the past, be it at school, work, or an extracurricular activity. Notice that the second part of the question asks about resolving conflict. For this reason, select an example that involves a disagreement of some kind. Detail the problem, how you used your leadership skills to address the issue, and of course, the positive outcome.

How do you determine if a task or project is at risk?

This question lets you see how applicants monitor tasks and projects, identify issues and make certain the team is helping the company achieve its main goals.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Team leaders have a responsibility to communicate team goals. They must ensure work is completed by the deadline and at the quality level that's expected by upper management and customers. Therefore, you want to elaborate that you have those qualities and traits. Your answer should include should touch upon how you would communicate expectations and collaborate with team members, demonstrate your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and explain your management style.  Example: "First, I communicate work expectations clearly to team members, being sure to highlight everything that's been communicated to me from managers and executives. This reduces the chance of failure. Second, throughout a task or project, I monitor key performance indicators to see if the team is on schedule, within budget and producing quality work. I also ask that team members maintain constant communication with me throughout the project. This allows me to anticipate and identify problems before they arise and reduce any negative effects."

What do you do if there's a disagreement within your team?

The interviewer would like to see your ability to get everyone working towards the same common goal as this is what defines the success of the team.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

You will want to show the interviewer examples of your decision-making and problem-solving approaches. You may be able to speak about times you have managed conflict and were able to resolve things. It s advisable to state your opinion of the value of teamwork.  Example: "I do not employ a top-down leadership style because I believe a leader should act like a supportive coach. I give my team members space to unleash their talent while providing constructive feedback, regular performance reviews and training sessions. I aim to run an open, transparent and honest operation. My goal is to know employees well so I can help them grow and improve. This is how the team wins."

Are there similarities between being a team leader and a coach?

The interviewer would like to know your opinion of leadership and how you would implement your style of leadership.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

There are various ways to answer this question. For example, great team leaders don't simply dictate work be done from their office. They encourage team members, provide feedback and offer skills development. They're similar to great sports coaches. You will want the interviewers to see your leadership capability/style, how committed you are to developing a strong team and whether you can provide constructive criticism.  Example: "Given all the data we have today, it's essential that team leaders analyze and extract insights from that data to increase effectiveness. My opinion is that the metrics a team focuses on should strongly link to a company's strategic objectives. In a general sense, I always look at quantity, quality and time. For instance, to measure the quality of work, it's important to look at the number of errors and customer satisfaction. Another thing I measure is employee morale and engagement because those can make or break a team."

How do you interview prospective team members?

Many companies ask team leaders to participate in the interview process for applicants to their team. Since team leaders are so close to the front line, management values their input. Look for answers that clearly illustrate what you value in team members.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Your answer should include your view on the skills and characteristics a team needs, demonstration of your ability to interview and identify talented workers and an explanation of your opinion on the importance of team culture.  Example: "As a team leader, I aim to build a superstar team, not just a team of superstars. I make sure applicants have the necessary hard skills but also look at important soft skills, such as written and oral communication, logical thinking, adaptability, attention to detail and reliability. In addition to questions to check experience and credentials, I would ask behavioral, competency and opinion questions during the interview, as well as a brain teaser or two."

Explain a situation where you served as a leader during: a group project, an organized work project or activity, or a community service project. Explain in detail your role and how individuals responded to your leadership.


Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Pick a time and explain the context of the project, what you had to do and the result.

Please share with me time when you effectively delegated.


Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Firstly, describe the situation and task. Next, describe what actions were taken to accomplish your team's task. In order to demonstrate you are a proficient leader, your answer can focus on how your leadership aided your team members to complete their actions. Lastly, talk about the results to wrap it all together. 

Tell me of instance where you lead by example.


Answer Tips

Answer Tips

To lead by examples means to create a picture of what is possible for your team. In other word, when you lead by example, you make it easier for others to follow you. When answering this question. Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Concisely describe what you did and how it affected others on the team. 

Tell me about someone you have mentored or coached to achieve success?

Coaching and mentoring is a common way for company's to develop their employees. The interviewer would like to see if you can share your knowledge, if you are able to teach others and how you interact with others.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Focus on improvements you use in your mentee after coaching them. Put emphasis on how much you think your guidance helped that person, but don’t be too conceited about it. Justify what you saw and how it worked with an example. 

If your managers were asked to rate your leadership skills, how would they reply? What would subordinates say about your leadership style?

You may get this question even if you are not applying for an explicit leadership position. The interviewer would like gauge your leadership ability and see how comfortable you are doing it.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Even if you have never been an position formally called a "leader", do not say you have never been a leadership position. There are many scenarios where what you did could translate into leadership. Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Focus an specific instance where your actions and initiative made an impact on your team's success. Common leadership styles include: leading by example, leading by facilitating communication and leading by delegation of tasks.   

Explain a circumstance where you made a decision without all the relevant facts.

The interviewer wants to see how you deal with tricky situations.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Choose a relevant professional scenario that reflects how you handled a difficult situation.  Prepare this example prior to the interview to avoid sounding negative or passive aggressive during delivery. In this case, accept accountability to demonstrate to the interview you can learn from complications. 

What steps do you take to resolve complicated problems?


Answer Tips

Explain a situation where you made an incorrect conclusion. What factors led to it?


Answer Tips

Explain a time when you changed an opinion after acquiring new facts and data.


Answer Tips

Should a decision maker be right all the time?


Answer Tips

What can you do for this company?

The interview wants to know how you can be an asset to the company. That is, what experience, skills and qualifications will you bring if you are hired and whether you can success in this position. This question can also be phrased as "Why should we hire you?".

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Use the STAR technique - Situation, Action, Task, Result. Use concrete examples of projects and teams you have worked on to demonstrate your skill and experience. Relate these experience to what you can do in the future.