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Leadership Job Interview Questions

The following sample job interview questions about leadership enable you to assess your candidate’s skills in leadership. Feel free to use these job interview questions in your own candidate interviews.

·         You decided to reorganize the department or work unit that you lead. Tell me how you proceeded with the reorganization?

·         Have you ever been a member of a successful team? If so, describe the role you played on the team and in its success.

·         Give me an example of a time when you played a leadership role in an event, an activity, a department or work unit, or a project. Describe how you led the efforts. Tell me how people responded to your leadership.

·         If I were to ask your reporting staff or your peers to comment about your leadership style, your leadership strengths, and your leadership weaknesses, how would they respond? What would this discussion tell me about you as a leader?

·         Tell me about a time when you created agreement and shared purpose from a situation in which all parties originally differed in opinion, approach, and objectives.

·         As a leader within an organization, you must often build support for goals and projects from people who do not report to you and over whom you have no authority.

·         Tell me about a situation in which you demonstrated that you can build the needed support.

·         What are the three most important values you demonstrate as a leader? Tell me a story that demonstrates each of these leadership values in practice within your workplace.

·         During your work experiences while attending college, tell me about a time when you demonstrated that you have leadership ability and skill.

Leadership Job Interview Question Answers

You are questioning to determine whether the candidate has leadership skills or potential. You seek to identify the leadership style of your candidate, from his or her perspective and from the perspective of his or her direct reporting staff and peers. You are determining whether the candidate’s style is congruent with the culture of your organization. It is helpful if you have created beforehand a leadership profile that identifies the skills and traits of successful leaders within your organization.

Leadership style is best demonstrated in stories. Self-examination and commentary is self-serving, at best, in an interview setting. Ask your candidates for many specific stories and examples.

Author: Susan M. Heathfield, Your Guide to Human Resources,


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