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5 Interview Questions to Screen for Leadership Skills

Leadership – Someone who takes on the role of a leader, inspiring and leading teams to meet deadlines and goals.

recent study revealed that organisations with vital leadership development programs achieve 13 times higher business results than those with weak or no leadership initiatives.

Leaders possess the ability to inspire and motivate others, driving your business forward.

Other the other hand, poor leaders can demotivate staff and drive employees to quit. Therefore, regardless of seniority level, employers should always consider a candidate’s leaderships skills, you could be hiring the organisation’s future CEO without realising!

As a result, it’s essential that you screen for leadership qualities in every interview. You might be interviewing for a role that is further down the ladder, but if they show strong growth potential, they could blossom into so much more.

The top 5 interview questions to screen for leadership

When have you led by example in the past? What did you do?

Leading by example is a cornerstone of any good leader. Chances are you do this on a day-to-day basis; you need your future leaders to do the same.

A good leader will understand how their behaviour impacts others. They’ll know how to inspire their team and get the most out of people. This question allows a candidate to demonstrate that a) they understand how their behaviour can affect and inspire others, and b) they have the ability to lead by example.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months?

Making tough decisions are part and parcel of being a good leader.

Every leader needs to able to be decisive when posed with a tough decision, so it’s important to know about how the candidate handles tough decisions (both in and out of work).

Good answers will carefully consider outcomes, and great leaders will seek advice when needed.

Describe a time when something didn’t go according to plan. What was your role in the situation and what was the outcome?

Good candidates will express thoughtful reflection and have a strong sense of ownership.

It’s okay for things to go wrong, it happens, but how we respond to these situations is what separates leaders from followers. You want your candidate to demonstrate that they either took charge of the situation, or helped to find a solution.

If it was their fault, that’s okay too! It’s important that leaders take responsibility when they’ve made mistakes.

Have you ever had to ‘sell’ an idea to your team and how did it go?

Great leaders should listen to the concerns of their co-workers, with the goal of making sure everyone is comfortable with the plan.

Sometimes, there’ll be dissent among the team – ask your candidates for an example and how they got buy-in from their peers; what steps did they take and how did they convince people that their idea was the right idea?

Have you ever had to persuade someone to see something your way? What steps did you take?

Have candidates talk you through the steps they take when convincing someone to see things differently. Do they demonstrate that they are compassionate, understanding, yet assertive?

What techniques do they use to reinforce their viewpoint?

These skills are essential, both as a leader, but also when dealing with tricky clients/customers.

Looking to interview your future leaders?

At Absolute Personnel, we specialise in matching the perfect candidates with their ideal businesses.

We meet every single candidate that we provide to our clients, meaning you can rest assured that you’re interviewing the best of the best.

Let’s talk about your vacant positions. Get in touch with our specialist recruitment team today.

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