Leadership Interview Questions

Below are a few leadership interview questions you can ask candidates. With these questions, you can test leadership styles, skills and leadership experience of a candidate.



Why ask leadership interview questions to candidates?

When recruiting for a senior position, look for soft skills in candidates that may exhibit their leadership styles. These can include:

  • Integrity: How they follow company policies, manage work relations and handle confidential information to become a role model for other employees.
  • Communication: How they present their ideas and concerns in front of other employees, managers, and clients.
  • Delegation: If they consider employees’ weaknesses and strengths while assigning duties.
  • Motivation: How they use acknowledgment and feedback to increase efficiency.
Good leaders add value to the company by promoting a cooperative environment and welcoming new ideas. Leadership interview questions help HR Managers in knowing about a candidate’s style of working more clearly. Use job-related examples to find out how candidates:

  • Reach decisions
  • Handle conflicts in a team and approach challenges
  • Motivate their co-workers/subordinates
  • Manager a team to achieve targets
The below-given interview questions can also help you in knowing the leadership potential of candidates, even if they are interviewing for a junior level profile. Employees with leadership skills and experience tend to show commitment to their job and overcome hurdles in a timely manner.
With these leadership interview questions, you can find out if the candidates have what is required to be a great leader.

Leadership interview questions to ask candidates

  • Have you ever had a tough time in maintaining the work-life balance? How did you solve the problem?
  • Tell me about a time when you lead a project. What was the result of the project?
  • Tell me about a time your suggestion improved the company in some manner.
  • How did you ensure it was implemented?
  • Describe your leadership style.
  • How do you decide the compensation of team members?
  • How do you keep your team motivated?
  • How do you monitor the performance of every team member?
  • Two employees leave your team a few days before the deadline of an important project. How would you change your leadership style to deliver the project on time?

Tips to assess leadership skills in interviews

  • All candidates will claim to have motivational and communication skills. Situational and behavioral interview questions will help you in identifying how they use these skills in their job roles.
  • Leadership is not just about knowledge. A good leader works towards the company’s goals and contributes to its long-term growth. Look for candidates who are interested in developing their careers and want to grow.
  • Team leaders are responsible for hiring and training new members. Ask questions to know how familiar they are with these procedures.
  • A good leader remains calm during difficult situations. Use work related leadership examples to find out how candidates react to challenges and approach complex situations.
  • Ask leadership questions that help you know about candidates’ creativity. Employees who can make immediate decisions during difficult times can prove important for your company.

Red Flags

  • Making excuses or blaming others: Employees in leadership positions who don’t take responsibility for their mistakes might ruin the balance of the team. Look for trustworthy candidates who focus on finding solutions rather than complaining about problems.
  • Arrogant nature: Just because you are a team leader doesn’t mean you can order people around or be bossy. Great leaders know when to take team members’ suggestion and value everyone’s contribution.
  • Inflexibility: Experienced leadership professionals might be used to a particular way of thinking. To be a good leader, candidates should be flexible to work in different conditions.
  • Dishonest answers: If you feel a candidate is giving false answers, this shows they lack professionalism. Leaders generally play a strategic role in an organization, so look for ethical and honest employees who don’t hesitate in admitting their faults.
  • Pessimistic personality: It is important that professionals in leadership positions promote positive team environments. Pessimist candidates will have a tough time motivating their team members.