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10 Leadership Interview Questions You Should Prepare for and How to Answer (With Examples)

Recruiters want employees that can lead any team to success. Knowing how to answer leadership interview questions enables you to uniquely highlight your leadership skills during an interview.

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Recruiters want employees that can lead any team to success. Knowing how to answer leadership interview questions enables you to uniquely highlight your leadership skills during an interview.

Photo credit: ono kosuki

Whether you are a seasoned professional applying for a managerial role or a junior professional looking to accelerate your career, you should expect and prepare to answer questions seeking insights into your leadership skills.

Before you dig into the details about leadership interview questions, let’s take a step back and examine what leadership is. Leadership skills, as the name implies – are the skills required to be a good leader, whether as a team lead, working as a manager, or taking on an even more senior position.

Some of these skills include: -


  • Empathy

  • Effective Communication

  • Creativity

  • Trustworthiness

  • Influence

  • Time Management

  • Accountability

  • Ability to delegate

  • Listening skills

  • Being a team player

Leadership means different things to different people, so recruiters often ask specific questions to get insights into your leadership abilities, traits, and attributes. Now, let’s take a closer look at 10 leadership interview questions and how to answer them.


1. How would you describe your leadership style?

This question is usually the ice breaker. Here, the recruiter simply wants to know if your leadership style aligns with the organizational structure and culture. Do not respond to this question by saying you have a strategy or system; this might make you seem rigid. Also, feel free to give specific examples if possible.

Example answer - “I would describe my leadership style as open and receptive. I enjoy brainstorming with my team and sharing ideas to build a better plan. Staying involved is also very important to me; rather than just delegating tasks every time, I love to put hands-on effort into making sure my team excels. For example, in my last job, we had a situation where…….”


2. Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership

This is a very open-ended question that gives an opportunity to highlight your experiences. Take a minute to answer with the most relevant experience you’ve had as a manager.

Example answer - “During my time with my last employer, we had a period of downtime with sales in the company due to some internal issues. I took the initiative to develop an internal and external PR campaign to resolve this issue. I organized a team comprised of team heads; together, we came up with an effective strategy to execute the initiative. We came up with an activity timeline and assigned tasks. I oversaw all phases of the campaign, ensuring that it was a success. I reached out regularly to ensure all challenges were resolved and all the boxes were being checked.”


3. Tell me about a time you failed as a leader and the steps you took to resolve the situation

With this question, the recruiter wants to see your human side and how you can adapt and take charge in tough times. Be honest; state the problem you had alongside the steps you took to resolve it.

Example answer 1- “In my previous role as a marketing manager, I was in charge of coming up with marketing strategies for the company. My team and I had planned a marketing campaign, and during the execution phase, we experienced some blockers that threatened the campaign's success. My team was under immense pressure and was overwhelmed with various blockers that led to the campaign's failures. What I did to resolve this was taking time with my team to evaluate the campaign carefully and identify all blockers. We were then able to come up with an even better plan that was eventually a success.”

Example answer 2 - “I can’t remember a specific instance at the moment, but in my opinion, a leader fails when their goals don’t align with that of the company, or successes don’t directly contribute to the growth of the company. Leaders can also fail when they aren’t provided with appropriate resources and time to execute projects successfully.”


4. How do you motivate your team members?

Be straightforward and precise with your answer. How do you stay motivated, and how can you keep people under you motivated and excited to work?

Example answer - “Keeping your team motivated is of paramount importance. I prefer to find out what keeps each of my team members motivated because different things work for different people. This will help me understand how I should approach them about their goals, what motivates them, and how they can create value for the company.”


5. What is your greatest strength?

This is another opportunity to sell your skills and highlight your past achievements.

Example answer - “My greatest strength is my keen eye for details. I’ve always been detail-oriented in my work, and I enjoy teaching others. I saw on your job description that this role involves a lot of detail-oriented work, which is one of the reasons I applied.”


6. What is your greatest weakness?

With strength comes some weakness. Like the question that addresses your failures, this question also highlights your adaptable and human side. Be honest and show signs of acceptance and progression.

Example answer - “My greatest weakness is that I am my biggest critic. I tend to overcorrect briefs or rework my strategies in a bid to make them as perfect as possible. To help myself improve in this area, I give myself deadlines for revisions. This helps ensure that I’m not making changes at the last minute.”


7. What’s your strategy for conflict resolution?

Leaders lead in all areas, when the going is good and when the going is bad. As a leader, you are meant to be an arbitrator and mediator. Give the recruiter brief details into your conflict resolution style and back it up with real-life examples.

Example answer - “I take a mediation approach to conflict. I believe it’s important to listen to both sides and understand where each is coming from. There is usually some common ground between conflicted parties, and I start there and build.”


8. How do you delegate responsibilities to your team?

Delegation is part of leadership. Tell recruiters your best approach to assigning tasks and how you would most likely go about it.

Example answer - “I match up responsibilities with each member’s strengths. I also believe in giving opportunities to team members who might want to broaden their skills under my leadership. Once tasks have been assigned, I follow up and follow through till the task is complete.”


9. Do you encourage the development of your team members, and how?

Personal development and team development are essential traits in a leader. 

Example answer - ”I lead by example. I believe in constant and consistent growth; if I read a book, I'll share it with my team members to read and incentivize the process. It’s also essential for me to find out what my team members are interested in and further motivate them to gain knowledge in that thing rather than forcing them to do what I want.”


10. How do you, as a leader, measure your success?

Give a concise and straightforward answer. Be analytical in your answer; this will show the recruiter that your ethics are detailed and precise.

Example answer - “Success for me is when my company wins; it’s when my team wins collectively and not just me. Before any task is executed, I feel it’s essential to set KPIs to guide execution and measure the success of that task. For instance, in my previous company…….”



Being a leader isn’t easy, and answering leadership interview questions to satisfaction is even more challenging. You not only need to have the right answers but also, the skills to match. Do your research on the company you are interviewing for and learn as much as you can about it; try getting insights into their work culture, current leaders, and leadership styles. If you’re looking to review your professional progress as an individual, here's a quick read for you.

Written by

Eseosa Osayimwen

Excited about creating content that drives revenue, build trust and tells stories.

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