Leadership Competencies Interview
Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of interview questions for a LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES INTERVIEW:

Q1. Describe the toughest team you’ve ever managed? Why were they so difficult to manage and what did you do to turn things around?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“I joined a team a few years ago whilst working for a new and innovative organization. A team had been put in place who were all full of fresh ideas and talent. It was my job to manage the team towards achieving the organization’s objectives. The team was particularly difficult to manage because there were so many intelligent, enthusiastic and innovative people who all wanted to lead the team in their own direction. Whilst I did not want to stifle creativeness or hunger, I had to take control and lead the team towards my own goals and objectives. I achieved this by initially holding meetings both at the start of the week, and also towards the end. I set clear meeting objectives each time we met, and I held each person accountable for their specific roles. By spending time with each team member twice a week, I was eventually able to establish full control of the team and ensure that we were all working towards my own agenda. I feel I have the correct qualities, and leadership attributes to the led the most difficult of teams and would never shy away from a difficult leadership challenge whenever it presented itself.”

Q2. Tell me about a time at work when something went wrong and you took control?

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“I was working on a project with 4 other team members and I felt the project deadlines were in danger of being missed. Having analysed the project timelines, and the milestone target dates that had been set, it was becoming apparent to me that we were going to miss them because a small number of team members were not, in my opinion, doing the work they were supposed to. I decided to take control as I was passionate about the project and I knew the consequences would not be good if we failed to deliver the project on time. I called a team meeting and expressed my concerns in an open and positive manner. I used facts to explain my concerns and also suggested a plan of action for getting things back on track. Without identifying specific individuals who were at fault, I focused the suggested plan of action on the wider team efforts and made sure we all took responsibility for the project moving forward. Although it was an awkward meeting, everyone agreed to my plan and, after 4 more weeks of hard work, we managed get the project over the finishing line and to the required standard.”

Q3. Tell me one thing you most like about leading and managing people, and one thing you dislike?
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Q4. Explain a situation you were in where you had a disagreement with a colleague or a client?
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Q5. How would you develop a team to get the most out of them?
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Q6. Describe a time when you delegated effectively?
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Q7. Tell me the most difficult decision you have ever had to make at work?
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Q8. Describe a time when you resolved conflict within a team?
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Q9. Explain a situation you were in when you used effective negotiation and persuasion techniques to achieve at task or objectives?
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Q10. What are the 3 main strengths you possess that will make you an effective leader?
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Q11. What’s your biggest weakness?
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Q12. What are your salary expectations in this leadership role?
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Leadership Competencies


Competencies are a set of assessable skills, qualities and attributes that ensure you can perform your chosen leadership and management role to the required standard. When attending any form of leadership competencies interview, it is absolutely vital you not only identify the competencies being assessed, but that you also provide solid evidence of where you meet each and every one of them.

Below, we have provided you with a number of sample leadership competencies to help you prepare for your interview:

MANAGING AND LEADING – Being able to lead, manage, motivate and inspire a team to be the best they can be whilst achieving your employers’ goals and targets.

DELEGATION – The skill of allocating tasks to key individual team members based on strengths and abilities.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION – Being able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with team members, the senior management team and external clients and stakeholders.

DECISION MAKING SKILLS – Capable of making tough and difficult decisions as and when required for the benefit of the organization.

NEGOTIATION & PERSUASION – Using effective negotiation and persuasion skills to achieve the results you need in order to work towards the organizational values, goals and objectives.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – Using the appropriate levels of empathy when needed, whilst managing your team.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS – Being able to communicate and take the appropriate action when dealing with a variety of individuals and teams from diverse situations and backgrounds.

Of course, the above list of leadership competencies forms only a small part of the large number that are available to organizations during any form of leadership and management interview.

3 TIPS FOR PASSING A LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES INTERVIEW!

TIP #1 – The first and probably most important tip when preparing for any type of leadership competency interview, is to remember how important it is to provide evidence-based answers to the interview questions being posed. The most effective way to achieve this is to structure you answers using the following STAR method:

SITUATION – Start off by telling the interview panel the situation you were in.

TASK – Now, tell the interview panel the task that needed to be done by either you or the team you are leading and managing.

ACTION – You can now move on to the most in-depth element of your answer, which is to describe the action you took whilst completing the task.

RESULT – The penultimate part of your structured answers to leadership competencies interview questions, is to tell the panel the outcome of your actions. For obvious reasons, the results should always be positive.

REFLECTION – The ‘reflection’ element of your answer is an additional part which shows a high level of maturity and professionalism. During the ‘reflection’ aspect of the answer, tell the interview panel what you learnt from the experience and also what you would do differently next time.

TIP #2 – Before you attend your leadership interview, we recommend you obtain a copy of the assessable competencies for your specific role. This will then enable you to confirm the competencies that are going to be assessed and, more importantly, predict the interview questions that will be asked.

TIP #3 – During your leadership interview, do not be afraid to tell the panel where you have either made a mistake in the past, or when you failed to deliver a goal or target. The important thing to remember is that you continually learn and develop as a leader, you are positive about each situation you find yourself in, and you are passionate about continually growing, learning and developing.

To ensure you score highly during your leadership interview, we recommend you obtain a copy of our LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS guide, which you can instantly download on this page.

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