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How to answer Leadership interview questions

An interview is a meeting when a prospective employer evaluates whether:

  1. the interviewee is eligible for the current role they are being interviewed for

  2. the interviewee is capable of handling future leadership roles in the organization

  3. the interviewee is able to align with the vision, values and culture of the organization

The interviewee should keep these factors in mind when answering the interview questions.

Below are some often-asked interview questions and also some tips on how to handle these leadership interview questions. Please be honest and truthful during your interview. If you are asked about a situational issue that you have not personally experienced or handled, admit that straightaway and then state how you think you would handle it if the situation comes up.

  • How would you handle pressure as a Leader? Every leader would be expected to deal with stress and pressure situations at work. What the interviewer is evaluating is whether you would panic and falter when faced with such situations or whether you would have a professional and systematic approach to address the pressure.Answer the question in a calm manner stating the approach you have for handling such situations – what process and criteria you would use to delegate tasks, how you would rally the team around and lead them without stressing them. A leader should always have the presence of mind to take the best decisions. You should state how you would achieve that strategic thinking mind-set.

  • What is your experience of working with a diverse group of people? Diversity and inclusion have become the current global buzz words in the corporate world. Organizations like to be seen as being sensitive about and promoting diversity among employees and being inclusive through various organizational initiatives.

When answering this question, ensure that you come across as empathic, accepting and promoting cultural diversity and inclusiveness. If you have previously been involved in such roles, mention the success stories that you have had. If you had planned and implemented initiatives that were well received, they should be mentioned. Mention any programs or courses that you attended or offered to help gain or impart such skills.

  • How do you deal with workplace conflicts? There are difference kinds of workplace conflicts. Conflicts generally tend to be people related. But this may not always be the case. You can have other types of conflicts too in the workplace, such as:

    • Relationship conflict

    • Task conflict

    • Process conflict

    • Status / Power conflict

    • Workstyle conflict

    • Value conflict

When answering this question, you should mention both the interpersonal and other conflicts to project your awareness of the existence of other types of workplace conflicts. Use examples to show how you might attempt to get to the root of a conflict, how you would address the conflict, come up with a solution which is the best for the organization and acceptable to the people involved so that both parties feel comfortable with the solution you suggested. Again, mention any conflict management courses or programs that you may have attended.

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