Best Interview Questions for Leadership Roles

Best Interview Questions to Ask for Leadership Roles image of woman interviewing man for leadership position

Best Interview Questions for Leadership Roles

Hiring for a leadership role is a lengthy process that requires a lot more detail in the hiring process, as well as the interviewing process. Even experienced hiring managers know that the entire process requires much more time, effort, and resources to make sure that their companies hire the best candidate for the open role. The interview is the best opportunity to really get to know the candidate and this means that as the interviewer, you need a strong arsenal of questions to make sure they are the right person for the company and the leadership team. In this article, we will be listing some of the best interview questions to ask when interviewing someone for a leadership role.

Most Common Interview Questions for Leadership Jobs

Before we get into our list of leadership interview questions, here are some of the most common questions asked during a leadership interview:

  • “What leadership skills do you find most useful?” –this question allows you to see how a candidate defines leadership in their own terms and see what skills they value in this position. It also gives you a chance to find out what their soft skills are and if they value communication skills.
  • “How do you describe your leadership style?” –asking this gives you the opportunity to see if their style of leadership or if their management style will be a good fit for your company and will add to your workplace culture.
  • “How do you handle disagreements on your team?” –ask this question to find out how the applicant handles adversity among the employees on their team and if they add any personal experience to the answer.
  • “What was a difficult decision you made as a leader?” –when asking this, you want to make sure that the candidate gives a detailed account of their decision-making skills and how they would potentially interact with their employees, especially in a difficult situation.

Best Interview Questions to Ask in an Interview for a Leadership Role

Here are some of the best interview questions when conducting an interview with a qualified candidate for a leadership position with your company or organization:

“How do you build and maintain trust with your team?”

For a management role or any team leader, trust is the foundation of success. For the leader, their ability to build and maintain trust is pivotal to their overall success in their position. Asking a candidate about their approach to building trust and how they maintain it through times of stress and conflict can tell you a lot about them and how they fit into your company culture and company values.

“How does a leader differ from a manager?”

In the working world, there is an important difference between being a manager and being a leader. For your company or organization, you want to find the ideal candidate who understands that leaders add value to your workplace and influence positive change with their impactful work. Finding innovative and driven candidates for leadership roles can create a healthy work environment and help evolve your business to reach its full potential.

“How do you set priorities when you’re managing multiple projects at once?”

One of the most difficult parts of being in a leadership role is managing multiple projects at one time, even when it seems to be fairly simple for some. During the interview process, asking this question can tell you more about their leadership, organizational skills, how they manage their workload, and what their flexibility looks like in a professional setting. Good leaders can problem solve, are quick thinkers, and know how to prioritize projects.

“How did you execute a successful project or initiative?”

A great leadership question to ask during an interview, this allows you to see for yourself if they are an effective leader and can get their hands dirty in their work or if they just need a large budget and a talented team. The candidate should be able to explain every step and strategy of the project in detail. This can also give some insight into their leadership potential and if they will be a strong leader for your company.

“How did your last disagreement go?”

While the perfect world in where there are no disagreements would be amazing, especially in the world of business, but unfortunately that is not realistic. Sometimes people will disagree about something if they are passionate about the success of the company. When done correctly and constructively, fighting can allow differences and ideas to be hashed out and a solution will come from it. This question can give some insight into the candidate’s emotional intelligence, as well as some insight into how they carried themselves in their previous position.

“Name some situations in which a leader may fail and tell me about a time you failed as a leader”

There are several factors that can lead to failure, including ones that are out of the control of the leader. This is a great way to see if the candidate has humility in their work and is willing to admit that they did indeed fail but have since learned from the situation and have experienced professional growth, adding to their leadership experience and relevant experience.

“Have you encouraged the learning and professional development of your employees?”

This is a great question to see if the candidate can demonstrate being an effective leader that helps develop their employees. A good leader that offers development opportunities to their employees shows that they have the best interests of the company going forward. This allows for more employees to gain key skills in their jobs and add more value to the company growth as a whole.

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Looking for your next leader? Scion Executive Search is an award-winning national executive search firm that specializes in pairing companies with outstanding qualified candidates. Our vast national pool of talent is growing every day and our team of industry-expert recruiters are here to help you find your next project manager, vice president, or chief executive officer! We recruit and conduct professional executive searches for contract and direct hire executive roles across the country! Contact us today to start a search or visit our website to learn more about our executive search firm and our core values.