General Question

Poser's avatar

If you had to interview someone for a leadership position, what are some questions you'd ask them?

Asked by Poser (7782 points ) April 15th, 2009

Assume they are applying for a position for a higher level of leadership and responsibility than they’ve so far been entrusted with. What would you ask them to identify their ethical and leadership abilities?

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9 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

1. What is teamwork, in your own words, and why is it important in accomplishing objectives?

2. What are your strengths that you can apply in a supervisory role? What are your weaknesses that you can improve on?

3. What prior experience(s) do you have, if any, in a leadership role and in what capacity was it?

4. What are your future short and long term goals?

asmonet's avatar

Yeah, @Bluefreedom covered it.

Switch the perspective though.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I would ask him/her how to handle specific situations. Give him/her scenarios with fairly difficult particulars to see what kind of judgment call they make.

Are they the type of leader who rules with an iron fist? Are they the buddy buddy leader? Do they balance the two? Ask them what kind of leader they think they are.

qashqai's avatar

Have you ever failed? Why?

Leadership is rather easy when everything goes fine.

If he/she tells me he/she never failed than I wouldn’t pick him/her.

DrBill's avatar

There are some good questions here. I would also create several feasible job scenarios and ask what they would do in that case. These can be setup to test ethics and morals.

Mr_M's avatar

Definitely find out if they can (and how WELL they can) separate their emotions from their intellect when they make management decisions.

Ask them: 1.The company has certain policies in stone. One is “no more then two weeks off for vacation”. An employee calls you FROM vacation and says they need another week. What do you do?

2. When is it OK to go AGAINST written policies?

3. John is an “above-and-beyond” worker. He worked late at the office yesterday and you allow him to come in late today. Mary claims she wrote her reports at her house late last night and wants to come in late, too. Mary is only a mediocre worker. Do you let her?

4. Mary DOES do a lot of typing from her home. Can she take home some office computer paper to offset her personal costs?

5. Say the company has a strict dress code. Today you’re understaffed. Mary comes in with her “Friday Night Fun” attire. WAY too extreme. Do you send her home? What do you do?

6. Say there is a written policy you feel is very, very wrong. Do you allow employees to violate it?

7. You hear through the grapevine that Mary is going to go to Human Resources and say you’re giving her a hard time because she’s a woman and that you’re prejudiced against women. What do you do?

8. John tells you that he wants to start cross dressing, Do you let him come into the office dressed as a woman when you KNOW it will be a distraction to others, including clients?

mattbrowne's avatar

I’ve conducted many interviews. One of the most important questions when it comes to leadership are

1) What was your greatest achievement during your business career?
2) Why?
3) What was your biggest personal crisis during your business career?
4) How did you handle it?

JustPlainBarb's avatar

1. Do you know how to motivate people?
2. Do you know how to listen?
3. Are you easily approachable?
4. Do you value each and every member of your team .. no matter what their position?
5. Do you lead by example?

These are just a few things I find important in a leader.

6rant6's avatar

How do you feel about someone challenging your leadership, questioning whether you’ve made the right decision? (They’d better have a constructive response to this, because it’s going to happen. It can either be a benefit or a major source of dysfunction.)

How do you balance these three things: Doing what you’re told to do, doing what you believe is the best way to achieve the GOALS of your superior although they differ from the DIRECTIONS given by your superior, and doing the thing that benefits the people you work with the most? (If they don’t recognize that every day they will be required to do that balancing act, then they are at least in need of training.)

What place do you think sacrifice has in [organizational unit]? (I’d want them to at least recognize that they may have to make some sacrifices and that the people the lead may be called on to make sacrifices. They’d better have some thoughts about how to balance sacrifices they ask for with the needs of the organization. I’d be very skeptical of anyone who said, “I’d sacrifice anything to lead this unit.”)

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