Job Interview: Leadership Questions

It is important for you as an employer to identify the leadership capabilities of any individual who will serve in a leadership role in your organization. Additionally, the most successful organizations are one that foster leadership in all of their employees at every level of the organization.

These sample interview questions will help you identify the leadership potential of your candidate. Feel free to use these questions in your interview or use them as models when you develop your own questions.


  • You decided to reorganize the department or work unit you lead. Tell me how you proceed with the reorganization?
  • Have you ever been a member of a successful team? If so, describe the role that you played in the team and in its success.
  • Give me an example of a time when you played a leadership role in an event, an activity, or in a project. Describe how you led the efforts.
  • Think about the times when you have had to perform in a leadership role and tell me how people responded to your leadership efforts?
  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did it happen? How did you handle it?
  • If I were to ask your reporting staff or your peers to comment about your leadership style, strengths and weaknesses, how do you think they would response?
  • Would you rather that your team respected or feared you?
  • Share with me about the time when you created agreement and shared purpose from a situation in which all parties originally differed in opinion, approach, and objectives.
  • As a leader, you must often build support for goals and projects from people who do not report to you and over whom you have no authority. Tell me about a situation in which you demonstrated that you can build the needed support.
  • What are the three most important values you demonstrate as a leader? Tell me a story that demonstrates each of these leadership values in practice within your workplace.
  • During your work experiences while attending college, tell me about a time when you demonstrated that you have leadership ability and skill.


Always start out by understanding the qualities and characteristics that you seek in a leader. It is useful if you have created beforehand a leadership profile that identifies the skills and traits of successful leaders within your organization.

Leadership style is best demonstrated in stories. Self-examination and commentary are self-serving, at best, in an interview setting.


For Motivation interview questions, read on.

 For Unusual interview questions, read on.



Source: McKinsey (image)