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Top 30 Leadership Interview Questions

When asked, “what is the most important skill you’re looking for in job candidates”, the number one answer given by employers was “leadership”. Leadership is one of the most common competencies (ranked just behind teamwork) that come up in job interviews. Therefore we have compiled our top 40 leadership questions to ask a candidate during an interview.

  1. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
  2. How have you gained commitment from your team?
  3. What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
  4. How can a leader fail? Tell me about a time when you failed as a leader.
  5. As an organization gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?
  6. What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
  7. How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
  8. Describe a time you took a leadership position when you did not have the title of a leader.
  9. Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
  10. Have you ever been a mentor to another aspiring leader? How did you go about establishing that relationship?
  11. Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision?
  12. As a leader, how do you measure success?
  13. How do you or other leaders in your organization communicate the “core values”?
  14. How do you encourage others in your organization to communicate the “core values”?
  15. Do you set aside specific times to cast vision to your employees and other leaders?
  16. How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your “core values”?
  17. What is a leader’s best asset?
  18. How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?
  19. Is competition among a team healthy? Why or why not?
  20. When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?
  21. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
  22. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
  23. Who are the most important members of your team?
  24. What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
  25. What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?
  26. Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking and Web 2.0 has made on your organization or you personally?
  27. How do you achieve objectives in a fast-paced environment?
  28. What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
  29. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
  30. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?