4 Leadership Interview Questions that Immediately Reveal Potential Leaders

Most hiring managers typically equate leadership with personality traits like confidence, charisma and extroversion.

However, Psychologist, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic has explained that what it takes to obtain a leadership role is often the very opposite of what it takes to do it well and keep that role.

If you’re simply making leadership decisions based upon one’s personality traits or a “hunch,” you’ll soon find that those seemingly positive traits can backfire, with things like overconfidence and narcissism emerging.

This article proposes a better way of vetting potential leaders by asking behavioral interview questions.

Even if you are simply hiring for the most junior position on your team, it is never too early to spot a candidate’s leadership potential.

Here are 4 interview questions that immediately reveal potential leaders:

1. How Do You Measure Your Performance at Work?

Self-leadership always proceeds the leadership of others. One cannot be an effective leader to others without first powerfully leading themselves.

Therefore, any interviewer needs an idea of how a candidate self-evaluates themselves in the workplace.

Look at how they set, manage, implement and ensure the effective completion of tasks. When you see how they manage themselves, you will see how they manage a team.

2. Tell Me about a Time You Had to Complete a Task You’d Never Done Before.

The ability to think on your feet is crucial for potential leaders. If a candidate is able to think independently and come up with creative solutions on their own or seek the right help when they need it, then consider the test passed.

While if they immediately pester their supervisors and ask for directions every step of the way, perhaps it’s time to move onto the next interview.

3. What’s Your Process for Making Difficult Decisions, and Can You Give Me a Recent Example?

Being a leader means making hard calls, working without all the information you wish you had and not being afraid of making the wrong decision at times.

If someone isn’t willing to take calculated risks and tidying things up when they go wrong, here is an obvious sign that they’re not made out to be a leader.

While if a candidate is able to assess a given situation and put in trust their decision, then that would be promising.

4. Who Is the Best Boss You’ve Ever Had, and Why?

While this question doesn’t directly focus on the candidate, it does get them opening up about who inspires them and their personal values in the workplace.

For example, the candidate may answer by saying that their best boss was their previous boss, who gave clear tasks and then the freedom to independently complete those tasks without micromanaging.

This gives an immediate glimpse at what sort of foundation and morals the candidate will base their own leadership style off of. From here, you can easily see if their values and what you’re looking for lineup.