During your next interview, you likely will be asked to share examples that demonstrate your leadership abilities. This is true for any job, not just management positions.
Because every employee is a leader in some way, leadership skills are essential for success in any role. For instance, you might be asked to lead a project or train a coworker to use new technology you are proficient with.
Leadership skills are essential for career growth. As a result, you must be able to demonstrate them during an interview.
Follow these guidelines to use examples to demonstrate your leadership abilities in your next interview.
Clarify Your Definition of Leadership
Define what leadership means to you. This sets the foundation for answering questions about being a leader.
Customizing your definition of leadership shows self-awareness. It demonstrates how you reflected on what being a leader means to you and that it is a journey.
Consider what you believe makes a strong leader. Include the type of leader you are and want to be.
Think about your experiences as an employee and a leader. Determine what did and did not work for you. For instance, perhaps you excelled in work environments with clear, ongoing communication among teammates and team leaders throughout a project’s duration.
Write down the qualities, skills, and actions you value in a leader. Then, use your list to define what leadership means to you.
Decide on a Story to Share
Think about the types of leadership situations that may come up in the role you desire. Include the leadership skills required to navigate these situations. Use these details to determine which story to share regarding your leadership experience.
For instance, the job description may mention leading specific cross-functional projects. In this case, you could talk about a successful project you lead with coworkers from different departments.
Keep in mind that you do not need to have held a leadership title to demonstrate your leadership skills. Perhaps you helped a coworker better manage their time. Or, maybe you stepped in and gave a presentation when a colleague who organized a meeting was absent due to illness.
Structure Your Answer
Use one or two sentences to define what leadership means to you. Then, use the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) to organize your response to an interview question about your leadership abilities.
Briefly outline the situation. Include the details needed to understand your story.
Then, describe the task you undertook. Explain what your responsibility in the situation was.
Next, discuss the action you took. Be sure to frame it in terms of your leadership abilities.
Finally, share the concrete, quantifiable results of your actions. Include what you learned about leadership from the experience.
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