Popular Team Leader Interview Questions With Example Answers

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Team leaders applying for a new position must be able to effectively demonstrate their ability to lead during interviews. There are a few different types of leadership questions to consider, and being familiar with these types of questions as well as various examples of common team leader questions can ensure you are as prepared as possible to answer interview questions. Here you will learn what team leader interview questions are, the different types of leadership questions you may encounter during an interview and the most commonly ask team leader interview questions to prepare for.

What are team leader interview questions?

Team leader interview questions are questions that allow the hiring manager to assess a person’s leadership abilities. These questions can vary greatly but typically focus on assessing the soft skills that a candidate possesses. Leadership questions will often require candidates to provide examples of how they handled a particular situation in their previous work history that directly demonstrates some aspect of their capabilities as a leader.

Are there different types of team leader interview questions?

Here are the most frequently used types of leadership interview questions:

Behavioral interview questions

Behavioral questions are asked to determine how a person would behave in a certain situation. These questions, which also may be referred to as competency-based interview questions, involve asking a candidate to describe how they handled a specific situation in their career. For example, a leadership behavioral question may be ‘tell us about a time when you had to give a team member negative feedback and how you handled the situation’.

Operational or situational interview questions

These types of interview questions often involve providing a candidate with a hypothetical situation and then asking them to describe how they would handle that situation as a leader.

Role-specific questions

Role-specific interview questions are used to determine if a candidate can perform the job that they are applying for. For example, an interviewer may ask a role-specific question such as ‘how do you determine each team member’s goals for a project and then keep track of their progress?’

Popular team leader questions to prepare before an interview

The following are popular questions asked during a team leader interview:

What leadership experience do you have?

Interviewers want to know that you have experience in a leadership position. Depending on the job that you are applying for, the hiring manager may be looking for several years of experience or they may want to simply know that you have been exposed to leader-level responsibilities in your previous roles. Your answer should describe specific instances of leadership and mention any job titles that were at a managerial level or higher.

Example: ‘In my previous position, I was in charge of leading a team of three writers that were assigned to complete a newsletter every two weeks. In this role, I had to determine each team member’s skills and then assign tasks according to their abilities. I also had to ensure tasks were completed on time and were ready for production when submitted. Due to my success in this role, I was promoted to managing a team of six writers and eventually oversaw more than 15 writers at a time.’

Describe your ideal manager.

This kind of question allows your interviewer to get a better idea of your opinion on what effective leadership looks like. When answering this question, be specific about the practices that your ideal manager utilizes as well as their particular leadership style.

Example: ‘My ideal manager would be a person who practices and values open communication with team members and other employees. They would ensure that employees are comfortable coming to them with issues or concerns and take the time to fully understand why a team member feels or acts a certain way. Additionally, my ideal manager would ensure that team members were recognized for their successes rather than only noticed when they make mistakes.’

How do you assess success in the workplace?

Hiring managers often ask questions like this to analyze how a person asserts their self-knowledge in a leadership position. These types of questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate the leadership qualities that are being sought after for the position, such as motivation and drive. When answering this question, be sure that you show you care about the success of others and are committed to recognizing their successes as well as helping team members meet their goals.

Example: ‘I believe that each person demonstrates success in a different way and each role within a company will have a different definition of what success looks like. With that being said, team members who meet goals on time, are actively participating in team projects and are willing to be helpful whenever possible are successful in my eyes. I have also learned that when my team is not as successful as they could be, I need to first take a look at myself and how I am leading them before taking steps to help team members be more successful at work.’

How do you handle disagreements that arise between your team members?

Successful teams are often successful because they have an effective leader in place. As an effective leader, you should be able to quell disagreements and ensure that everyone on the team is working towards one goal. When answering this question, be sure to specify how you would handle this challenging situation in a way that would both resolve the conflict as well as encourage team members to get back on track in the right direction.

Example: ‘Disagreements among team members, while not ideal, are often a common part of a healthy team. Being willing to disagree with someone shows that the team member cares about what they do and have an opinion. When a disagreement arises, I would call a team meeting in which the individuals can describe their points of view and feel understood. I would then help them reach a compromise in which both team members can agree upon. If no compromise can be negotiated, I would handle the situation by implementing my own solution and make it clear as to why I chose that solution.’

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