Whether you are applying for an entry-level or more experienced position, many interviewers ask, “What are the qualities of a good leader A bad leader”
Even if you do not have much experience leading a group of people, it is still important to have an idea of what a good leader should be. Conversely, it is also a good idea to have a definition of a bad leader so that you know what to watch out for and what habits you need to avoid in your own work ethic. A hiring manager asking this question wants to see if you have the right philosophy to excel in the position and be an asset to the company.
Points to Emphasize
You might be asked about both types of leaders, or you might be asked about one or the other. Either way, certain aspects should be present in your response.
- Fully answer both questions if asked
- Talk about the skills of a good leader that you possess.
- Discuss examples of when you displayed the qualities of a good leader
- Emphasize how you would apply the skills of a good leader to the position you are applying for
The ability to lead is highly sought after in a number of professions, so make it clear that you have what it takes to assume responsibilities.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Companies need leaders, so when answering any leadership question, avoid these common mistakes.
- Avoid associating yourself with any bad leadership qualities
- Don’t just talk about traits; relate them to the position
- Don’t speak negatively about a previous employer who may have been a bad leader
- Don’t get nervous if you have never actually had a leadership position
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and even having just a couple traits of a good leader is enough to bring up in an interview.
Answering a leadership question should go something like this:
I believe an effective leader needs to remain positive and encourage everyone on the team to perform at their best. At my last job, I led a special marketing team and we had a project that was fast approaching its deadline. I helped keep everyone’s spirit up, and we were able to finish it on time. I believe in that situation, a bad leader would have been unsympathetic toward the stress everyone else was feeling.
No matter what career field you are entering, you are going to run into good leaders and bad leaders, and it is important to convey the fact that you understand the difference between the two.