In order to see if you would be a successful leader at the company, a hiring manager might ask, “What are the attributes of a good leader?” or something similar regarding leadership.
The point of asking this question is to see what you consider to be good leadership traits. This allows the interviewer to get an idea of how you would lead if put in charge of an assignment. Even if the position you are applying for is lower-ranking, the interviewer wants to see if you have the right idea of what it would take to advance in the organization.
Points to Emphasize
This question is an excellent way to talk about the skills and attributes you possess that allow you to effectively lead, and it is a good way to mention experiences where you had to lead.
- Mention the skills you believe make a good leader.
- Talk about experiences where you demonstrated those skills.
- Talk about why those skills are important to an effective leader.
- Discuss times where you have had to lead a team.
Telling the employer your opinion on what makes a great leader will give them a good sense of how you would fit in to the rest of the organization.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are some easy traps to fall into when answering this question, especially if you have never really held a high-ranking leadership position.
- Don’t just talk about yourself; talk about important leadership skills you have seen in others.
- Don’t simply list traits without applying them to yourself or the position you are applying to.
- Avoid bragging about yourself.
- Don’t say that you have never led a group of people.
Even if you are applying for an entry-level job, you can still talk about times where you had to motivate people.
A good response to a leadership-based question should go something like this:
I believe an effective leader needs to be decisive but at the same time, needs to know when to listen to others. I regularly led workshops at my previous job, and when we were discussing marketing strategies, I told my co-workers what needed to be done, but at the end, I opened the floor to comments and ideas.
The qualities that make a good leader will differ for everyone. The most important thing when answering this question is showing that you have a clear image in mind of what makes a good leader. A great response will show the interviewer that you have what it takes to advance through the ranks and really succeed.