Embed from Getty Images This is one of a series of posts based on LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions’ Guide: 30 Behavioral Interview Questions to Identify High-Potential Candidates. Here’s the list of the qualities managers value:
Leadership is a slippery concept. It’s not strictly confined to actual leaders of a company; we hope to see it at all levels of an organization. That means it’s an important quality to spot early – leadership potential is more valuable to the company in the long run than technical skills. But how do you define it? I found a great list pf leadership qualities on the website of Queensland, Australia’s small business site. Here’s what it says: Though different leadership styles can be used at different times in a business, some character traits are important for all leaders:
- self-awareness – understanding your own strengths and weaknesses
- decisiveness – the ability to make decisions quickly
- fairness – treating others equally
- enthusiasm – motivating a team with a positive attitude
- integrity – earning the respect of your team
- knowledge – keeping abreast of the facts and figures
- creativity and imagination – coming up with new and innovative ideas
- endurance – persevering when things go wrong.
It’s as good a list as I’ve ever seen. How can you interview to uncover these qualities? Here are the questions managers suggested to determine leadership.
- Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to see things your way. What steps did you take? What were the results?
- Give me an example of a time when you felt you led by example. What did you do and how did others react?
- Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months.
I would add these:
- What do you do at work on a regular basis that’s not part of your job description?
- Tell me about a time something went wrong at work and you took over. What happened?
- Tell me about the first time in your career you thought of yourself as a leader.
If a candidate has no answer for these questions, he or she hasn’t yet adopted a leadership mindset. That’s the essential first step to true leadership. John Maxwell once said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” None of those actions requires a manager’s title on a business card.