How to assess leadership skills in an interview

Finding the right candidates for leadership roles in any organisation can be challenging. While CVs and resumes can tell you something about the background and achievements of a candidate, it can be harder to assess certain, less tangible aspects of a candidate’s abilities.

Leadership skills can be difficult to ascertain within an interview as they rely on a range of factors that are best observed over time within a specific role. This is particularly the case with candidates who haven’t previously worked in a leadership role.

How can employers assess leadership skills in an interview and are there any leadership assessment interview questions that can help?


How to assess leadership skills in an interview

While there are no universal interview questions to assess leadership there is a range of approaches that can be used to tease out and identify how an individual candidate may respond in a particular situation.

Behavioural questions that require candidates to draw upon their past experiences, such as how they resolved a conflict or responded to a particular challenge, can often provide insights into an individual’s approach. Similarly, scenario-based questions that pose hypothetical leadership challenges can prove instructive in terms of problem-solving and flexibility.

Communication is a cornerstone of effective leadership, so probing into a candidate’s communication style in terms of how they convey information and listen to others, is essential. Asking how a candidate responded to a challenge brought on by miscommunication or misunderstanding can shine a light on their own personal approach to communication issues.

Candidates should be able to describe how they used their motivational skills to inspire others in the workplace, particularly during more challenging times. They should also be adaptable with interview candidates and able to identify when they need to be flexible in their approach in order to achieve results. Questions that explore how a candidate helped to foster a committed team response to a particular challenge can be insightful.

As an interviewer, it can help to think about the key requirements of any leadership role and the attributes your leaders require in order to shape and inform your leadership assessment interview questions.

As well as interview questions, there is a range of other professional leadership assessment tools that can be used to better understand the unique capabilities, strengths, and potential weaknesses of leadership candidates.


How to assess leadership skills in an interview

Proven Leadership Assessment Tools from Leadership Success

At Leadership Success, we’ve helped organisations identify and develop outstanding leadership talent to help drive their success.

Our key leadership assessment tools provide critical insight and information into areas of strength and areas that may need further development among existing and potential leaders.

The Leadership Success suite of assessment tools is comprehensive and easy to deploy across leaders and individual contributors. They can provide valuable insight into potential recruits and the suitability of in-house candidates for leadership roles.

Contact our experienced friendly team today to find out more.


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