How to Show You are a Leader in an Interview

How to Show You are a Leader in an Interview

Job interviews for management roles require convincing the hiring manager that you are a leader. But all leaders worth their salt know this simple fact:  

"Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions." - Harold S. Geneen

Simply stating, “I am a leader” does not have the same impact as showing it. Learn how to show an employer in a job interview that you are in fact a leader.

Practice the STAR interview method for your answers

Behavioral interview questions give leaders the chance to provide examples from past work experiences to show your leadership qualities. STAR is an acronym for:

  • (S)ituation: Explaining the background of the experience.
  • (T)ask: The particular task you had to perform and the problem it addressed.
  • (A))ction: Actions that were taken and skills used to complete the task.
  • (R)esult: What was the outcome and did you complete the task well.

Ultimately, explain if you solved the problem or not. If yes, proudly state how well the team worked together. If no, do not blame everyone else.

Why? The best leaders know “when one person fails, the team fails”. Leaders are not finger-pointers who assign blame. They take responsibility.

Show your passion when answering questions

Before getting to the interview, know exactly why that company is a good fit for you. You will have to do this eventually when they hire you. The best leaders gain followers because they want to be at work.

Show passion for the company and the position to show you are a leader. And it also makes yourself an attractive candidate.  You will be a leader because you believe in the company. You will portray the company in a positive light.

Speak in a calm and confident voice

Speak in a calm and confident voice throughout the job interview. It will start to convince the interviewer that you are someone who can be trusted under pressure. You will have an easier time speaking with confidence the more you research the company and its success within its industry. People, in general, feel more comfortable speaking to strangers when they possess rich knowledge of a topic.

Talk numbers, not emotions

Leaders have to think of everyone. This requires being aware of everything that is happening. Numbers are great for showing the details behind a team’s accomplishments and even better for showing your accomplishments. Those leaders who do not mention numbers in the interview or on a resume fail to provide evidence of an accomplishment. Do not discuss how everyone felt during and after a project. Instead, try something like this:

  • "Achieved 200% increase in client base and a pipeline increase of 400% leading a team of 9 sales reps."

At the end of an interview, using the tips above you will show the employer that you are a calm, collected leader who knows how to get results!

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