Behavioural Interview Question – Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills
In this post, we’ll talk about the question: “Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills.” This question comes to us from a reader by the name of Isuru, so thank you Isuru (I hope I’m saying your name correctly).
In this post, we will cover:
- Why this question is asked
- How to answer the question (with an example)
- And how to wrap it up gracefully
Let’s get to it:
All right, why is this question asked?
They want to see how you directed somebody or a group of people or led a team, or how you turned around a situation that wasn’t doing well.
For the purpose of this post, we are going to use the S.A.R.I. and an example.
If you’re not familiar with the S.A.R.I. formula, it stands for Situation, Action, Result and Interesting features.
So, to tell a complete story, you need a beginning, a middle and an end, and the story should be fun and interesting to listen to, so that’s what we’re going to do here. You should paint a clear picture with your story.
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If you do love reading, let’s get back to it…
So, how to answer…
STEP 1: Situation
For example, say that you were assigned to a new team, and this team wasn’t doing very well, and they weren’t very happy because they had a lot of changes happen in their department in the last little while, so you were dealing with a disgruntled team, and you just come into the situation. So, that’s how you set the stage.
STEP 2: Action
What action did you take? What did you do? It’s extremely important here that you talk about specifically what YOU did and not what “we” did or how “we” proceeded because that doesn’t matter. They just want to know about you specifically.
Now, continuing with our example, say some of the actions that you may have taken were scheduling one-on-one meetings with each person on the team, where you asked them some questions around what they thought was going on with the team, what was holding them back, and what each person thought that you should do as their new manager/team lead coming in to fix the situation. And you also asked them what they would like to happen, what their ideal outcome would be.
STEP 3: Result
So, here is where you talk about your happy ending. For example, in this example, say you took action on the main thing the team had mentioned that was holding them back. Say you talked to everyone on the team, and they all kind of mentioned the same key thing, and you now keep one-on-one meetings weekly on the calendar to make sure that the team stays strong and are communicating with you, and everyone is a lot happier now, and you’re proud of the work the team did and of the turnaround. So, that would be an example of a great result with a happy.
STEP 4: #BONUS Interesting features
So, here you can talk about things like servant leadership, or you can mention resources that we’ve used in the past, books you’ve read, employee engagement nuggets of wisdom. It can be anything that you found interesting looking back at the situation and what really helped you turn it around.
And there you have it : An example of leadership skills and how they were demonstrated. Now, if you don’t have an example like this, don’t worry.
You don’t have to lead a group of soldiers into battle to have a good story about leadership. It can start with just one person.
If you’d like to dive deeper with me…
If you want some help coming up with your own impressive story answers for interview questions…
If you have ever blanked when asked one of these questions…
I’ve got you covered in my famous downloadable guide.
All you have to do is click on the image below to get it.
What you’ll get inside the guide:
If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…
I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!
You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.
By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!
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And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.
I’ll see you next time and I can’t wait!
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