In an interview situation, the interviewers are generally looking for evidence that the interviewee has the skills, knowledge, experience, attitude, aptitude and personal qualities that will best fit with the organisation, the immediate team and the job role. There are no 'correct' answers to any team leader interview questions but there is tremendous value in preparing yourself so that you can go into the interview with confidence and trust that you will show yourself at your best.
When preparing for an interview for a team leader role, it is best to look at every situation in your life where you have led a team, not just in the work place. For example, you may have led or managed a local rugby or sports team, a community enterprise group, or other community group. For each situation you have identified yourself as a leader ask the following team leader interview questions:
1) How did you best communicate with your team?
For example, were you present with the team, in the thick of the action, always around to motivate, support and feedback, or were you absent allowing the team to get on with things independently and supporting them sporadically as needed?
2) What leadership styles did you use? Did you use them at the right times?
For example, a sports team will often respond best to a visionary leader and/or a leader with a coaching style. The visionary leader inspires passion and desire in the team by making the team really believe in themselves and to see their future success and glory as not only possible but probable. The coach uses their experience of the sport and ability to motivate a person to play at their best and keep learning new skills. They are able to coax the best out of their players and their team.
Other examples of leadership styles are: autocratic - this is where a leader directs the action without asking for much creativity or decision making from the individuals in the team themselves, and laisez-faire leadership - this is where leaders allow their teams to get on with things and check in with them now and again to monitor progress and provide feedback.
Using certain leadership styles at the right time can be very important, such as when leading an already highly performing and highly skilled team, you may want to use a liasez-faire leadership style, letting the team get on with things while you focus on strategy and building partnerships with other parts of the organization or other organizations.
3) How did you develop your teams?
For example, were you clear about skills needs in your team? Did you implement clear development plans for individuals and the team? What development activities did you encourage, such as training courses, soft skills workshops, on the job mentoring, coaching, etc?
4) What feedback did you receive from your teams about how you supported them?
It is often the case that you don't know what your key strengths are, especially if those strengths come very naturally to you - you don't see them as anything special. So it is important to reflect on feedback that you received from your teams. What did people often say they appreciated about you? What positive feedback did you get from your bosses or peers? It might also be useful to contact people that used to work in your teams and ask them for feedback - people will remember the great things about you and will usually be only too happy to let you know what they are!
Life Coach & Well-being Consultant