Leadership has found its way into almost the entire job descriptions needed in today’s world and consequently, it has become an increasingly asked frequent question in an interview.
How to answer “What is Your Leadership Style” in an interview?
Read further to know more:
Here are some tips and tricks to answer this question in an interview to gain the sweet points!
- Always give a positive answer and this goes on for all the interview questions. Never say you’ve never led anyone, it gives the impression of an amateur.
- Try to develop some incidence or a story experience from your life that you can use to emphasize your leadership skills but make it short.
- Either follow a generic leadership method (to be discussed in detail later on) or make it sound like you have a particular method that works best for yourself.
- Lastly, be confident in answering and do not lie about any of the above. You should be prepared but not mugged up with an answer.
How to select a Particular Style for your Leadership?
A leadership style is a leader’s method of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. It would be easy to just go on google and take a quiz to determine your leadership style, but that is not the case. “Life isn’t that simple!”
Common Leadership Styles In The Workplace:
- Lead by Example – A leader who demonstrates what is to be done by the entire team and how specifically it is to be done. The leader is at the front end of the work and makes sure everyone is doing their part.
- Lead by Facilitating Communication – A leader whose strength is communication and motivation. The leader is the one facilitating communication in the team and tries to avoid any discrepancies in the work.
- Lead by Delegating – The leader is great at delegating and finding the strengths of other team members. He/she tries to give each person a chance to do what they’re best at and create a team effort that delivers a result. It is based on the philosophy of “unity is strength”.
- Transactional Leading – When the leader provides someone a list of tasks and asks them to accomplish those tasks. It is the simplest form of leadership and needs other skills to make it effective.
- Transformational Leading – The leader provides groups of people insights to achieve their work better by describing the challenge and the ideal outcome for it.
After reading these styles you must be wondering, which one of them is yours? If yes, then you are on the right track.
The main aim of asking this question to candidates is to understand how will they deal with people under them and if you’ve had experience handling a team.
The answer to this question can be only found in your experience. Be it in your previous job, or college, or even high school where you found yourself leading a group project.
WHAT MAKES UP A GOOD ANSWER OR WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE ANSWERED
What exactly is your leadership style?
How can you prove how it is leadership?
If you are flexible or rigid in your practices?
An example (preferably with values or data) to show your style
How your leadership will benefit the company?
Whether you are a Passive, Active, or Hybrid leader?
Is it “I” or “we” for you?
Keeping in mind the above points you can frame a reply that will answer all these and Voila!! You have a perfectly structured answer to explain your leadership styles. But beware of the pitfalls in this answer and make sure to keep in mind the following DON’TS.
Never answer that you have a rigid or a single leadership style. Leadership entails flexibility. The best way to answer is that you change or mold your style according to the different circumstances and then give your preferred style.
Ignore a company’s culture and give a generic fixed answer for every job, company, and position you applied for. Give a customized answer for every company touching upon their culture and the nature of your job along with what your job description entails.
Make up a story about your middle school (for freshers) that is irrelevant to the context of leadership and can be easily termed as a false story. Instead, narrate a real-life experience of leading a team.
Here are some examples for you to refer to and curate your answer to the question “What is Your Leadership Style?”
Once, I had to finish a project with a tight deadline while shorthanded. The first order of business was to redistribute the workload. I held a meeting, and we mapped out the project. I asked for volunteers to take on the extra tasks, after delegating most of them to myself. I opted for a pace-setting managerial style. I set a fast pace, taking work from team members who couldn’t perform and assigning it to others. We finished the project in a state of exhaustion. But the team admired the fact that I rolled up my sleeves and joined them. My supervisor asked me to turn the experience into a workshop for others. Later, the project won an industry award that made the team very proud.
For me, the best approach to management is to switch back and forth between styles. But when I have the downtime, I like to encourage the team to bond. A good manager invests in building a close-knit team that works well together. Of course, this managerial style only pays off in the long run. For more immediate crises, I choose to reassign tasks or pick up the slack myself. I use threats and negative motivation only as a last resort. Here the candidate shows flexibility in their management style.