leadership interview questions and answers


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Leadership Interview questions and answers

Leadership is a very important position to work in the corporate sector and the large and medium-sized business houses. Similarly, You have to be prepared for the interview. Since this is a very important position in any organization. Therefore, the interview might be a bit tougher than you think. So here are the best leadership interview questions and answers.

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What do you know about the concept of leadership?

Leadership is the art of influencing and inspiring the behavior of others in accordance with the requirement. Similarly, It is the personal quality of an individual who organizes the efforts of individuals and directs them to achieve common objectives. This is one of the important questions that is asked in the leadership interview

leadership interview questions and answers

In fact, leadership is a process of influencing human behavior. Further, Talking about the leadership interview questions and answers; will help you to get through. Furthermore, It is the influence that is exercised by the leader on his group members to achieve a specified objective in a given situation.

Moreover, a person is said to be a leader when his group members are willing to accept his instructions, guidance, and suggestions. Therefore, Only a successful leader is able to influence his followers. This is one of the best leadership interview questions and answers.

Leadership is applicable to managers. Above, And a successful manager must have leadership qualities to influence the behavior of his subordinates.

He has to lead his subordinates in such a manner that organizational and individual objectives can be achieved. Therefore, the manager must have a complete vision of how to operate resources and achieve organizational objectives. Therefore, Leadership interview questions and answers that are asked in almost every interview.

Moreover, it can be concluded from the above definition that leadership is the ability to influence the behavior and performance of an individual or group of individuals toward the achievement of common objectives.

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Nature/Characteristics of leadership:

On the basis of the above discussions and the knowledge about leadership, we can find out the following basic features: This is the most important leadership interview questions and answers as well.

  1. Process of interpersonal influence
  2. Leaders and followers
  3. Common goals
  4. Continuous exercise
  5. Leadership is situational
  6. Rest on power
  7. Blend of inspiration, motivation, and communication

The above points are explained as below in details;

Process of interpersonal influence:

Talking about leadership interview questions and answers. This will surely hit you in your leadership interview. Leadership is a process of interpersonal influence. Similarly, A leader, in it, influences the behavior and activities of subordinates in accordance with organizational requirements.

leadership interview questions and answers

Leaders and followers:

There should be a mutual relationship between a leader and followers. Moreover, Followers are supposed to follow their leader’s foot/steps only by getting inspiration from his conduct, ability, and behavior.

Similarly, followers influence the leader through their performance, effort, and behavior. Indeed, they influence the behavior of each other through mutual wish and not by the use of authority.

Common goals:

Leadership aims at the pursuit of common goals, in other words, a leader and followers must have common objectives. The leader directs and guides the followers to gain planned objectives. If you are looking for leadership interview questions and answers these are the best.

Similarly, Followers also perform their activities in accordance with directions from the leader. Above all, there is no meaning of leadership if the objectives of the leader and followers are different. Therefore, the interests of individuals and those of organizations should be the same.

Continuous exercise:

Leadership is a continuous managerial process until the existence of an organization. Furthermore, Their managers have to influence the behavior and performance of subordinates on a regular basis.

Whenever leadership becomes poor, the performance of people turns into a mere routine function and organizational effectiveness may decrease. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the manager to direct and guide the subordinates regularly.

Leadership is situational:

The role of leadership assumes significance in critical situations. Similarly, It is the duty of the leader to inspire subordinates to overcome the critical situation and help them to lead to the destination in a successful way.

Moreover, A leader must be innovative and creative to handle difficult and unexpected situations. Furthermore, These questions are the most asked questions in the leadership interview questions and answers.

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Rest on power:

Leadership rests on power rather than formal authority. Here, power focuses on the personal outstanding qualities of the leader through which he influences the followers.

Therefore, In the context of the manager, some formal authority is rested due to managerial designation. But, at this stage, there is little value of formal authority in comparison to power i.e. personal quality.

Blend of inspiration, motivation, and communication: Leadership is a blend of inspiration, motivation, and communication. Therefore, It is the process of influencing the behavior and performance of followers by inspiring them.

Furthermore, A leader has to apply appropriate motivational tools (incentives) to inspire subordinates. Moreover, For this, there must be a free and complete flow of information between managers and subordinates. In the absence of anyone element, a leadership mission cannot be successful.

What are the functions of leadership?

is the art of influencing the behavior and performance of others to achieve common goals. As a leader, a manager has to perform various types of functions. Therefore, All activities of the organization totally concentrate on the functions of the manager.

leadership interview questions and answers

What are the major roles that a managerial leader plays in the organization?

Goals determination:

This is the primary function of a manager. As a leader of the organization, it is the responsibility of the manager to establish organizational objectives. Similarly, He determines both the short-term and long-term goals of the organization.

Moreover, The determination of goals is mental work that needs creativity and vision. Furthermore, For setting goals, he might have to take technical and logical support from skilled persons.

Coordinate organizational activities:

A leader plays the role of coordinator. Organizational activities are divided into different groups on the basis of their nature. Moreover, A separate department is created for each work and handed over to a responsible person.

Furthermore, It is the responsibility of the manager to maintain coordination among all the departments and their activities. Similarly, But it is a must to gain the determined in meetings, conferences, seminars, and other programs.

Represent the organization:

As a leader, a manager represents his group and also the organization. He makes an agreement and contracts with outside organizations and authorities on behalf of the organization.

Similarly, He also represents the organization while participating in meetings, conferences, seminars, and other programs.

Integrate objectives:

A manager plays an important role in integrating both individual and organizational objectives.

Furthermore, In it, the workers might see their best performance when they feel that their personal objectives will be fulfilled after the attainment managerial 

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Thus, when employees perform their work by using their best effort and efficiency, it will become easy to gain organizational objectives.

Direct and motivate staff:

The manager is responsible for implementing plans. After designing and organizational structure. Therefore, A manager has to divide work among the staff and given clear instructions on how to discharge the given responsibilities.

Furthermore, a manager has to inspire and induce groups and individuals to perform the job efficiently.

leadership interview questions and answers

Organize activities:

As ahead of the organization, a manager has to organize many activities of the enterprise. These activities involve production, distribution, etc.

Therefore, which is essential to identify various types of activities to be performed in the organization. And again on the basis of their nature, they should be divided into groups and delegated to responsible employees.

Encourage teamwork:

The feeling of teamwork among all the authorities of the organization is a must to gain common objectives. Furthermore, It is the responsibility of leaders to encourage all the subordinates to work as a group.

Similarly, For this, he has to maintain coordination among all the departments and individuals working in the organization.


Communication is an important tool for the outflow of information in and outside the organization. Above all, The manager provides instructions, guidance, and suggestions to the subordinates through appropriate means of communication.

Similarly, In a similar manner, he gets feedback on output and problems also through the means of information. Thus, it is the responsibility of the manager to develop a proper communication system in the organization.

Take initiation:

Change in organizational structure, procedures, and process of work is a must to adjust to the changing environment of business. Therefore, a successful leader always initiates changes in accordance with the requirements.

Above all, He should communicate the areas of changes by clearing the logical reasons for changes. Similarly, He should overcome the resistance of change by showing the positive impact of changes on organizational affairs.

Control and supervision:

Controlling is one of the important functions of a manager to measure actual achievement of work with that of planned works and take corrective actions.

Similarly, For this, it is the responsibility of the manager to supervise the performance of subordinates according to time and situation. But, corrective action must be taken if any defect in the activities is found.

What are the Leadership styles that the organization follow?

Leadership is the process of influencing the subordinates so that they can perform their works willingly and enthusiastically to achieve common goals.

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Therefore, The philosophy of leadership might either be superior oriented or subordinate oriented. Generally, it is associated with the power or authority of the leader.

The widely accepted leadership styles are as follows:

Autocratic leadership:

This is also known as authoritarian and dictatorial leadership. In this leadership, the leader has the sole authority to make a decision. In other words, a leader believes in centralized power and expects all decisions from him without consultation with subordinates.

Therefore, He always expects subordinates to accept his decisions without any comment. In short, he behaves like a dictator.

As a leader, the manager centralizes total power with him and enjoys full authority and bears the responsibility for the organization. Similarly, He determines plans and policies independently and implements them accordingly to his knowledge and logic.

Furthermore, He never takes any suggestions and guidance from his subordinates. He solves every problem of the organization himself. Therefore, He also defines what to do and how to do the work to subordinates.

Moreover, He determines rewards to obedient and efficient subordinates and holds out threats of punishment to inefficient or indiscipline subordinates.

In autocratic leadership, there is a system of one-way communication. In it, the information on instruction and guidance only flows from top-level to the subordinate level.

Moreover, This autocratic leadership can also be sub-classified into two groups strict autocracy and benevolent autocracy.

In a strict autocracy, a leader always uses negative motivation. He motivates the subordinates by threatening them with a penalty, punishment, demotion, etc. Similarly, A leader is all in all in each and every activity of the organization.

In a benevolent autocracy, a leader uses positive motivation. He encourages subordinates by giving incentives like promotion, more remuneration, etc. In some situations, he also takes suggestions and guidance from subordinates.

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Democratic leadership

This is a liberal type of leadership which is also known as participative leadership. Under this type of leadership, a leader believes in the decentralization of power and invites subordinates in the decision making process.

Similarly, This leadership style is suitable and practicable where subordinates are trained, experienced, and skilled.

Moreover, The upper level of management takes suggestions, guidance, and information from subordinates for the preparation of plans and policies. Therefore, It emphasizes participative management.

In democratic leadership, a two-way communication system exists. Similarly, There the information on instruction and guidance flows from the top level to the subordinates.

Whereas the information on achievement, problems, and suggestions flows from the subordinate level to the upper level. Here, a leader always uses positive motivation and encourages subordinates are independent in doing their work.

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Furthermore, The leader only provides guidance and suggestions at the time of requirement. Moreover, The feeling of team work is developed among all the employees.

Laissez-faire or free rein leadership

Under this style, leaders avoid power and responsibility. They grant authority and responsibility to groups. Above all, The role of the leader, here, is to provide advice and direction as required by the subordinates. Group members perform everything themselves.

Above all, Leader behaves primarily as a group and plays the role of a member only. Therefore, This style is suitable for highly trained and professional staff. There is primarily horizontal communication among the peers.

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Paternalistic style

Under this style, the leader assumes paternal fatherly role. He works to guide, protect and keep followers, who work together as a member of a family happy.

Above all, He makes provision for good working conditions and other necessary services. Therefore, It is hoped that under such leadership, workers will work hard out of gratitude.

In fact, each leadership style is effective when it matches the needs of the situation, the attitude and belief of the work group and leader. Above all, Practically, all leaders have to involve themselves actively in the work of a group.

What are the approaches to leadership?

Several studies on leadership have over the years helped to develop various approaches to leadership. Above all, Broadly, there are three approaches to leadership.

Trait approach to leadership

The trait approach to leadership is based on early research which assumes that a good leader is born and not made. Above all, It is a modification of the great man theory which assumes that leadership qualities can be acquired.

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Similarly, The trait theory of leadership emphasizes that there are certain identifiable qualities that good leaders must possess. Therefore, the Trait approach considers leadership as a set of qualities possessed by an individual.

Above all, Leadership qualities may be in-born or they may be acquired through higher education, training, and practice. Above all, Trait theory is useful in developing training programs for managers at various levels.

Some researches on trait theory emphasize intelligence, initiative, self-confidence, and individuality being superior ability for leadership. Similarly, Others stress intelligence, scholarship, dependability, responsibility, social participation, and socio-economic status as the requisites of leadership.

Therefore, However, the common traits necessary for successful leadership are intelligence, initiative, imagination, optimism, enthusiasm, courage, creativity, originality, communicative ability, self-confidence, human understanding, and a sense of fair play.

Ralph, a prominent leadership scholar, suggests that effective leaders can be seen as having a strong drive for responsibility, task orientation, originality, problem-solving skill.

Moreover, To drive to exercise initiative in social situations, self-confidence, and a sense of personal identity, and the ability to influence other persons.

Edwin Ghiselli made extensive research on leadership effectiveness. Similarly, He studied over 300 managers from 90 different companies and suggested personality traits classifying very important to non-important to become a successful leader.

What are the qualities that the leader have?

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  1. Decisiveness
  2. Intellectual capacity
  3. Job achievement orientation
  4. Self-actualization feelings
  5. Self-confidence
  6. Management ability-team builder
  7. Moderately important
  8. Drive and initiative
  9. Need for a lot of money
  10. Need for job security
  11. Personal maturity

What is the behavioral approach to leadership?

The failure of trait theory to identify the clear-cut set of traits has motivated researches to focus attention on leadership behavior. Therefore, Behavioral theory attempts to describe what an effective leader should perform in day-to-day management.

Similarly, the effective leader is one who performs those acts, and who approach is to identify and measure relevant leadership actions and behavior that leads to enhance subordinate’s productivity and morale.

Moreover, the attention has shifted from who the leaders are to what the effective leaders do, how they delegated tasks, how they communicate, and try to motivate employees.

Several attempts have been made to identify the dimensions of leader behavior during, 1955 and the 1960s.

Furthermore, The two leadership behavior studies that play the role in identifying the leadership are as follows:

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The Ohio state studies

A group of researchers at Ohio state university conducted an extensive study of leadership behavior and effectiveness. Above all, The basic purpose of this study was to identify the independent dimensions of leader behavior and. Furthermore, To determine the effect of these dimensions on work performance and satisfaction.

After considerable research and analysis, the researchers concluded that there were two dimensions of a leader’s behavior: initiating structure and consideration.

Similarly, Initiating structure refers to the extent to which a leader is likely to set goals, define and structure his or her roles, define and organize the task which his followers have to do, specifies work relationships and instructions.

Moreover, it regulates the performance of his group members. Above all, Leaders scoring high initiating structure could achieve high productivity or performance.

Consideration is described as the extent to which the leader has a supportive work relationship characterized by warmth and mutual and mutual trust, good relations, and a respect for feelings, ideas and suggestions of group members.

Moreover, there is a strong concern for the follower’s comfort, well-being, status, and satisfaction. The leader is friendly, approachable, and treats subordinates fairly.

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The two leadership orientations discussed above are independent of each other. That is, a leader may be high in both, high in one while low on the other or low on both.

However, the studies concluded that the combination of high consideration and high initiating structure in leader behavior was likely to result in high productivity and satisfaction at the same time.

University of Michigan studies

Researchers at the University of Michigan, lead by Rensis Likert began studying leadership in the late 1940s.

Similarly, The purpose of this study was to identify the behavioral characteristics of leaders that were related to performance effectiveness.

Above all, After studying a large number of supervisors in several factories, the Michigan group also came up with two dimensions of leadership behavior employee-centered and production centered.

Furthermore, Managers using employee-centered leader behavior allowed sufficient freedom and provided necessary assistance to subordinates.

Similarly, They emphasized interpersonal relations and took a personal interest in the hands of their employees. Above all, Their primary concern was the welfare of subordinates.

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On the other hand, a  production centered leader paid close attention to subordinate’s work, explained work procedures, and regarded group members as the focal points.

What do you know about the managerial grid?

Industrial psychologists Robert R Blake and Jane S. Mouton developed the managerial grid to explain leaders’ behavior. Similarly, They popularized the Ohio state studies by restating manager-leader two major concerns as being for people and for production.

leadership interview questions and answers

Moreover, According to this theory, leaders are most effective when they achieve a high and balanced concern for both people and tasks. Furthermore, Blake and identified five combinations of styles for illustrative purposes, out of 81 possible combinations.

Impoverished leadership:

There is little concern neither for production nor for people. This is the worst style of leadership. Their attitude towards getting things done and maintaining relationships with people are casual.

Furthermore, Exertion of minimum effort is required to get work done and sustain organization members.

Country club leadership:

Under this style, the leader is the primary concern for production. Moreover, He tries to maintain friendly relations with subordinates to motivate people to work with enthusiasm.

Autocratic task management:

The leader is mainly concerned with production and has little concern for people. Similarly, He focuses on task by planning and controlling the production environment.

People’s needs and satisfaction and secondary matters.

Middle of the road leadership: 

This is a safe style where there is a moderate concern for production and people. Above all, The manager attempts to balance and trade-off concern for work in exchange for a satisfactory level of morale a compromiser.

 Team leadership:

This is the most effective combination. This is practiced by those leaders who achieve high production through effective use of participation and involvement of people.

Furthermore, The leader creates a highly encouraging an organizational climate of commitment, cooperation, and trust. Moreover, The leader has maximum concern for both production and people.

The managerial grid is used to assess leadership styles of men and women prior to training. Above all, This style assumes that people can be trained to become 9, 9 leaders.

Moreover, It is a technique of organizational development. In reality, the extreme positions shown in the grid are rarely found.

What is the situational approach to leadership?

The situational approach assumes that an appropriate leader varies from one situation to another. Moreover, The effectiveness of leadership depends on the interaction of the leader’s personal characteristics, the leader’s behavior, and factors in the leadership situation.

Therefore, It is based on the idea that effective leadership cannot be defined by any one factor.

Above all, A successful leader must be adaptive and flexible. Moreover, As the situation changes, the leader must change his style of leadership. Therefore, The situational theory contends that there is no one best style of leadership universally applicable to all situations.

The same leadership style may be effective under one situation and ineffective under the other.

This interaction is commonly expressed in a formula: SL = f (L, F, S ) where SL stands for successful leadership, F stands for function, and L, F, and S are the leader, the follower, and the situation respectively.

Furthermore, So the leader, follower, and the situation must be appropriate for one another if leadership is an attempt is to be successful.

Some of the major studies based on situational perspective are described below:

Do you have the concept of the Fiedler model approach to leadership?

Fred E. Fiedler developed the first contingency model in 1967. Fiedler and the associates made extensive research for more than thirty years and developed a theory called Fielder’s Contingency Theory.

Furthermore, He distinguished two leadership personalities which are task-oriented leaders and human relations oriented leaders.

Fielder’s model suggests that the best leadership style depending on the level of situational control; that is, the degree of power and influence that the leaders possess in a particular situation.

Moreover, situational control is affected by three factors in the following order of importance leader-member relations, task structure in the following order of importance: leader-member relations, task structure, and position power.

How will you maintain the leader-member relations?

Leader-member relations is the degree to which employees trust and respect the leader and are willing to follow his guidance. Furthermore, A leader can be more effective if he is trusted and liked by followers and if they are willing to accept his influence. Furthermore, as per my research and the years in recruitment, this is the frequently asked leadership interview questions and answers.

leadership interview questions and answers

What do you mean by task structure?

Task structure refers to the extent of clarity standardization or ambiguity in the work activities assigned to the group. Therefore, If the task is clear and routine, group members can be easily held responsibilities for performance.

How will you manage the position power?

Position power is the extent to which a leader possesses legitimate, rewarding, and coercive power over subordinates. A leader with less power cannot take such actions.

What do you understand by the Path goal theory?

Like other situational models, the path-goal theory attempts to predict leadership effectiveness in different situations. Similarly, The main functions of a leader are to clarify and set goals by providing guidance, support, and rewards. Above all this is the important leadership interview question.

Moreover, Path goal theory states that effective leaders influence employee’s satisfaction and performance by making their needs satisfaction contingent on effective job performance.

The leader has to facilitate overall learning by helping followers better understand how their actions are linked to organizational rewards. Therefore, Employees make an optimum contribution to the organizational goals where they perceive that their personal satisfaction is dependent on their effective performance. Moreover, He should provide guidance and support to remove difficulties in achieving the goals.

What is the two leadership behavior for path-goal theory?

Directive behavior:

The leader clarifies performance will be the judge. It is the same as task-oriented and initiating structure behavior. Moreover, The leader focuses on planning, organizing, and coordinating the activities of subordinates.

Similarly, The leader tells subordinates what is expected of them and provides specific guidance, schedules, rules, regulations, and standards.

Supportive behavior:

These behaviors provide psychological support for subordinates. Moreover, The leader, in this behavior, is friendly and approachable, makes the work more pleasant, treat employees equally and.

Therefore, shows concern for the status, needs, and well being of employees. The style is similar to the consideration in Ohio state studies.

It ensures that the organization has the right number of employees at the right place at the right time so that human resource problems will be solved when they occur.

Above all, Human resource planning facilities that manager what should be done to ensure the availability of human resources needed by the organization to meet its goals.

In conclusion, Therese were some of the leadership interview questions and answers that will surely come in your interview. Therefore, read well and practice hard.

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