What Is Your Leadership Style?

If they’re asking you this question in an interview, it means they care about your leadership ability and are likely using it as a factor in deciding who to hire.

This doesn’t have to be direct leadership. You don’t need to have managed or supervised people in a past job.

  1. Don’t say you’ve never led anyone
    Pick your most impressive leadership experiences as you think back and try to come up with an answer for this. It might be on a sports team, in a class project, or previous jobs.

But whatever you do, don’t answer this interview question by saying, “I’m not really a leader”, or “I’m not sure, I’ve never really led people in the past”.

Find SOMETHING, no matter what. (If you want to get hired, that is).

  1. Sound like you have a method or system that works for you
    There’s no single “right” or “wrong” answer to this interview question… but the hiring manager wants to know you have a system that works for YOU. When they ask, “what’s your leadership style”, they want to hear that you’ve figured out something that consistently works when you’re put in a position to lead.

And you need to sound somewhat reasonable and easy to get along with. Sound likable. Don’t make yourself sound like a dictator or somebody who leads by bossing everyone around. It’s ineffective and definitely won’t get you hired.

  1. Share specific examples if possible
    After you answer the basic question and describe your general style of leadership, I recommend you ask the hiring manager if they want you to go into more detail.

You can say, “do you want me to give an example of a time I’ve done this?”

They’ll probably say “yes”, and if they do, you can tell them a specific story.

(It’s always best to ask though, rather than diving into a super long answer when they might be looking for a quick response. This is a strategy I recommend frequently because it prevents you from annoying the interviewer or giving answers that are too long).