How to Spot Future Leaders in Interviews

Every company is constantly searching for new leaders. This is not an easy process to undertake, but it must be done right if the company wants to find someone who will lead departments or the entire organization. The first step in the process, and the most important step, is screening job candidates during the job interviews. This is where you need to determine if the candidate is worth receiving a job offer because they have what it takes to be a leader.

Find Out What Other Leaders Taught Them

During the job interview, you need to determine what the candidate has learned from other leaders. This can be done by flat-out asking the candidate this question. You then must analyze their answers to this question in order to determine if they will be future leaders for your company. Answers to this question will help you determine if the candidate has mutual respect for other employees, other managers and subordinates.

During this portion of the interview, you want the candidate to showcase their leadership qualities as much as possible. Make it known that you are looking for someone who knows how to manage a team of employees and knows which leadership methods to use during specific situations on the job.

Learn About Previous Leadership Experience

As you continue to speak with the job candidate, you must determine what type of previous leadership experience the candidate has. Make sure you ask the right questions during this portion of the interview, or else you will not receive the answers you want.

You will want the candidate to describe a previous experience at a current job or a former one where they need to display leadership skills. This situation could have been as an employee taking charge during a difficult project, as a team manager helping the team meet a tight deadline or as an employee taking initiative at the office without being asked.

Make Interview Questions Open-Ended

The best way to determine if your job candidate is going to be a strong leader for your company is by asking open-ended questions. When you ask questions that require simple yes or no answers, you will not be able to gauge the leadership qualities of the candidate.

An excellent open-ended question for such an interview will ask the candidate if they have ever tried to perform a job or task that they were not qualified for at the time. If the answer is yes, this shows the interviewer how dedicated the candidate is to the job and to the employer by trying to go above and beyond their responsibilities.
A job interview is the perfect place to start when determining if a candidate is a future leader for your company. Make sure the questions you ask are open-ended, and allow the candidate the ability to showcase their prior leadership experience.

Share It