What Are The Qualities Of A Good Leader? – Interview Question with Answers

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What Are The Qualities Of A Good Leader?

Which One Do You Possess The Most?

Tell Me About A Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills

Woah! Seems the whole bag of questions has been poured upon you this time by the interviewer. Well not actually. And that’s because these questions are inter-connected with each other. One question is incomplete without the other and the other is meaningless without a prior one. The interviewer may ask such questions either at one go or they may let you answer one of the questions first and then fire another to you and then the other.

Even if the interviewer doesn’t ask for the third question i.e. the time when you demonstrated the leadership skills, you can and should mention such an example from your real-life scenarios. This gives authenticity and a good weightage to your answer to impress upon the interviewer. Be it any way, you need to answer all of them in a confident tone. And how would you build up that confidence in answer these questions? Well not to your surprise, by actually practicing for the answers before your BIG day i.e. Interview day.

There are numerous leadership skills those you must have read in HR-related subject books or any other self-help books or you may have noticed such skills in some people those you have met in your life. So, how to capture them all in a nutshell and formulate an answer to this question? Do you need to mention every skill that you’ve come across during your interview? If not, then which ones to mention and which ones leave?
Here is the article that was specially written to solve all such queries of yours. This article is dedicated to the purpose of helping you out to formulate a great answer to these questions. Read on to know more.

What The Interviewer Is Trying To Judge?

Beginning with, what the interviewer is looking for in you? Does it just want to check your knowledge about whether or not you know the traits of a good leader? Or he just wants to confirm whether you remember the lesson of HR subject from your graduation days? None of these. The interviewer asks this question because of the following reasons:

1. What qualities you think makes a good leader: The HR manager or the employer is interested in knowing that what the qualities are those you seek in a leader. Which qualities you think makes up to a good leader.

2. Are you aware of such qualities: The interviewer is testing you on your knowledge about the qualities of a good leader because knowing such qualities make up the first step in acquiring them. The person unaware of the qualities cannot be expected to possess them.

3. To get an idea about you: Through the answer to this question, the employer will get to know or have an idea of how you would be if you are placed at some leadership position. Are you eligible to be entrusted with such a responsibility in the future in the organization?

4. To know your qualities from you: The interviewer asks this question to know your views about yourself as a leader. He or she wants to know which qualities you possess to be a successful manager in the future.

5. What situations have you handled before: The aim for asking this question does not get completed only with knowing the qualities of a good leader and which ones do you possess. But, the goal is also to know which situations have you faced in your professional life where you exhibited these qualities.

Apart from the above reasons the interviewer may ask you this question to know your potential to decide your job role in the organization.

Pre-Requisites

Pre-requisites include some tips that you will need before preparing your response to such a question or questions. Certain activities need to be done at your part to come up with a well-formulated answer. Some of them are:

1. Think about all the qualities: ALL THE QUALITIES? YES, all of them. We all know that there are countless qualities that one can think and mention, but still, try to think of the traits those you believe are extremely important for a manager to be successful. Write them all on a paper or make notes of them.

2. Consolidate similar qualities under the same head: Out of all the qualities those you have come up with in form of a list in the previous step, you will find that some of the traits can be consolidated and put under a similar head to cut short the length of your list. For example, if you mention qualities such as generous, helpful, and sweet nature then you can combine all such under the head of ‘Morally accepted behavior’.

3. Further, eliminate the qualities: This thing must be clear to you that not all the qualities need to be mentioned during your interview. The interviewer is not interested in knowing about how strong your memory is but want to hear some valuable qualities from you. So be selective while you formulate your answer, include only the most important qualities of a leader in the answer.

4. Think of your leadership roles: Think of all the leadership roles those you have played or handled in your college days or during your previous jobs. What qualities were required at your part to deliver the responsibilities? Which all you possess and how you used them to help you during your work?

Tips On What To Include And What To Avoid

About What To INCLUDE:

This question is a great way for you to talk about your leadership traits and skills. You can come up with the attributes you possess which can help you to lead effectively. Some of the things that you should emphasize are:

1. Mention about the skills clearly: Okay! Don’t be confused about the skills that you will be mentioning about a good leader. You cannot say that a good leader should be good rather you should mention that in which aspect he or she should be good.

2. Talk about the reason: Mention why you feel that particular skill be important for a leader or a manager to possess. What change you think will be felt in someone’s personality if he or she possesses those skills.

3. Talk about your skillset: After stating the reason as to why a leader should possess a particular skill set also mention which skills out of that set do you possess? And also why you feel that you possess them? Have you acquired them over time or were they inbuilt in you?

4. Elaborate on the situation where you demonstrated your leadership skills: Don’t take it in a hurry. Elaborate about such an incident in a proper manner. Discuss the time when you had a team to lead or handle.

Things To AVOID

Discussing your opinion about leadership qualities with the employer will give a sense into your suitability with the organization. Yet, there some traps where a candidate can easily trap into especially if he or she has never been at some leadership position. That is-

1. Talking only about the skills: It is good if you are talking about leadership skills because you have been asked about it. But, while mentioning the skills don’t forget to mention you. In case the interviewer asks only about the qualities from you, you can go on further adding to your experiences with people or leaders with such qualities.

2. Mention examples: Let us consider that you came up with a leadership trait of a charismatic personality. So, don’t finish your answer with these two words. Further, you can mention that you had a senior in your previous organization who had a charismatic personality and this played a signify cant role for him to be a good leader.

3. Don’t duplicate the traits: You may have a whole lot of words to describe a good leader but you cannot keep on saying word afterword. You need to be careful about what you speak out during your interview. For example, if you say that a leader must be respectful towards others then don’t separately mention that he or she should show respect towards females as well because your earlier point has already covered this idea.

4. Don’t brag: You can be the best leader in your views but you cannot hold ALL the desired qualities of being a good leader within yourself. Simply because these are too many to hold. You can always say that you try your best to be a good leader. So, when asked about your leadership attributes; don’t go on mentioning all those ‘leader’ related words existing in your dictionary.

Preparing Your Answer

After your mind is clear about all the points mentioned above, you should head towards preparing your answer. And for structuring your answer in a good way, you can take help from the following points:

1. Go back to your list: Remember the list that you prepared for the ‘pre-requisites’ section? Go back to it. Copy the qualities that you finally settled on to mention in your answer. Don’t make it too long. Four to sex qualities will suffice the need.

2. What all qualities you possess: So, out of the traits those you mentioned, tell about which traits do you hold? You can mention any additional quality as well in case you feel you have it in you. But try sticking to the list only in case you have not handled any leadership position ever.

3. Mention your leadership roles: What are the instances when you demonstrated your leadership traits? When have you handled any team as a leader? Was it during your college days or was it when you were working in some of your previous organizations?

Sample Answers:

EXAMPLE: 1

Talking about an effective leader, I think he or she should be decisive. Not only this but also an effective leader must listen to others for suggestions and advice. And those suggestions can be from his or her juniors as well. Listening to everyone, getting a broader knowledge about any subject will help the person in taking a better and more informed decision. This will also encourage his or her juniors and peers. When I used to work as a marketing strategist during my previous job, I used to follow this policy most of the time when I was required to take decisions and the results always were wonderful.

EXAMPLE: 2

Leadership skills, I believe, are essential in every career forever individual. Be it any field or career you go into, at some point in your career life you will be required to take up a leadership position to execute the directions given to you for fulfilling the task in hand. In my view patience, positivity and active listening are most important of the qualities of a good leader. The leader must be patient while listening to the problems of his her team. This is because an impatient mind cannot come up with the best solutions available. I came across such a scenario when I was given to handle a team of 20 members for a project. The task however was not so huge but my stress made it seem like a mammoth task to me and that’s why I could not deliver the best results. But, I learned from my mistake and moved on.

EXAMPLE: 3

No leader has been successful without the quality of an agile learner. I am not saying it just because I feel agile learning to be one of my strengths but this seems quite rational to me. The world where we are living is full of uncertainties and ambiguities. The only truth it holds is that it keeps on changing. So, the leader has to consider all these things in mind to effectively keep on leading people because he or she is someone others look up to. Learning from mistakes or through other ways and then incorporating that learning in decision making or planning gives rise to a great leader.

EXAMPLE: 4

Today the word is so fast-paced that being a transitional leader is not enough. Because a transitional leader just encourages a particular change in his or her organization; while the world today is very demanding and it demands the leaders to be transformational. I think a leader should be a transformational leader; who encourages others in the company to not only set but achieve goals or targets for themselves those align with the company’s targets. Such a leader brings an enormous change in the working culture of the organizations by incorporating motivation in people. I consider myself to be a learning stage and my all learning will be focused on being a transformational leader and guide the behavior of people through motivation.

EXAMPLE: 5

Some many qualities or attributes go into the making of an effective and successful leader. They are so many that cannot be described into just a few words but still if required to come up with the most desired qualities, I would say reliability and team building are the traits which a leader cannot think of furthering his career. The leader should be reliable not only for his juniors but also for all the other people of the organization, be it seniors, his boss or peers, anybody. He must be someone who keeps team-building spirits in his heart. He is a leader that means he has many followers, not just one follower. So, he must focus on team building. I am a true follower of this rule, whenever my team gets assigned any project; I always start it by discussing its objectives and purposes with my team members.

EXAMPLE: 6

An effective leader is not the one who holds many of the qualities of a good leader but an effective leader is the one who holds certain qualities in a good amount. Among those certain attributes, I thing decision-making skill is the most important one. That’s because a leader is encountered with many decisions daily and many of them require his or her to act immediately. This cannot be handled by a person who always stays confused regarding even the minor decisions in his or her life. A person who has a good capability of decision making can only be a great leader. And I am saying it with so much of conviction because of an experience I have during my last to the last job. Our boss used to guide us at every step but whenever we approached him to take some decision about something; he used to sidestep the task. This made others think little of him.

EXAMPLE: 7

Any career that begins has its base that relates to education and knowledge. For me, if a person wants to guide others or be a leader to them then that person must be very well-versed with the knowledge of the subject that he or she wants to guide about. Similarly, a leader at any organization or company in the industry must have technical knowledge about the tasks or the jobs in his company. When a person will be updated with the competent knowledge and skills, it will help him or her to gain the respect of others as well as build confidence in himself/herself. That’s the reason I am building up my knowledge bank so that whenever I’ll need to handle a leader’s responsibility in I future, I will not find trouble in handling work-related queries of teammates.

EXAMPLE: 8

Confidence and determination are the best qualities that one will find in every leader which helps him or her to be effective at his position. Of course, there are many other attributes as well, but b I think the qualities that most influence the followers of a leader are confidence and determination. The leader has to be confident about his ways, his decisions, and all other acts of him otherwise the followers won’t pay any heed to his directions or guidelines. Also, he or she must be determined and focused on achieving the target those are set by his company or department or company otherwise he won’t be effective at all. I find myself to be determined enough for working towards the goals set. But, I find myself to be not confident enough to execute my planning sometimes, and hence, I am working on building up my confidence level by taking on more responsibilities in my hand those require me to act like a team leader. The last time, I acted as a leader, is not long ago but just a month back when I was given the task to lead the marketing department for delivering a result of a project.

EXAMPLE: 9

A leader is someone who has a charismatic personality. He should be good at communicating with people. And when I mention people I don’t just mean his seniors or juniors at his workplace but everyone with whom he or she meets. A good influential orating and communicating skills are very much needed and desired in leaders. Be it any political leader he or she is embedded with such qualities and that is why they can influence so many people and gain their support. For being a leader in the industry as well, having communication skills are required. Mentioning one of my recent incidences, I was required to communicate one of the policies of top management to lower-level managers which would raise their anger. But, I started the discussion in such a way that will seem beneficial to the lower-level managers and the company as well. With this orating skill, I was able to fulfill my task effectively.

An Example Of A Bad Answer

There are many qualities that a leader must-have. A leader must be good looking, sweet, and nice natured. He should talk sweetly with everyone. Do his works on time. The leader should never complain. Always strive to do the task as per the given directions. And all other qualities of resiliency, decision making, passion, determination, focus must be in him or her; otherwise, he/she won’t be a good leader at all. I have not been on any leadership position yet and so I don’t have exhibited my qualities in any situation. But I think I will handle any task effectively if I get the opportunity.

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