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01/29/07
Interviewing: Probing Leadership
Filed under: Interviewing, Leadership
Posted by: site admin @ 11:33 am

There are stacks of books on examples
of the concepts demonstrated showing
that a person is a leader.  For the most part,
we assess that leadership it is based
on action and behaviors that can be
learned. 

The curious question is how is 
leadership explored in interviews? 
There was a nice symposium on
Leadership in the Workplace at the ACS
SF meeting, coordinated by Herb
Silverman. 

This blog has mentioned one facet of
leadership pointing out one author’s
perspective in ‘The Only Trait of a Leader’
(see Leadership in blogroll). 

In the interview setting, how can both
sides of the table ask for and reveal
leadership and leadership potential?

Revealing Questions might be:

How did your project evolve from stage
to stage?  Was there a planned strategy,
where did it come from?

All projects need funding.  So, what
triggered people’s interest in supporting
your project?  Who was involved in
securing the funding?  Where will this
project go next?

Who has shown you how to be a leader? 
What are concepts they displayed
have you have put to use? 
If you can ‘wordsmith’ a phrase
for your approach as a style, what is
your leadership style?  Can you provide
an example of your leadership approach?

Tell me about a time when you had to
select a project, a direction, or a candidate
from several strong alternatives.  What
was your basis? What was the outcome? 
What did you learn from the experiences?

Give me an example of a disagreement
you had with your supervisor.  It could
have been a serious one.  How did you
handle it?  What was the resolution? 
Did you learn anything form the process?

These questions may reveal how you
acted in previous situations but they do
not give the complete description, since
only a brief snapshot of the situation is
ever revealed.  And the snapshot may
really not include competing factors,
ability to work constructively with people,
and situational factors. 

Be interested in readers’ comments
and experiences with assessments of leadership.

Dan

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