More Interview Questions and Answers
Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
Alternative and related questions:
Can you give me an example of a time when you have displayed leadership qualities?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer knows it's very easy for you to say that you're capable of leading from the front. What they want with this question is for you to prove that to them.
The interviewer has used the word 'lead' here. Leadership and management may be related but they're not the same thing. Leaders demonstrate vision. Leaders inspire others with that vision. Leaders are capable of 'thinking outside of the box'.
If you're being asked this question then you're most likely up for a reasonably senior management position and so should be more than capable of coming up with an appropriate example.
I frequently have to lead from the front. To give you a recent example, in my current role I initiated the design and implementation of a completely new database system. The plan was met with considerable resistance from the day-to-day users of the old database system who, quite simply, were happy with the status quo and didn't see the need for change. While it's true that the old system did an entirely satisfactory job, I had identified a variety of weaknesses and inefficiencies and was convinced we could create a new system which would be at least 25% more efficient, resulting in considerable savings. I discussed my proposed changes with existing users and managed to bring them round to my way of thinking, emphasising that any disruption would only be short-term and that the long-term gains would more than justify the project. Ultimately, not only did I manage to persuade them to follow my vision but I also got them greatly involved in the process, providing a lot of valuable and relevant ideas and feedback.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organisation?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organisation for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organisation for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes