When interviewing potential candidates for a leadership position, it’s essential to coax out as much information as possible to see whether they would be a good fit for your business. Not only will you need to rely on them for bottom-line success, but their soft skills are just as critical. Lousy leadership will lead to low morale and a high turnover, which will also impact a company’s bottom line. Therefore, the types of questions to ask during an interview for a leadership position should be more thought-provoking than the closed, polar types that require a yes or no response. Here are some examples of questions you might ask.

In order to find out how they would handle a hypothetical situation with your company, it’s a good idea to ask open-ended questions that begin with tell me about a time… This format is known as the situational structure because it requires the interviewee to relay a story about a situation from their past, ad which they might find themselves in at your firm. Specific situational questions should cover a broad range of topics such as when the candidate had to confront and solve a crisis, when they had to discipline a bad employee, and when they brought something to the higher-ups’ attention at their previous company. While it’s true that not every applicant has enough experience to be able to address all of these, they should have enough experience to qualify for the leadership position they seek. 

Another question format to use with leadership applicants refers to how well they handle conflict. These competency-based questions should be direct and open-ended, giving the candidates a chance to speak their minds and show you how they stand out from a sea of applicants. One way to do it is to ask how they would motivate a team? Get as specific as possible, prompting further details to get a clear picture. Another topic to ask about is how well they accept feedback and criticism, with a nudging desire for concrete examples, if possible. An applicant’s soft skills and how they behave and communicate are just as essential as their hard skills and impressive academic career. 

Lastly, ask them to describe your corporation, mission statement, and what, if anything, they would change if they were hired. In addition to the courage shown in speaking up during an interview, you might get some new insights into the company itself. 

This article was originally published on ShaunDallasDance.net