The test of a good leader is what they are able to accomplish. The test of an outstanding leader is their ability to get the absolute most from each and every employee, in order to accomplish more thing faster and better. Since your leadership skills are going to be tested by the job you’re interviewing for, you’re going to want to show that you are capable of not only leading others, but motivating them to perform better.
Behavioral Interview Question: Describe a situation where your leadership was able to motivate your team to improve their performance. What actions were the most effective?
There are countless ways to motivate people, and motivation is one of the keys to being a good leader. Those with good leadership skills motivate through actions that include:
- Praise – Positive, upbeat reinforcement throughout the project.
- Accountability – Making sure that the employee knows they are accountable to others.
- Reward – Promise of some type of reward upon successful completion.
- Trade – Providing assistance in exchange for help.
- Friendship – Turning the worker into a friend to make them want to be better.
You can also motivate simply by setting a good example, though it is often tough to make that one into a good leadership technique in an interview answer. One of the only strategies you don’t want to use when developing your answer is intimidation, even though the threat of firing someone is a pretty good motivator, it’s extremely negative and aggressive. As always, make sure you never complain about anyone.
“I find the best way to motivate people is to actively focus on building a sense of teamwork throughout the initial phases of any given project. This establishes a desire to help the team succeed. One of the ways I put this into practice started with Project X.
What I did was I gave each individual staff member a variety of small parts, rather than one larger part. Each person’s part was also necessary for another staff member to get something completed. It took a lot of planning, but what it did was created a system of accountability, where each staff member knew they had to do their part in order to help the project move forward. We completed this project in half of the usual time.”
Certainly there are a variety of different ways you can answer this question, depending on your project history. But as long as you focus on some type of plan that YOU completed, you should be able to impress the interviewer thoroughly.
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