Interview questions on leadership skills

Audience: anyone conducting/preparing for a technical leadership interview position.

What’s the best way to work with executives?

To work with executive, I prefer to follow the formal process per the company standards. Executive’s time is generally limited and they prefer a brief and to the point communication. Before reaching out to executives, it is important to understand if the topic worth the need of executive’s time. If it needs the time from executive, setting the expectation is important. I will determine if the topic to share with executives is to provide an information, or ask for any feedback or a decision. If it is about asking a decision, it’s helpful to prepare options. If a help is needed for an executive, it should be clear what kind of a help is needed. Executives prefer a clear communication and expectations. I will plan for it accordingly.

Is consensus always a good thing?

Consensus is not a good thing always. Depending on the situation, this strategy should be used. In my experience, there was a product that was working on a stable way but the company needed something completely innovative. To get such an environment, a leader challenged the existing environment. He did not have the consensus to proceed. But he did the right thing. In other situation, a consensus helped when I had to make a go/no-go decision on a success of failure of a User Acceptance Testing. Consensus helped as there were only few people in oppose and all such open issues could either be delayed or worked around.

What is the best way to work with customers and users?

The best way to work with customers or users is to understand their perspective and requirements. I believe the main goal of a product is to meet a customer’s or a user’s needs.

What kinds of people do you like to work with?

I like working with people who can collaborate well towards a common goal. This needs keeping individual approach secondary and thinking and planning for a common objective. This needs individuals to think beyond their individual achievements and focus on a teamwork. It is important to understand everyone’s perspective in the situations. The final decision must be that is needed for the success of the common goal.

What kind of people do you have a hard time working with?

I get hard time working with people who do not think for the success of the common goal. Instead, they may be driven from some other individual or team goals. To deal with such situation, I prefer to remind everyone about the common goal.

What would you do to get a team to stick to a schedule?

This depends on the type of the task. I will first provide a high level context of why we have a schedule and what do we want to achieve as a team within a schedule. Then, I will prepare a plan with everyone’s collaboration. Once everyone agrees with the plan and understand why we want to stick to the schedule, I suggest someone to schedule recurring meetings to check the progress status, blockers, and next steps. Ib the middle of the schedule, I prefer to remind everyone why this schedule is important , why we all agreed to it, and what are positive consequences of sticking to the schedule.

What’s the difference between leadership and management?

Leadership is about influencing, inspiring, and enabling others to make a positive impact. Management is about controlling group or entities to complete a goal on time.


As I learn more, I will update this page. Thank you !

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