Going for a job interview role as a Team Leader? Preparation is key as there are lots of Team Leader interview questions you could be asked. These could be generic about why you chose to apply for the business, or more specific to leading a team, focussing on your previous experiences and your skills.
Whilst you won’t know exactly what questions you’ll be asked until the day itself, you can still prepare by thinking about some of the most popular Team Leader interview questions. This will help you to consider your answers in advance, so that you can get all the information you need across, and demonstrate that you’re the best person for the job.
Examples of team leader interview questions
To help ensure you are ready for your next job interview, read these six team leader interview questions and answers with our advice on how to respond effectively.
1. How would your colleagues describe you?
Common Team Leader interview questions you might get asked could include how existing colleagues would describe you. The interviewer will be interested to hear what others say, but they will also want to establish how you view yourself.
For this question, be honest. Your interviewer may already have received references for you and so you don’t want to make something completely untrue up.
If you’re not sure what colleagues would say about you, think back over whether they have provided any feedback to you verbally, or in writing, such as in the form of a reference, or LinkedIn recommendation. If you have too many comments to choose from, see if any of the remarks mention qualities that are also mentioned in the job description. If so, make sure you prioritise these.
2. How would you mitigate a dispute between two team members who disagree over their responsibilities?
As well as questions about your past, you may be presented with situational Team Leader interview questions. A key theme that interviewers may want to focus on is conflict management, which is a key skill that every Team Leader needs to have.
Take your time to consider your response. You want to show that you don’t tolerate arguments and can resolve the situation quickly and effectively. Make sure you show that you understand how a dispute can not only impact the individuals, but the team as a whole, along with the project. Explain how you would listen to both sides of the argument and carefully consider their feedback. Demonstrate that you are not afraid to then come to a decision and stick to it.
3. What techniques have you used to motivate a team?
As a Team Leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure work gets done by the set deadlines, to ensure your customers remain satisfied. To do this, you need motivated staff.
For this interview question, explain how you would improve motivation levels. For example, do you take a formal approach and give bonuses, share constructive feedback to encourage staff to perform better, or choosing an “Employee of the Month”? Or, do you take a more relaxed approach by simply being friendly to your team, organising fun team events, or allowing staff to occasionally leave early after a successful result?
If you want to take your answer one step further, try to understand how the business you’re interviewing at motivates their staff. If your approach is similar, great. If it’s different, ensure you make it clear that you do have your own tried and tested methods, but you’re open to new approaches.
4. What are your preferred methods of communication and why?
It’s important for a Team Leader to be able to communicate clearly with their team members. Before you answer, consider how you communicate on a daily basis. Do you prefer having a lengthy call with someone, do you arrange to see them face-to-face, do you send them a quick bullet-pointed email, or do you use online collaboration tools? Explain why you use the communication methods you do and make sure you use examples.
5. Do you use any tools to support you in leading a team?
As a Team Leader, you need to be able to oversee day-to-day operations, delegate tasks to team members and set deadlines. There are an increasing number of tools available, to help track timelines and goals, collaborate more effectively, communicate more efficiently and improve productivity. Outline which tools you have used before and then explain why you have used them. If you have had any positive outcomes as a result of using these tools, explain to the interviewer what you have seen.
6. Explain a project where you led your team to success
Other key Team Leader interview questions you might be asked are about your previous experiences. Don’t simply answer with the first thing that comes to your mind. Spend some time to think about all your projects and which one had the best results, or one where you had to overcome a large unexpected obstacle to achieve success that could showcase more of your skills. This is your chance to really stand out, so make sure you explain the project, the results and the key part you played in its success.
By following these six Team Leader interview questions and answers, you’ll be well on your way to interview success. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will certainly help you to make a good impression at your upcoming interview.
Want more sample interview questions? Here are the 10 most common interview questions (and how to answer them).