Melissa Langley is an ESL educator, travel blogger and freelance writer.
The Best Ways to Showcase Your Leadership and Management Skills During Your Interview
Now that you have several years of work experience under your belt, you are now ready to take the next step on your career path. Perhaps you are even hoping to snag an executive or management position. You have dutifully put your time in as a leader in your department and your colleagues already look to you as a wealth of information. Having a reputation as management material is all well and good, but how will you be able to showcase those skills to a hiring manager during an interview?
Don’t be shy. The only way an interviewer will ever know about your great leadership accomplishments is if you share them. Sometimes it can be difficult to spell out our own successes, and it might even feel a little conceited, but getting your story out there and demonstrating your leadership expertise should be your number one priority. If you find yourself uneasy about the prospect of tooting your own horn, share examples of past situations and how you achieved certain goals to demonstrates your skills without you needing to state it outright.
Speak quantitatively. Multiple sources agree that while most people are pros at using numbers to showcase their successes on the job on a resume, many shy away from discussing those wins in a face to face interview. While it looks great on your resume to state that you have benefitted the bottom line at your current firm, not being precise about those numbers during an interview will hinder you from sharing your detailed accomplishments, which is clearly important for hiring managers to know. Talk about the percentage of improvement in ROI you were able to achieve for your company. Better yet, prepare physical documentation to display when you are telling your interviewer about it. Having it written down, or visualized in a graphical format, will help you support your claims and show that you were prepared for the interview.
Know your role in the company as a whole. Real management talent will have a grasp on the inner workings of the business overall. Beyond your role, learning the ins and outs of your company will help you to make better leadership decisions and show that you have been actively positioning yourself into a management role. If you are applying internally, it may be easier for you to gain the inside access on how your company functions. Get acquainted with people from other departments, such as finance and accounting. Ask them to fill you in on their positions. Applying with a new company? Get as much insight as you can by prepping for your interview with adequate research.
Show your ability to take action. Leadership is a demanding job that requires those in charge to make difficult decisions. Interviews will almost always contain a question that asks you to discuss a time you faced a challenge and how you were able to handle it. Again, craft your story before entering the meeting. Think of an instance where your actions directly affected an outcome. These types of situations will showcase your ability to lead and making good decisions under pressure.
Be passionate. In management, other employees and colleagues will often look to you as a role model for the company culture. Elaborate on your desire to work in the industry, grow within the company, whilst at the same time helping the company to grow as well. In your interview prep, ask yourself why this company is a good fit for you and showcase how you fit in perfectly. If you can demonstrate a passion for the company, hiring managers will take note.
Demonstrating your leadership skills and management potential during an interview is crucial to getting the executive position of your dreams. Nail your interview by preparing ahead of time and crafting responses to interview questions where you can emphasize your leadership prowess. Confidence and a bit of advance research will go a long way to impress hiring managers.