3 Interview Questions for Effective Leadership

Studies consistently reveal a critical disconnect between employee desires and leadership realities. While 75% of employees report that communication is the most important leadership trait (Source: Society for Human Resource Management) and a similar percentage crave active engagement from their supervisors, only 30-35% actually feel engaged by their managers (Source: Gallup). This highlights a crucial need for organizations to identify and hire leaders who prioritize clear communication and build strong, engaged teams.

This article explores three key questions to ask during senior-level candidate interviews to assess their communication and engagement skills. By asking these questions, you can gain valuable insights into how the candidate approaches communication and ensure they align with your company’s commitment to employee engagement.

1. Building a Commitment to Connection

  • Question: “What steps have you taken, and what are you currently doing, to improve your communication skills?”

This question probes the candidate’s dedication to communication as a core leadership skill. Look for a response that demonstrates a continuous learning mindset and focus on honing their communication effectiveness.

2. A Foundation for Engagement

  • Question: “Describe specific actions you’ve taken, and what ongoing strategies you employ, to actively improve your listening skills.”

Effective communication is a two-way street. Uncover the candidate’s approach to listening and their ability to receive and integrate input from their team. A strong leader actively listens to understand, not just to respond.

3. Engaging and Focusing Teams

  • Question: “What specific strategies do you use to ensure you’re effectively communicating with your team to keep them engaged and focused?”

This question delves into the candidate’s practical application of communication skills. Look for a response that outlines their methods for clear communication, fostering engagement, and keeping the team aligned with goals.

Final Thoughts

By incorporating these three questions into your interview process, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate’s communication style and commitment to employee engagement. Prioritizing these skills during the hiring process is essential to bridge the gap between what employees say they value and the reality they often experience. By identifying leaders who excel in communication and engagement, you can build a stronger, more successful organization. Check out our Thought Leadership articles to learn more, or contact us to discuss your hiring and recruiting challenges.

Posted by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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