If you are interviewing for your first leadership position, this is an exciting time.
I want to give you an advantage over your competition and ensure you avoid the most common mistake eight out of 10 people in your position make.
Most people prepare by designing statements and answers based on their resume, including the duties and responsibilities of positions they have held.
The problem with that approach is that a leadership position is not on their resume, and leadership is precisely the focus of this interview.
Your priority is to convince the interviewer(s) you will make a great leader.
You need to include Leadership in almost every answer and statement to separate yourself from other candidates.
How do you answer questions about your past and present – your resume items? After you convey the situation, what you did, and the results you achieved, continue in the answer and connect it to leadership.
After saying, “This was the situation, this is what I did and the successful results I got,” continue by saying things like:
- “How that experience helped me prepare to be a successful leader is…”
- “There were several skills I developed through that situation that will help me lead, and they were…”
- “What I learned about leadership through that event was…”
Additionally, whether specifically asked about leadership or not, find a way to share:
- why you want to be a leader
- what it is about leading that excites you (be specific; two or three)
- characteristics and qualities that make a great leader, followed by, “That’s me.”
- what your leadership style is and how and why you chose that style
Write your cover letter or resume using words and phrases a leader would use. When you meet the interviewer(s), everything about you should exude leadership. The way you:
- look them in the eye
- shake their hand
- introduce yourself and greet them