Some of the most challenging interview questions are the ones that require you to step back and consider the grand scope of your career. One question that I advise organizations to ask is: “what is your leadership philosophy?” It allows interviewers to assess the self-awareness and ideology of their candidates. How would you respond to this probing question? We have three questions you can ask yourself to understand your own philosophy and craft an impressive response:

• Who are the leaders I’ve learned from? Often our leadership philosophy is influenced by a leader we admire. Each of us has a moment in our career when a leader awakens us to the full potential of what a leader can be. This occurs when we resonate with their approach. Consider the leaders who have impacted you and how it clarifies your understanding of effective leadership.

• What leadership approaches have I chafed at? Another way to crystalize your leadership approach is to understand what it isn’t. When there is a leader who has particularly frustrated you, it may be because you disagree with their values and methods. How might their leadership approach be the inverse of yours?

• What feedback have you received? Sometimes it’s hard to recognize your leadership philosophy because it comes so naturally to you. Colleagues and subordinates will often comment on the distinctives of your approach. Are you known for your humility? Your passion? Your charisma? You may even choose to ask a few trusted colleagues for their insights. 

Once a clear picture emerges of your leadership philosophy, create a brief summary that includes what it is, why you take that approach, and one example of how it’s served you in your career. 

Would you like to test out your answer? Reach out to our team to share your answer and discuss the career moves you’re considering.