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Top Leadership Skills That Employers Look For

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Some believe leaders are born and not made. While some think that leadership skills, just like every other skill, can be developed and improved. Whichever is your belief, the fact remains that a leader is not an effective leader until he or she has certain skills.


A leader should know the way and lead the way. Knowing and leading the way requires a good number of skills that would help him or her function effectively and interact positively with his or her employees, colleagues, or team members.

Learn more about leadership interview questions and how to answer them!

Top Leadership Skills to Demonstrate in a Job Interview

Below we discuss the most important leadership skills that employers look for in employees.

  1. Communication skills

This skill is highly needed in every leadership position. It is with this skill that you will be able to clearly explain to your employees or team the goals of the organization and what is required of them. There are different forms of communication, such as one-on-one conversation and group conversations. All leaders should be able to master them all.

An important aspect of communication needed by leaders is listening. Leaders should develop the art of listening to the people they are leading; this creates a steady flow of communication. Other aspects of communication include;

  • Nonverbal communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Public speaking
  • Correspondence

Learn more about communication interview questions and how to answer them!

  1. Motivation and encouragement

One of the most difficult aspects of leadership is persuading other people to follow, participate, or carry out a given task. This is only made possible and easier when you encourage, motivate, and inspire them. They look up to you to inspire them. Therefore, you should lead by setting good examples. Motivating your workers could be by recognition and awards or simply by appreciating them. If you are successful at motivating them, they will produce better results. Motivation has to do with:

  • Rewarding
  • Appreciating
  • Showing concern
  • Mentoring
  • Persuading

Learn more about motivation interview questions and how to answer them!

  1. Honesty

A real leader should be able to uphold his or her integrity by being truthful. An organization will hardly succeed without honesty. Effective leadership entails saying things as it is and not dubiously covering up crimes. You do not expect your employees or subordinates to have this quality when you lack it yourself. You should have the capacity to calm your members down even in the face of a challenging situation and make them feel optimistic about the future. Some qualities that show that a leader is honest are;

  • Trustworthiness
  • Confidentiality
  • Credibility
  • Reliability

Learn more about honesty & integrity interview questions and how to answer them!

  1. Delegating of duties

In every organization, there is a need for a division of labor as just one person will not be able to carry out all tasks alone. Ability to delegate tasks with ease is a sign of strong leadership. When you assign tasks to other members according to their respective skills and capacities, you have the time to face other more important tasks. Some delegation skills a leader ought to have are;

  • Giving out the task to the right employee
  • Ability to manage time
  • Accepting and giving feedbacks
  • Teamwork and training

Learn more about interview questions about delegation and how to answer them!

  1. Creativity and innovation

To stand out in the world of today, a leader must have to be creative and innovative. If you are not, you will be left behind. You have to think outside the box. This entails making decisions even when you are not certain of the result. It involves solving problems with a different approach, the way it has never been done before. When you constantly come up with new ideas, it could make you and your team stand out from the crowd. Some of the skills related to creativity are;

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Imagination and foresight
  • Open-mindedness

Learn more about creative thinking interview questions and how to answer them!

  1. Positivity and diplomacy

There is something unique about a leader who exhibits a positive attitude to work. A leader should acknowledge faults and still forge ahead when things do not go the right way. This quality boosts the morale of his workers and makes them want to do better. By maintaining a positive attitude even in the face of failures, you create a healthy environment and build trust amongst your employees. Some skills that can create a positive environment for work include;

  • Humour and friendliness
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Respect
  • Conflict management
  1. Commitment

Every leader should have a goal or course they are committed to. It could be the goals of the organization or that of a department or a particular project at hand. Whichever is the case, it is important that a leader follow through with what he or she has agreed to do. If you cannot commit to your own duties as a leader, do not expect those you lead to do the same. Some skills that show that a leader is committed are;

  • Keeping to promises
  • Professionalism
  • Commitment to company goals and objectives
  • Determination
  1. Responsibility and accountability

A leader should be willing to take blames, especially when he is at fault. Before you cast the blame, you should first know that you are responsible for whatever results your team produces. If they do well applaud them, but if not, make them realize their mistakes and devise clear means of improvement. Just doing nothing but pointing fingers would bring you nothing but disrespect from your subordinates. Here are some qualities that reflect accountability and responsibility;

  • Acknowledging faults
  • Learning from past mistakes
  • Accepting feedbacks
  • Transparency and evaluating solutions to problems
  1. Flexibility and adaptability

Effective leadership calls for the incorporation of flexibility and adaptability when dealing with business issues. You should be able to accept certain situations when you cannot change them and gear up towards adapting to it. Be open to suggestions and be ready to make necessary changes in this way; you can transform your organization to meet current demands. Skills embedded here include;

  • Readiness to learn
  • Improvising
  • Ability to respond to problems and resolve them
  • Accepting feedback and readiness to change

Learn more about adaptability interview questions and how to answer them!

  1. Giving and accepting feedback

Another aspect of leadership is the ability to give feedback on the performance of your employees or members in a sincere and empathic way. You can give feedback in a manner of constructive criticism and not destructive criticism. In this way, your employees will not only learn from their past mistakes but will be willing to give room for improvement. You, as a leader, should also be open to receiving feedback. Some skills related to it are;

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Follow up
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Building up employee’s confidence

When demonstrating your leadership skills and you want to give examples of specific situations, make sure to use the STAR-method.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic

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