Great Interview Questions #1 – Management vs. Leadership

When faced with this question, the candidate should be tipped off that there’s a big difference between management and leadership.  So if he comes back with “they’re pretty much the same thing,” he’s both wrong and obtuse, which is why I like this question.  It’s okay if a candidate hasn’t though about a question before and doesn’t have a great answer.  Leadership vs. management is a tough question for even seasoned professionals in leadership or management positions.  I ask this question not because I expect the right answer, but because I like to hear the thought behind the candidate’s answer.  I like to watch him go through the motions of formulating a response.  I’ll ask him to take two or three minutes, grab a pen and paper, and prepare his answer.  Then I watch.

Peter Drucker said the only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.  I sometimes toss that on to the table and follow with “Why would someone have followers?”

Solid conversations almost always result from this question, making it my all-time favorite.  And if the candidate can’t converse on this topic, they aren’t right for me.

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2 responses to “Great Interview Questions #1 – Management vs. Leadership

  1. Pingback: How to Use the List of Great Interview Questions | Get a Leg Up

  2. Pingback: My four interview question categories | Get a Leg Up

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