Team Leader Interview Questions and Answers

Team Leader Interview Questions and Answers

This section covers commonly asked Team Leader Interview questions and answers. The types of questions covered are general, behavioral, situational, and experience based. You can also find interesting examples and sample answers with each question.

Who are these Team Leader Interview Questions useful for?

These interview questions will be very useful for all candidates appearing for the role of a Team Leader in domains like IT, BPO, HR, Recruitment, Sales, Finance, Customer Service etc.

Both first time and experienced team lead candidates will be benefited by these questions and answers.

Video : Team Leader Interview Questions and Answers

1. What are the roles and responsibilities of a Team Leader?

Well, this looks to be a very simple question but if you think about it a little in depth, you'd find that there are two purposes of asking this question:

i.) Are you aware of the responsibilities of the role you have applied for? i.e. your level of interest. The requirements may vary from company to company and team to team. Someone who has not taken the trouble to go through the job description or perform some research online is clearly not interested and suitable for such a responsible position.

ii.) Are you ready to discharge those duties and responsibilities?

Don't go to any job interview without thoroughly studying the job description and carrying out some online research.

The online research will help you to even inform yourself of some un-written requirements.

Trust me, the people who do their homework are the ones to impress the interviewer the most.

It shows that you have really put a thought into that particular company, team and position.

And, who would like to turn down such an employee.

Some of the common responsibilities that you can talk about are:

  • Keeping the team together and assigning the responsibilities to each team member.
  • Monitoring the progress of the project
  • Evaluate the team's performance
  • Report the progress of the project to the next level of management
But these responsibilities would change with the company, business and even the team. Make sure that you customize your answer as per the company and their business.
And at the end, just add that "I'm excited to take up these responsibilities, if I am selected today."

2. What are the qualities required to be a successful team leader?

The purpose of asking this question is to see -

i.) If you are aware of the qualities required to perform this role effectively
ii.) Do you possess these qualities yourself?

Some of the qualities you can talk about are:

  • Good communication skills
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Knowledgeable
  • Good organizational skills
  • Approachable
  • Ability to delegate
  • Good motivational skills
  • Fair and logical
In addition to these, make sure that you are also aware of any specific qualities required to perform the role.

If you do not possess them, you can always say that "you can easily develop them, if given an opportunity."

However, be careful of any lies or over commitment. This is digital age where it is not difficult to get recommendations and reviews about you.

3. What is the importance of discipline and integrity in this role?

You must have heard many times, "Walk the talk". It gets all the more important as you move up the ladder.

As a team leader you would want your team members to work and behave in a certain manner. But before you ask them to do anything, it is very important that you display those manners and behavior yourself.

Also, as a team leader, you'll be privileged to a lot of information about the business and company. But, with privilege comes the responsibility.

Ensure the interviewer that you understand this and won't give out any such information to any team member, colleague or competitor.

If you leak out the information, the other person may appreciate it for a while but will ultimately never trust you.

A sample answer to this question can be something like, "I do understand that a Team Lead is a very responsible position. If I want my team to behave in a certain way, I'll have to set an example for them. And, this includes being disciplined myself. After all, the leader of a team sets the culture for it.

Also, integrity is something that is paramount to an individual's character. The team leaders are privileged to a lot of crucial information about the business and the company but this privilege comes with a lot of responsibility. Someone who leaks out information to gain acceptance is clearly not the one to be trusted."

4. What would you do within first 4 weeks of being the new team leader?

There can be two cases here:

i.) When you are promoted from inside
ii.) When you are hired from outside

One thing that is equally important in both the cases is "Planning". However, in first case, being an insider, you would already know a lot of things that need to be done or improved. You can talk about them.

In second case, you'll need to collect a lot of information.

Let's see the sample answers for both the cases.

First, if you have been promoted from inside.

"Since, I'm working for this team since quite some time, I'm aware of a lot of things that need to be done and improved. However, in first four weeks, I would try to seek the management's idea of where we wish to take the business and what should be our modus operandi.

Based on this I'll develop a plan of action for my team and discuss it with them. I'll also seek the input from them to see how we can improve our team's performance.

An extremely important thing for a team leader is to win over the confidence of the team so that they are ready to put in all the work for their team and leader.

At the moment the reporting system of our team is not very streamlined. That is also a thing that I would try to fix in first four weeks. As soon as, I'm done with all the planning and improvement part, I'll get into implementing everything."

Now, let's see the sample answer for the people who are new to the company

"Since, I'm new to this company, I'll first try to understand from the management about the business and its expectations of the future.

In addition to this, I'll also get into small meetings with my team to develop rapport and understand how they work currently, any suggestions for improvement from them and any other ideas.

Once both these things are ready, I'll develop a plan outlining, how do we reach, where we want to.

Once it is accepted by the management and agreed upon by the team, I shall get into the implementation and reporting phase.

With this kind of a practical approach, I believe that I'll be able to meet your expectations."

5. How would you deal with an under performing team member?

When dealing with an under performing employee, it is important to establish the reason of their low performance. It is possible that they lack a skill to do the job that they are currently doing. In such a case, you'd want to help them gain that skill or move to another role which doesn't demand that skill. This decision has to be made wisely.

At times, some employees may even have some personal problems which may hinder their performance. In such a case, it is required to listen to their problems and help them find a solution, if they are not able to do it on their own.

And, the third case is of the people, who have all the required skills but don't have the right attitude to work. Now, attitude correction is something that is associated with the will of the person because you can only show the way to someone who is ready to walk on it. Someone who doesn't want to work or take the responsibility may be difficult to handle. And, in many instances, the manager has to make tough decision against such people. It's a difficult task but if need be, has to be done.

6. How would you keep your team motivated?

Whenever we talk of motivation, a lot of people think of only monetary aspects. Money is a big booster but motivation is much beyond money.

Some of the other things which work extremely well are:

i. Having clear goals - Knowing what you are trying to achieve is half the battle won because you start taking the steps in the right direction.

ii. Clear communication - This is one of the strongest weapons you have in your arsenal.

iii. An approachable boss - Knowing that you have a boss inside whose cabin you can easily walk to discuss your problems, concerns and doubts puts you in such a good frame of mind that you can easily focus on your work.

iv. Good work environment and team chemistry - A light work atmosphere where everyone respects each other, cooperates and shares a cordial work relationship enthuses the energy to enjoy work in your team.

v. Appreciation for the work - This can be as simple as a "thank you" to appreciation on public platforms and even monetary rewards.

vi. Not reprimanding failures - Accepting the failures of your team with same generosity with which you accept their success gives them the confidence to put in all their best for you.

vii. Being respectful and supportive - If you respect the other human being irrespective of their level in hierarchy, they are bound to work for you. And, if they know that they have your support even if they fail or go wrong, strengthens their commitment to you.

viii. Opportunities for growth and self-development - Everyone is in the industry to grow further both as a person and a professional. Till the time you provide this opportunity to your employees along with a good compensation, they'll be yours.

ix. Good work-life balance - that fosters happiness and health

7. How do you manage a conflict between your team members?

The foremost thing to see here is the nature of dispute because if it is a sexual harassment or a case of abuse, the proceedings would be entirely different.

For situations other than such cases,

i. Know that the conflicts will arise and deal with them immediately, as they arise. Don't brush them under the carpet, otherwise you may just have to deal with a more volatile environment later.

ii. Listen to both the sides impartially without perceiving anything, yourself. You may decide to meet them one at a time first before meeting them together. The style would depend on the situation and people, which you'll have to judge.

iii. At times, just venting out the emotions let's them see the solution themselves. If not, you can ask them for the solution through a series of guided questions.

iv. If they are not able to see through the solution at all, you may have to work it out for them. As far as possible, include the employees involved in the conflict to be a part of the process to reach the conclusion. This will make them accept it and abide by it.