Soft Skills Series 4: How to demonstrate leadership skills during an interview

William Woods Business

“Regardless of the sector or the function—whether it’s the U.S., Asia or Europe—all MBA recruiters are looking for the same thing: high potential future leadership talent. This is their future leadership pipeline, that’s what they’re after.” – Sandy Khan

Sandy Khan, an expert MBA recruiter, has more than two decades of hiring experience and has helped multinationals like Google and Microsoft find their MBA leadership talent. In an interview with Poets & Quants, she explains that it’s important for students to know how to demonstrate their aptitude for leadership whether it’s through an authentic dialog or telling a story.

The power of storytelling is a widely discussed subject in business, and often one of the skills attributed to leaders. Thoughtfully articulating how you addressed a specific problem could serve as a double-win during an interview as it not only demonstrates the proof of your previous success but also delivers it in such a way that yields leadership potential.

But how do you choose which story to tell? A More Than Accountants article “Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader” shares values that can serve as checks in your story plot. Does your story demonstrate honesty, commitment, creativity, or ability to inspire? An impactful story should portray one or more of these leadership qualities.

A SimplyHired blog post suggests the following tips when it comes to demonstrating your aptitude for leadership during an interview:

  • Discuss past leadership accomplishments
  • State everything quantitatively
  • Act decisively
  • Speak calmly and confidently
  • Show passion

The MBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership program students at William Woods University in Fulton, MO, can take a number of courses designed to sharpen their leadership skills including Managerial Ethics and Entrepreneurship. While learning the fundamentals of leadership theory in the Managerial Ethics course, students can apply that knowledge in various courses such as the Applied Case Project.

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