in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question: Describe a situation in which you have led a team.

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Advice

Although this question is a fairly open one leaving you with the possibility of simply describing a time when you lead a team, so for example when you were manager in a department, it is an ideal opportunity to give a specific example and a positive outcome, for example if you lead a team as a manager but also were manager for a specific incident. Use the STAR technique as this is a competency based interview question, so give a Situation, your Task within that situation, the Action you took and the Result.

If you have not led a team or are at a very early stage in your career try to think of something from a sporting or academic angle as an alternative.

Examples of Answers

“For four years I was manager of the warehouse, which gave me overall responsibility for a team of thirty people. I was responsible for the day to day management of the warehouse, together with any employment issues, budgetary requirements, supplies, stock control and all other tasks associated with the operation of a busy warehouse supplying chemical goods to the pharmaceutical industry. I was in charge when the warehouse went through a complete overhaul which resulted in the additional creation of 40 extra positions, all of which came under my control. My management team and myself managed this transition carefully to ensure that the expansion was seamless and resulted in the continuing operation of the existing warehouse services and the additional work now being undertaken by the extra employees. The outcome was that this move went very smoothly indeed with no negative effects and senior management awarded me a substantial bonus for that year.”

Or:

“At university I was the year representative during the second year of my degree and this coincided with a number of cuts that took place in the university which lead to a decision by the students to organise a protest. I set up a committee for my year with four team members and we organised a series of protests against the cuts that were being planned. The protest took place and we managed to get seventy percent of the students from our year group involved with the outcome being that the demonstrations were very well attended.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk