14 Questions To Ask When Recruiting a Leader

by | Apr 1, 2013

I was inspired to write this post by Karin of Lets Grow Leaders when I read and commented on her post, Words With Teams, A Simply Insightful Team-building Exercise.  You should follow her on Twitter by the way…

On my Facebook page, I asked; “What’s your favorite question to ask when interviewing a candidate for a leadership position?”


 “Keep Crazy Out Of The Building” – Dave Ramsey


Here are the answers and explanations offered via Facebook.

  • “What is the most exciting thing you did over the past year?” The answer will give you a level of passion, energy and enthusiasm. – CW Toland.
  • “What’s the biggest risk that they have taken. What made it risky and how did they try to reduce that risk.” It’s also important that fear of failure is not so disabilitating that all risk is avoided or that the lack of that fear prevents proper planning that then causes real harm when things go wrong.- Robert Pappenhagen
  • “How will you earn the respect of your team?” I like asking this so I can see if he/she will be a dictator or try to lead by example. – Monicah Fratena
  • “And on a different page, I loved the questions; I am giving you magical powers and if you could have 3 people work with you at camp, living or dead, fictional or fantasy, who would you chose and why?  I loved to hear their answers and more importantly the why.  It made them think and gave real insights into how they saw leadership, teamwork and more importantly how their choices would affect the people they would be working with.  It really gives you insight. Good Luck.” – Camp Mo
  • “What does it look like for you to be a leader? …(is not the answer to serve) leadership is to put yourself under others and “wash their feet”. – Everett Troyer
  • “How well do you handle change? Accept it or ignore it? and how do you define a good leader?” – Kristen Wills
  • “What are you going to do if you are stuck in a position where you have no idea what to do?  You always want them to be able to admit they aren’t perfect and have weaknesses and are willing to ask for help!” – Amy Elizabeth
  • “What is your legacy? What is your 100-year vision?” – John Lowry (John won’t care if you Tweet That)
  • “How do you lead a group? You hope they won’t say from the front spouting orders…they should say from right beside my co-workers…I am no better than them and must be humble when I lead.” – Mary Gladman De Witt
  • “Explain to them the mission and vision of camp, then ask how that fits into their personal mission and vision.” – Corey Stocksdale
  • “Have you done dishes before or do you do the dishes at home.  To me it shows if a person will get dirty and do whatever is needed in any situation.” – Katie Krizek
  • “My very first Question no matter what the employment position and letting them sit there in silence for several minutes, is for that person to define Honesty. 2nd question to define team player… as they verbally define each I write down their definition and have them initial it after they read what I wrote. After 1,000’s of interviews I have found those two questions help with communicating with your employees.” – Larry Piorkowski


  • Instead of simply asking questions.  Have them perform.  When I interview a potential cook for example.  Their second interview consist of them actually cooking one of our recipes for us.  We consider:
    • time it takes to complete,
    • quality,
    • cleanliness,
    • could they multitask and still answer questions,
    • knowledge,
    • skill,
    • openness to suggestions, etc.