Interview questions for Group Leader

We analyzed 255 interview reviews for Group Leader from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

10 frequent non-technical questions for Group Leader:

What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?
What is your greatest weakness?
Describe a time when you resolved a conflict with a colleague in your past role
Share an example of how you were able to motivate other people
How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?
Tell me about yourself
Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your manager
Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?
Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it
How do you deal with working under pressure?

According to our research, hiring managers looking to fill Group Leader role ask soft skills interview questions 65% more frequently than for other roles.

Group Leader interview question statistics

1. What is the biggest lesson you've learned from a mistake you made?top question

How to answer

It’s important to know how to answer a job interview question about mistakes.

They ask questions like this to learn if you are upfront and honest about mistakes that you made.

They also want to know if you learned from your experience and how you met the challenges to improve your performance.

  1. About Yourself

    Do your best to tell a positive story about how the mistake was made, how you dealt with it and what learned from it.

    We all make mistakes from time-to-time. Answering some of the following questions will help you understand your own view of dealing with mistakes and their consequences.

    For instance:

    • How do you use a mistake to improve your abilities?
    • Are you self-aware enough to acknowledge failure and weakness?
    • Do you take smart risks?
    • How do you view success, failure, and risk in general?
    • Do you take responsibility for past mistakes instead of putting the blame on others?
    • If the situation repeats, what would you do differently? What would you do again?
  2. About The Company

    Before the interview, look over the job listing, research the company.

    Try to think of a mistake you have made in the past that is not too closely related to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for. What kind of challenges might you face if you get the job here?

  3. About The Fit

    It’s your opportunity to emphasize the skills or qualities you gained from your past negative experience that are important for the job you’re interviewing for now. The best way to answer a question like this is to use the Present-Past-Present method.

    Start with the Present by ensuring the interviewer that even though you have made mistakes in the past, the lesson that you learned is to always carefully double-check your work and to make sure you plan ahead for any possible contingencies.

    Next go back to the Past to relate a STAR story that will tell the interviewer about a time when you made a mistake but were able to make the right adjustment to turn a potential negative into a positive. You might say something like: "I was responsible to provide one of our best customers a time frame for completing an important project. In my eagerness to impress them I miscalculated how long it would take and we missed the deadline. The customer was very disappointed and we nearly lost their business. After my manager explained the problem to me I worked very hard to improve my approach to project management and meeting timelines and nothing like this has happened again."

    Finally come back to the Present to tell the interviewer that you have the ability to learn from negative experiences and going forward you will approach all tasks with a mindset that will enable you to adjust quickly.

Pro Tip

Make absolutely sure that the interviewer understands that you learned from the experience.

Never blame others for what you did (however, if you were part of a team failure, you could relate this experience, just be sure to own up to your part in it).

Always be accountable for what you could have done differently in the failure. Demonstrate that you’ve had the maturity to benefit from previous “lessons learned” and you can move on with increased wisdom and competency.

2. What is your greatest weakness?

How to answer

This question ranks as the most challenging for many people. Fortunately, Mr. Simon is here to help!

Interviewers are not out to trick or trap you! They ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, your honesty and openness, and your capability for self-improvement.

  1. About Yourself

    No one is perfect and your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

    While it is good to be honest and open, it will not help you to put yourself down.

    What's important is to find a weakness that you have overcome. How you turned what might be considered a negative into a positive.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company (website, social media, etc) to learn about the company culture.

    What personal and professional qualities do they value?

  3. About The Fit

    This is the time to clearly state a true weakness that you have overcome.

    Be as specific as possible and stay away from vague cliches like “I work too hard.” It would be difficult for anyone to try and explain how they overcame a weakness like that

    Mr. Simon emphasizes the Present-Past-Present method of responding to behavioral questions. When you are asked about your greatest weakness, you should be able to successfully use this approach as well. Here is an example of how someone might answer this question.

    Present - "I have always had a fear of public speaking, and believe this may have held me back in my career, especially when having to make presentations to management."

    Past - "Last year I learned about Toastmasters International and decided to join this group to help me gain confidence in myself and improve my ability to present to others in just about any situation."

    Present - "By overcoming this weakness I believe that it has made me a much stronger candidate for this position, someone you can count on to make presentations to management, conduct training and communicate at a high level."

    It's important to show how well you've overcome a weakness by motivating yourself and learning a new skill to grow professionally.

Pro Tip

Use this question to sell yourself!

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Which of the following would be the best answer:

ASometimes I just work too hard

BI have trouble saying “no” when a colleague asks for help and I have my own work to finish

CI am a perfectionist

DI cannot think of a single thing

3. Describe a time when you resolved a conflict with a colleague in your past role

How to answer

Wherever you go, you will always have to work with people and this means that there is always going to be a chance for conflict. Employers ask this question to gauge how well you handle disagreements and how you resolve contentious issues with your coworkers. Remember, if conflcts are not properly handled they may cause disruption in the running of the department or even the entire organization.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of the times you had to deal with conflict.

    • What were the different ways you were able to address the situation?
    • If you were the cause of the conflict, how did you handle it and what role did the other person play in helping to resolve the conflict?
    • What were the key lessons you learned through your experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?
    • Do sites such as Glassdoor give any indication of the kinds of conflicts that might occur and how they are handled?

    Reading comments on the company's social media posts often prove helpful to see how they react to customers' complaints.

  3. About The Fit

    Consider the Present-Past-Present method to tell a story of how you addressed conflict and how it turned a negative into a positive.

    Start with the Present to expain to the hiring manager how you always ask questions and listen carefully to your coworkers perspective to understand both sides of an issue and apply your sense of fairness when it comes to resolving potential conflicts with others.

    Then go back to the Past using the STAR method to frame your story. Here is an example of how someone might relate just such a story:

    "My coworker, who started with the company about 6 months before me explained the process the department used for tracking certain data metrics. In my "wisdom" I thought I had a better way. Without telling my colleague what I was doing I went ahead and tried my own way. Unfortunately my way did not quite do the job and as a result we had to start again. He was naturally upset but I brought out my best listening skills to understand his perspective and we agreed to start again with the next reports. I learned a lesson and we have worked together very well since that time."

    Finally, come back to the Present to explain how you skills at listening to and doing your best to understand the other person's point of view is a valuable asset and makes you a strong candidate for the position.

Pro Tip

A key to addressing conflict is listening, communication and emotional intelligence. Highlight these skills.

If you're able to, turn the question around and ask the interviewer if they have experienced the same thing. This will start a conversation, which is the goal of an interview.

Now that you have read some of our recommendations, you may wonder: “Ok, so what’s next? I seem to understand these concepts quite well and they kind of make sense to me, but how do I make sure my answers are actually in accordance with these recommendations, and I will stand out as a strong candidate in my upcoming interview?”

Good question. Assuming you are indeed qualified and fit for the position you are interviewing for, the best thing you can do is make sure the interviewer sees this fit.

There are two ways how you can leverage Mr. Simon’s expertise to help you shine your best:

  1. Go ahead and practice with the Mr. Simon app - it is a completely free, fun and helpful experience!
  2. Request a mock interview with a real human career mentor. During the session we will help you identify your Key Selling Points to emphasize in the interview, and to present them in a way that strongly communicates your value to the company. The 1-hour session costs USD 79.99 and is supplemented by 2 weeks of support via email, free of additional charge.

To request the session, shoot us an email to coaching@mrsimon.ai and attach your resume and job description to expedite the process.

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4. Share an example of how you were able to motivate other people

How to answer

People are motivated at work by many different types of things (e.g. recognition of a job well done, career advancement, loyalty from management, interesting work and good pay).

Usually, this question is asked for managerial positions but it can also apply to individual contributors, such as those working on a team where everyone depends on the work of others to accomplish the team’s goals.

The interviewers want to know how you work with different kinds of people who have different kinds of personalities. The answer to this question will give them insights into both your leadership as well as your interpersonal skills, in a professional setting.

The example you share with the interviewer is a good indicator of how you will react to similar situations in the future.

  1. About Yourself

    • Did you have someone in the past at work who helped you to realize that you needed to be self-motivated to succeed?
    • Can you remember a time where you helped someone else to find the motivation to accomplish something, ideally related to the work they were doing?
    • What strategies did you use to motivate your team or coworkers?

    On the other hand, have you found it difficult to motivate others, and if so, what have you done to overcome this trait?

  2. About The Company

    Do your research about the company and its culture.

    • What are the job requirements of the position that you’re applying for?
    • How do managers and employees value one another?
    • Do they have any specific standards and policies?
    • What motivational techniques do they use?
  3. About The Fit

    If you’re working on a team where you are depending on the work of other team members to accomplish your goals, you need to be able to motivate your co-workers.

    This is a great opportunity to show the interviewer that you are able to motivate others and to sell your skills by describing a specific situation that you encountered during your career.

    • What were your key motivating factors that kept your team more energized and ready for work?
    • Will this experience help you in the new role?

    Mention

    • recognizing positive aspects of an employee’s performance, which is critical to motivating most employees, especially introverted people that tend to stay in the background
    • regular and concrete feedback, which is important when dealing with an employee who is not performing up to his/her potential
    • understanding what someone can bring to the team, because staff members are definitely more motivated when they understand their role and its impact on a project
    • the ability to set a good example yourself through your actions.

Pro Tip

Having a coworker or manager that can keep employees motivated is an invaluable asset, as they help the company meet its goals by keeping on task.

Prove that it is YOU who is this asset by showing your passion and enthusiasm to be the part of this company.

5. How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?

How to answer

People skills are highly valued in every company, especially in a company that occasionally deals with difficult customers. It is important to show how you can manage difficult personalities.

  1. About Yourself

    Look back on your experience. Have you dealt with a difficult or disruptive customer? Remember how you diffused the situation and how you turned things around.

    • Do you have certain principles, or methodology, to deal with difficult people?
    • Do you have strong people skills, are you good at conflict resolution?
    • Are you high on emotional intelligence? Can you give an example?
  2. About The Company

    • What have you found about the company and its culture?
    • What have you learned about how the employees value each other?
    • How do they treat their customers?
    • Knowing their line of business or industry, what can be some examples of difficult customers?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    When a question like this asked in an interview, it is an indication that you will probably encounter difficult customers, or other difficult stakeholders while working for this company.

    This would be an excellent opportunity to use the Present-Past-Present approach to respond to this question.

    Start with the Present. Speak about your “conflict resolution” skills and how you apply these today.

    Next go back to a Past situation - remember your Star Stories to relate a relevant situation that happened in a previous job where you resolved a problem for a difficult customer.

    Finally, come back to the Present, summarizing what you learned from past experiences and how you will apply them to the job you are interviewing for today.

    If you can give an example of how you handled a difficult person in the past in a situation similar to what this company may require from you, this will strongly increase your chances of showing yourself as a good fit.

Pro Tip

One methodology for diffusing a difficult situation is called “the triple A” approach:

  1. Acknowledge - what the other person is feeling,
  2. Apologize - for the way the other person is feeling,
  3. Admit - that there was an issue that you are working on to get it resolved.

If the difficult situation involves a customer, it would add that extra touch if you added another "A" to your approach by Asking for the customer's contact information so you can update them of any progress on their issue.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AIf the customer is rude and obnoxious, answer in kind and show him that he cannot push you around.

BListen carefully to what the customer is saying to really understand their concerns then repeat back to them what you heard to be sure you have it right, before attempting to help them with the problem.

CTell the customer that he should have known that the sale is final and there is nothing he can do to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

6. Tell me about yourself

How to answer

Most job candidates expect this to be one of the first interview questions and probably think of it as an “icebreaker” to get the interview started. It is much more than that! It is your opportunity to show the interviewer your relevance for the job. You want the employer to know that you are qualified to do the job, you are interested in doing the job and capable of getting it done.

  1. About Yourself

    What is your current occupation? Define yourself professionally in one statement.

    Pick 3 key skills that make you great at your work (your Key Selling Points). How have you applied these skills?

    Try to give some numbers to support your statement.

  2. About The Company

    Your first step is to Research the company to find out as much as you can about what they do and their approach to their business and their employees.

    Based on what you know about the company and the job description, why are you interested in the position you are applying for?

  3. About The Fit


    Now is the right time to show the fit between your skills and the company's requirements. Your answer works best if you emphasize your relevance. How do you do this? You will have already researched the company, studied the job description to identify their needs and possible pain points and prepared the relevant Star Stories that show how you addressed similar issues in the past. Your next step is to develop your Present-Past-Present approach.

    Start with the Present. Focus on the skills and experience from your most recent positions. What has enabled you to get the job done successfully and how this relates to what the employer is looking to accomplish.

    Next go back to the Past. Here is where your Star story comes in. Explain how you were able to use your skills and experience to accomplish a task that relates to an area of concern for the employer.

    Finally come back to the Present – summarizing the lessons you learned and how they shaped your response and approach today.

    Remember, the whole conversation is about the present, not the past. Just one sentence can summarize why your approach works, and its applicability and relevance to this position.

Pro Tip

You can also end with a question like:

“Do you know what the current needs in the company/department are, where my skills and experience can help?”

That can help you learn more about the company and the job, turn the “interrogation” into a conversation and will allow you to relax some tension.

Read our blog post to learn more about how to answer this question.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AMy name is Andrew Franklin, I am 28 years old, and I am looking for a job that pays well.

BHello, my name is Natalie Price. I have two children and I love playing billiards and travelling. I am 33 years old.

CHi Mr. Simon, my name is Stanley Clark and I am a certified Project Management professional known for completing projects on time and on budget. I am passionate about building agile work culture and delivering results.

DHi Mr. Simon, my name is Dorothy Hanson. I have previously worked as an accountant in retail, but currently I am trying to transition into the field of healthcare.

7. Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with your manager

How to answer

Even though you may have a great relationship with your manager, there may have been times where you did not see eye to eye.

By describing how you managed to deal with an uncomfortable issue in the past, you give the interviewer insight into how you’d handle one in the future.

They are curious about the respect you show to a higher authority while having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

  1. About Yourself

    On occasion we have all disagreed with our boss. Whether it had to do with a business decision or a more personal matter you should be able to think back on a conflict or disagreement you had with your manager where you responded well, either by suggesting a compromise or taking a calm, relaxed stance when you could have answered in a heated tone.

    Getting along well with your manager shows your desire to work together and highlights your creative problem-solving abilities.

    • What was the resolution of an issue?
    • Did you and your manager come to an agreement?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?
    • What problems and obstacles might employees face in the position you are applying for?
  3. About The Fit

    Your story should ideally show how competent you are at your work, which will give the hiring manager confidence in hiring you. This answer can also display other great skills such as negotiating, selling an idea and inspiring others.

    Mr. Simon suggests that you use the Present-Past-Present method to showcase these skills.

    Start with the Present by explaining how you always try to build trust with your colleagues and managers by looking for the best options in each situation regardless of differing points of view.

    Next go back into the Past using the STAR method to describe a situation in which you had a disagreement with your manager about a specific situation and how even though your opinions differed, you listened to each other’s points of view and reached agreement on a solution you both liked.

    Finally, come back to the Present to explain how you would bring these skills to your new position and ensure that meaningful dialogue would take place to help get things done.

Pro Tip

Tell the hiring manager that you believe it is better to raise uncomfortable questions and ask them directly. Emphasize that you always initiate communication by setting the tone of the conversation in a format of frankness on both sides.

A sincere and respectful conversation builds trust between people, even when the subject of your discussion may be difficult for each of you.

8. Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?

How to answer

Wherever you go, you will always have to work with people. This means that there is a greater chance for conflict to happen. This question helps the interviewer determine how well you would fit within the organization.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of the times you had to deal with conflict.

    • What were the different ways you were able to address the situation?
    • If you were the cause of the conflict, how did the other person talk you down from the conflict?
    • What were the key lessons you learned through your experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?

    Reading comments to their social media posts often prove helpful to see how they react to customers' complaints.

  3. About The Fit

    • What have you found out about the company’s culture and job description?
    • Are they looking for someone who can take charge and resolve conflict?

    Tell a story of how you addressed conflict and how it turned a negative into a positive. Try to conclude with your lessons learned or methodology for approaching conflicts - this will show the interviewer that you would be able to apply your methodology to future situations.

    Use the STAR method to frame your story.

Pro Tip

A key to addressing conflict is listening, communication and emotional intelligence. Highlight these skills.

If you're able to, turn the question around and ask the interviewer if they have experienced the same thing. This will start a conversation, which is the goal of an interview.

9. Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it

How to answer

Stress on the job comes in many forms and from many sources including tight (perhaps impossible) deadlines, difficult bosses and co-workers, family issues, hard-to-please customers and clients and numerous other causes. There are also levels of stress ranging from the ones that are so common that we consider them normal, up to those that can really skyrocket.

Your future employer wants to know how you will behave in such times, whether you will be a helping hand or a burden.

  1. About Yourself

    In order to form a response to this question, think back to a time when you encountered a stressful situation at work, and answer the following questions.

    • Was the situation a challenge just to you personally or to your entire team?
    • What was your approach to the problem and how did you handle it?
    • What role if any did emotions play in the process of dealing with this situation?
    • What was the outcome, was it successful?
    • Did the outcome meet the company’s expectations as well as your own?

  2. About The Company

    • What do you know about the company, where you may encounter a stressful situation?
    • Are they working on a major project which is approaching a due date?
    • Are they going through what appears to be a difficult time where cost-saving is a top priority? Perhaps the company culture is full of negativity and mistrust, or they have gone through massive layoffs. Is there any chance that customers are being neglected?

    Any of these situations may lead to stressful times at the company, and you should try to know more about their expectations, and how realistic those expectations are.

    Or, are they just a dynamic, highly agile company run by smart and creative folks, which may work excellently for some people and be confusing and mind-blowing for others?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    Once you have determined which STAR story will best answer this question, use the Present-Past-Present method for your response. The following is an example of how someone might apply this method.

    The candidate started with the Present by telling the interviewer that she is able to rise to the challenge of the situation regardless of the level of stress that may come with an assignment.

    She then went back to the Past to describe when she and her team had to hit a tight timeline for a customer that depended on the outcome of her team's work. It was an emotional time in which the team worked long, hard hours with lots of overtime. As hard as it was at the time, in the end they successfully completed the assignment and the customer was so pleased with the results that it increased its business with her company.

    Finally, the candidate came back to the Present to explain how much she enjoys taking on challenges because they help her grow as a professional and she knows that she can successfully complete assignments for the company, no matter how stressful or difficult.

Pro Tip

Think of your ideal workplace environment.

  • Does this company feel like it would be ideal for you?
  • Do you feel excited and enthusiastic about taking on the kinds of stress you may encounter here?
  • Would you prefer to work in an environment where the stress levels were lower or at least more manageable?

If you feel compatible with this company culture and enthusiastic about the challenges you expect here, this is a good chance to mention it and to show your excitement.

Explain your approach or rationale when you give your example from the past.

If you cannot remember any stressful situation with a positive outcome, you can use one with a less than positive outcome but it must be accompanied by your lessons learned and how you were able to use the lessons to help you move on.

10. How do you deal with working under pressure?

How to answer

Many jobs involve moments when, for varied reasons, unexpected situations occur and a quick decision is needed.

The ability to work under pressure is an extremely valuable quality. It is a skill highly sought after by employers. They want to know they’re hiring someone who can coolly evaluate situations, stay focused, take charge and simply get the job done.

Giving a good response to this question may increase your chances of being hired.

  1. About Yourself

    Even if you are confident about your ability to work under pressure, the goal of your answer is to convince your interviewer of that.

    Emphasize your best qualities, such as quick decision-making, organizational and time management skills, the ability to stay calm, focus on the job at hand, think logically, act correctly and employ your problem-solving abilities.

    Also mention the methods you use to manage workplace stress. It can set you apart from other candidates.

    Think of a previous professional situation in which you displayed excellent ability under pressure.

    Use the STAR method to describe that scenario during the interview, and explain the actions you took to diffuse the situation.

  2. About The Company

    Do your research about the company you are aiming for.

    • What are the company’s plans, for example, will there be a degree of pressure like hitting targets, meeting deadlines or managing multiple tasks at once?
    • How might this impact you and how you deal with pressure?
  3. About The Fit

    Performing well under pressure is both a personal and professional quality and can make a difference between an average employee and an excellent one.

    Try to think of ways in which you can use the truth to your advantage. It will help you to gain the interviewers' trust and help them feel confident that the rest of your answers are also truthful.

    Even if you sometime might struggle under pressure, calmly acknowledging that and mentioning that you are actively trying to improve in this area can leave a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Pro Tip

While answering the question, be sure you DON’T:

  • Speak of a time when the stress or the pressure was caused by your own mistake
  • Bring emotions into the conversation thereby letting the interviewer know that you did not handle the pressure very well
  • Speak about an incident where you couldn’t handle the pressure, where for instance the pressure caused you to fail at a task as this will reflect negatively on you
  • Speak about the type of situation that stresses you out, especially if you are expecting to encounter a similar scenario in your future job.

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This page has been updated on April 9, 2021.

You can practice answering this question, as well as over 160 other common job interview questions for Group Leader by engaging in a mock interview with Mr. Simon. As an artificial being, his undeniable benefits include:

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