Leadership carries responsibility. You are the one to announce good news, but also the one who should fire their colleagues, and make other decisions people may not like.
Great leader should never let their emotions to get the better of them. If it helps the company if they fire someone, even your close friend, you should make such a decision without a blink of an eye (of course, with decent severance pay, and a clear explanation of your decision to them).
If you had a managerial role before, or if had your own business, or faced some tough situation in your life, you should be able to name at least few tough calls you had to make. Remember that it is your attitude that interests the people sitting in the hiring committee.
What do they try to find out?
- Can you make a decision others will not like? How long does it take you to decide about such matters?
- Did the decision somehow influence you in work? How did you cope with making it?
- Did it prove correct in time?
- Did you decide according to your personal preferences, or the goals of the organization?
Stand firmly behind your decision, speak in a calm voice and explain clearly the reasons why you made the particular decision. Try to talk about the way it benefited the organization. Let’s have a look at one sample answer:
When I was leading the financial department of an automotive company, I noticed that we struggled with cash flow, and liquidity. I analyzed the situation and found out that operational managers had taken bad decisions, or, said in other words, they had not taken any decisions to adapt to the changing situation on the market. They were simply not doing their job well. I tried to talk to them and explain them the things, as they were in a company for a long time, and we knew each other well. But they both blamed other people and did not admit making any mistakes.
Seeing their attitude, I decided to recruit two new operational managers, one internally, and other externally, and as soon as I succeeded we fired the two former operational managers. It was a difficult decision, and not everyone agreed with it, but I did what I believed was best for the organization. I always decide in that way. New operational managers had better ideas and they took their role responsibly, making many adjustments. Our cash flow eventually improved.
- What characterize a good leader in your point of view?
- Where do you see this industry heading in the future?