Leadership carries responsibility. You are the one to announce good news, but also the one to fire their colleagues, and make other decisions that other people will not like.
Great leaders should never let their emotions to get the better of them. If firing a close friend benefits the company, a good leader will fire their friend without a blink of an eye (with decent severance pay, and a clear explanation of the decision, of course).
If you had a managerial role before, or if you ran your own business, or faced some tough situation in your life, you should recall at least a few tough calls you had to make. Remember that it is your attitude that interests 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?
- How did making the decision affect you in work? How did you cope with making it?
- Did it prove correct or wrong when time settled the dust?
- Did you decide according to your personal preferences, or did you follow the goals of the organization?
Stand firmly behind your decision, speak in a calm voice and explain clearly the reason why you made the particular decision. Try to show how 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 made bad decisions, or, said in other words, they had not made 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, the two former operational managers were dismissed. It was a difficult decision, and not everyone agreed with it, but I did what I believed was best for the organization. New operational managers had better ideas and they took their role responsibly, making many adjustments to the production process. Our cash flow eventually improved.