Individual Performer Versus Leadership; Interviewing for the Next Level

by Bethany Williams


You want to move up the ladder. You have a great interview lined up. One thing that you may not have realized, is that leadership requires a different skills-set and thought process. They will be looking for leadership qualities in your interview and you may not be prepared to reveal them.

What if you performed amazingly well, but your team did not? In that instance, in a leadership role, you would sacrifice your performance bonus. How will you motivate your team to perform? How will you go beyond the thought of individual performance and begin thinking about the performance of the whole team or even the whole company?

What experiences in your past can you share that will show your ability to motivate and lead teams to accomplish? They will want to know. Have you led committees, projects, task forces, or initiatives? Be prepared to share those experiences and the reasons that they were successful.

Before you arrive at the interview, remember that it is about TEAM. It is about whether or not the TEAM you were on succeeded. It is about "we" and not "I". It is a tough transition. They will know if you are ready based on the word choices that you make and the phrases that you use.

How will you initially take over the new team? What will be your first steps? Think through each of these questions, putting on a new role of leader rather than individual performer. You can move into a management/leader role if you can lead. Think of examples that you've had in your past that show your leadership ability. Good luck.

Bethany Williams is an expert in business development, personal branding, and healthcare operations. She has held high-level positions at a big four accounting firm, Perot Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, and IDX Systems Corporation. Williams shares her stories and helpful tips on career success in her book, Winning Strategies for Women, and a popular motivational blog. She volunteers as a life coach and mentor for employees around the globe through her website and personal one-to-one visits. She currently works as an executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and speaks on branding, career planning, and women in business. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Michael, and her three children.

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