Tough Interview Questions: Are You A Leader of a Follower?

Tough interview questions, interview questions and answers, job interview questions and answers, difficult interview questions, job interview answers, tough interview questions and answers, difficult situation interview question?

I know you’re tempted to you immediately say, “Well, I’m a leader!  I like to lead,” and can sound like a puppy with your answer.  The first thing you have to do is remember what the job is all about that you are interviewing for.  What did they want to hear from you?

You can speak about being a leader, but then you have to be prepared for the follow-up they are going to ask you.  You then have to be prepared for the follow-up question which is, “To me by the time were you letting your work.”  You have to be prepared to talk about the situation and paint it broadly and clearly.  So you might talk about the project that you had, or how in the office, you may not have the manager’s title, but you’re the go-to individual for all people who work in your kind of work in the company.  You are the resource that everyone goes to, not because you have the job title, but because people see you as a leader.

However, if you are a follower, you can take that in lots of different directions.  For example, you can be interviewing for a staff job where you have no leadership responsibility.  Yet you can talk in terms of, for example, “Being a follower has a connotation to it.  Followers take orders.  They take direction from people.  I do that in the course of my work.  However, at the same time, in situations where I work with others, I function as a leader for them..”

See what I’m doing here?  I’m saying I can follow orders, but I can also work with my colleagues and be motivational and inspirational to them.  I can also make suggestions to my management about the way things can be done a little bit differently.  I understand that is ultimately their decision but, at the end of the day, I am a follower, but within the context, I am the leader of followers.

I’m going to get that?  You don’t want to come across as just being a clerk. 

I’m using clerk as a metaphor for a person who sits at the desk unthinkingly

(I remember doing this is a high school kid in 1 of my early jobs un-stapling, separating them, and then collating them in different orders… Man!  That was a terrible job but has a high school kid, you do whatever you can, especially if it will keep you indoors).

You can be a follower, but modify the answer in such a way that you let them know that you are the leader among the people who take direction.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at Want to do it live? offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Watch my videos on YouTube at, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume? Order a critique from me

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.



About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: