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How To Assess A Candidate's Leadership Potential

How To Assess A Candidate’s Leadership Potential

Finding an employee with leadership potential who can step up to a management role is relatively easy. Teaching them to handle budgets, recruit new hires, and secure clients is a straightforward process. However, distinguishing between a manager and a leader is crucial.

Simply finding someone who can fill out spreadsheets and paperwork isn’t enough. You need a leader who can drive your business’s vision forward and propel the brand into the future.

Here’s what you should focus on during the hiring process to accurately assess a candidate’s leadership potential:

13 traits that reveal leadership potential in candidates

Earning Respect

True leaders understand that respect is earned, not bestowed by title alone. During interviews, inquire about how candidates plan to earn the respect of their team. Are they focused on issuing orders or fostering open dialogue and idea-sharing?

Energy Levels

Effective leaders often exude contagious energy and enthusiasm, influencing their team positively. Ask candidates about their passions and recent endeavors to gauge their genuine energy levels.

Response to Uncertainty

Great leaders aren’t afraid to seek help when they need it. Ask candidates how they would handle situations where they lack answers. A willingness to admit weaknesses and consult with others demonstrates strong leadership traits.

Commitment to Learning

A strong leader understands the importance of continuous learning and development. Inquire about candidates’ attitudes towards ongoing education, conferences, and certifications.


Change is inevitable in any industry, so assess how candidates approach evolving business environments. Are they willing to embrace change and stay updated on industry trends?


True leaders are driven by a sense of purpose beyond personal gain. Ask candidates about their motivations for seeking the position to gauge their passion for making a difference and inspiring others.

Relationship with Direct Reports

Effective leaders strike a balance between earning respect and fostering positive relationships with their team. Inquire about candidates’ strategies for building rapport while maintaining professionalism.

Utilization of Employee Strengths

Strong leaders recognize and leverage their team members’ strengths effectively. Look for candidates who demonstrate an understanding of how to maximize individual talents within the team.

Risk Assessment

Skilled leaders know how to calculate and manage risk effectively. Discuss past experiences and decision-making processes to assess candidates’ approaches to risk-taking.

Positive Attitude

Managers significantly influence team morale, so look for candidates who maintain positivity even in challenging situations. Overall, do they share more positive takeaways when reflecting on their experiences or the setbacks in their career?


Good leaders prioritize transparency and open communication with their team members. How open are they about sharing their challenges and asking and answering tough questions? Leaders are put in this position every day from above and below.

Delegation Skills

Effective leaders know how to delegate tasks based on employees’ strengths. It’s imperative to team success that leaders can delegate appropriately.


True leaders think beyond financial metrics and infuse creativity into problem-solving and team building. 

Using Video Interview Software for Leadership Hiring

While a strong resume is important, don’t overlook candidates’ off-paper qualities that demonstrate their ability to unite and motivate teams. Anyone can delegate tasks, but it takes a special skill set to inspire and effectively lead a diverse group of individuals.

Video interview software can aid in identifying strong leadership candidates in several ways:

  1. Assessment of Communication Skills: Video interviews allow recruiters to evaluate candidates’ verbal communication skills, including clarity, confidence, and persuasiveness. Strong leaders need to effectively communicate their vision, ideas, and expectations to their team members, making communication skills a crucial aspect to assess.
  2. Observation of Body Language and Non-Verbal Cues: Video interviews enable recruiters to observe candidates’ body language and non-verbal cues, such as eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures. These cues can provide insights into candidates’ confidence, assertiveness, and ability to engage with others, which are essential qualities for effective leadership.
  3. Evaluation of Presence and Charisma: Strong leaders often possess a commanding presence and charisma that can inspire and motivate others. Video interviews allow recruiters to assess candidates’ presence and charisma through their demeanor, tone of voice, and overall demeanor during the interview.
  4. Assessment of Tech-Savvy and Adaptability: Video interview software demonstrates candidates’ proficiency with technology and ability to adapt to modern recruitment methods. In today’s digital age, leaders must be tech-savvy and adaptable to effectively navigate virtual communication platforms and remote work environments.
  5. Collaborative Features: Video interview software offers collaborative features, allowing multiple interviewers to review and assess candidates’ responses. This enables recruiters to gather diverse perspectives on candidates’ leadership potential and make more informed hiring decisions.

Video interview software provides recruiters with valuable tools and insights to identify strong leadership candidates based on their communication skills, presence, adaptability, and collaboration abilities.


Can video interviews help identify strong leadership candidates?

Video interview software aids in identifying strong leadership potential in candidates by assessing their communication skills, body language, and presence. Recruiters can evaluate candidates’ confidence, charisma, and adaptability, crucial traits for effective leadership. Collaborative features enable multiple reviewers to assess candidates, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation process.

How can a hiring platform assist with leadership succession planning?

A hiring platform, like an easy-to-use ATS, can aid leadership succession planning by facilitating the identification and development of internal talent pools. Through comprehensive talent assessments, performance tracking, and skills gap analysis, the platform enables organizations to nurture and groom promising employees for future leadership roles, ensuring a seamless transition and continuity of leadership.

This post was updated to bring you the most up-to-date tips on 4/11/24

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.