Managerial courage or being bold is an essential skill for senior leaders, and it is common to face HR interview questions pertaining to it.
Considering the fast-paced world today, there seems to always be an increased level of uncertainty at work. It also extends to the continual need of the employer or the senior managers to make decisions rapidly. Often, the lines of responsibility are unclear. In such cases, it is important that the employee/ manager display courage and be straightforward — hence, they ideally should not hold back anything that needs to be said.
Managerial courage skills or traits include providing current, direct, complete, and “actionable’ positive and corrective feedback to others. They should also let people know where they stand and face up to people’s problems on any person or situation (not including direct reports), quickly and directly. On the whole, such individuals should not be afraid to take negative action when necessary.
Good leaders deal with corrective feedback in a manner that inspires accountability and behavior change among colleagues and direct reports. Share a situation that demonstrates your capability in this competency.
When answering this HR interview question on being bold, you should ensure that you talk about corrective feedback in a positive and assertive way. It should not reflect arrogance or a know-it-all attitude. You can tell them that there have been instances in the past where you had to provide current, direct, and complete reinforcing and corrective feedback to others.
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, mention about a situation where you had to demonstrate this competency. It should reflect that you are being direct and tactful. It is important that you let people know where they stand and also address the problems for the required situation quickly and directly. You should also add that when handling such situations, you try to act tactfully and deal head-on with people problems and prickly situations.
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, lay emphasis on the fact that you don’t believe in the blame game. You would like to suggest corrective measures without being toxic or negative. The idea is that you would want to implement behavior change and inspire them. So after discussing or communicating the issue, you can suggest remedial measures like training and providing insights on improving performance.
Share two examples that demonstrate the fact that you have a commanding presence, yet that presence is not intimidating to others.
Ideally, the HR interviewer through this interview question on being bold, would like to know that you can demonstrate a commanding presence that should display leadership skills but not be intimidating. You can pick any two situations that describe such instances. Say that being in a managerial or a responsible position, you are constantly faced with what you know and what you don’t. These are determining factors that help you to have a commanding presence with certainty. Say that being courageous does not mean being oblivious to the risks. When addressing such colleagues, you would want to get your facts right.
So, you can say that while being straight or direct about issues, you also try to strike a balanced path. For example, it could be asking direct questions to find out what employees really think and feel. You can also listen to their responses and acknowledge them.
The idea is to strive for consistency in your words and behavior and ensure that you have all the information you need about the issue before acting. Faulty information is something that you are always wary of. Suggest that you try to be open-minded when being commanding. You always welcome new information and suggestions and try to think about the same before the decision making. Sharing thoughts is also another way to go about the same.
Tell me about the time when you found it most difficult to deal head-on with people problems. What was the most important factor(s) in your success (or failure)?
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, you can say, difficulty or trouble in dealing with people problems is rather natural and common. What you should remember here is that the interviewer would like to know both successes and failures in this reference. They are more eager to know about the methods or procedures you undertake when exuding managerial courage. When you have a difficult message to deliver, don’t go off a tangent during the conversation.
In response to this HR interview question on being bold, describe a situation where you had to be direct about things with a colleague who was underperforming and was also a good friend. You can say that you prepped for the same and mentally prepare for what feelings. You also evaluated the questions you may be asked because you don’t want to get caught off-guard and appear unprepared or unsure.
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, cite that while you have successfully handled these issues, there have been times when you have had to accept failure or the employee was unwilling to make amendments and adapt to changes. When attributing success, do cite gratitude for the people who cooperated. Mention that your analytical capabilities, foresightedness, etc. helped you in achieving desired results. Also, say that timing plays a crucial role because the sooner problems are addressed, the quicker they are sorted.
Sometimes, as leaders, it is necessary to administer negative actions. Share two situations that make obvious, your ability to swiftly and effectively take negative action. Why was it important to do so?
The HR interviewer would want to know how you administer negative actions. They want to know if, at a managerial position, you have the ability to take action swiftly and fix the issue.
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, reply that timely action is vital because negativity is best dealt with quickly. However, you would not want to make decisions without being able to weigh the consequences in detail. For this, you would want to collect all the desired information, which can be difficult but is essential. You should support your answer by saying that all companies need employees who are able to show initiative. However, negativity in the form of innovation or any other sphere should be handled early on.
Explain or discuss with them a situation that required you to take daring action without receiving prior approval from superiors. Talk about your decision and how it required you to be courageous and be outside your comfort zone. Did you set up some ambitious objectives and pursue this in the face of adversity? If you had imposed rigorous standards that could include discipline and measures. Say that imposing discipline takes real courage and motivation.
As an answer to this HR interview question on being bold, explain the relentless measures you took to ensure that these rules are applied, especially since it was regarding the welfare of the team and also the organization. You should discuss two different kinds of situations, ideally — one that required very stern action and another that was more of a remedial measure.