Team Leaders Interview Questions and Answers

28 Feb 2023, 42 Questions

Are you preparing yourself for the interview as the role of Team Leader? If yes, then you have to prepare hard for this, as there are a variety of team leader interview questions that can be asked to you. These questions may belong to your past experience and skills, some situational based, or maybe some behavior-based. However, it is recommended to go through the project management tools, before going to an interview.

Top 10 Interview Questions for a Team Leader Position

  • What leadership style do you prefer, and how do you adapt it to different situations?
  • How do you motivate your team members and keep them engaged and focused on achieving their goals?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to handle a difficult team member or situation? How did you handle it?
  • How do you communicate with your team members and ensure everyone is on the same page?
  • Can you walk us through how you delegate tasks and responsibilities to your team members? How do you ensure that everyone can contribute and develop their skills?
  • How do you handle conflicts within your team? Can you give an example of a time when you successfully resolved a conflict?
  • How do you motivate your team, especially when feeling demotivated or overwhelmed?
  • How do you handle a consistently underperforming team member? What steps do you take to help them improve their performance?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you had to make a tough decision that wasn't popular with your team, and how did you handle it?
  • How do you prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities within your team?

Interview Questions For Leadership

Here in this article, we will be listing frequently asked Team Leader Interview Questions and Answers with the belief that they will be helpful for you to gain higher marks. Also, to let you know that this article has been written under the guidance of industry professionals and covered all the current competencies.

Q1. What steps would you take to help make your teams more effective?
  • To begin with, I will go through the scope of the project and get familiar with the project scope. I will meet with the current project manager, and the team involved to know the actual status of the project. I will compare the situation with the expected project baseline. I will create a stress-free atmosphere while motivating the team.
  • In addition, I will create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) with the deadline assigned for the remaining work and give them to the team working on the project.
  • Furthermore, I will conduct daily scrum meetings with the entire team to monitor the project's status and whether it is on schedule per the milestones created. I will assist the team if the team is stuck in pending issues. I will make sure that any conflict between team members is prevented.
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Q2. What will you do to drive confidence in the customer not being happy with the quality and delivery by the end of the project?
  • First, I will ask the sales team to introduce me as a new project manager. The sales team will convey to the customer that we are assigning a new project manager by saying that your new project manager has experience completing and delivering complicated projects.
  • My next task would be to communicate with the customer and ensure that the delivery of the project will be made with the desired quality they are expecting. I will convince the customer of their cooperation and appreciate their patience. Meanwhile, let me go through the project details and the entire team working on the project.
  • I will invite the customer to project management software (whatever the company uses). With this approach, the customer will always be in the loop and can see how the project is divided into doable tasks and is moving towards completion. Also, I will communicate progressive updates or milestone achievements to the client regularly.
  • These above approaches will help regain confidence in the customer.
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Q3. How would you deliver bad news to your team members?

Good news and bad news, both are part and parcel of any organization. There cannot be one without the other. The interviewer might ask you this question just to make sure that you are capable of delivering bad news without hampering work efficiency.

You need to assure the interviewer that you understand bad news is a part of the whole job process. In order to deliver bad news, it is best to gather your whole team together and explain what has happened.

You need to assure the interviewer that you can be empathetic while carefully explaining why this situation happened, what steps you have decided on to curb the effects of this bad news and also be strong during the whole period while taking feedbacks from your teammates as to how you could’ve stopped/predicted the bad news from happening.

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Q4. What are the qualities of a successful team leader?

As a team leader, there are certain skills you should be able to demonstrate

  • Communication skills that are strong for ensuring that appropriate information is sent to the appropriate team member to ensure the success of a project without causing any miscommunications.
  • Very organized with a solid grasp on priority tasks to ensure efficiency does not suffer.
  • Trustworthiness of your colleagues. It's one thing for you to confirm the tasks performed by the new employee or team member. It is a different thing to micromanage. You must let go of micromanaging and trust your team members.
  • Every team member is an expert. They might be less skilled than you, but to be able to portray yourself as a competent leader, it is essential to be respectful of their contribution in the group, regardless of how little their contribution is.
  • In the end, you must be honest with your team members every moment of the day. You must also work in a way that is honest and trustworthy. No one likes an honest or dishonest team leader.
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Q5. How to manage conflicts in a team?

If there is conflict in a team, then I will conduct the open meeting so that I can listen to everyone and everything can be put on the table, and the situation can be handled then and there, and there is no miscommunication among the team members. It will be then easy for me to come to a conclusion.

lead interview questions
Every team leader should take his team with him or her. He/she should involve their team in all the decisions that don’t matter small or big. In the lead interview questions, this is the key thing that every company is looking for.
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Q6. What is employee transfer?

The transfer can be defined as the internal mobility of an employee of a company. It is a lateral movement pertaining to one employee in the company by one employee. “The transfer includes the shifting concerning one employee from a job to the other without changing any of the responsibilities and compensation”. Employee transfer is quite common among all the organizations. And it can be defined also like the change in one job inside the company where the different new jobs equal substantially to the former in payment terms, status as well as responsibilities. Employee transfer can take place from one department of the company to another and from a single plant to the other.

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Q7. How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks?

I make a list of the tasks, and if the task is big, then I divide the task into smaller tasks. I prioritize the things depending upon the urgency of the task and how important each task is. If I get a new task, then I add it to the list and decide when to do it.

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Q8. How would you go about delegating/assigning tasks of a project among your team?

After onboarding of any project, the interviewer needs to know that you as a team leader are able to distribute the tasks in the most suitable way so that the work quality is ensured and timelines are strictly followed.

In order for this to happen, you as a team leader must asses the total work and divide it into different talent zones. Now, you should delegate tasks in such a manner that each person gets what he/she is best at. Only then can both quality and timelines be maintained.

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Q9. How would you control a dispute among team members disagreeing over job responsibilities?

Well, in addition to delving in your past work professionally, interviewers looking for a Team Leader would also be interested in asking you questions about the present and situational questions. Conflict management is a vital aspect that should be mastered by Team Leaders to effectively solve problems encountered while proceeding on a project. You must bring clarity to the interviewer by addressing this question on all fronts.

Conflict arises due to either miscommunication or incorrect assigning of work to team members. You must show the interviewer that as a leader, you would listen to both sides of the argument in a neutral position while gathering the root cause of conflict from the conversation. Then, after carefully analyzing the situation you shall come up with a solution without being biased to any team member

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Q10. As a Team Leader, how do you lead through change?

Being a Team Leader, it is your responsibility to quickly adapt to changes. Changes are a vital part of growth. You need to embrace these changes effortlessly and should be confident about them so that if any team member asks you questions or anything specific about it, you are ready with the correct answer.

Team leader interview questions
If anyone out there in the company wants to improve their company, they have to improve themselves first. In this way, the company and its people will start following you.
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Q11. Is competition among team members healthy?

The ways of working along with technology are changing very frequently nowadays. Team members need to stay on top of the changes. Hence, having a competition among team members is healthy as long as it does not hamper the overall quality of work or team unity.

There are some team members who might not be that social and perhaps don’t like to indulge in competitions and such. You as a team leader must understand that and not force these employees to participate in a competition. If after some time they feel that their colleagues are benefitting from it, they shall automatically start participating in these activities.

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Q12. How do you present an argument?

It is a well- known fact that great leaders handle arguments smoothly and precisely. It should be important for the candidate or a leader to present an argument in a polite way to avoid conflicts. In general, the argument claims and support that interviewee present in front of the interviewer. Being a leader, it is important to know how to tackle and present arguments. Given ways should need to be adopted by the candidate to strongly and effectively present an argument.

  • Listen before speaking
  • Explain each argued point
  • Admit what actually is wrong and right
  • Be polite and try to justify your answer
  • The argument should be strong and realistic
  • Ask questions
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Q13. What is the difficult part of being a leader?

Showing the right direction to the candidate is the most difficult part. Leaders should be assertive before providing guidelines to the candidates. A manager is someone who simply follows the job objectives and business goals. A leader is responsible for influencing the team members positively by motivating them. The leader should be a strong communicator and they should understand the two-way nature of communication to nurture good ideas from employees regularly.

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Q14. What are some challenges of being a leader?

The team leader needs to look into the loopholes that exist in operational processes and restructure the processes and business practices that are oriented toward goals. It was discovered that the majority of leaders are unable to overcome to organizational problems due to

  • Inability to learn by making mistakes
  • Insufficient skills to resolve conflicts
  • Incorrect communication skills and team management
  • Unskilled and insufficiently informed about the qualities of a leader
  • Unskillful choice of leadership style.
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Q15. How do you conduct a code review?

Tips mentioned below will help you to conduct a code review efficiently:

  • Do not review more than 400 code lines at a time.
  • An inspection rate of 500 LOC per hour is a good way to go.
  • Review code for 1 hour at one time.
  • Set goals as well as capture the metrics.
  • Before you start with the review annotate the source code.
  • Make use of checklists.
  • Create a procedure to fix the defects found.
  • Follow a positive culture of code review.
  • Take benefit of peer review’s subconscious implications.
  • Use code reviews that are lightweight.
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Q16. How do you ensure quality of code?

Quality of code defines whether it is good (high quality) or bad (low quality). Whatever may be the quality it is subjective. Different organizations can have different definitions according to the context. And some code that may be considered of high quality could have different meanings for developers of automation and web application. Follow the below-mentioned tips to ensure the quality of the code.

  • Opt for one coding standard
  • Analyze the code
  • Following Code Reviews
  • Refracting the legacy code
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Q17. What tools do you use to test code quality?

Mentioned below are the various free as well as paid tools to check the quality of your code:

  • Sonar Qube
  • ESLint
  • Klocwork
  • Coverity
  • Code Climate
  • Codacy
  • Closure Linter
  • JS Hint
  • JS Lint
  • Pylint
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Q18. How do you debug an application?

The 5 ways mentioned below will help you to debug your application efficiently:

  • Before changing the code make sure you reproduce the bug every single time.
  • Understand the Stack Traces
  • Write one Test case. This test case should reproduce the bug
  • Be well acquainted with the error code
  • Search the internet thoroughly to gather as much information as possible

Appreciation, is something that enhances every person to do a bit extra than his or her efficiency. In the team lead interview questions, the interviewer is looking for the people who have gratitude in their nature for others.

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Q19. Why should we hire you for a team leader?

I am a strategist, and I like to execute and put through the plans in conformity with my teammates. I have the abilities to achieve long and short term goals. I have worked in different teams in my career. I am dynamic and receptive to changes as per the requirement of the team. I comprehend with the situation that this requires a team leader to lead the team efficiently and with responsibility. I'm efficient and meet my deadlines on time and achieve the project goals. I genuinely believe I can successfully fill this role of being a team leader.”

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Q20. What are the roles of a team leader?

Some of the roles of a team leader are:-

  • The team leader must get the task done by the available resources.
  • Conduct ongoing training for the team members
  • Develop a strategy for completing the projects within the deadlines
  • Communicate clear instructions with the team members
  • Listen to the queries and feedback from the team members
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Q21. What types of responsibilities does a team leader follow?

Some of the responsibilities of a team leader are:-

  • Create a scheme by which team members can reach the target of the projects
  • Assign different tasks to the team members depending on their capability
  • Keep an eye on the deadlines and performance of the projects
  • Pass on the progress to higher reporting level
  • Assess the performance of team members
  • Create an inspiring team environment

A good team leader is the one who always helps and provides support to their team members to progress in their life. A person who always appreciate others and inspires the people around themselves.

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Q22. How would you motivate your team?

Teams play an essential part of any organization. Teams partners the company to get important work done. Motivated team when combines with the energy, skills, and knowledge can accomplish any tasks with ease and grace. Teams can be motivated in some of the following ways:-

  • Creating a pleasant environment for team members.
  • Giving opportunities to the team members to learn new skills
  • Encouraging the members by valuing their suggestions
  • Making sure that each of the team members is happy and working with a positive attitude
  • Supporting the team members to try again if they have made a mistake.
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Q23. What is your preferred way of communication with the team?

Effective and clear communication with the team is essential in a leadership role. I choose the following ways to communicate with my team:-

  • Always say “Hello” and “ Good Bye” to my team
  • Conduct an open meeting session every week so that everything that has to be addressed can be put on the table. By far, this can be the best way to communicate with the team
  • Conduct one-to-one session with the team members for those who need it.
  • Use simple words of English or Hindi that can be easily understood by everyone
Related Article: Project Management Tools
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Q24. How do you keep track of tasks and goals?
I use the following ways to keep track of my tasks and goals at a personal level as well as in the office:-
  • I break a big complex task into smaller tasks and then distribute the work to my team with the detailed description. As a result task tracking becomes very easy.
  • If I have multiple projects, then I make sure that I prioritize my task depending on the deadlines of the projects.
  • After a detailed study of the project, I make sure that the task which more tough gets complete first.
  • I put the tasks on my Outlook calendar. Therefore, I get the remainder of the work to be done.
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Q25. How do you convince someone to agree with you?

Before speaking to someone, I make sure that I am convinced with what I am going to share and then I share with the person that how what I am sharing will be beneficial for him or her. For Instance, If I have to give a project to my team member, then I will make sure that he or she is clear that how working on this project will be beneficial for him or her.

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Q26. How would you differentiate between a Team leader and a Team Manager?

A team manager is one who gives a set of instructions and job responsibilities while leaving the rest of it for the team members to decipher and execute. Whereas, a Team Leader will inspire his/her teammates to achieve not only their current goals but also increase their efficiency and make the workplace a highly productive zone.

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Q27. How would you decide if a project is at risk before accepting it?
It makes more sense by accepting a project when it is at risk as challenges will make me more efficient in my work. Now before accepting a project, I will surely understand in deep and will plan risk response accordingly. I will evaluate all the possibilities to make the project successful. I will identify all the risks of the projects and will list them at a place. Then, I will start gathering all the resources which can reduce the risk level. At last, I will checklist all of the possible risks and gathered resources to assure that all of them will work or not.
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Q28. How do you improve team skills?

I do the following things to improve team skills:-

  • I Respect the suggestion given by the team member
  • Conduct regular training of the team members
  • I don't argue over who gets the credit of the work because we work as a team and not individually.
  • I set some ground rules for the team to get a better result from the team members
  • I celebrate the team's achievements

This is the favorite interviewer question in team leader interview questions.

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Q29. What methods do you use to assess your team's performance?

An assessment of your team performance is really important and there are various methods available to assess a team’s performance. If I have to asses my team’s performance, I will do it with consistency with reports like daily, weekly, and monthly work reports. I will always ask them to contribute with their ideas in the team so that I can get assured who is giving his/her efforts to make the company grow and deserves an appreciation. I will suggest self-monitory ideas so that they can analyze themselves and prevent themselves from the thought that they are not capable enough to do that work. And at last, I will maintain the accountability of work.

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Q30. What is your approach when you are not clear about achieving your goals on time?

When I am not clear about achieving my goals on time, I share this breakdown with my team and ask for the suggestions to complete the objectives before the deadlines and how can they support me in this. I even approach my manager also to get opinions.

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Q31. Describe how you have praised a team member in front of others?

Appreciation is the best way of praising a team member for his/her good work. In my view, a verbal compliment is more effective. Therefore, I prefer giving verbal compliments in front of others. This helps because they expect to hear a positive compliment from the boss or any team leader. Praising them even if the team member fails to cope up with the task assigned will decrease the sense of negativity created in their mind and it will eventually increase their productivity. Compliments are the best motivation in the workplace!

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Q32. How to achieve your goal successfully?

To achieve the goals, I take the following actions:-

  • Keep updating my knowledge in my domain by doing training and certifications
  • Keep communicating with the team member to build a relationship with them
  • Ask the support of my seniors and my team members if I need any help in the project
  • Keep a check on my productivity as well as my team productivity.
  • Enjoy my work
Team leader should always listen to their team members carefully and understand their viewpoint. In the leadership interview questions, the interviewer is expecting to select the people who are good listeners.
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Q33. How do you assign responsibilities to your teammates?

The best thing about giving responsibilities to employees or team member is that each individual feels the sense of ownership and take up the task in any situations. This makes them feel that they weigh some importance in the team and for the project that is being assigned. I would never order my team members for any particular task. Of course, there will be deadlines but no harsh words or scolding. For good productivity, team collaboration is very important. If the team leader motivates team members to take up all the challenges, then the project or task can be completed within or before any deadlines.

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Q34. Explain your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
  • Communicate very easily with the people
  • Organize the task efficiently
  • Perform well under pressure
  • Hardworking
  • Emotional
  • Cannot say ‘No’ to people
  • Cannot tell a lie
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Q35. According to you, competition among a team is healthy or not.

According to me, team competition is healthy if it does not involve personal grudges and jealousy with other members. This is what we call healthy competition. It is healthy when we impart and promote healthy conflicts, rewards for best performance and appreciation for the rest of the team members. Setting goals for the employees leads to better competition. There should be no limitations to compete among a team or organization or competing with other organizations. Finding good competing opportunities is necessary when an individual or a team is in strong competition with other teams. Strong bonding among team members leads to a healthy and friendly competition.

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Q36. What are the four different leadership styles and brief them?

Autocratic or Authoritarian leadership:-

  • Assigns the tasks and duties without the opinions of others
  • Talks too much.
  • Employees do not progress in this leadership

Democratic or Participative leadership

  • Believes in the knowledge and skills of other people
  • Involves other people in leadership and skill development.
  • The employees feel that management care for them

The Laissez-faire or Free-rein leadership

  • Pass on the responsibilities to their subordinates
  • Does not care about what is going on in the team
  • The team is less productive

Paternalistic leadership

  • The leader expect that his role is fatherly
  • The leader guides and protects his team
  • Provides good working conditions to employees

This is one of the important questions in team leader interview questions.

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Q37. What according to you is the most challenging part of being a leader?

Leadership always involves various challenges. Leaders face many obstacles throughout the end. Management is the biggest cause of bad leadership. The next reasons are lack of development, lack of support from team members, and higher authorities. In all such cases, leaders lose their hopes and lack in making the proper decision for the organization and start being defensive and aggressive. Setting the right goals and plans with good communication can help prevent such challenges in the workplace.

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Q38. How to deal with that team member who disagrees with you?

If my team member disagrees with me, then I will meet him personally and will listen to him that why he is disagreeing with my idea and then after discussion with the team member, I will find out the point on which both of us will agree so that he or does not feel being invalidated. Basically, this is a type of scenario based team leader interview questions.

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Q39. How do you handle an employee with a bad attitude?

It is quite difficult to handle the employees with a bad attitude. Employees who are posing bad attitudes may be technically proficient, yet they create workplace environments non-manageable with their inappropriate behavior.

Given below are some of the tips and tricks to handle such types of personalities-

  • Provide regular feedback and performance reviews for your employees.
  • Address problems of the employees properly.
  • Make a realistic timeline for the change.
  • Conduct proper attitude awareness programs.
  • Resolve conflicts between the employee.
  • Fulfill their expectations on time.
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Q40. What are the essential characteristics needed by an effective negotiator?

Some of the essential characteristics are:-

  • Having a Good reputation and good intentions
  • Well prepared before doing the negotiation
  • Be calm and composed
  • Be open-minded
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Q41. How to deal with rude staff at work?
There are a number of ways that leaders should need to adopt for handling the rude staff at the workplace.
  • Be sympathetic towards them and try to understand the rudeness behind their behavior.
  • Communicate with them so that the root cause of rudeness can be detected.
  • Discusses a person’s behaviors with others.
  • Avoid rude behavior.
  • Give extra time to the employee who is not able to behave kindly.
  • Understand the personality of the person.
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Q42. What do you consider before firing or hiring?

Before hiring, I consider

  • Whether the candidate is suitable for this job or not?
  • Can he or she handle the workload
  • His or skill set is matching the job description or not?
  • Does he or she has a relevant work experience or not?

Before firing, I consider

  • Previously the warning has been given to the employee or not?
  • Can the firing be avoided?
  • Is the employee aware that why he or she is getting fired?
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Best Team leaders Interview Questions

Here you will find the list of best team lead interview questions, which were written under the supervision of industry experts. These are the most common questions and usually asked in every interview for the role of the team lead.

  • What new team leaders should do first?
  • What is the difference between team lead and team leader?
  • How do you train team leaders?
  • What is project risk identification?
  • How do you evaluate team performance?
  • How do you motivate your team members?
  • How many types of leadership styles are there?
  • What are the qualities of a team leader?

Top 10 tech lead interview questions 2021

If you are from a technical background and want to pursue your career in the technical domain only, then you can opt for the role of tech lead in the companies. Here are the top 10 interview questions for team leader that will definitely be going to help you in your interviewer.

  • Are you comfortable giving in-depth presentations?
  • How can you debug a program while it’s being used?
  • What tools do you use to test code quality?
  • What resources do you use to troubleshoot technical issues?
  • How would you respond if a team member suggested using new software?
  • If you found a developer would be more efficient and effective on another team, how would you implement this transfer?
  • How do you keep current with technology trends? Are you currently working on any side projects?
  • What are the first things you do when reviewing someone else's code? What tools do you use to test code quality?
  • How would you motivate your team to meet deadlines?
  • What is the first thing you would do as the technical lead at our organization?
  • Are you comfortable giving in-depth presentations?

Wrapping it Up

Being a team leader is a very responsible job. If you got selected for the job then keep this thing in mind that you have the responsibility for the entire team who will be under your supervision. In the lead interview questions, it is important to show a maturity and understanding attitude in front of the interviewer

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