I agree with the other responses. Be prepared to answer the questions with details. As a career counselor, I help students with interviewing skills. I tell them to use the STAR method when answering the question:
"Tell me about a time when you were working in a group and demonstrated leadership skills."
In this case, let's break down the answer:
S - state the problem. You can say something like:
"I was working in team of 5 students for a work assignment and the deadline for the presentation was in xx weeks."
T- tell what happened. Explain the events that led up to you demonstrated leadership skills. Maybe something like:
"I took the initiative to email everyone to set up a meeting time and location at the University library meeting room. During those meetings, I would assign each person a section of the presentation."
A- What actions happened that YOU did. For example:
"At one of those meetings, one of the team members did not do their part and we had 2 weeks left. I spoke to the team members to remind them of how important it is that everyone does their part. I then set up another meeting where WE ALL met in the campus computer lab to do our powerpoint slides and research.
R- Result. As in what happened? What was the result of what YOU did and how did it impact the assignment or work. This could be negative (in that case what did you learn from it and what would you have done differently - this shows that you take ownership of your mistakes and can learn and grow from them) and this could be positive (what did you learn from the experience)
So you response could be something like:
The team felt that they were a part of the group, and our group got an "A" from the professor. Then we had to do a peer evaluations on each other and my peers commented that they valued my leadership skills and helped them feel a part of the team.
I hope that implementing the STAR method in answering your questions is helpful in the future.
Good luck with your interviewing!
Cassandra recommends the following next steps:
- Always be prepared to answer the questions in detail.
- Utilize the STAR method in answering questions such as: tell me about a time when you...
- Practice, practice, practice. Go to your career counselor at the university and ask for a mock interview.