Answering Interview Questions: How would you rate yourself as a leader and as a follower?

Leader or FollowerPeople often say that in order to become a good leader, one must be a good follower. You need to learn how to follow and obey orders from people who are in a higher position than you. By being a good follower, you can gain a lot of wisdom and knowledge from others, and that can help you become a better leader.


During the interview, your potential employer might be interested in whether you are follower or a leader. Think about it: which one are you? If both, how would you rate yourself as a follower and as a leader?

This question may seem strange, but there’s a reason for asking it. An effective answer should not be just one or the other (leader or follower). Most interviewers look for applicants who can be both regardless of the type of job being applied for (whether it’s an entry-level or a managerial position).

Interviewers ask the question “How would you rate yourself as a follower and as a leader?” because they are interested in knowing how well you can handle these roles. Moreover, they want evidence that you can be effective in taking on both roles.

How do you answer this question?

  • Be a little of both.

Consider yourself as a follower and a leader. Tell your interviewer that you are good at being both—that you can be a follower who can obey rules and instructions, as well as a leader who can guide a group towards a certain goal.

  • Keep it real.

Don’t indulge yourself in the limelight. Be realistic and try not to use bombastic language to impress your interviewer. Keep your answers simple, but with an impact. Make sure to accentuate your abilities, but in a reasonable way.

  • Lean towards what the position expects.

What position are you applying for? Is it an entry-level position or a managerial one? Gear your answer toward your target position. If you are applying for an entry-level job, focus on being a follower; if you are applying for a managerial position, focus on being a leader.

  • Get ready to adapt.

Show your willingness to adapt. If you will be assigned a leadership position, be ready to take on the responsibilities of being a leader. If you are asked to follow and obey, be prepared to complete any given task and learn new things.

  • Cite an example.

Finally, the best way to rate yourself as a leader and a follower is to cite examples where you became one. If it is your first job, mention examples from your college experience. If not, provide examples from your previous jobs.

A great employee is one who can be both a leader and a follower, and that’s what the interviewer is looking for. The best thing is to tell the interviewer that you can be what they want you to be. Rate yourself honestly, keep everything real and simple, and remember that the best answers are those with specific supporting examples.

Read 41229 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 14:42
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.