Leadership: What does it look like?

An interview for a position in security is not much different than an interview for any other type of role. Thus, you ought to be prepared for an interviewer to say: “Tell me about yourself.”  It is a crucial moment in an interview, time for you to highlight some of your personal qualities and experience related to the type of security role you are being considered for. It is your one chance to convince the interviewer of what makes you different from other applicants.  One quality that you may decide to highlight is .  But what exactly is this attribute, and how can you cultivate it?

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. —Max DePree

Leadership is no simple thing to define. In fact, it may not even be mentioned in the job description the security recruiter sent to you or the description you read when applying online. However, leadership encompasses many other qualities that employers are looking for, and stories that illustrate your ability to lead well will serve to convince your interviewer that you have honed a variety of skills that can serve your new employer.

First of all, good leaders demonstrate various people-oriented skills.  A leader understands the importance of teamwork and facilitates a good environment for others to work with each other, rather than opposing each other.  Successful leaders also demonstrate strength in different areas of communication, enabling them to keep everyone else on the same page and working towards the same goal.

Second, good leaders possess good qualities in and of themselves.  They must be motivated, committed, and both realistic and visionary.  Good leaders are not afraid to take responsibility.

Being a leader is not necessarily a glorious position, and it is certainly not an easy one.  Earning the right to say that you are a leader takes time and effort, as you have to display integrity in tough circumstances.  However, the benefits of being a leader are vast.  Growing in your leadership abilities means that you get to grow in all of these areas personally, and it instills in you characteristics that will be valuable to any employer.

As you prepare for job interviews, ask yourself in what respects you have already demonstrated ability to lead, and how you can become a better leader.  Your coworkers and future employer will thank you for it.

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