Leadership Interview Project Overview
LDR 201: Principles of Leadership Fall 2020
Leader Interview Project Guidelines
The Leader Interview Project is designed to give students the opportunity to engage with leaders
in the community and learn about their experiences being in a leadership position. Students will
then develop a written reflection and presentation to highlight the parallels between the leader’s
experiences, the student’s personal leadership style, and leadership theory discussed throughout
the duration of the course.
The first step in beginning this assignment is to choose a leader that you can interview over a
video-conference or phone call. This individual can be a business, community, religious,
political, or team leader. Although a student may have a great leader in their family, this
assignment strongly encourages students to reach out to leaders that they have never interacted
with or are curious to learn more about. Only one student per course section can interview a
respective leader. Once choosing their leader to interview, students must e-mail the course
instructor with the name of their leader, and the position they hold. The leader choice is due to
the course instructor by Tuesday, Nov 17th at 11:59 pm by a discussion post on the eCampus
The interview portion of the assignment involves the student meeting with the leader for 30
minutes to an hour either in-person or over a video-conference. The student will develop a set of
10 questions at minimum to ask the leader about their experiences and answer all questions
necessary for the paper and presentation.
The questions should be designed to answer the following questions in both the presentation and
1. Who did you choose for your leadership interview and why?
2. Describe the organization or group they lead (A good interview question/statement might be,
“Tell me about your organization and its members?”).
3. Where and when did your interview take place?
4. How did you begin or open up your interview (first question)?
5a. What were other key questions you asked during your interview and why?
5b. Discuss at least 3 highlights/noteworthy moments from your interview.
6. Were there things you expected your leader to say about leadership? Did they? 7. What were
you surprised to learn from your interview with this leader?
8. Which of the leadership theories/concepts/styles we have discussed, so far seem to be reflected
in this leader’s style or leadership approach? (In most instances, there will be more than a single
applicable theory, concept or style, so thoroughly analyze the leader’s responses).
9. What did the leader identify as his/her strengths and weaknesses when it comes to leadership?
(A good way to get leaders to elaborate on questions like this and others is by asking them to
give you real-life examples of times they exhibited particular strengths or times when they felt
aware of particular weaknesses).
10. Finally, how is your own leadership style/approach similar to and/or different from this
To conduct a successful interview, here are some tips and tricks:
● Let your interviewee know about the class and why you are doing the interview.
● Be sure your interviewee is available and be respectful of their time.
● For an in-person interview, be sure that you can hold the interview in a space where
there are no interruptions.
● Make sure you have your set of questions handy.
● Create “open-ended” questions that cause your interviewee to give a more detailed
● Start out by building rapport. Ask a few questions designed to help you connect with
your interviewee (this mostly applies when interviewing someone you do not know well).
● Let the interviewee know you’d like the interview to be more conversational and that
you’d like to record it so that you can really focus on the conversation and use the
recording later to write your analysis and prepare your presentation.
Students are required to submit a 3-4 page, double-spaced (12pt, Times New Roman) reflection
on their interview experience, answering the questions above and reflecting on the parallels
between their personal leadership style/approach and that of the leader they interviewed.
Additionally, students must attach a copy of the 10 questions they developed to ask their
interviewee as an appendix to this written response. The written portion will be assessed on the
quality of your interview questions, the integration of related leadership theories in your
reflection, and the analysis/explanation of interviewee responses.
The written portion is worth 200 points and is due on eCampus on 12/1/2020 by 11:59 pm
In addition to the written portion of the assignment, students will be required to give a
presentation to the instructor about their interview experiences. The presentation will be recorded
and uploaded to YouTube for the instructor’s review. If the leader consents, take a picture or two
of them during the interview experience. The rest of your pictures can include appropriate
images of their organization, diagrams from the textbook, and other relevant images accessed
from the web. When developing the presentation, students should be able to answer the
following questions for the class:
● Who was your interviewee? Why did you choose them?
● Describe the organization that they lead.
● Highlight some of the key questions and responses that you asked during your
● Highlight the surprising things that you learned about your leader and their
● Which leadership theories/concepts/styles seem to be reflected in your leader
● What are some of the defined strengths and weaknesses of your leader when it comes
to leadership? How do they use them to their advantage or overcome them?
● How is your own leadership style/approach either similar or different from that of the
leader in which you interviewed?
● Include any other interesting or relevant findings from your interview experience.
Tips and Tricks for a Successful Presentation
● Tell a story. The best presentations are often good stories instead of just a bunch of
facts or portfolio pieces strung together. Take the audience on a journey (albeit a short
one) that has an intro, development, and conclusion. Think about how your story will
combine with the images you've chosen to solidify your message and give the audience a
rich experience. Be sure to share with the audience why your presentation topic is
important to you and why they should care about it too.
● Use powerful, relevant images. The images you choose should reinforce your ideas.
Make sure your images are of high quality and are appropriate for the assignment.
● Don’t cram too much into your presentation.
● Avoid “ums” and other filler words during your presentation.
● Be engaging. You should demonstrate a genuine interest in the person you selected. If
you seem disinterested in your interview subject, your classmates will certainly be.
● Practice? Practice. Practice!
The Presentation is worth 100 points and is due to eCampus by 12/1/2020 at 11:59 pm.
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