How to assess team leader skills

How to assess team leader skills Feature

The success of any firm is closely tied to its team leaders. An excellent team leader motivates through example, has a growth attitude, and enhances productivity and revenue.

But how do you find a team leader with all these powerful leadership qualities?

The answer is simple: You give candidates a team leader skills assessment. Use this guide to discover the leadership abilities your organization requires. Then use the skills tests listed below, such as our Leadership & People Management test, to employ team leaders who fit the bill.

Table of contents

What is a team leader skills assessment?

A team leader skills assessment is a series of tests that enable you to check a candidate’s leadership skills. 

Like any professional, a team leader must have a few basic skills to do their job well. A skills assessment helps you see whether or not they’ve got what it takes to lead the team effectively. It’s also a great way to assess what type of leader you’re dealing with. 

You know what your company needs to succeed, including the skills, energy, and goals you want to achieve. Hiring the right team leader is the most effective way to achieve those goals.

For example, suppose you’re looking for a leader with a cautious and reliable team leadership style. In that case, an assessment can weed out overly ambitious and risk-taking candidates. In contrast, skills assessments will also help you find a risk taker if you desire. 

With leadership assessments, you can narrow down the candidates to the best and choose the leaders who meet your company’s leadership requirements. 

Why are team leader skills important?

Great leaders inspire employees to be more productive and do better work. They do this while making sure employees know their efforts are appreciated.

By increasing employee engagement, they can raise a company’s productivity and profitability and reduce absenteeism and turnover.

Great team leaders also know when to reward employees for good work and when a stern hand would be more effective. 

However, only 48% of employees believe their organization has high-quality leadership. How can you ensure you hire a leader who can drive your company’s success?

There is a lack of high quality leadership in organisations Pie chart

To find leaders who increase profit margins and positively lead their teams, you need to identify candidates with excellent, not just good, leadership skills. 

Testing candidates for leadership skills like communication, creativity, task delegation, and positivity is vital in finding a leader who can grow their team into a lean, mean, productive machine. 

What skills and traits are important for team leaders?

Although there is no set formula for what makes a good leader, you’ll notice a few common traits in all the best company leaders. 

Watch for these critical traits when interviewing possible team leaders and doing leadership assessments.

What skills and traits are important for team leaders Graphic

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions positively to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. 

In archaic business settings, emotional intelligence is considered a “soft” skill with little value. Who needs empathy in business? Not so surprisingly, everyone needs it. Emotional intelligence is a marker of strong leadership and a necessary skill in high-stress situations. 

It’s also a lot more practical than you might believe. Here are a few subskills related to empathy that every leader should possess:

  • Effective communication: Communication is about more than just verbal communication. It encompasses how leaders approach their employees, handle disputes, and encourage better work. Effective communication is only possible when leaders know how to read their team members, play to their strengths, and manage their weaknesses. 
  • Active listening: To build strong relationships, stay in control, and manage teams, a team leader needs to listen actively to their subordinates. Not only does this reduce miscommunication issues, but employees also appreciate a leader who takes in what they say instead of just soothing them. 
  • Manage conflict: A leader with emotional intelligence enables employees to express their feelings. The leader can pinpoint problems and find fair solutions that satisfy all parties. They know how to resolve issues and minimize resentment in the workplace. 
  • Empathy: Around 70% of employees and HR professionals believe that empathetic employers increase employee motivation. That’s why employees need a team leader who empathizes with them and appreciates and interacts with them and their work.


Self-aware leaders know how to reflect on their actions and interactions with employees through a neutral lens. They have the ability to look inward and evaluate the good, the bad, and the ugly.

They don’t take offense to criticism or retaliate against employees brave enough to point out a management issue. 

Self-awareness is also a key marker in people who strive to grow and improve themselves. Leaders who actively try to improve themselves lead better and inspire the same growth mindset in those who work with them. 

Team delegation 

A team that runs smoothly is a team that knows its strengths and weaknesses. A team leader who delegates tasks well knows which employees are the best fit for the job and learns how to supplement their deficiencies with the strengths of other team members. 

Good team delegation also keeps your employees content. If they’re confident in their work, they’ll be much happier. A happy employee is a productive employee. 

A confident employee is also more comfortable taking on tasks that challenge them. Over time, even their weaknesses can become their strengths. 

Work ethic

Nobody is motivated by a lazy leader. A team leader who only does the bare minimum or delegates all their work to their subordinates loses the team’s respect, negatively influencing group morale. 

A team leader with a strong work ethic naturally does the opposite. They lead by example, inspiring employees to care about their work. 

Whether we like it or not, we’re all influenced by the people we work with. But an inspired team leader’s influence is a significant advantage. 


Challenges are a daily occurrence for team leaders. Whether it’s a conflict between two disgruntled employees or a company emergency, team leaders must improvise, adapt, and overcome these issues. 

Leadership agility, mental toughness, and resilience are essential to handling high-stress situations and adapting to unforeseen circumstances. Employees feel more at ease with a leader they can rely on for solutions during tough times. 


A team leader with vision is a leader who sees the big picture. A leader who can see the big picture understands their role and the importance of their work. They know how to use all the above traits for the good of the company and their team members. They also know how to take the initiative for the company’s betterment. 

These team leaders also believe in the company mission. A leader who cares about their work and is actively invested in its success is an invaluable resource. They inspire those around them and always go the extra mile. 

9 team leader skills and traits tests

The secret to hiring a great candidate is finding those with the leadership skills mentioned above. Skill and trait tests are an accurate and reliable method for achieving this. These tests provide an overview of the candidates’ personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Here are nine of our favorite team leader skills and traits tests.

9 team leader skills and traits tests Explanation

1. Enneagram test

This test is best for establishing the candidate’s core beliefs.

The Enneagram test is a famous personality test developed by Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo. The model pinpoints the candidate’s core beliefs and worldview on a nine-pointed diagram and shows the connection between the different aspects of their personality. 

Based on the Enneagram model, the nine types of team leaders are as follows: 

  • Type One – Improver: As its name suggests, this type focuses on getting things done and done right. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and work hard to maintain high standards. 
  • Type Two – Giver: The Giver is generous and warm. They value harmony, teamwork, and satisfying interpersonal relationships above all else. 
  • Type Three – Go-getter: Known as the success-oriented type, the Go-getter is pragmatic, ambitious, and status-conscious. As leaders, they are charming and adaptable. 
  • Type Four – Contemplator: The Contemplator is the lone wolf. They’re reserved and creative. But their most significant strengths as leaders are their self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 
  • Type Five – Pioneer: The Pioneer is who you go to for creative problem-solving. They’re insightful and curious innovators who thrive on building their knowledge and solving complex puzzles. 
  • Type Six – Devoted: The Devoted is a dependable team player. They thrive in secure environments and are known for being hard-working, trustworthy, pragmatic, and reliable. 
  • Type Seven – Cheerleader: The heart and soul of the office, the Cheerleader, is chatty, upbeat, and optimistic. They bring positive energy into the workplace and focus on creating practical and fun solutions to complex problems. 
  • Type Eight – Master: The Master is always up to challenge the status quo and established beliefs. They’re confident, ambitious, and decisive. As leaders, they’re resourceful, goal oriented, and honest. 
  • Type Nine – Agreeable: Easygoing to a fault, the Aggreable provides a stable and calming presence in the office. As leaders, they’re creative, trusting, and supportive. 

The Enneagram test is an effective solution if you already know the type of leader you need to manage your teams. This test also gives you a good feel for how your candidate will lead a team.

2. 16 Personalities test 

This test is best for establishing how candidates process information and make decisions.

How we view the world has a powerful influence on our decisions. Understanding how a team leader processes information is essential because this significantly affects how they handle everything from petty office conflicts to company-wide emergencies. 

Based on Carl Jung’s discoveries on human judgment and perception, the 16 Personalities test analyzes personalities along the following spectrums:

  • Introversion (I) versus extroversion (E)
  • Intuition (N) versus sensing (S)
  • Feeling (F) versus thinking (T)
  • Judging (J) versus perceiving (P)

Where team leaders fall on these spectrums determines their personality type and way of thinking, feeling, and perceiving the world. Here’s a brief breakdown of each personality type and how they lead a team.

The analysts are:

  • INTJ: Creative, strategic, and reserved. They always have a plan. 
  • INTP: Innovative, curious, and intelligent. They want to know everything. 
  • ENTJ: Bold, determined, and commanding. They consistently achieve their goals. 
  • ENTP: Curious, charming, and witty. They love an intellectual debate or challenge. 

The diplomats are:

  • INFJ: Quiet, optimistic, and caring. They aim to inspire others. 
  • INFP: Kind, creative, and romantic. They want to help others. 
  • ENFJ: Enigmatic, confident, and well spoken. They aim to be inspiring leaders. 
  • ENFP: Sociable, empathetic, and enthusiastic. They are always optimistic in challenging situations. 

The sentinels are:

  • ISTJ: Practical, factual, and honest. They are very reliable. 
  • ISFJ: Defenders, kind, and dedicated. They have a strong sense of justice. 
  • ESTJ: Organized, practical, and calm. They can manage things and people well. 
  • ESFJ: Charming, social, and caring. They love helping others. 

The explorers are:

  • ISTP: Experimental, bold, and practical. They learn quickly. 
  • ISFP: Artistic, flexible, and friendly. They are always up for change. 
  • ESTP: Perceptive, wise, and intelligent. They live on the edge. 
  • ESFP: Enthusiastic, energetic, and friendly. They bring life to the office.

Understanding a candidate’s personality type goes a long way in finding a suitable team leader who complements and builds your team.

3. DISC test 

This test is best for establishing how candidates express emotions.

Psychologist William Marston developed the DISC theory to see how people express emotions. Today, even government organizations and schools use this trendy behavior model to find the perfect team leaders.

The DISC assessment is a great way to see how candidates treat their subordinates, especially in high-stress situations. It also explains how they communicate and collaborate with employees, other team leaders, and management. 

The model has four main categories: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Though some people are only one type, most people are a combination of two or more of the categories. 

The traits are as follows: 

  • Dominance: D people are goal oriented, bold, and confident. They value achieving company goals above all else and are determined to deliver the results they set out to. 
  • Influence: I people value relationships and harmony in the workplace. They influence and persuade others instead of using force or threats. 
  • Steadiness: S people are stable and reliable. They value co-operation and harmony in the workplace. They’re also honest and trustworthy. 
  • Conscientiousness: C people are also goal oriented like D but include a touch of accuracy and perfection. They value competency in themselves and others. 

4. Leadership & People Management test 

This test is best for establishing how candidates influence and guide subordinates.

We developed the Leadership & People Management test to evaluate essential team leadership skills. We based this test on the situational leadership theory proposed by Blanchard and Hersey. 

Candidates are asked questions and given a choice to tell, sell, delegate, or participate in the test scenarios. 

The test evaluates how the candidate deals with the following:  

  • Task delegation, responsibility, and management
  • Feedback and feedback timeframes
  • Employee guidance
  • Plans to develop employees
  • Steps to support employees
  • Gaining acceptance for plans and project ideas

The evaluation reveals the candidates who are interested in going above and beyond. It also shows you how they manage employees and play to their strengths. 

The test narrows the list of possible candidates to those best fit for the role of team leader. As a business, your main goal is to grow. This test identifies leaders who can help you achieve your goals.

5. Project Management test 

This test is best for establishing how well candidates can manage projects.

A team leader or project manager should be able to manage people and projects. They must manage company resources, deliver high-quality work, manage other team members, and stay within the project deadline. It could affect profit margins and morale if they buckle under the stress. 

If you’re interested in seeing how a candidate will manage projects, the Project Management test is the test for you. This test establishes whether the candidate knows how to manage situations like these: 

  • Can they define, manage, and deliver the work in the client’s timeframe? 
  • Can they estimate and manage project schedules and budgets? 
  • Can they effectively communicate with other project participants and de-escalate conflicts within the group or with the client?

The test uses real-life scenarios to test their abilities. It gives the candidate project requirements and outcomes to prioritize. Those who do well have an excellent grasp of project cycles. They also know how to deliver high-quality work that satisfies the client’s needs. 

For a recruiter, these skills are essential to finding candidates who can work independently and successfully manage projects. 

6. Communication test 

This test is best for assessing written and verbal communication.

A team leader needs to be proficient in both written and verbal communication. They need to follow professional etiquette and clearly convey their intent. They must also communicate efficiently with their subordinates, other team leaders, upper management, and clients. 

The Communication test evaluates the following: 

  • Their understanding of written communication
  • Their active listening skills
  • How they interpret non-verbal communication cues
  • Their grasp and use of professional language 
  • How effectively they summarize and convey requirements, next steps, plans, etc. 

The candidates who do well on this test can deal with internal and customer-facing communications. 

7. Critical Thinking test

This test is best for evaluating the candidate’s analytical abilities.

We define critical thinking as the ability to conceptualize, analyze, and gather information to make the best and most informed choice. Critical thinking is also the key to innovative thinking, problem-solving, and growth. For a team leader, this is an essential skill. 

The Critical Thinking test evaluates the candidate with inductive and deductive reasoning problems. It provides candidates with multiple questions that they have to solve with logical thinking. 

The evaluation determines how they: 

  • Interpret sequences and arrangements
  • Interpret cause and effect
  • Recognize assumptions
  • Make decisions based on the given and gathered information

This test aims to see if they have sound judgment when making decisions that could affect other team members, the company’s reputation, and resources. 

8. Motivation test 

This test is best for assessing if the company and candidate’s expectations align.

Forbes estimates that the average cost of replacing a highly competent employee is 213% of their annual income. To eliminate employee churn, it’s crucial to understand their motivations.

We based the Motivation test on Oldham and Hackman’s Job Characteristics Model. This test helps you find candidates who align with the company’s key motivators. 

Because the team leader supports the other workers, if the leader is unhappy with the benefits and demands put on them, the whole team may suffer. The motivation test can nip this issue in the bud before the employment contract is signed. 

How does it work? The motivation test is sent to you and your candidates. The initial forms are customized to your company’s ideal motivators. TestGorilla evaluates the forms, comparing them with each other and mapping out how they align and where there might be issues. 

Understanding what motivates your candidates ensures that you hire the right team leader who will stick around and help the company achieve its goals.

9. Business Ethics & Compliance test 

This test is best for assessing the candidate’s ethics.

The team leader you hire holds a position of power in your organization. You can use the Business Ethics & Compliance test to ensure they handle that power responsibly and make ethical choices. 

The test checks if they: 

  • Have knowledge of the effect of ethical issues on the business and one’s personal reputation
  • Understand company policy and legal violations
  • Are aware of and avoid conflicts of interest
  • Adhere to anti-harassment policies
  • Comply with anti-discrimination policies

By getting a feel for candidates’ attitudes toward ethical dilemmas, you can identify those who do what is right and carefully follow the company’s ethical policies and legal obligations. You can also determine how they handle being in a position of power and their responsibility to the people who work under them. 

Let’s help you find the right team leader 

Finding a team leader doesn’t need to be confusing, overwhelming, or complicated. Once you know what team leader skills and traits will be an advantage to your company, you’ll have a much easier time narrowing down the candidate pool to the best talent for your organization’s needs. 

You can further evaluate the quality of the candidates using assessment tests from our test library. These evaluations offer an in-depth look at prospective team leaders’ personality types, critical-thinking skills, motivations, and communication abilities. 

Hire the best candidates for the job. Use TestGorilla’s screening tests to identify the team leader who will improve operations, increase revenue, and embody the company values.

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