If you're working as an engineer, chances are you're going to have to play the leadership role. "Some of these senior engineers act as team leader, and they should have leadership abilities," Bier said. But, just because you don't have experience managing a team doesn't mean you don't have leadership skills. "It doesn't have to mean I've led a team of four people, just a leadership mentality," Bier said.
One way to demonstrate a leadership mentality is by highlighting times you've taken ownership of a situation and/or gone above and beyond for the team or a client. "You can show leadership by taking initiative," Billiar said. For example, he said, let's say you're a virtualization service delivery engineer working on a data center virtual desktop, but the client needed someone to troubleshoot a printer issue. "Satisfy the client," he said. Leadership comes from "not having to be told what to do."