Sample questions and answers
I have created a number of sample questions such Top ten competency based interview questions, customer service, developing solutions, change management, business analysis and analyst, communication, influencing, investment, and high performance. Also I have developed a number of questions with answers for example while reviewing the KYC competency and Secretary competency.
For traditional interview question and answers please take a look at Typical interview questions.
What is probably more useful is the review of each competency which I have detailed on the site, these explore the competencies themselves which will aid the development of your interview examples.
How to answer competency based interview questions ?
Within a number competencies that I have covered on this site I have included sample competency based interview questions. I have also included a range of technical question which go hand in hand with a competency based interview. Technical questions are those relating to the role i.e. specific skills such as project management, business analysis, engineering or IT.
As I cannot possibly cover every variation of interview question or competency it’s important to understand the techniques that are used as part of the interviewing process and question construction. Laddering is a key technique used to examine competency levels through the structure of the question.
Several other interview websites will just list competency questions and answers. Although I provide examples of both interview questions and answers so you know what to expect the best route to success with a competency base interview is to develop your own personal examples tapping into your experience and behaviours that only you can know.
I have coached dozens of candidates who have gone on to be successful and secured the role that they where being interviewed for. If you think you can learn the correct answers that another website lists you will most likely become unstuck. You have to spend time developing and personalising examples.
A competency based interview and in fact any interview is looking to find out what you can do, how successful will you be and primarily answer the question : are you right for the role ? Interviewing does this by asking you to draw on your past experiences to demonstrate the behaviours the company is looking for.
So what examples can I use ?
Practically any ! But again I would value experiences and behaviours demonstrated though a work activity (related to the role) over a hobby or past time purely because you have limited time in front of your prospective employer- you need to maximise what they hear i.e. Both behaviours and technical role specific skills (even if you are asked these again).
So for example have you working in a team environment before ? I’m sure everyone has. So now think was there a time when either the team was very successful or under performing ? What was happening ? Try to think what was going on and what you did ? Was there inter team problems or issues with a supplier or a customer ? How was the team failing or succeeding ? What happened ? What actions were taken ? How did the team maintain success or correct failure ?
What about another example with simple origins. Have you ever had to produce a report ? Did you produce it regularly ? You might have improved it over time and you could have checked that the information was valid and understood by the audience. You may have considered reformatting it to make the information clearer. Perhaps it was used as a sales tool and by evaluating it you uncovered sales leads.
The start of an example can be literally anything. But clearly you want to find examples where there was some activity remembering handling failure is important.
how can I improve the example ?
Firstly always use language from the first person, you have to talk in terms of what you have done but of course this is the time to sell yourself. If you worked with another team member to develop a plan, don’t under play your contribution.
Secondly, rehearse! Ideally with someone else. Write out the example and explain it. Most people are overly self-critical and don’t always like to say, me, me , me but another person will help you to recognise your contribution. Another person will also bring additional insights by asking you questions about what happened. Don’t just do this once, rework the example a couple of times.
Thirdly, don’t have to many examples in your head. You maybe thinking that you need several examples for each question. What I like to do is have an example for each competency in number . You may not use the example as you have imagined (i.e. In the interview you may change you mind) remember every examples can be looked at from different behavioural perspectives.
Forth, don’t tie your example to only one competency. Just look back to my example above about team work. This would help you answer a team work competency or maybe communication, it would also support continuous improvement or even information gathering or problem solving. So please don’t narrow the example by only thinking about how it supports one competency.