Sample of Competency-based Interview Questions
PERSUASIVENESS: Reason effectively to convince the other party. Achieve goals and alter views by demonstrating shared benefits.
1. Showing a cooperative attitude by convincing people that the decision is necessary (rather than imposing the decision).
2. Get an idea of colleagues' counter-arguments and resistance in advance - act on this in anticipation.
3. Relate the benefits of ideas or recommendations to the needs and interests of individuals and clients.
4. Present compelling arguments to support positions.
· As a member of a staff department how have you gone about persuading line managers in the past? Give an example.
· What is the best suggestion you ever made that was accepted by your boss or colleagues? How did you present it?
· What is the best suggestion you ever made that was rejected by your boss or colleagues? Why was it rejected?
· In a discussion most people are usually convinced that their ideas are right. How successful are you in getting others to accept your point of view? Can you give an example?
· What do you think is the best way of 'selling' an unpopular idea? How do you go usually go about this? Example?
TEAM-WORK: Be active in realizing shared goals - even when you do not get a direct benefit.
· Dealing well with different viewpoints as part of a (multidisciplinary) team.
· Work co-operatively with equals or other team members to set responsibilities.
· Share information, ideas and suggestions to accomplish mutual goals.
· Support team decisions even if not in total agreement.
· Can you recall a situation when you completely disagreed with the way your team was working? What did you do then?
· Have you ever been a member of a team that broke up because it was impossible to work with one another? What was your position?
· Do you work together with colleagues at the moment? How do you deal with conflicts / disagreements / misunderstandings in this group?
PLANNING / ACTION: Deploy human and other resources to meet targets and standards. Do it on time.
· Plan work so that it gets done on time.
· Formulate work objectives clearly including a timetable and priorities.
· Getting thing done by focusing on the implementation.
· Anticipate and act to compensate for potential risks and problems.
· Have you ever had to readjust a timetable due to unforeseen circumstances? How did you go about it? Examples, please.
· What are your department's long and short term plans? Have they been put into writing?
· What were your work objectives last year? Were they achieved?
· Can you give an example of how your department arrives at operational plans to adjust to new situations?
· How did you plan your time at work over the past week?
· Describe a normal working day or week for me. How do you plan your daily activities?
LEADERSHIP: Set challenges within own parameters. Then coach and motivate staff to realize these. Welcome and delegate responsibility. Be forceful when appropriate.
· Practice and stimulate open and two way communication including frank and honest feedback to co-workers.
· Show interest and give support and coaching when necessary.
· Involve subordinates in issues of company and department policy.
· Develop ideas to improve departmental operations and take the appropriate actions to implement change and ensure group acceptance.
· Have you over had a subordinate who did not perform as well as you thought he should? What did you do about it?
· Have you ever had to arbitrate between two staff members who were unable to work together? How did you get them to cooperate?
· How often do you hold meetings with your staff? Why not more/less often? How did you prepare for the last meeting?
· Have you ever involved your staff in issues of company policy? How did you go about this?
· Have you ever lead a work group or project team whose members were not lower-placed than yourself in the organizational hierarchy? How did you manage this?
· Has it ever happened that targets were not met while you were in charge or had final responsibility? What did you do then?
PROBLEM ANALYSIS: Identify problems; recognize significant information; gather and coordinate relevant data; diagnose possible causes.
· Take well planned steps to gather and organize data for diagnostic purposes.
· Distinguish the grade of problems and to indicate major issues.
· Foresee problems and to judge their relevance.
· Ask for questions and ensure they are answered.
· Describe a significant problem that you were confronted with during the past year? What steps did you take to assemble and organize data? What do you consider to be the cause of the problem?
· Unforeseen problems sometimes arise. Have you ever been surprised by an unexpected problem?
· Have you ever been confronted with a situation which turned out to be very different (and perhaps more complicated) than you had at first judged?
· Sometimes a problem seems to have been solved when in fact only part of a far more extensive, underlying problem has been dealt with. Have you ever experienced a situation like this?
· Can you describe a problem that you were unable to solve?
ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION: Set and meet the highest standards. Be discontented with average performance.
· Set high standards and seek continuous improvements.
· Input more than the required effort to realize predetermined targets.
· Formulate realistic and challenging tasks for yourself and the team members.
· Maintain quality and urgency towards desired results.
· When have you aimed for perfection? Concrete examples please.
· What do you demand of yourself in your work? Do you demand the same things of your staff?
· If you have recently had to evaluate a staff member or colleague on job performance, what for you was the difference between a good worker and a poor one?
· Can you remember ever demanding of others too much or too little?
· Have you ever worked in a team? What did you expect of the other team members?
· When have you been satisfied with your work? Can you give an example of a situation in which you were unable to come up to your own standards? What did you do about it?