Competency is set of skills and knowledge required to perform a particular job function successfully.
Therefore, the competency based questions focus on past behavior and other performance abilities of a potential employee in different job-related situations.
In order to predict an employee’s future performance, the questions are divided into 3 categories – leading questions, theoretical questions and behavioral questions.
Employers would like to evaluate 3 types of skills: Content Skills, Functional Skills, and Self Management Skills:
- Content skill is the amount of knowledge (qualifications and experience) the candidate possesses on a certain field.
- Functional Skills are people-oriented skills such as communicating, organizing and managing.
- Self Management Skills are your personal characteristics such as helper, self-learner, multi-tasker etc.
Therefore, the employer would have to determine the set of skills required for the said job.
This article provides examples of wide ranging competency based interview questions.
The article also suggests the way one should answer these questions. The article also lists job-related competencies as well as a list of strong job skills.
Examples of Competency Based Questions in an interview
Leadership Competency: Leadership Interview Questions
- How open-minded are you to other members’ ideas? Do you consult members? How do you make decisions in general?
- Give an example of risk that you had to take. Why did you decide to take the risk?
- How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated?
- Give examples of steps taken to make each team member feel important.
- What were the steps you needed to take to achieve goals?
- Give an example of a creative solution to unexpected situations when your leadership skills were needed.
- Have you ever acted as a mentor to a co-worker?
- Provide an example of a situation where you had to create an agreement between parties who originally differed in opinion, approach, and objectives.
- What are the key values of a leader? How do you demonstrate these values?
- How do you keep yourself and your teammates motivated?
- Does a leader need power or authority? How do you influence people?
- Did you have faults as a leader? Describe the situation.
- What is the difference between a manager and a leader?
Communication Competency: Communication Skills Interview Questions
- Give an example when you had to explain a complex technical issue to someone who hasn’t had any technical experience.
- Describe a situation when you had to convince others.
- Give an example of when you had to present complex information in a simplified manner in order to explain it to others.
- How do you establish good communication and information flow with others?
- How do you stimulate the sharing of further information?
- What are conversation impressions other than words? How do you use these to communicate effectively with others?
- How do you show an interest in what another person is saying?
- What are the techniques that you use to clarify obscure message meanings?
- How do you maintain a positive discussion?
Customer Service Competency: Customer Service Skills Interview Questions
- How do you handle customer complaints?
- How do maintain/initiate a good relationship with clients? How do you keep him or her satisfied?
- How do you balance between company interest and the interest of customers?
- Have you ever taken initiatives to solve customer problems that where beyond/above your responsibilities?
- Have you turned down a request from a customer? What was the reason?
- Give an example of a situation when you had to turn down a customer request for a good reason. How did you handle the case?
Refer to customer service interview for more questions and answers.
Sales competencies: Sales Skills Interview Questions
- Give an example when you initiated/created a new sales/marketing technique and enjoyed the results.
- What motivates you about sales and marketing?
- How do you promote a product? What are the initial steps that you take?
- How do you keep up with new trends on marketing techniques?
- What is you view about selling psychology? How/why do customers choose a product?
Refer to the Sales Interview Questions and Answers for more information.
Interpersonal Competency: Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions
- What are the steps that you take to maintain good co-worker relationships?
- How do you network? What is the importance of networking?
- How do you maintain relations with a person in cases where you cannot agree upon certain issues?
- How frequently do you support others and get a support from others?
- What is the importance of building relationships with colleagues to your professional life?
- How do you initiate a relationship with a person?
Organizational Competency: Organizational Skills Interview Questions
- What are the steps that you take to organize a business plan for a new project?
- How do you prioritize project tasks? How do you effectively handle a heavy workload?.
- How do you prioritize day to day tasks?
Decision Making Competency: Decision Making Interview Questions
- Do you consult with others before making a decision?
- Explain your general decision-making process. How do you make decisions in general?
- Give an example of a situation where you had to make a decision when you didn’t have all facts?
- Have you ever delayed any decision-making?
- If you have to make an immediate decision, what process will you follow?
Strategic Thinking Competency: Strategic Thinking Interview Questions
- What is your strategy for brainstorming, sharing ideas and learning to establish critical thinking?
- Give an example of a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Why does a change/adjustment in management fail in most organizations?
Creative Problem Solving Skills Interview Questions
- Describe a problem and the way you collect info and establish a problem solving model.
- How do you build a troubleshooting process?
- What are the steps you take for a project that requires collection of systematic data and risk management for analyzing its performance?
- What are the steps you take to anticipate risks and resolve issues?
- Give an example of an effective/innovative solution you created to solve a problem.
Management Skills Interview Questions
Refer to management interview questions.
How to answer the Competency Based Questions
How to answer the competency questions:
You have to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and attitude to perform the job task effectively, at or above the standard required as identified in the competency.
- Prepare a list of situations that you have faced/experienced in your professional life and the ways you handled these cases.
- Study each competency/skill requirements and approaches – the Internet is a great database.
- Be prepared for each question with a story.
A complete answer to a competency based question must explain the case, the action and the result – therefore a good answer should contain all of these components thereby presenting the gained skill of the individual.
List of other Competencies and Skills
- Motivation competency
- Negotiation competency
- Conflict management competency
- Creativity competency
- Ability to delegate competency
- Coaching ability competency
- Awareness to details competency
- Initiative competency
- Critical thinking competency
- Diplomacy competency
- Analytical skills
- Negotiation Skill
- Job Knowledge competency