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4.COMPETENCYBASEDINTERVIEWS
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TheSuccessfulInterviewGuide
1.PlanningandPreparation
2.Interviews&AssessmentCentres
3.Answerstocommonquestions
4.Competencybasedinterviews
5.Dealingwithnegativequestions
6.Telephone/webcaminterviews
7.Stressinterviews
8.IllegalInterviewQuestions
9.Presentations
10.Grouptasks/discussions

"Competency"isaconceptlinkingthreeparametersKnowledge,SkillsandAttitude.Forexampleyou
mighthavegoodinterpersonalskills(skills),butwillnotbecompetenttojoinacompanyasProjectManager
unlessyoupossessadequateeducation/experience(knowledge)andtherighttemperament/behaviour
(attitude).Competencybasedinterviews(alsocalledstructuredinterviews)areinterviewswhereeach
questionisdesignedtotestoneormorespecificskills.Theansweristhenmatchedagainstpredecided
criteriaandmarkedaccordingly.Forexample,theinterviewersmaywanttotestthecandidate'sabilityto
dealwithstressbyaskingfirsthowthecandidategenerallyhandlesstressandthenaskingthecandidateto
provideanexampleofasituationwhereheworkedunderpressure.

4.1Howdocompetencybasedinterviewsdifferfromnormalinterviews?
Normalinterviews(alsocalledunstructuredinterviews)areessentiallyaconversationwheretheinterviewers
askafewquestionsthatarerelevanttowhattheyarelookingforbutwithoutanyspecificaiminmindother
thangettinganoverallimpressionofyouasanindividual.Questionsarefairlyrandomandcansometimes
bequiteopen.Forexample,aquestionsuchas"Whatcanyouofferourcompany?"ismeanttogather
generalinformationaboutyoubutdoesnottestanyspecificskillorcompetency.Inanunstructured
interview,thecandidateisjudgedonthegeneralimpressionthathe/sheleavestheprocessistherefore
likelytobemoresubjective.

11.Psychometricandaptitudetests
12.TopInterviewTips
13.Inexperienced/overexperienced?
14.BodyLanguage
15.Questionstoaskattheend

Competencybasedinterviews(alsocalledstructuredorbehaviouralinterviews)aremoresystematic,with
eachquestiontargetingaspecificskillorcompetency.Candidatesareaskedquestionsrelatingtotheir
behaviourinspecificcircumstances,whichtheythenneedtobackupwithconcreteexamples.The
interviewerswillthendigfurtherintotheexamplesbyaskingforspecificexplanationsaboutthecandidate's
behaviourorskills.

15.AftertheInterview
SuccessfulCVWriting
WinningCoverLetters
Downloads

4.2Whichskillsandcompetenciesdocompetencybasedinterviewstest?
Manyinterviewsnowarecompetencybasedwhichmeansthattheinterviewerwillbelookingforyouto
answerquestionsaboutyourabilitiesandexperienceinthecontextofactualevents.Itisworthpreparingin
advanceatleasttwoexamplesforeachcompetencyasitisnotunheardoffortherecruitertoaskfora
secondexample,particularlyifyouhavealreadyquotedoneonanapplicationform.
Thelistofskillsandcompetenciesthatcanbetestedvariesdependingonthepostthatyouareapplyingfor.
Forexample,foraPersonalAssistantpost,skillsandcompetencieswouldincludecommunicationskills
abilitytoorganiseandprioritiseandabilitytoworkunderpressure.Foraseniormanager,skillsand
competenciesmayincludeanabilitytoinfluenceandnegotiateanabilitytocopewithstressandpressure
anabilitytoleadandthecapacitytotakecalculatedrisks.
Hereisanonexhaustivelistofthemorecommonskillsandcompetenciesthatyoumaybeaskedto
demonstrate:

Skillsandcompetenciesforcompetencybasedinterviews
Adaptability
Delegation
Leveragingdiversity
Compliance

Externalawareness

Organisationalawareness

Communication

Flexibility

Resilienceandtenacity

Conflictmanagement

Independence

Risktaking

CreativityandInnovation

Influencing

Sensitivitytoothers

Decisiveness

Integrity

Teamwork

Leadership

4.3Whatkindofcompetencybasedinterviewquestionscanyoubeasked?
Althoughmostquestionstendtoaskforexamplesofsituationswhereyouhavedemonstratedspecific
skills,theycanappearindifferentformats.Examplesinclude:
Howdoyouensurethatyoumaintaingoodworkingrelationshipswithyourseniorcolleagues?
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyouhadtodealwithaconflictwithaninternalorexternal
client.
Howdoyouinfluencepeopleinsituationswherethereareconflictingagendas?
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyoumadeadecisionandthenchangedyourmind.
Inmanycases,theinterviewerswillstartwithageneralquestion,whichtheywillthenfollowupwithmore
specific,examplebasedquestions.So,forexample:

Howdoyoumanageupwards?
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyouhadafundamentaldisagreementwithoneofyour
superiors.
Thekeyinansweringallquestionsisthatyouarerequiredto"demonstrate"thatyouhavetherightskillsby
usingexamplesbasedonyourpriorexperience,andnotjusttalkaboutthetopicinatheoreticaland
impersonalmanner.

4.4Howcompetencybasedinterviewquestionsaremarked
Beforetheinterview,theinterviewerswillhavedeterminedwhichtypeofanswerswouldscorepositive
pointsandwhichtypesofanswerswouldcountagainstthecandidates.Forexample,forquestionssuchas
"Describeatimewhenyouhadtodealwithpressure",thepositiveandnegativeindicatorsmaybeas
follows:
Positiveindicators
Demonstratesapositiveapproachtowardsthe
problem

Negativeindicators
Perceiveschallengesasproblems

Considersthewiderneedofthesituation
Recogniseshisownlimitations
Isabletocompromise

Attemptsunsuccessfullytodealwiththe
situationalone
Usedinappropriatestrategiestodealwith
pressure/stress

Iswillingtoseekhelpwhennecessary
Useseffectivestrategiestodealwith
pressure/stress
Insomecases,negativeindicatorsaredividedintotwofurthersections:minornegativeindicators,i.e.those
whicharenegativebutwhichdontmattersomuchanddecisivenegativeindicatorsi.e.thoseforwhich
theywontforgiveyoue.g.notaskingforhelpwhenneeded.
Marksarethenallocateddependingontheextenttowhichthecandidate'sanswermatchesthosenegative
andpositiveindicators.Hereisanexampleofamarkingscheduleforthetableabove:
0 Noevidence
1 Poor
2 Areasforconcern
3 Satisfactory

Noevidencereported
Littleevidenceofpositiveindicators
Mostlynegativeindicators,manydecisive
Limitednumberofpositiveindicators
Manynegativeindicators,oneormoredecisive
Satisfactorydisplayofpositiveindicators
Somenegativeindicatorsbutnonedecisive
Strongdisplayofpositiveindicators

4 Goodtoexcellent

Iftheinterviewersfeelthatthereareareasthatyouhavefailedtoaddress,theymayhelpyoualongby
probingappropriately.Forexample,inansweringthequestionaboveDescribeanexampleofatimewhen
youhadtodealwithpressure,ifyoufocusedonhowyoudealtwiththepracticalangleoftheproblembut
youforgottodiscusshowyoumanagedyourstressduringandaftertheevent,theinterviewersmayprompt
youwithafurtherquestionsuchasHowdidyouhandlethestressatthetime?Thiswouldgiveyouan
opportunitytopresentafullpictureofyourbehaviour.Thisiswherethemarkingcanbecomesubjective.
Indeed,ifaninterviewerlikesyou,hemaybemoretemptedtopromptyouandpushyoualongthanifhe
hasbadvibesaboutyou.

4.5Preparingforacompetencybasedinterview
Preparationiskeyifyouwanttobeabletoanswerallquestionsthrownatyouwithouthavingtothinktoo
muchonthespotonthedayoftheinterviewitrequiresseveralsteps:

1.Makesurethatyouunderstandwhichskillsandcompetencieswillbetested.Itsoundsobvious,but
somepersonspecificationscanbealittlevagueandyouwillneedtodosomethinkinginorderto
ensurethattheexamplesthatyouwillbeusinghitthespot.Forexample,yourpersonspecification
maysaythatyouneedtohave"goodcommunicationskillsindealingwiththirdparties".Forsomeone
whoworksincustomerserviceandisexpectedtohandlecomplaintsalldaylong,thiswillmostlikely
involveamixofempathy/understandingaswellasanabilitytobeassertiveinanicewaywhenever
requiredhoweverforsomeoneapplyingforacommerciallawpost,thiswillmostlikelyinvolvean
abilitytoexplaincomplexmattersinasimpleway,andnotsomuchempathy.Understandingthe
requirementsforthepost,whethertheyarestatedexplicitlyornotinthepersonspecificationis
thereforecrucial.
2.Identifyexamplesfromyourpastexperiencewhichyoucanusetodemonstratethatyoupossessthe
skillsandcompetenciesthatyouarebeingaskedtodemonstrate.Youdonothavetofindhyper
complicatedexamplesinparticulartheoutcomeofthestorydoesnothavetobeextraordinarywhat
mattersmostisthattheroleyouplayedinreachingtheoutcomewassubstantial.
3.LearntonarratethestoryusingtheSTARmethod.Thismeanssettingthescene,explaininghowyou
handledthesituationbyplacingtheemphasisonyourrole,anddetailingtheoutcome/result.

4.6TheSTARapproach
TheacronymSTAR standsfor
Situation
Task
Action
Result

Itisauniversallyrecognisedcommunicationtechniquedesignedtoenableyoutoprovideameaningfuland
completeanswertoquestionsaskingforexamples.Atthesametime,ithastheadvantageofbeingsimple
enoughtobeappliedeasily.
ManyinterviewerswillhavebeentrainedinusingtheSTARstructure.Eveniftheyhavenot,theywill
recogniseitsvaluewhentheyseeit.Theinformationwillbegiventotheminastructuredmannerand,asa
result,theywillbecomemorereceptivetothemessagesyouaretryingtocommunicate.
Step1SituationorTask
Describethesituationthatyouwereconfrontedwithorthetaskthatneededtobeaccomplished.Withthe
STARapproachyouneedtosetthecontext.Makeitconciseandinformative,concentratingsolelyonwhat
isusefultothestory.Forexample,ifthequestionisaskingyoutodescribeasituationwhereyouhadto
dealwithadifficultperson,explainhowyoucametomeetthatpersonandwhytheywerebeingdifficult.If
thequestionisaskingforanexampleofteamwork,explainthetaskthatyouhadtoundertakeasateam.
Step2Action
ThisisthemostimportantsectionoftheSTARapproachasitiswhereyouwillneedtodemonstrateand
highlighttheskillsandpersonalattributesthatthequestionistesting.Nowthatyouhavesetthecontextof
yourstory,youneedtoexplainwhatyoudid.Indoingso,youwillneedtorememberthefollowing:
Bepersonal,i.e.talkaboutyou,nottherestoftheteam
Gointosomedetail.Donotassumethattheywillguesswhatyoumean
Steerclearoftechnicalinformation,unlessitiscrucialtoyourstory
Explainwhatyoudid,howyoudidit,andwhyyoudidit
Whatyoudidandhowyoudidit
Theinterviewerswillwanttoknowhowyoureactedtothesituation.Thisiswhereyoucanstartselling
someimportantskills.Forexample,youmaywanttodescribehowyouusedtheteamtoachievea
particularobjectiveandhowyouusedyourcommunicationskillstokeepeveryoneupdatedonprogressetc.
Whyyoudidit
Forexamplewhendiscussingasituationwhereyouhadtodealwithconflict,manycandidateswould
simplysay:Itoldmycolleaguetocalmdownandexplainedtohimwhattheproblemwas.However,it
wouldnotprovideagoodideaofwhatdroveyoutoactinthismanner.Howdidyouaskhimtocalmdown?
Howdidyouexplainthenatureoftheproblem?Byhighlightingthereasonsbehindyouraction,youwould
makeagreaterimpact.Forexample:

IcouldsensethatmycolleaguewasirritatedandIaskedhimgentlytotellmewhathefelttheproblemwas.
Byallowinghimtoventhisfeelingsandhisanger,Igavehimtheopportunitytocalmdown.Ithenexplained
tohimmyownpointofviewonthematter,emphasisinghowimportantitwasthatwefoundasolutionthat
suitedusboth.

Thisrevisedanswerhelpstheinterviewersunderstandwhatdroveyouractionsandreinforcesthefeeling
thatyouarecalculatingtheconsequencesofyouractions,thusretainingfullcontrolofthesituation.It
providesmuchmoreinformationaboutyouasanindividualandisanotherreasonwhytheSTARapproachis
souseful.
Step3Result/Reflection
Explainwhathappenedeventuallyhowitallended.Also,usetheopportunitytodescribewhatyou
accomplishedandwhatyoulearntinthatsituation.Thishelpsyoumaketheanswerpersonalandenables
youtohighlightfurtherskills.
Thisisprobablythemostcrucialpartofyouranswer.Interviewerswanttoknowthatyouareusingavariety
ofgenericskillsinordertoachieveyourobjectives.Thereforeyoumustbeabletodemonstrateinyour
answerthatyouaretakingspecificactionsbecauseyouaretryingtoachieveaspecificobjectiveandnot
simplybychance.

4.7CompetencyBasedInterviewQuestions
Competencybasedinterviewquestionsvarywidelybetweensectorsanddependingonthelevelof
responsibilitytowhichyouareapplying.Thetypeofcompetenciesagainstwhichyouwillbeassessedalso
dependsontheactualpostandthecompanywhoisinterviewingyou.Forexample,somecompaniesview
leadershipasacompetencyonitsownwhilstothersprefertosplitleadershipbetweenawiderangeof
components(creativity,flexibility,strategicthinking,vision,etc).
Youwillfindbelowaspectrumofcompetencybasedinterviewquestions,orderedbycompetency.Thelistis
bynomeanscompletebutwillgiveyouanideaofwhatyoucanexpecttobeasked.
Adaptability
Adjuststochangingenvironmentswhilstmaintainingeffectiveness

Whichchangeofjobdidyoufindthemostdifficulttomake?
Tellusaboutthebiggestchangethatyouhavehadtodealwith.Howdidyoucopewithit?
Compliance
Conformstocompanypoliciesandprocedures
Howdoyouensurecompliancewithpoliciesinyourareaofresponsibility?

Tellusaboutatimewhenyouwentagainstcompanypolicy.Whydidyoudoitandhowdidyouhandle
it?

Communication
Communicateseffectively,listenssensitively,adaptscommunicationtoaudienceandfosterseffective
communicationwithothers

Verbal
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyourcommunicationskillsmadeadifferencetoasituation.

Describeatimewhenyouhadtowinsomeoneover,whowasreluctantorunresponsive.
Describeasituationwhereyouhadtoexplainsomethingcomplextoacolleagueoraclient.Which
problemsdidyouencounterandhowdidyoudealwiththem?
Whatistheworstcommunicationsituationthatyouhaveexperienced?
Howdoyouprepareforanimportantmeeting?
Tellusaboutasituationwhenyoufailedtocommunicateappropriately.
Demonstratehowyouvaryyourcommunicationapproachaccordingtotheaudiencethatyouare
addressing.
Describeasituationwhenyouhadtocommunicateamessagetosomeone,knowingthatyouwere
rightandthattheywerewrongandreluctanttoacceptyourpointofview.
Listening
Giveusanexamplewhereyourlisteningskillsprovedcrucialtoanoutcome.

Tellusaboutatimewhenyouwereaskedtosummarisecomplexpoints.
Tellusaboutatimewhenyouhadtroubleremainingfocusedonyouraudience.Howdidyouhandle
this?
Whatplacedoesempathyplayinyourwork?Giveanexamplewhereyouneededtoshowempathy.
Describeasituationwhereyouhadtodealwithanangrycustomer.
Written
Whattypeofwritinghaveyoudone?Giveexamples.Whatmakesyouthinkthatyouaregoodatit?

Howdoyoufeelwritingareportdiffersfrompreparinganoralpresentation?
Whatpositiveandnegativefeedbackhaveyoureceivedaboutyourwritingskills?Giveanexample
whereoneofyourreportswascriticised.
Howdoyouplanthewritingofareport?

Conflictmanagement
Encouragescreativetensionanddifferencesofopinions.Anticipatesandtakesstepstopreventcounter
productiveconfrontations.Managesandresolvesconflictsanddisagreementsinaconstructivemanner.

Tellusaboutatimewhenyoufeltthatconflictordifferenceswereapositivedrivingforceinyour
organisation.Howdidhandletheconflicttooptimiseitsbenefit?
Tellusaboutatimewhenyouhadtodealwithaconflictwithinyourteam.
Tellusaboutasituationwhereconflictledtoanegativeoutcome.Howdidyouhandlethesituationand
whatdidyoulearnfromit?
Giveusanexamplewhereyouwereunabletodealwithadifficultmemberofyourteam.
CreativityandInnovation
Developsnewinsightsintosituationsquestionsconventionalapproachesencouragesnewideasand
innovationsdesignsandimplementsneworcuttingedgeprograms/processes.
Tellusaboutaprojectorsituationwhereyoufeltthattheconventionalapproachwouldnotbesuitable.
Howdidyouderiveandmanageanewapproach?Whichchallengesdidyoufaceandhowdidyou
addressthem?

Tellusaboutasituationwhereyoutrustedyourteamtoderiveanewapproachtoanoldproblem.How
didyoumanagetheprocess?
Tellusaboutatimewhenyouhadtoconvinceaseniorcolleaguethatchangewasnecessary.What
madeyouthinkthatyournewapproachwouldbebettersuited?
Decisiveness
Makeswellinformed,effective,andtimelydecisions,evenwhendataarelimitedorsolutionsproduce
unpleasantconsequencesperceivestheimpactandimplicationsofdecisions.
Whatbigdecisiondidyoumakerecently.Howdidyougoaboutit?

Howdidyoureachthedecisionthatyouwantedtochangeyourjob?
Giveanexampleofatimewhenyouhadtodelayadecisiontoreflectonthesituation.
Whatisthedecisionthatyouhaveputoffthelongest?Why?
Whenisthelasttimethatyouhaverefusedtomakeadecision?
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyouhadtomakeadecisionwithouttheinputofkeyplayers,
butknowingthatthesekeyplayerswouldjudgeyouonthatdecision(i.e.superiorunavailableatthe
time).
Tellusaboutatimewhenyouhadtomakeadecisionwithoutknowledgeofthefullfacts.
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyoumadeadecisionthatinvoluntarilyimpactednegativelyonothers.
Howdidyoumakethatdecisionandhowdidyouhandleitsconsequences?
Tellusaboutadecisionthatyoumade,whichyouknewwouldbeunpopularwithagroupofpeople.
Howdidyouhandlethedecisionmakingprocessandhowdidyoumanageexpectations?
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyoumadeadecisiontooquicklyandgotitwrong.Whymadeyoutake
thatdecision?
Delegation
Abletomakefullandbestuseofsubordinate,providingappropriatesupport.
Whattypeofresponsibilitiesdoyoudelegate?Giveexamplesofprojectswhereyoumadebestuseof
delegation.

Giveanexampleofaprojectortaskthatyoufeltcompelledtocompleteonyourown.Whatstopped
youfromdelegating?
Giveanexampleofasituationwhereyoureluctantlydelegatedtoacolleague.Howdidyoufeelabout
it?
Giveanexamplewhereyoudelegatedatasktothewrongperson?Howdidyoumakethatdecisionat
thetime,whathappenedandwhatdidyoulearnfromit?
Howdoyoucopewithhavingtogoawayfromtheofficeforlongperiodsoftime(i.e.holidays).Explain
howyouwoulddelegateresponsibilitiesbasedonyoucurrentsituation.
ExternalAwareness
Understandsandkeepsuptodateonlocal,national,andinternationalpoliciesandtrendsthataffectthe
organizationandshapestakeholders'viewsisawareoftheorganisation'simpactontheexternal
environment.
Describethroughexamplesdrawnfromyourexperiencehowyoumeasureandtakeaccountofthe
impactofyourdecisionsonexternalparties.

Giveanexamplewhereyouunderestimatedtheimpactofyourdecisionsonstakeholdersexternalto
yourorganisation.
Flexibility
Modifieshisorherapproachtoachieveagoal.Isopentochangeandnewinformationrapidlyadaptsto
newinformation,changingconditions,orunexpectedobstacles.
Describeasituationwhereyouhadtochangeyourapproachhalfwaythroughaprojectortask
followingnewinputintotheproject.

Describeasituationwhereyoustartedoffthinkingthatyourapproachwasthebest,butneededtoalter
yourcourseduringtheimplementation.
Describeasituationwhereoneofyourprojectssufferedasetbackduetoanunexpectedchangein
circumstances.
Describeasituationwhereyouwereaskedtodosomethingthatyouhadneverattemptedpreviously.
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyourinitialapproachfailedandyouhadtochangetack.
Describeyourstrongestandyourweakestcolleagues.Howdoyoucopewithsuchdiversityof
personalities?
Ifwegaveyouanewprojecttomanage,howwouldyoudecidehowtoapproachit?
Independence
Actsbasedonhis/herconvictionsandnotsystematicallytheacceptedwisdom
Whendidyoudepartfromthe"partyline"toaccomplishyourgoal?

Whichdecisionsdoyoufeelabletomakeonyourownandwhichdoyourequireseniorsupportto
make?
Describeasituationwhereyouhadadisagreementoranargumentwithasuperior.Howdidyouhandle
it?
Whendoyoufeelthatitisjustifiedforyoutogoagainstacceptedprinciplesorpolicy?
Whichconstraintsareimposedonyouinyourcurrentjobandhowdoyoudealwiththese?
Whendidyoumakeadecisionthatwasn'tyourstomake?
Describeaprojectorsituationwhereyoutookaprojecttocompletiondespiteimportantopposition.
Whenhaveyougonebeyondthelimitsofyourauthorityinmakingadecision?
Influencing
Abilitytoconvinceotherstoownexpressedpointofview,gainagreementandacceptanceofplans,
activitiesorproducts.
Describeasituationwhereyouwereabletoinfluenceothersonanimportantissue.Whatapproaches
orstrategiesdidyouuse?

Describeasituationwhereyouneededtoinfluencedifferentstakeholderswhohaddifferentagendas.
Whatapproachesorstrategiesdidyouuse?
Tellusaboutanideathatyoumanagetoselltoyoursuperior,whichrepresentedachallenge.
Whatisyourworstsellingexperience?
Describetheprojectorideathatyouweremostsatisfiedtoselltoyourmanagement.
Describeatimewhereyoufailedtosellanideathatyouknewwastherightone.
Integrity
Abilitytomaintainjobrelated,social,organisationalandethicalnorms.
Whenhaveyouhadtolietoachieveyouraims?Whydidyoudoso?Howdoyoufeelyoucouldhave
achievedthesameaiminadifferentway?

Tellmeaboutatimewhenyoushowedintegrityandprofessionalism.
Tellusaboutatimewhensomeoneaskedyousomethingthatyouobjectedto.Howdidyouhandlethe
situation?
Haveyoueverbeenaskedtodosomethingillegal,immoraloragainstyourprinciples?Whatdidyou
do?
Whatwouldyoudoifyourbossaskedyoutodosomethingillegal?
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyouhadtoremindacolleagueofthemeaningof"integrity".
Leadership
Actsasarolemodel.Anticipatesandplansforchange.Communicatesavisiontoateam.
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyouhadtogetateamtoimproveitsperformance.Whatwerethe
problemsandhowdidyouaddressthem?

Describeasituationwhereyouhadtodriveateamthroughchange.Howdidyouachievethis?
Describeasituationwhereyouneededtoinspireateam.Whatchallengesdidyoumeetandhowdid
youachieveyourobjectives?
Tellusaboutasituationwhereyoufacedreluctancefromyourteamtoacceptthedirectionthatyou
weresetting.
Describeaprojectorsituationwhereyouhadtousedifferentleadershipstylestoreachyourgoal.
Tellmeaboutatimewhenyouwerelesssuccessfulasaleaderthanyouwouldhavewantedtobe.
Leveragingdiversity
Fostersaninclusiveworkplacewherediversityandindividualdifferencesarevaluedandleveragedto
achievethevisionandmissionoftheorganisation.
Giveanexampleofasituationorprojectwhereapositiveoutcomedependedontheworkofpeople
fromawiderangeofbackgroundsandideas

Tellusaboutatimewhenyouincludedsomeoneinyourteamoraprojectbecauseyoufelttheywould
bringsomethingdifferenttotheteam.
OrganisationalAwareness
Demonstratesanunderstandingofunderlyingorganisationalissues
Describeaprojectwhereyouneededtoinvolveinputfromotherdepartments.Howdidyouidentifythat
needandhowdidyouensurebuyinfromtheappropriateleadersandmanagers?

Describeatimewhenyoufailedtoengageattherightlevelinyourorganisation.Whydidyoudothat
andhowdidyouhandlethesituation?
ResilienceandTenacity
Dealseffectivelywithpressureremainsoptimisticandpersistent,evenunderadversity.Recoversquickly
fromsetbacks.Stayswithaproblem/lineofthinkinguntilasolutionisreachedornolongerreasonably
attainable.
Tellusaboutasituationwherethingsdeterioratedquickly.Howdidyoureacttorecoverfromthat
situation?

Tellusaboutaprojectwhereyouachievedsuccessdespitetheoddsbeingstackedagainstyou.How
didyouensurethatyoupulledthrough?
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyouknewthataprojectortaskwouldplaceyouundergreat
pressure.Howdidyouplanyourapproachandremainmotivated?
Giveusanexampleofasituationwhereyouworkedunderpressure.
Underwhatconditionsdoyouworkbestandworst?
Whichrecentprojectorsituationhascausedyouthemoststress?Howdidyoudealwithit?
Whenisthelasttimethatyouwereupsetwithyourself?
Whatmakesyoufrustratedorimpatientatwork?
Whatisthebiggestchallengethatyouhavefacedinyourcareer.Howdidyouovercomeit?
Tellusaboutatimewhenyousuccessfullypushedoneofyourideasdespitestrongopposition.
Whichcourseortopicshaveyoufoundmostdifficult?Howdidyouaddressthechallenge?
Risktaking
Takescalculatedrisks,weighingupprosandconsappropriately
Tellusaboutrisksthatyouhavetakeninyourprofessionalorpersonallife.Howdidyougoabout
makingyourdecision?

Whatisthebiggestriskthatyouhavetaken?Howdidyouhandletheprocess?
Describeoneofyourcurrentorrecentlycompletedprojects,settingouttherisksinvolved.Howdidyou
makedecisions?Howdoyouknowthatyoumadethecorrectdecisions?
Whatrisksdoyouseeinmovingtothisnewpost?
Sensitivitytoothers/empathy
Awareofotherpeopleandenvironmentandownimpactonthese.Takesintoaccountotherpeoplesfeelings
andneeds.
Whatproblemshasoneofyourstafforcolleaguesbroughttoyourecently?Howdidyouassistthem?

Tellusaboutanunpopulardecisionthatyoumaderecently?Whatthoughtprocessdidyoufollow
beforemakingit?Howdidyourcolleagues/clientsreactandhowdidyoudealwiththeirreaction?
Whenisthatlasttimethatyouhadanargumentwithacolleague?
Whendidyoulastupsetsomeone?
Whatstepsdoyoutaketounderstandyourcolleagues'personalities?Giveanexamplewhereyou
foundithardtoadjusttooneparticularcolleague.
Teamwork
Contributesfullytotheteameffortandplaysanintegralpartinthesmoothrunningofteamswithout
necessarilytakingthelead
Describeasituationinwhichyouwereamemberofteam.Whatdidyoudotopositivelycontributeto
it?

Tellusaboutasituationwhereyouplayedanimportantroleinaprojectasamemberoftheteam(not
asaleader).
Howdoyouensurethateverymemberoftheteamisallowedtoparticipate?
Giveusanexamplewhereyouworkedinadysfunctionalteam.Whywasitdysfunctionalandhowdid
youattempttochangethings?
Giveanexampleofatimewhenyouhadtodealwithaconflictwithinyourteam.Whatdidyoudoto
helpresolvethesituation?

Howdoyoubuildrelationshipswithothermembersofyourteam?
Howdoyoubringdifficultcolleaguesonboard?Giveusanexamplewhereyouhadtodothis.

20032016InterviewSkillsConsultingLtd.Allrightsreserved.eCommercebyXanthos
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