Think back to a time when you were racing others to achieve the highest sales, were working towards a promotion, or eagerly trying to win a new contract. Show the interviewer that you rose to the challenge and that you were excited to push yourself to be the best. It is a definite plus if you have cheered on your competitors and helped them along the way. Finally, be sure to mention any successful outcome.
"My current sales position is highly commission based so my colleagues and I are quite competitive. Despite being competitive, we have a great work environment where we help each other when someone is struggling to meet their quota. We coach each other on sales techniques and share success stories. The result has been a positive work environment with healthy competition."
"One of the most competitive work situations I have experienced was driving a sales team to perform beyond quota. We collaborated to come up with creative goal setting approaches and our leadership team created recognition incentives to encourage strong performance along the way. It was a challenge but we beat our all of our competition and made it happen!"
"Our company introduced a friendly competition between shifts. Well, it was supposed to be friendly, haha. It turned into a fierce competition to see who could increase their productivity, decrease errors, and maintain our high quality standards. Our team worked tirelessly and harder than usual. We were rewarded with a bonus and free meal. No, we were not expected to maintain those insane productivity numbers going forward."
Sales answer example
"The most competitive I've ever been in a work environment was when I was up for promotion to team lead along with another sales executive. The leadership, brilliantly or otherwise, let us know that we were both the contenders and essentially pitted us against one another.
I hunkered down and worked extra long hours and got my team on board to create and execute a plan to surpass our quota and it worked. I got promoted and not only did I, but I did so with grace and could hold my head high about how I behaved during and after the process was complete."
Retail answer example
"I'd say the most competitive environment I've been in was when it was the end of January, which is often a slower time in retail, and our numbers were down and my manager at the time introduced an incentive program to make us really hustle. In addition, there were rumors of a promotion being given in the coming months, which, coupled with the sales incentive, really made me and another employee bust our butts to prove ourselves worthy of both prizes.
We made a handshake deal that we'd play nice, but wanted to kick each other's butts in sales, and at the end of the day, we were both incredibly productive, hitting our personal bests for sales that month, and we remained friends, so it was truly the best version of friendly competition."
Teacher answer example
"I try to stay out of competition at work, honestly, even though I am quite competitive. For the most part, no good really comes from it and I feel I have earned my respect that I have in an honest way, without needing to jab or elbow or throw my weight around."