MockQuestions

Competency Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples focused on how competent you are in your profession.

Competency was written by and updated on March 7th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

Tell me the ways in which you brought value to your most recent position.

How to Answer

This question offers another way for the interviewer to ask about your recent successes and bragging points. The interviewer wants to know which top skills you will highlight if you had to narrow down where you brought the most value.

Perhaps you influenced changes that saved the company money. Maybe you were the top grossing sales person on the floor. Think of your strengths in action! If you are reliable, talk about how consistent your work has been and how you are in constant support of your coworkers. If you have a strong work ethic, share how you accomplished a project in the midst of harsh obstacles.

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25 Competency Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Tell me the ways in which you brought value to your most recent position.

      How to Answer

      This question offers another way for the interviewer to ask about your recent successes and bragging points. The interviewer wants to know which top skills you will highlight if you had to narrow down where you brought the most value.

      Perhaps you influenced changes that saved the company money. Maybe you were the top grossing sales person on the floor. Think of your strengths in action! If you are reliable, talk about how consistent your work has been and how you are in constant support of your coworkers. If you have a strong work ethic, share how you accomplished a project in the midst of harsh obstacles.

      1st Answer Example

      "There were several ways I was able to bring value to my most recent company. First, I successfully surpassed each sales goal in my department. Second, I was able to motivate other members of my team and share my sales techniques with them. Third, I introduced two new procedures to the sales manager that helped us eliminate employee idleness between sales calls."

      Admin

      "My organizational skills made an incredible impact on my current company. Upon my arrival, I quickly implemented new filing systems for both physical and digital files. I also introduced the use of Trello, a project management app that we use office-wide."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Manager

      "In my last position, I brought value through delivering an increased customer base. My ability to build strong relationships helped me secure and maintain all new business."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Marketing

      "Most recently, I developed a marketing campaign across platforms to launch our newest collaboration. Not only did the option sell out in record time, but it also got featured on some different "best holiday gift" lists, which helped also get our name out there. I have helped increase exposure by over 124%, and engagement in our fashion challenges has followed suit. To sum it up, I bring both financial value as well as vision and experience in long-term planning of strategies and promotions that will increase engagement and ultimately revenue."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Retail

      "I cared deeply about delivering value to the businesses I supported in my last position. I worked hard to understand the business so I could position my talents to serve the group best. By learning more, I was able to be a better partner to deliver successful practices across the group."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Sales

      "I believe I bring value in many ways to my current organization. As a sales rep, obviously, I bring financial value. I've been among the top three sales reps since starting in the role. Also, my pod transacts the most frequently and has the lowest claim rate, meaning we are making good deals and not costing ourselves money on the backend just to get the front end "yes." I also helped create a community within the organization that spearheads tackling projects that impact the culture and productivity of the company."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Teacher

      "I pride myself on having been a key part of saving the department when the board put it on the chopping block. Due to the community I'd created in my tenure as a Spanish teacher, I had dozens of students and their parent's rally on my behalf, and behalf of the department as a whole, to speak out against cutting the elementary Spanish department. I believe this indicates how impactful I've been as a teacher and all I've contributed to my students' education, as well as to the department and district as a whole by helping save the program."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I used to take on responsibility voluntary, and later I was being offered a position of the lead technician and which inspires other co-workers to take a responsibly optional."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Influencing others is a great way to bring value to your role. Great example!

      "I brought value to my position by inspiring my coworkers to take responsibility and volunteer their time. By doing so myself, I earned a promotion to lead technician, which is a good example to others."

  • 2. How do you deal with conflict on your team?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and professionally handle issues when they arise.

      Think of an example where you worked closely with your team to resolve a conflict. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you can keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.

      1st Answer Example

      "I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, highly commissioned work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."

      Admin

      "When there is conflict, I will address the issue head-on, with expediency, and open communication. Hearing the problem before deciding on a solution, and perhaps most importantly, hearing the parties out is most important. I believe in allowing the stakeholders have a say in what they think will work best for them, and then work together to create a solution that will work best for everyone."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Manager

      "Conflict is a normal part of running a business. It can help to offer clear, open, and honest communication among team members. To prevent conflict, as much as possible, I manage my team with those particular values."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Marketing

      "I think a bit of conflict is good for a team: we all have a right to voice our opinions and know it's okay to disagree. As we disagree, we find new spaces for growth and new directions to take because of those uncomfortable conversations. As long as it remains in check and everyone behaves as adults and treats one another and our differing opinions with respect, conflict can be very beneficial."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Retail

      "Conflict in teams is inevitable, especially when you work long hours or are in danger of hitting specific sales targets. I handle conflict with respect, and the intent to understand the other person by listening."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Sales

      "In a sales environment, competition is necessary and its integral to the fiber of the organization. However, it can prove problematic, especially among those on the same team who are supposed to work collaboratively, but ultimately are competing. On one occasion, the two buyers who reported to me got into a verbal argument. I calmly pulled them both off the floor to a private room. We were able to get to the heart of the issue. It boiled down to one feeling the other was trying to be his manager when he had no authority over him. By communicating job tasks and making a clear division of power, we solved the issue."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Teacher

      "We often have philosophical differences in how we approach teaching, so these typically came to a head during curriculum writing. When we disagree, I try to take a leadership role and mediate the disagreement. Let everyone; myself included, have their few minutes to speak on the issue and then see where we can find common ground. Usually, there's at least a sliver of commonality, and we can all get through the disagreement."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I deal with conflict diplomatically. I believe in resolving conflict through open communication and understanding the other side's point of view because I might not know the full story of why the person is acting negatively towards me. It could be that the person is undergoing something personal. Through communication, I could show empathy and positively resolve our misunderstanding."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Showing empathy and a full understanding of the situation is a strong approach to ensuring any conflict is kept to a minimum. You sound like a very clear and conscientious communicator.

  • 3. Why are you the best candidate for this position?

      How to Answer

      Bragging about yourself in an interview can be tough to do, but this is your time to shine! Which characteristics and career accomplishments have made you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given special accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you, and now you need to express that to the interviewer.

      1st Answer Example

      "I am the best candidate for you because I have a consistent history of exceeding my targets and goals for the past three years. I have been promoted two times in the last year which is nearly unheard of in my current company. In addition to these successes, I have excellent cold calling skills which I will put to work immediately after being hired by your company."

      Admin

      "I am the best candidate because I have the right type of administration background, education, and experience. I know that I can jump right in and get going with very little training time."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Manager

      "I have the necessary experience, skill sets, and high level of ambition to add great value to this department. I come well trained in inventory management, team leadership, and productivity methods. In addition to this, I have led teams up to 50 individuals with minimal employee turnover."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Marketing

      "In my current role, I have worn every hat in the marketing department. I manage the website, social media marketing, planning and running promotions, and all written copy that is published by the company. Because of my involvement in so many different areas of the company, I feel that I can bring a unique advantage and insight that other applicants won't deliver."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Retail

      "I feel that I am the best candidate for you because I am looking for a company that I can stay with for the long haul, something that you mentioned you value earlier as well. Retail can see a lot of employee turnover as colleges start up in the fall. This path is a long-term career option for me, and I would like to be groomed into a regional manager role one day."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Sales

      "I smiled when I read the job description because it was as though you had written it with me in mind. I know that I am the best candidate for this role because I have three years of exceeding my sales goals, inside and outside sales experience, and I know the industry. Also, I was the fastest promoted in my previous position and have led the rollout of new markets in my current position, making me ideally positioned for helping you continue to build your sales organization, markets, and exceed financial metrics."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      Teacher

      "I am ready for a change and have always targeted this district as my dream one. I am passionate about teaching, about the language, and about making learning fun. I know that I will be a valuable asset to the school and district by breathing life into the program. I work well with others and am constantly innovating, so I look forward to doing that in your premiere district."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Because of about four years of in electronics industry and the recent promotion of lead test technician and education in electronics and physics where I have gained the grades of 7.5 and 8.2 respectively would make be the best fit for the role of installation technologist."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are all excellent qualifiers. I have reworded this slightly, to help with clarity and flow.

      "I am the best candidate for this position for a few reasons. One, I have the related education in electronics and physics where I earned a very high GPA. Also, I have four years of experience in the electronics industry. I am a hard worker which is why I quickly earned the promotion to lead test technician with my current employer."

  • 4. What skills did you learn in your most recent position that will help you in this new role?

      How to Answer

      Before answering this question, you need to know which critical skills are a must in this new role. Review the job description, compare it to your most recent job, and give examples that demonstrate your competency in these skills.

      For instance, if the interviewing company is looking for someone with experience in a particular technology, talk about how you learned the ins and outs of this technology in your past job. If the company is looking for someone with excellent customer service skills, give an example of how you learned to meet the needs of customers in your last role by listening and positively communicating with them.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have learned, testing circuit boards, troubleshooting, working in a team, primary command-line interface, professionalism, which can be a lot of for the position installation technologist."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! You have learned a lot of hard and soft skills. I like the variety that you have shown in this response.

      "I have learned many skills that will transfer well to this role of installation technologist. These include testing circuit boards, troubleshooting, basic command line interface, teamwork, and professionalism."

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  • 5. Give me an example of a challenge you overcame in your last position.

      How to Answer

      Demonstrate your positive approach to problem-solving. Show that you are proactive and competent when it comes to challenging workplace situations. Perhaps you went over and above to meet a tight deadline while taking over the responsibilities of a co-worker who was out sick. Another example could be that you trained yourself on a new software that was difficult to understand.

      In your answer, focus on the steps you took to overcome the challenge, rather than the challenge itself. The interviewer wants to hear that you are determined and able to problem solve.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In the international organization I was working in at that time (before my current job), I started as a team coordinator. All of a sudden, a task force was created within the team in order to better coordinate and supervise the massive project the team was working on at the time, and I was invited to join the task force, with an almost immediate start, as the project was running behind. At the very beginning, I read the job description and felt like I was matching it only for 60% of the requirements. Nonetheless, I felt grateful and empowered by the fact that my director believed in me so much to offer me the position, and I was sincerely excited about such a learning experience, so I accepted. I admit, there were a few tough weeks, when I had to hit the ground running, learn a few new software and get used with a new style of work, but, all my hard work paid off, my contract was extended, and I was offered to remain in the organization until the end of the project."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This sounds like a challenge, indeed! It's great that you stepped up despite any hesitation or fears. Nice answer!

      "At Company ABC, I started as a team coordinator. Suddenly, a task force was created within the team to better coordinate and supervise the massive project at hand. I was invited to join the task force, with an almost immediate start, as the project was running behind. At the very beginning, I read the job description and felt like I was only a 60% match for the requirements. Nonetheless, I felt grateful and empowered by the fact that my director believed in me so much to offer me the position. I was sincerely excited about such a learning experience, so I accepted it. I admit, there were a few tough weeks when I had to hit the ground running, learn new software, and get used to a unique style of work, but all my hard work paid off. My contract was extended until the end of the project."

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  • 6. What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know more about the types of decisions you are accustomed to making in the workplace. The way you answer this question will give them a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle the decision-making requirements in this possible position.

      If the job you are interviewing for requires you to be decisive and quick on your feet, you will need to be able to provide examples of how you have done these things in the past. If you worked in tech support, you faced with problems that you needed to find solutions for regularly. If you worked as a sales rep, you might have required knowing how to negotiate and make decisions on prices and benefits you can give your customers.

      You may have faced decisions that became so routine you didn't think twice! Refer to these decisions and be sure to highlight how they have prepared you for a role like this one.

      Written by Christine Pasqueretta on May 4th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Flight booking for examiners going to examine in our international countries was a part of my coordinator role. To do this effectively I'd get as much information from all of the people involved to ensure a smooth trip - I would first check flights to see which ones were most cost-effective, I'd check when the examiner gave availability for, I would then confirm dates with the examiner, giving them two options; and then subsequently check with the International Rep that they would be able to accommodate the examiner as they would normally organize a pick-up from the airport and hotel availability. I had to ensure that the communication with each person was swift but relaxed, and once I had all the relevant information I would book the flight for the examiner and organize the rest of their examining tour."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is an excellent example (and you sound highly organized!) but I would suggest developing your response a bit more to specifically state how this task reflected your decision-making skills.

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  • 7. How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?

      How to Answer

      Often, our work environment holds the possibility for awkward or tense situations. It can be challenging to know how to respond when you have a coworker who is moody, or when your coworker lacks social skills and continuously asks inappropriate questions. The interviewer wants to know that you can keep your cool in situations like these.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I take a deep breath, tell my self don't panic and try to understand a person's perspective, and if necessary, I clarify the situations."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are great steps to dealing with uncomfortable or challenging situations. Good answer!

      "When faced with an uncomfortable situation, I take a deep breath and tell myself to remain calm. If the situation involves someone else, I will take a moment to understand that person's perspective and ask for clarification if necessary."

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  • 8. Name a few things you were asked to do in your most recent position that you weren't necessarily trained to do. How did you cope?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know how you approach a situation when you do not necessarily possess the knowledge to complete a task. Most of us ask others for help, or conduct research to find the answer. Highlight to the interviewer that you are competent when it comes to leading yourself to the right answer. Show that you do not get frustrated; rather, you take it as an opportunity to grow.



      User-Submitted Answer

      "Assigning a leadership role, in the beginning, it was challenging, I have to take a look at lots of situation but later rewarded with the position I was being offered to work as a lead technician."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      The second part of the question is to mention how you coped. I have added an example, below.

      "Early on in my job, I was promoted to a leadership role. I coped by reading a couple of leadership books, getting to know my team, and asking for feedback."

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  • 9. What feedback did you receive from your most recent manager?

      How to Answer

      Every manager has a different approach to giving feedback. Some prefer to save it for the performance review while others dish it out on the regular. Your response to feedback is much more important than the feedback itself. Even if it was negative, if you can take it as constructive criticism, you can improve yourself and your skills.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During a 1-2-1 my manager asked what I struggled with - I said that one of the things I have trouble with is sticking to the hours of work because I wanted to make sure that whoever picked up a task after me would not have to deal with too much - what this looked like is me answering a huge number of e-mails on a certain inbox, for example, with very high numbers, and working long hours. My manager told me that I needed to remember that 'customer service never ends' and that no matter how big of an impact I might make on an inbox, customers will keep coming and a high e-mail count will not change that. I needed that reminder, and it was nice to feel like my mental wellbeing was being taken care of too."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      You do a good job here of sharing your manager's feedback, while still giving that feedback a positive spin and highlighting your strengths such as a strong work ethic and attention to detail. Good work!

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  • 10. How did you go about suggesting changes in your most recent company?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to see that you proactively go after what you want and that you will act as a positive change-agent when you see room for improvement in the workplace. The worst way to answer this question would be to say 'I didn't have the power to change anything in the organization, so I quit.'

      This question is not an opportunity to complain about your previous job or company! Think about personal changes you could make that would have made your job easier, improved your skills or furthered your education. You cannot change others, but there is always the option to develop yourself!

      User-Submitted Answer

      "We did not have a formal template for documenting our monitoring of audit actions and how we concluded to close these actions. At first and for my use, I designed an excel spreadsheet to monitor the actions and created a word document template to document how we validated the closure of the actions. My manager gave me positive feedback on my initiative to develop a positive change, and I shared the templates to the team, and I gave some coaching to the junior members of the team on how to use the template. As a result, the team started using the templates and meant the team had a consistent approach to documenting the monitoring of audit actions."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's apparent that you are highly organized, and it's great that you were able to use this trait to benefit your entire team. Nice example!

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  • 11. How has your current job changed over the years?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know more about your career progression. Additional responsibilities, promotions, and changes in your job title all indicate that you were competent and successful in your role. This question gives you an opportunity to go more in-depth about how your job has evolved. If nothing has changed much over the past couple of years in your position, focus on what you have learned. Are you better at managing teams now that you have gone from supervising one to five people? Are you exceptionally good at problem-solving now that you've learned to troubleshoot IT related problems? Talk about how the changes in your job have taught you new skills and helped you develop the ones you already have.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I started as a test technician and learned all the testing procedures and troubleshooting of modules and board, took responsibility on some daily activity, have participated in first aid and emergency responder team, So, I became first aid responder and later on my position I got promotion as a lead test technician."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you had some excellent progression in this role. Very good detail of your progression. But go a little deeper with the on-the-job life lessons you've learned that have aided in your development as a leader and a team player. Were you promoted because you were next in line? Or, were you promoted on your merits? How has your time management, multi-tasking and communication skills improved? How has your leadership and interpersonal skills improved?

      "“I began as a test technician and was promoted to lead test technician. I consistently try to make going above and beyond my bare minimum. I took on any additional responsibilities I could, such as joining the first aid and emergency responder team, for one example. I’d do this careful to not sacrifice the quality of my work, or take on more than I could handle. I worked hard to make my comfort zone that of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Early on, I learned some hard lessons, but I took those in stride and powered on learning everything I could. I am motivated to be the best person I can be. I am not that person yet, but I am driven to become that person. I think that attitude is partly what I contribute to my success.”"

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  • 12. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of explaining complex ideas without being condescending to your co-workers or talking over their heads. Give the interviewer an example of how you break down information to make it more easily digestible for the average person.

      Think of a presentation about a complex topic, as a proposal to solve a challenging problem. The solution may seem obvious to you, but everyone else in the room is scratching their heads trying to figure out what you're saying. When you can define key terms and phrases to make them more relevant to your audience, you have skill! Not everyone can do this. Prepare an example that demonstrates your communication skills and your ability to convey complex information in easy to understand terms.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "First of all, I find about the educational background of the person and try to relate it with their terminology and follow it up with a little story I can create if possible."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! It's important to meet people where they are, and at their knowledge level. Good job.

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  • 13. Give an example of when you used your listening skills to complete a task properly, or solve a problem.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have strong listening skills. They want to know that you aren't the type to interrupt before hearing your co-workers out. You know that asking for clarification can save you a lot of grief down the road! Show that you are one to check for full understanding when you are navigating new territory. Highlight to the interviewer that you are the type to listen and troubleshoot problems in a collaborative style attentively.

      Someone with excellent listening skills will:

      - Give the speaker their full attention
      - Maintain proper eye contact
      - Show invested interest by nodding or agreeing
      - Avoid interrupting
      - Ask for clarification if needed
      - Make statements such as "If I understand you correctly..." or "Do you mean that you want..."

      Give an example that demonstrates how you avoided miscommunication by using your stellar listening skills!

      User-Submitted Answer

      ""¢ In my final year, I Co-led weekly mentoring sessions to fifteen first-year economic students were aimed at easing them into the various aspects of university life.

      "¢ They would sometimes wait after the session and want to discuss a university challenge. Actively listening without interruption and maintaining eye contact were important to understand their situation. This allowed me to focus on how exactly they needed help."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great. These are vital components and important to demonstrate to the interviewer.

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  • 14. Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What skills did you use to achieve this goal?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of setting goals and reaching them. The person who aims to achieve more and more every day is the exact person that every manager wants to hire! Discuss an example of when you overcame obstacles to reach a career related goal that seemed impossible. Or, share a time when you received an award, and talk about the most challenging parts of achieving that award. Highlight your determination and focus.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Last November, I was being offered a position of the lead technician at work, which I am proud of. I use my problem-solving skills, determination, patience, and technical knowledge to achieve this goal."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect! It's great that you readily offer up what you did to achieve this goal.

      "Last November, I was offered the position of lead technician at work, which I am proud of. I used my problem-solving skills, determination, patience, and technical knowledge to achieve this goal."

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  • 15. Are you capable of handling disputes in a professional manner? How do you respond to customer complaints?

      How to Answer

      If you are interviewing for a customer or client facing role, you must show off your conflict management abilities. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling uncomfortable situations while nurturing valued client relationships and still keeping the company's best interests in mind. Give an example of a time you successfully resolved a customer-related issue.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I can handle it professionally, I explain both parties to focus on the task, not the particular problem, we come here for work, not any disputes. Customers are a most valuable person, so first I try to understand what they want, is it solvable promptly and if the answer is yes try to, I will try to find him the solution."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you are very level headed in the workplace. I have reworded slightly for flow, focusing more on the customer aspect.

      "The customer is the most valuable party so I will always try to understand the core of what they want. I ask myself, 'Is this problem I can quickly solve?' If the answer is yes, I will find a solution. If I cannot quickly find a solution, I will escalate the issue to my supervisor."

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  • 16. Do you have confidence in your communication skills? What is your communication style?

      How to Answer

      Strong communication makes all the difference when it comes to workplace success. Never underestimate the importance of being able to express yourself adequately. Efficiently communicating through body language, and written or oral communication can make a huge difference in the relationships with your coworkers, your boss, and your clients!

      Assure the interviewer that you are confident in your communication abilities. You can refer to any communications course or workshop that you have taken. Or, you can discuss a time when a manager told you that you had excellent communication skills! Reaffirm your answer by describing your communication style in a few words.

      Some great options are:

      - Professional
      - Diplomatic
      - Respectful
      - Attentive
      - Logical
      - Energetic
      - Objective
      - Sincere
      - Adaptable
      - Mature
      - Tactful
      - Personable
      - Perceptive
      - Sophisticated
      - Consistent
      - Conscientious
      - Ethical
      - Trustworthy

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I am confident in my communication skills. Partly I feel this way because, through my career, I have received a lot of positive feedback that reinforced my attitude. In particular, here in my organization, I had the opportunity to gain some training in active listening and communication strategies for a harmonious workplace. Moreover, I am personable by nature and very attentive."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's very smart to mention the training that you have received on these topics. Great answer!

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  • 17. How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining a harmonious relationship with those who are considered your leaders.

      If your relationship with your boss wasn't fantastic, what efforts did you take to make it better? Here are some suggestions:

      - Try to understand what your boss values the most
      - Keep your cool, even when you want to lose it
      - Anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead
      - Take leadership opportunities to show your worth
      - Adapt to their preferences

      Some basic ground rules for a stable working relationship with your boss are open communication, proactive listening, and not taking things personally. Discuss the ways that you cultivated a healthy relationship with your boss.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I try to finish my task on time; if I have any question or struggling with the job I ask for help, I put myself away from workplace conflict. I am focusing on the task."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great strategy for maintaining a strong relationship with you boss. Well done!

      "I maintain a good relationship with my boss by finishing my tasks on time, asking for help when I struggle, focusing on my job, and staying away from workplace conflict."

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  • 18. Tell me about a time when you took a creative approach to solving a problem.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are capable of creative solutions to everyday problems. Think of a time when you had a fantastic suggestion in the workplace. Employers love to hire candidates who are innovative, and able to implement their ideas. Focus more on your creative approach, rather than the problem itself.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I recently saw a client who spoke no English. I was not able to communicate with her, so I thought about how I can solve this problem and decided to use Google Translate. I translated my question into Portuguese and then asked the client to read it. This is how we communicated with each other throughout the appointment."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good for you, deciding to figure out a solution rather than focus on the problem. A nice example of creative problem-solving! How did the appointment go in the end? Any particular result to share?

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  • 19. When have you taken an unusual risk in the workplace? What was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of taking calculated risks in the workplace and that you understand the difference between a calculated risk and a risky choice.

      Think of a work-related risk, like trying out a new idea to solve a problem. You may even take on a new responsibility for which you are not trained, which is a little bit of a risk. Give an example that shows you are thoughtful and strategic when taking risks.

      Do you weigh the pros and cons first? Are you considering how it will affect others? Do you believe in the company's bottom line? These are all things that the interviewer will be looking for in your answer.

      User-Submitted Answer

      ""¢ When I worked at ________, a customer was being extremely rude to my colleague, because the shoes he wanted weren't in stock. I decided to stand up to the customer and informed my manager as I wasn't going to let my teammate get shouted at for something that wasn't his fault."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good start. What happened as a result? Why was this an unusual risk? What was the risk you took by taking this action? Did you learn anything about risk assessment as a result?

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  • 20. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?

      How to Answer

      This answer may seem obvious to you because enjoying your time with coworkers is sometimes the best part of the job! If you aren't a naturally social person, this question may seem more challenging to answer.

      Talk to the interviewer about how you develop relationships with coworkers when you start a new job. Think about what is important to you about these relationships. Do your co-workers motivate you when you feel overworked? Do your coworkers give you a reason to show up to work when your boss has been giving you a hard time?

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Practically because, out of 24 hours a day, I spent 8 hours on sleep, 16 hours awake and out that 8 hours I spend at work, ad rest 8 hours doing other necessary tasks. So working hours, I spend almost 50 % of my awakening time. So, it is essential to develop a good relationship with a co-worker because he or she can be a real help when sometime you need a find a solution or need a second set of eye."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      I see what you are going for here, and it's a great point! I have reworded slightly to help with flow and avoid repetition.

      "I spend nearly 50% of my time awake at work so, practically speaking, it's important to enjoy who I am around. I also like to develop good co-working relationships so that we can rely on each other for solutions and feedback."

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  • 21. How do you handle a larger than average workload?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

      Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:

      - List your tasks and prioritize them
      - Think of which jobs add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
      - Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
      - Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
      - Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
      - Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I've always worked well under pressure.

      I remain calm.

      I make a to-do list of everything that needs to be done.

      I prioritize assignments.

      I manage my time well.

      I keep track of each project independently so I can see the progress."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      These are all excellent ways to manage a heavy work load. Good answer!

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  • 22. How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?

      How to Answer

      Ah, the challenge of stress management! Your ability to manage stress will directly influence your ability to do your job successfully. Before answering this question, think of some ways you have learned to deal with stress at work. You can't always take a break when you need it, so what will you do?

      Some workplace stress management strategies are:

      - Track your primary stress factors and make a plan for overcoming those
      - Establish boundaries with distracting coworkers
      - Breathing exercises, or meditation
      - Be sure to recharge your emotional batteries throughout the day
      - Express your stress to your manager/supervisor
      - Ask for help

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I confront the issue head-on.

      I remain calm, prioritize my time, and focus on what needs to get done."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! You show a great deal of determination in this response.

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  • 23. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know if you consider yourself a patient individual. Impatience can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in coworkers, so it is essential that you can showcase your ability to remain patient and professional in workplace situations.

      Patience is indeed a virtue but can be challenging to maintain when it seems that situations continue to push your buttons. Show the interviewer that you possess the ability to keep your cool in challenging conditions.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am a very patient, very emotionally disciplined person. When a situation is challenging, I take a break from it by removing myself mentally and changing my thoughts to something else. If possible, I'll go for a walk or listen to music. The important thing for me is to disengage until I've had time to decompress."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Highlighting the fact that you are emotionally disciplined will go a very long way with the interviewer. Well done!

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  • 24. Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a desire to learn, grow, and try on new challenges! No hiring authority wants to hire the complacent employee so show them you are willing to see opportunity when it arises!

      Your willingness to take on additional tasks, with a positive attitude, gives the interviewer all the more reason to want to get to know you better. Hiring managers are looking for people who will be proactive and help to carry the team.

      Here are some ways you can gain extra responsibilities in the workplace:

      - Talking to your boss about your career goals and having a conversation about new tasks that may help to get you there
      - Offering to take work off of a colleague's plate, if they seem stressed.
      - Studying hard to become an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in software or topic that your boss would find useful
      - Just jumping in and take on a new responsibility!

      User-Submitted Answer

      "yes, I did take a few responsibilities, whenever some guys want to go home early and their task needs completion, I would voluntarily take that responsibility if there is not much on my plate."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good to hear that you took on extra work when it was available to you. This response showcases your willingness to be a team player.

      "Yes, I often take on extra responsibilities at work. In my current job, if someone wants to go home early, I will volunteer to take on their tasks for the day if my schedule allows."

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  • 25. With the ongoing changes in this industry, how do you keep your knowledge current?

      How to Answer

      Employers expect employees to stay up-to-date on their respective field, and today's technology makes this reasonably easy! List several ways that you receive your industry knowledge and stay on top of trends. Tell the interviewer about those daily update emails you receive from professional organizations, conferences you attend, seminars you have taken, and professional organizations you of which you are involved.

      Lastly, it's a great idea to ask the interviewer what resources they refer to for industry trends. That question can start up a great conversation, and you may learn a thing or two as well.

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There are a number of conferences and lunchtime learning and other learning opportunities via various channels at the U.N., and I make sure to attend all training classes I am interested in."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect! Taking advantage of learning opportunities that your employer presents you is a wonderful way to keep your knowledge current.

      "I make sure to attend all the relevant training classes available to me. My employer offers conferences and lunchtime learning, offering opportunities to gain knowledge in a variety of topics."

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