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Top 20 Competency Interview Questions
Question 1 of 24
How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?
  Professional Answers
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List of Competency Interview Questions
  1. How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?
  2. 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?
  3. Give me an example of a challenge you overcame in your last position.
  4. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?
  5. Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What skills did you use to achieve this goal?
  6. How has your current job changed over the years?
  7. What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
  8. How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?
  9. In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
  10. How do you deal with conflict on your team?
  11. Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?
  12. Tell me about a time when you took a creative approach to solving a problem.
  13. When have you taken an unusual risk in the workplace? What was the outcome?
  14. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
  15. Do you have confidence in your communication skills? What is your communication style?
  16. How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
  17. Are you capable of handling disputes in a professional manner? How do you respond to customer complaints?
  18. Give an example of when you used your listening skills to complete a task properly, or solve a problem.
  19. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?
  20. How did you go about suggesting changes in your most recent company?
  21. What feedback did you receive from your most recent manager?
  22. What skills did you learn in your most recent position that will help you in this new role?
  23. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  24. Tell me the ways in which you brought value to your most recent position.
Authors:
Contributing Author
Elisabeth Walter
HR Consultant
Contributing Author
Rachelle Enns
Recruiter
 
Contributing Author
Christine Pasqueretta
HR Executive
Competency User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 24
How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?
Professional answers
I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right in. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!
Uncomfortable situations do not weigh on me. I have learned how to face my problems and persevere, and I never take my feelings home with me.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Overworked.
2.
Working in the barracks would often put me in the situation where female occupants would answer their doors in various stages of undress. I always had a command escort with me and would always inform my supervisor when these incidents would occur.
Question 2 of 24
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?
Professional answers
I worked for a lean organization that had a lot of cross over between HR, Marketing and IT. Often times, I would be asked to do functions of a department I did not work under. We are all on the same team so I would figure out what to do and get it done, then later recommend a process to better handle the type of situation in the future.
I was regularly asked to participate in internal ISO audits, which I had never done before, so I had to learn the standards and how to appropriately run an audit. I was also promoted to a team lead and had a direct report to monitor. This was my first supervisory role, so I had never approved time sheets or handled employment related concerns. I asked for advice when possible, and did research on my own time whenever necessary.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
How do you handle stress?
2.
I was asked to help lay concrete. I had not poured concrete before but the journeyman I was with was a great instructor. I would not say I am proficient but I have poured concrete a few more times since the first time.
Question 3 of 24
Give me an example of a challenge you overcame in your last position.
Professional answers
When starting my last role, there were 35 critical leadership openings in the business. It was causing a huge challenge for the businesses to function and meet their key initiatives. I worked closely partnering with Talent Acquisition to accomplish the successful hiring and training of all roles.
My last challenge was to complete product testing within a deadline that was very tight. I was able to keep the test cells running 24 hours a day by monitoring their status from my laptop at home and by asking team members on later shifts to stop by and make sure they could hear it running.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Rude customers, coworkers not pulling their weight.
2.
Every day is a challenge in Penneys, it is one of the busiest retails shops in Ireland at the moment. unfortunately, its hard to please every single customer, it's difficult to give them all the attention they need, but I always manage to give them my full attention if they require my help.
3.
We were often challenged of ensuring no other utilities were affected while digging in to the ground to locate and then repair a water break. We were also challenged on some tasks that needed to be scheduled around the operating hours of the various commands around the base.
Question 4 of 24
Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?
Professional answers
I was once working with a group that could not quite get along and it tested my patience a bit because it prevented us from staying on track and focusing on the goals. I went above and beyond in helping the group get along by scheduling lunches as a team and helping to mediate situations that needed it.
I am fairly patient, with other people. I tend to be impatient with myself if I am not finishing a project as fast as I think I should be. But, I am learning to be patient with myself as well. I find that breathing exercises, and closing my eyes for a few seconds can help me regroup.
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Question 5 of 24
Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What skills did you use to achieve this goal?
Professional answers
Where do I begin?! (Smile) After recently hiring an entire new team of people to roll out a critical project, I realized they needed to learn to work together. I created a leadership training program and cross functional work group sessions to bring this team closer at an accelerated pace. It was a challenge to schedule and break the ice early, but we did it well.
I am proud to have won an award for highest sales in my territory. My ability to analyze market trends and engage customers are the two skills I attribute this honor to the most.
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Question 6 of 24
How has your current job changed over the years?
Professional answers
Change is a constant. I worked with a rapidly growing organization. In the beginning, I was the one doing a lot of the work where over the years, I was leading a team to accomplish those goals. You could say I grew professionally as much as the business did!
I have grown in my position. It went from a one man show to a department of three, with me in charge. We have increased our product line, so my team has had to increase its workload repeatedly.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The biggest change is personnel. There has been small changes in policy and procedure but we have had employees retire and then replaced by new recruits.
Question 7 of 24
What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
Professional answers
I routinely make decisions around hiring, career advancement, associate development and talent management.
I regularly made decisions regarding pricing and discounts for customers. I had a standard set of criteria that I created, and I tried to let that guide me for consistency.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Concerning our fraud cases, I had to decide if the information that the person sent in was sufficient enough and/or valid. Concerning our check customers, if they were eligible for additional services.
2.
I was allowed to work independently, which meant I was trusted to make safe, competent, reliable, honest, proficient, and quality decisions concerning the tasks I was assigned on a daily basis, regardless of how large or small the assigned task was.
Question 8 of 24
How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?
Professional answers
I tend to work best under stressful situations. I maintain focus on the work that needs to get accomplished.
I try to take a break, re-focus, and get back to work. I like listening to quiet music, when its allowed. Not all businesses are OK with that, and I understand.
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Question 9 of 24
In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?
Professional answers
People are the bread and butter of any organization. Our ability to work well together determines our success therefore it is critical to develop great working relationships.
Coworkers can make or break you, if you have to depend on their work to do yours. It is always best to have amicable working relationships with them.
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Question 10 of 24
How do you deal with conflict on your team?
Professional answers
Conflict in teams is inevitable. I handle conflict with respect. humility and intent to understand or solve the problem.
Conflict is a normal part of business. It is most easily remedied by clear, open, and honest communication among team members.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Organisation of the registers, sorting out the roster, checking for sick calls,making sure those places are filled by other staff memebers so no tills are seen to be empty. Communicating with management to ensure that everyone is clear on who is doing what and where
2.
1: Ensure I was fully prepared for the tasks scheduled for that day 2: Ensure my vehicle functioned properly and was adequately fueled 3: Ensure my PDA and dog sheet were legibly completed before the end of the work day.
3.
Submit Daily reports.
Question 11 of 24
Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?
Professional answers
All of the time! I am constantly seeking out new ways that I can learn more and exceed customer expectations in my role.
Most of the time, yes. I don't like to get "bored" or have an empty to-do list. Working makes the time go by faster. I don't ask for more work when I have a full load and am staring at overtime possibilities, though.
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Question 12 of 24
Tell me about a time when you took a creative approach to solving a problem.
Professional answers
Creativity is the best way to solve problems. Two associates were having trouble understanding the work that the other one did and this was impacting the overall group. I pitched that the two individuals switch roles for two weeks to better understand their impact on the organization's success. They both came out of the experience having felt a new appreciation for another's job and now they are cross trained too!
I like thinking outside the box. I was once tasked with better tracking our inventory to make sure small parts, like nuts and bolts, were ordered on time and not too early causing surplus. I spent time counting how many screws were in a full bin vs avg how many we used per day. I then took a piece of red electrical tap and made a line on the bin that would give us a rough estimate of a week's worth of screws left, enough time to order and receive some more. A simple and free solution.
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Question 13 of 24
When have you taken an unusual risk in the workplace? What was the outcome?
Professional answers
I once took a risk to pivot my career out of marketing and into a sales role with the company with the intent of rounding out my business experience for future growth. It was a risk because it was something I had never done before and something I did not want to do long term. Having done it, it made me a better leader in the marketing director role I am in today.
I once took a risk and rearranged the lab without asking. It seemed like we were running back and forth and I thought an alternate layout might make it run more efficiently. I was right. My boss was still a little mad that I didn't ask for permission, but agreed the new layout was better.
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Question 14 of 24
How do you handle a larger than average workload?
Professional answers
With grace! (Smile) Having a large workload is part of this type of work. I prioritize the work and enlist additional resources where necessary.
I first take step back and make a list of all the deliverables that I now have. Then I prioritize the list by deadline and ease of completion. I always try to hit the easy tasks first and get them off my to-do list. Feeling like I am making progress keeps me motivated.
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Question 15 of 24
Do you have confidence in your communication skills? What is your communication style?
Professional answers
Communication is everything! When my last company acquired another business, there was a great deal of change going on at once. People felt uneasy and out of the loop. I recommended implementing various communication methods to help everyone learn what was going on in a timely fashion and introduce transparency into the mix. People were happy to be apart of what was happening in the moment.
I do have confidence in my communication skills. I have always had to speak in front of teams, some small, some larger. I have always been comfortable and I tend to get positive responses from my audience.
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Question 16 of 24
How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
Professional answers
I value having a strong working relationship with my boss. I want to learn what they do and take on as much work to help our team as possible. I scheduled regular update meetings with my boss and went the extra mile wherever I could.
Communication. I always let my boss know where I stood on projects. Sometimes the communications were daily, sometimes weekly, depending on the situation. There were never any surprises.
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Question 17 of 24
Are you capable of handling disputes in a professional manner? How do you respond to customer complaints?
Professional answers
With extreme care! Customers and clients are the lifeblood of any business so it is important to hear them by empathizing, understanding and initiative to resolve the issues they share with you.
I can always handle disputes in a professional manner. In a call center, you have to learn to put yourself in the customer's shoes and recognize that you are not personally responsible for the problem. Once I separate emotions from the situation, I can speak calmly and clearly over the phone.
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Question 18 of 24
Give an example of when you used your listening skills to complete a task properly, or solve a problem.
Professional answers
Listening skills can serve you well in any role. In a heated meeting where two groups were debating about a specific issue they were having, I sat back to listen carefully to identify the root problem. Both teams were passionate about the work so could not hear over their defense mechanisms. As an outsider, I was able to hear through this and recommend solutions for them to be successful working together.
Active listening is a key quality to have. I recently hosted a meeting with a team that seems unhappy and discontent. I listened as they explained their issues. While some things I could not change, some of their concerns were easily rectified just by understanding the issue.
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Question 19 of 24
How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?
Professional answers
Keep it simple silly! If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough. I recently rolled out a complex compensation plan with many anomalies. I took the approach to share a broad overview and provide detail for reference. I often try to make analogies or share complex information in the form of a story.
I try to use written and verbal examples. If possible, I like to have hands-on examples, but that is not always feasible. Communicating in more than one way helps those with different learning styles.
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Question 20 of 24
How did you go about suggesting changes in your most recent company?
Professional answers
That is a great question! I would have participated more in external company events. Life gets busy but this is a great opportunity to network with your peers outside of the daily grind of business.
I had regular one on one meetings with my supervisor. In those meetings, I would offer suggestions. I was always prepared to go into detail about them though. Never ask for a change without being able to justify it.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Three monthly review.
2.
Communication with staff
3.
I would not have had sex with my team manager but she was hot and had big boobs.
Question 21 of 24
What feedback did you receive from your most recent manager?
Professional answers
I frequently received and gave feedback in my last job. I proactively scheduled a weekly touch base with my manager to seek out feedback and connect on pressing issues. The feedback was often positive and I would take the lead navigating situations I was unclear on by enlisting the expertise of my peers.
My last performance review was positive. I was given kudos for completing tasks on schedule and occasionally ahead of schedule.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I met ad exceeded my metrics the entire time I was employed.I was told that I am kind and respectful, good listener, and the desire to solve problems.
2.
Not much, positive or negative. It would have been nice to have a more in depth form of communication with my supervisor pertaining to my performance.
Question 22 of 24
What skills did you learn in your most recent position that will help you in this new role?
Professional answers
I learned how to be a better strategic manager and I think this will help me better balance being both tactical and strategic in this new role.
I learned the ins and outs of your accounting system. I was responsible for migrating our information into the same system, so I spent a good amount of time researching and training within it.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
To deal with employees requests for travel, accommodation, hire cars and goods.
2.
Speak with and help customers understand why their check transactions did not go through, deal with fraud cases and help clear them.
3.
To help customers know and understand why their personal or business checks declined. Offer additional services that could potentially help the in the future.
4.
I was one of three journeymen utilities plumbers assigned to the UEM shop.
Question 23 of 24
Why are you the best candidate for this position?
Professional answers
I have the necessary experience, skill sets and ambition to add great value to this role. I am looking forward to the opportunity!
I am the best candidate because I have the right background, education, and experience. I know that I can jump right in and get going with very little training time.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Prioritising, dealing with e-mails, phone call and personnel requests from employees, working as a team, working well as an individual, get.
2.
1: Knowledge of the various assets needing maintenance or repair 2: Understanding of how the assets operate 3: Knowledge of where to locate needed material that is not on hand 4: Became a certified backflow tester 5: Obtained training in various mechanical equipment such as forklift and the bobcat.
3.
How to learn and use changing computer softwarehow to talk to customershow to handle escalated situationshow to work as a teamhow to meet goals and set new ones.
Question 24 of 24
Tell me the ways in which you brought value to your most recent position.
Professional answers
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 best serve the group. By learning more, I was able to be a better partner to deliver successful practices across the group.
In my last position, I brought value in terms of increased customer base. My ability to build strong relationships helps me secure and maintain new business.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a utilities plumber, which included the maintenance of utility assets, repair to damaged or malfunctioning assets, the reading of utility meters as well as other tasks needing completion in a timely manner.
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