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Competency Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Competency was updated on May 4th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?

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Competency Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have had my share of awkward situations and having raised two kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head-on, but tactfully. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right into it. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "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. I encourage this mentality with my team as well."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I try to avoid conflict, but I have a high tolerance for discomfort. I've learned to try to let the people in question sort it out, but have no problem rolling up my sleeves and diving in to help mediate the problem."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "When working with the public so much, awkward situations are going to arise. I have had my fair share and knew enough to either walk away or fake it till I made it! A smile and nod can do wonders!"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "As ridiculous as this sounds, I am comfortable in awkward situations because I've had decades of awkward family dinner parties when one side didn't get along well with the other! I've learned to be the go-between who smoothes things out while finding common ground where all parties can agree. While the foundations are odd, this has proven a beneficial skill in the workplace."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "Uncomfortable situations don't phase me. It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, and I just roll with whatever awkward thing is happening and try to either make it normalized, especially in the case of a student, change the conversation, or address the root of the awkwardness. It's all part of the gig."

      Heather's Answer for an ABA Therapist Interview

      "I have had my share of awkward situations, and having raised 2 kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head on, but in a tactful way. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Home Health Aide Interview

      "I had a dementia patient who needed 24-hour care in his home. I was working the night shift, and the patient came into my room where I was sleeping, and he was only wearing a t-shirt. He started calling me his deceased wife's name and asked to climb into bed with me. I told him who I was and explained that I was not his wife. He became very agitated, so I let him call me his wife's name. I told him that we should go back to his room to get dressed in his pajamas. I helped him get his pajama bottoms on, got him a glass of water, and put him to bed. I then read him a story until he fell asleep."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Superintendent Interview

      "I am very comfortable with the requirements of my role as a school superintendent. If I were to be asked to perform a task that I am uncomfortable with, I would brainstorm ways to tailor the task to make it more do-able. If I felt the task should be delegated to someone more appropriate, I would take that step."

      Rachelle's Answer for a TSA Screener Interview

      "I become uncomfortable when people complain about their job, their co-workers, or their overall employment situation. I live by the philosophy that if I do not like an aspect of my life, then I also have the power to change my situation. To deal with uncomfortable situations such as complaining from others or unprofessional conversations, I will tell my co-worker straight away that I am not interested in having the conversation. I believe that professional boundaries are essential, and I will politely decline from becoming a part of a conversation surrounding complaints."

      Darby's Answer for a Blood Bank Laboratory Technician Interview

      "Preventing contamination is one of the most important jobs of a blood bank laboratory technician. I follow all set safety and sanitization protocols before, during and after each test procedure. By doing this, I am hel to become contaminated."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous 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."

      Rachelle's 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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