Competency Based Interviewing Questions


Team Work

  • Can you give me an example of when you have worked as part of a team to achieve a goal? What made the team successful?
  • How can you make a difference to the team that you work in?
  • Do you enjoy working as part of a team? Why? Are there any aspects of working as a team that you don’t like? Why?
  • Give me an example of when you have had to share your workload with the rest of your team.
  • Give me an example of when you have successfully motivated a team to achieve great results.
  • Give me an example of when you have influenced someone over whom you have no direct control. What was the result?
  • Give me an example of when you have influenced your peers.

Problem Solving

  • Can you give me an example of when you have solved a problem in an unusual way? What made you solve it that way?
  • What is the most difficult work related situation that you have been faced with. How did you cope? What was the outcome?
  • As a manager what staff related issues do you need to deal with?
  • What types of problems do you typically deal with in your job? What steps do you take to overcome these problems? What was the outcome?
  • How do you ensure that you have all the information you need to complete a project/job?
  • Give me an example of when you have used a mistake that has been made to your own advantage and learned from it.

 Results Focus

  • How do you know that you are successful
  • Give me an example of where you have taken a risk in order to move a project forward
  • How do you make sure that you learn and develop continuously?
  • What is the greatest asset that you could bring to this role?
  • What are your personal and long term career goals
  • What motivates you and why?
  • What makes you feel under pressure? How do you deal with pressure?
  • Give me an example of when you have achieved something through your personal drive and commitment. What did you learn from the experience?


  • Describe a situation when you have been responsible for a team of people. What problems did you come up against and how did you overcome them?
  • Who would you describe as an inspirational leader? What characteristics do they have which you admire?
  • The Company believes its employees are one of the keys to its success. How would you as a manager portray this belief to your team?
  • How do you develop your current team and how do you assess their level of competence?
  • How do you motivate your team?
  • How do you train and develop people, please give examples
  • How do you prioritize your team’s workload?
  • Give me an example of a time when you have had to deal with a performance issue.
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your leadership style?
  • Give me an example of when you have dealt wit conflict in a team?
  • What kind of mentoring/coaching style do you have?
  • Give me an example of when you have maximized the potential of a team. What was the result? What problems did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

 Managing Change/Adaptability

  • People are normally resistant to change. How do you manage this?
  • Think of a time when you have been thrown in the deep end or had the goal posts moved on a project. How did you cope?
  • Working in this industry has its positives and negatives. How will you need to change your lifestyle to be successful? How do you feel about that?
  • Give me an example of when you have successfully managed change?

Planning and Organizing

  • What preparation did you do for this interview?
  • What preparation do you do before you present information to clients?
  • What do you think project-planning entails?
  • When taking on a new position, how do you prioritize what you tackle first?
  • Why do you think attention to detail is important to your job? What could the possible consequences of carelessness be?
  • How do you plan your day-to-day activities?
  • How do you ensure that you meet project deadlines
  • What deadlines do you typically have to work towards in your job?

 Strategic Thinking and Awareness

  • How do you strategically plan ahead?
  • How do you balance the short term and long term needs of the business
  • How do you stay abreast of the latest technological advances in our industry?
  • What are our competitors doing at the moment?
  • What do you think is the biggest opportunity facing the IT industry in the future?
  • What is your current strategy for your area of responsibility

Customer Focus

  • How do you get your team to think like a customer
  • How do you foster a customer-focused environment on a project?
  • How do you anticipate customer needs in light of market developments
  • What customer service would give the Company the competitive edge?
  • How do you currently assess/evaluate customer satisfaction?
  • Talk me through the most difficult customer situation you have dealt with and the outcome.
  • How do you maintain high standards of customer service in your current role
  • Customer service is a priority for the Company. What steps would you take to ensure your department was offering the best in the industry?
  • Why is good customer service important?

 Profit Delivery

  • What value/profit do you think your role can add to the Company?
  • As a manager in the company, you could have a huge amount of influence over profit in your department. What do you believe are your key tools for increasing profit?
  • What actions have you taken in the past to increase your team/ projects profit margin?
  • How do you control operational costs
  • How do you ensure the maximum profitability of a project?
  • How do you review and evaluate project performance?
  • Give an example of how you have increased profit. What action did you take?

 Stress Tolerance/Ability to succeed under pressure

  • Give me an example of when you had to work under very pressurized conditions. What made the situation so pressurized? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
  • What deadlines have you had to work against before? How did you ensure that you met these deadlines?
  • Tell me about a work situation in which the pressure grew to an unacceptable level. What steps did you take to ease the pressure? What was the outcome of this?


  • Tell me about a situation in which you have really wanted something that has been denied you by your company/boss. Did you take any steps to persuade them otherwise? If so, what did you do and what was the outcome?
  • You are desperately trying to get a client visit with a potential customer who is currently using your competitor’s services but she will not meet with you. What steps could you take to persuade him otherwise?

For more information on Competency Based interviewing have a look at our Successful Interview Questions

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