Competency-based questions are designed to assess the skills and experience outlined in the person specification for the role. You should give examples of times when you have demonstrated these skills. Your answers will be marked according to how well you meet the job criteria.
- How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?
- Tell us about a situation where you made a decision and then changed your mind.
- How important is communication in team working?
- How do you maintain good working relationships with your senior colleagues?
- How do you deal with conflicting demands on your time?
Notice that not all questions directly ask for examples. You should always provide examples, regardless. Practice giving answers using the STAR method. Describe the Situation, the Task to be completed, the Action you took and the Result.
The aim of strengths-based questions is to assess your interests, passions and motivation. This in turn will evaluate your cultural fit. A recruit who enjoys their job (as well as being capable of doing it) and their working environment will perform better and be more likely to stay in post.
- When do you feel you are most like “yourself”?
- Are you a starter or a finisher?
- What qualities would you bring to this team?
- Are you a big picture or a detail person?
- What do you love to do in your spare time?
- Give me an example of a weakness.
- Tell me about an achievement you were particularly proud of.
- What would your closest friend say are your greatest strengths?
There are no wrong answers, since you are describing personal qualities. Even so, these questions still require preparation.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses, what you enjoy about your past roles, and what is important to you in and out of work. Think about how these relate to the job specification and the culture of the organisation.