Elsewhere we have written about the competency-based interview and how to structure your answers to do well. We also included some examples of basic questions and included guidance on how to tackle each question.
Building on this, we thought it would be useful to provide even more challenging competency questions.
Working through these will ensure you are prepared for every possible eventuality, and you can tackle your next job interview with even greater confidence.
These questions are designed to assess your judgement and expertise in making effective decisions and keeping the customer at the heart of all you do.
Q. Describe a time when you have developed an innovative solution to a problem.
Q. Can you give me an example of a time when you have challenged and supported someone to do things differently?
Q. Imagine that you see a colleague working in a way that seems inefficient.
Q. Describe the last time you worked on a project that required you to analyse complex information.
Q. Describe a time you had to make a difficult business decision in order to make things better, simpler or cheaper in your area of the business.
Q. Describe a big decision you have had to make without having all the necessary information.
Q. Describe a situation that required you to take a risky decision quickly.
Q. Describe a time when you had to overcome an obstacle to find a solution for a particular client.
This section aims to measure your openness to new ideas and ability to lead the business for the future.
Q. Talk me through the steps you would take to implement a process improvement or a more innovative way of completing a task.
Q. Give me an example of a time when you have spotted a business opportunity.
Q. Give me an example of a time when you developed a new or different solution to a problem.
Q. How do you ensure that you keep abreast of development in our industry, to prevent your thinking from becoming stale?
Q. What is your most essential development need?
These questions explore how effective you are in working with people across the business to achieve shared success.
Q. Tell me about a time you have needed to build a strong network in order to be effective in your role.
Q. Tell me about a time when you found it challenging to build an effective working relationship with a client or colleague.
Q. How do you work with colleagues outside of your direct team to improve your delivery for clients?
Q. Tell me about a time you’ve created a positive, collaborative culture in your team.
Q. Describe a time when you have worked in a really effective team.
Q. Give me an example of when you have had to build effective working relationships with people you don’t know.
Q. Tell me about a time you’ve challenged siloed ways of thinking.
Resilience questions are focused on identifying your own sources of energy and how you keep yourself fit for work and life.
Q. Describe a situation when you received feedback that was hard to hear.
Q. Describe a situation when you needed to dig deep to achieve a goal.
Q. Describe a situation when you needed to deliver under unusually high pressure.
Q. Describe a time that you didn’t manage to achieve a target or objective.
Q. What has been your biggest mistake in your career?
This section explores your ability to build strong relationships with clients, colleagues and suppliers.
Q. Describe a situation where you needed to understand the needs or point of view of others when making a decision.
Q. How do you flex your style to build relationships and influence outcomes?
Q. Describe a time when you had to build a close, trusting relationship with someone with whom you had little in common.
Q. How would your team members and peers describe your typical behaviour in your interactions with them?
Q. Describe a time you needed to bring people with you to solve a problem.
6. Beliefs, Values & Ethics
This section looks at how your beliefs, values and ethics influence your approach to work and life.
Q. Tell me about a time it has been difficult to act according to your values.
Q. What are you passionate about at work?
Q. Describe a time that you have admitted you were wrong.
Q. Tell me about a time you’ve needed to be brave.
Don’t fail to prepare
When it comes to excelling in competency-based job interviews, preparation is everything.
Thinking hard about the trickiest questions, and formulating clear, well-structured answers, will put you in the best possible position to be successful.
In fact, the more challenging you make your preparation, the easier your interview is more likely to be.