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Competency Based Interview Questions and Answers

in responding to competency based interview questions, the most important principle is to talk through a real example that happened to you.  Don’t talk in broad terms about how you generally tackle those sorts of situations.
Once you have talked about your example, an interviewer may ask you further questions to get a deeper understanding of what you did.  So, the second key principle is to be ready to talk about your example in a lot of detail.
Rather than asking hypothetical questions, Competency based questions help interviewers to catch out candidates who have exaggerated their skills or experience.  A candidate who is trying to bluff their way into a job will be comfortable talking about their experience only at a broad level and not in any detail, so a skilled competency-based interviewer may ask for a lot of detail around each interview question.

Competency Based Interview Questions and Answers


Imagine that an interviewer has asked a candidate the following question: 
"Please describe a situation when you have helped a colleague who was in trouble?"

On the face of it, it seems a fairly straightforward question to answer. However, a crafty interviewer could interrupt you at any point and follow up with all sorts of supplementary questions.  Look at the following sample candidate’s response.  You will see certain words and phrases, which indicate points at which the interviewer might want to interrupt to ask for further information.

Example Answer:
"There was a time when James, the sales manager, came to me with a problem about his sales performance.  He asked for help, so I tried to be supportive and gave him some advice.  I also helped him on some site visits to customers.  Over the course of the next few months, he listened to my advice and brought his performance up to satisfactory levels again."

The interviewer could potentially ask a variety of additional questions based on the candidate’s response so far.  For example, the interviewer could ask the following questions.

1) You said ‘There was a time’.  How recently did this happen? 
The candidate responds:
This was three years ago, when I’d just moved from the sales department to being the marketing manager.  When I left the sales department, they recruited a young sales manager to take over my old role.

2) You said that James came to you.  Why did he come to you?
He came to me because we’d already struck up a good working relationship by that point.  It was a small company, so I always tried to meet with new colleagues and take them out for a drink and explain to them that I was there if they ever needed any help.

3) And what was the sales manager’s problem? 
The candidate explains: 
James wasn’t hitting his sales targets.  James was a really bright person, but didn’t have that much sales experience.

4) What exactly was wrong with his performance?
James had two major targets.  His first target was to cold call enough companies every month to set up five meetings with prospective clients.  His other target was to convert 50 per cent of prospective clients into real customers.  He was failing on both of them.

5)How were you supportive? 
The candidate explains: 
James was on the verge of tears and really agitated about his poor performance because he was worried he was going to be sacked. The first thing I did was to get him to calm down.  I took him out of the office and bought him a coffee and  tried to listen to him without judging him.

6)So what were your suggestions? 
The candidate responds: 
After talking to him and understanding that he was failing to meet both of his targets, my first suggestion was that I might listen in on some of his cold calls.  So I spent a few hours one morning listening in on his cold calls.  I discovered that he was telephoning customers without first doing enough research on them.  He called them up without knowing anything about their business needs.  So I worked with James to think about the sorts of facts that he would need to collect before making a call.

7) Tell me a bit more about what you did on these site visits. 
The candidate responds: 
I also talked James round to letting me attend a couple of sales meetings with him.  I went along, observed him and gave him some constructive comments about what he was doing wrong.  In particular, he was being a bit too aggressive in trying to get the customer to sign on the dotted line there and then. I persuaded him to give customers more thinking time, which resulted in more of them signing up in the end.


As you can see, that first question could lead to many other questions that the smart candidate must be ready  and prepare to answer.  Candidates who are exaggerating about their experience could not answer in such detail.  However, even honest candidates can get flustered if they have not done some preparation to remind themselves of the situations they had experienced. 


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Click On Below links To Download Job Interview Questions and Answers PDF.
  1. Learn How to Answer Interview Questions PDF 
  2. How To Answer Interview Questions PDF
  3. Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies PDF
  4. 301 smart answers to tough interview questions PDF

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