Interviews – samples of competency questions

Can you tell me about a time when you had to handle conflict on the job?

Think of examples when you had conflict on the job and how you resolved them successfully. If the conflict was with another person or a client, refrain from speaking too negatively about them (“We had conflict because she has a bad attitude!”) this just makes you look like a rude person. Think of specific examples and tell the story in a concise, clear way.

Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond your job description at work.

Try your best to tell a story of where you worked outside of your job description without being asked. Explain how your actions received specific results, such as the extra sales calls that you made enabled your company to reach its quarterly goals. Whenever possible, use actual numbers and instances.

What is your greatest failure and how have you learned and grown from it?

This question shows employers that you are someone who can take a failure and turn it into a growing experience. Everyone has failures in life, but how you handle them will show the person interviewing you a lot more about you as a person.

How would you handle having too many projects to complete in one day, knowing you would not be able to finish them all?

The interviewer wants to learn something about your integrity and responsibility on the job with this question. If you answer that you would try to hurry through each task to get it done, this makes you look sloppy and careless. They want to see that you are honest with your supervisor and able to prioritize tasks to get the most pertinent done first and done correctly.

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