How To Answer Competency Based Interview Questions

This article prepares you on How To Answer Competency Based Interview Questions. The competency based interview questions are normally asked to judge the capability of the candidates.

These questions may be asked to know about your weak points, decision making capacity, teamwork skills, responsibility, communication skills, problem solving skills and your managerial decisions etc.

How To Answer Competency Based Interview Questions

You must be very alert while answering these type of questions. Firstly, choose some of the key competencies stated in the job description and think of some example answers for each one. You should answer according to the intensity of the question.

For example: If the company is looking for someone with excellent team work and leadership skills, you should think of a scenario in which you have demonstrated this. You can also describe a group presentation you have undertaken at school or college level.

1) Give me an example of your sales skills and convincing power.

I believe in emphasizing the features of a product or service that reduces costs and solves problems of the customers. It works wonder and most of the times they make their mind to buy the products.

For example: If I have to sell woolen uniform, I don’t only emphasize the wool’s durability and lasting value of it otherwise I mainly focus on the look and feel of the product.

2) Why did you choose your university and what are the main factors that influenced your choice?

I was very happy to be accepted to my first choice, University of Nairobi (UoN). It is a very prestigious university.

Also Read: 10 Reasons Why University of Nairobi Ranks Best in Kenya

I had some friends and some seniors who were a few years older than me that attended the University and they seemed to have a good experience on that campus. I was familiar with the city of Nairobi and have local contacts so I chose it. It is also ranked among the best performing universities in Africa

3) How did you deal with stressful conditions in your previous job?

I think, it is better to work under pressure but the pressure should be good. I always love to work with a deadline and enjoy working in a challenging environment.

Generally, I react to situations rather than to stress and that’s way the situation is handled and doesn’t become stressful.

For example: When I find an unsatisfied customer, rather than feeling stressed, I focus on the task on hand. I believe in my ability to communicate effectively and satisfy the customer.

4) Give us an example when your communication made a difference in a worse situation.

I always love to talk with my colleagues in a decent tone and a loving manner. It always works and I don’t think I have any serious conflict with any of my friends or colleagues.

But I remember, this incident that occurred 4 years ago, in my college life. We, four friends were stuck in a very worse situation. We were falsely charged a fine and 15 days suspension for ragging a new comer fresher student. We were very upset and angry but it was me who took an initiative to discuss the whole situation with the students Dean and get rid from the fine and suspension.

5) What is your biggest failure?

I think my biggest failure was not being selected as a Kenyan Army officer because I was diagnosed with night vision problem. I was very determined to go there but I couldn’t.

6) Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to be working with an employer in an increasingly responsible position, it is because I want to utilize my talents and work closely with my colleagues in solving important problems.

I see myself taking on new and exciting challenges in an enjoyable environment and hopefully this will be with your company.

7) Do you have any questions for me/us?

First of all, a big thanks to you for giving me this great opportunity. I just want to ask you, please to let me know if I am selected and when I can join your company or if I am not selected which thing do I need to improve on.


As you prepare for your competency interview, take note of the following main areas where you are likely to get your questions from;

1. Communication
Regardless of the position or industry you are in, the way we relate with others is crucial and you need to be able to build and maintain excellent relationships with either your clients or colleagues. Example question: “Tell us about a time you had to adjust your communication approach to suit a particular individual.”

2. Decision Making
Good decision making will help you solve problems, devise solutions and make efficiencies. Example question: “Give an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision either at work, home or school.”

3. Leadership
Valuable for many reasons such as showing that you can coordinate, motivate and lead a successful team. Example question: “Describe a situation when you assumed the role of leader. Were there any challenges, and how did you address them?”

4. Results Orientation
Being focused on results is a skill that will help you excel in your career. It can be anything from improving a system or process through to hitting targets. Example question: “Give us an example of a time when you believe you were successful and what made you successful.”

5. Teamwork
Businesses don’t work properly without good teamwork. Collaborative working environment can achieve results, improve productivity and boost performance. Example question: “Describe a situation in which you were working as part of a team. How did you make a contribution as a team player or leader?”

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