Competency based interview questions: examples and answers

Competency based interview questions vary depending on the type of role, how high up the ladder the position is and the industry you’re seeking work in. The following though are a collection of the most basic ones that you can expect to face when you attend an interview along with some ideas of how to answer them.
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No matter which job you’re after, adaptability is a requirement that interviewers look for. The specifics of the job that you’re interviewing for may change over time, particularly if you end up working for the firm for years, or you may be asked to take on another form of work if the market changes. These unknown factors tend to make interviewers look for adaptability during the interview. You’ll need to demonstrate times when you have been able to keep up with the changing work place and the best way of doing so is to give some examples.


Independent thinking and the ability to manage your own workload are really important no matter which job you’re in but you’ll also need to demonstrate your ability to comply with your boss’s requirements. This is part of the team work ethos that every job demands. Again, examples of how you’ve shown compliance in the work place are great, but the biggest way to demonstrate this skill is to comply with the interviewer during your meeting.


This is the other major key to success at work. All of the competency based interview questions offer you the chance to showcase your communication skills so make sure that you’re clear and concise throughout the interview. Too many “ums” and “ahhs” might be taken as a sign that you’re unsure of yourself or they could be seen as evidence that your communication skills aren’t up to much.

Other things to look out for

Qualities like leadership, strategic thinking and risk taking may be among the other competencies tested in the interview, although that probably depends on the type of role you’re going for.

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