Competency Interviews: Competency Based Interview Questions

Competency Based Interview Coming Up?
Check Out These Example Questions

On the page before this we introduced competency based interviews and promised you some example competency interview questions.

Here we look at how interviewers might assess your Financial and Commercial Awareness.

If financial and commercial awareness are not requirements of the job you're applying for, go back to the list of competences and find ones relevant to your job. We have many.

Financial/Commercial Awareness Competence

To test your financial and commercial competence, interviewers may look for past evidence that you:

  • Understand the need to control costs and increase income in an organisation
  • Activity look for ways to reduce costs and/or increase income
    and, for more senior jobs:
  • Understand income and expenditure information and its implications, both for individual projects and for the organisation as a whole
  • Demonstrate commercial business acumen is all your decision-making

Example Competency Based Interview QuestionsFor Financial/Commercial Awareness

ere are some example competency based interview questions covering financial/commercial awareness. The level of questions you'll be asked depends on the position you're applying for -- the higher the position, the more complex the questions and the higher the interviewers' expectations.

In-between the main questions are examples of probing questions you might be asked if your interviewers want more information.

  • Tell me about a time when you reduced wastage or saved the company money
    - What did you do?
    - What was the impact?
    - How were you recognised?

  • Give me an example of when you've been asked to produce cost or income projections/estimates for a project or activity
    - What were the projections for?
    - What information did you use?
    - How did you present the data?
    - What was the outcome?

  • How have you used financial systems/models in your job
    - What do you think are their benefits?
    - What limitations do they have?

  • Give me an example of when you've successfully reduced costs in your team or department
    - What did you do?
    - What was the end result?
    - How were you recognised?

  • What do you know about the financial results of your Company?
    - Can you talk me through some actual results?
    - How do you keep abreast of the results?
    - What do the results indicate?

  • Talk me through a time when you identified potential financial problems or financial risks in your company
    - How did you raise the issues?
    - What did you do to prevent these from having a major impact on the business?
    - What was the result?

  • Tell me about a time a client or customer made unreasonable financial demands on you
    - How did you handle the situation?
    - What was the outcome?
    - If faced with that situation again, what would you do differently?

  • Give us an example of when you've produced profit and loss information unaided?
    - When was the last time you did this?

  • Tell me about a time when you challenged an idea you thought didn't made commercial sense
    - What did you say?
    - How did people react to your challenge?
    - What was the result?

  • Give me an example of when you've had to present a financial proposal to senior management
    - How did you prepare?
    - How did you get the information across?
    - What was their reaction?
    - What was the outcome?

  • What KPIs do you use to measure and control your organisation's commercial activity?
  • Describe a time when you've taken a financial risk at work
    - Why was it a risk?
    - What led you to take the risk?
    - What were the results?
    - Would you do things differently next time?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to negotiate for financial resource
    - What did you need?
    - How did you negotiate?
    - What was the result of your negotiation?
  • Describe a time when you've come up with an initiative which had significant competitive advantage
    - What did you do?
    - What was the impact on the business?
  • What financial tools and/or models do you use to shape local/corporate strategy?
    - Can you give me an example?

Other Competency Based Interview Questions

If you found those questions useful, we have more example competency based interview questions on such things as Leadership, Developing Self and Others, Decision-making and so on. Simply return to the list of competences and find ones appropriate for the job you're applying for. We have many.

In the same place, you'll also find advice on answering competency based interview questions.

If you're still looking for that extra edge over the competition, you may find the Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Answers helps.

The Guide is 81 pages long and includes over 99 answers to job interview questions, 11 closing power statements, 43 questions for you to use to uncover the interviewer's hidden needs and much more. Click here to read our full review of this Job Interview Answers Guide.

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