Home: Competency Interviews: Competency Based Interview Questions

Competency Interviews - Know What
You'll Be Asked Beforehand

A little earlier we introduced competency based interviews, gave advice on how to prepare and promised you some example competency interview questions.

On this page we consider how interviewers might assess your Energy, Drive and Commitment while at work.

If energy, drive and commitment aren't requirements of the job you're applying for, go back to the list of competences and find ones relevant to your job. There are quite a few.

What Do Employers Look For?

In assessing your energy, drive and commitment, interviewers look for past evidence that you:

  • Have the energy to deliver in the long term
  • Remain optimistic and persistent, even in adversity
  • Know how to focus effort to deliver objectives and show the determination to make things happen, even under pressure
  • Manage time, resources and prioritize where needed
  • Recover quickly from setbacks
  • Are committed to delivering results, are solution-focussed and take actions to overcome obstacles

Example Questions Asked At Competency Interviews ForEnergy, Drive and Commitment

Here are some example competency interview questions covering energy, commitment and drive. In-between the main questions are examples of probing questions you might be asked if your interviewers want more information.

  • Can you describe an instant when things went down hill rapidly?
    - How did you react? 
    - What steps did you take to recover?
    - What was the outcome?
  • Describe a task or project where you achieved success even though the odds were stacked against you
    - What did you do to ensure success?
  • Tell me about a time when it was hard for you to deliver a task or meet a deadline
    - What was the task or deadline you were asked to meet?
    - How did you go about meeting it?
    - What obstacles did you encounter?
    - How did you overcome these?
    - What was the result?

  • What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in your career
    - How did you respond to it?

  • Tell us about your biggest failure
    - How did you recover and what have you learnt from it?
  • Describe a time when you wanted to push an idea despite strong opposition.
    - What did you do?
    - Why?
    - What did you learn?
  • Tell us about a time when you encountered obstacles that nearly stopped you achieving your goals
    - What did you do?
    - What was the end result?
  • Have you ever made a personal sacrifice to ensure an objective was met?
    - What was the objective?
    - What sacrifice did you make?
    - Why?
    - How did you feel afterwards?
  • Describe a time when you had to lift team spirits to ensure a difficult target or objective was met
    - Why were team spirits low?
    - What was your approach?
    - What was the outcome?

Other Competency Interview Questions

We have many more example competency interview questions including ones for Developing Self and Others, Decision-making, Communication and so on. If you return to the list of competences, you can find ones relevant to the job you're applying for.

You will also find some advice on how to prepare for competency interviews.

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