Sample Behavioral Interview Questions For Each Competency
Enjoys working hard; is action oriented and full of energy for the things he/she sees as challenging; not fearful of acting with a minimum of planning; seizes more opportunities than others
- Tell me about a time when you were bored on-the-job. What did you do to make your job more interesting?
- Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. Were your efforts recognized? By whom and how? How did that make you feel?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work on a project or task that you were dreading
Is easy to approach and talk to; spends the extra effort to put others at ease; can be warm, pleasant, and gracious; is sensitive to and patient with the interpersonal anxieties of others; builds rapport well; is a good listener; is an early “knower”, getting informal and incomplete information in time to do something about it.
- Tell me about a time when someone came to you with a problem. What did you do?
- Give me an example of time an employee came to you who was nervous about something. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?
- Describe a time when you were able to establish a rapport with a person that others referred to as “difficult”.
- Tell me about a time when you received feedback, either positive or negative, from management or another associate. What was the feedback you received and how did you use this feedback?
- Describe a past success or failure. What did you learn from the experience and how have you applied what you learned?
- What have you done to ensure that you stay current on what’s new within your profession or industry?
Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that have the desired effect.
- Tell me about a time you failed to communicate effectively with your client/customer. How did you find out you had failed to communicate effectively? What was the implication of this failure? What did you do about the situation? What did you learn from this?
- Tell me about the most difficult or complex idea, situation, or process you have ever had to explain to someone. How did you explain it? Were you successful?
- Tell me about a time where you didn’t document something that you wish you would have.
- Give me an example of a time you used written communication to share information that, in hindsight, you realize should have been shared verbally.
- Give a past example of how you have kept your manager informed about the day-to-day operations.
Is cool under pressure; does not become defensive or irritated when times are tough; is considered mature; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; doesn’t show frustration when resisted or blocked; is a settling influence in a crisis.
- Tell me about a work “nightmare” you were involved in. How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you were proud of your ability to withhold your comments until you had all the facts. What was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an uncomfortable situation at work. How did you manage it?
Steps up to conflicts, seeing them as opportunities; reads situations quickly; good at focused listening; can hammer out tough agreements and settle disputes equitably; can find common ground and get cooperation with minimum noise.
- Describe a time when you took personal accountability for a conflict and initiated contact with the individual(s) involved to explain your actions.
- Describe your most memorable experience when you had to confront a co-worker. What were the specific words you used and what was the final outcome?
- Describe a situation where you had to settle an argument between two employees (or people you knew). What did you do? What was the result?
- Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
- There are times in everyone’s life when, intentionally or not, they are insensitive to the feelings of others. Please describe a time when you behaved insensitively to others. How did you rectify the situation?
Is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; acts with customers in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
- How do you go about establishing rapport with a customer/patient? What have you done to gain their confidence? Give an example.
- Tell us about the most difficult customer/patient that you have ever dealt with. How did you provide good customer service in spite of the situation?
- Tell me about a recent experience in which you dealt with a difficult or unsatisfied customer. What attempts did you make to provide service recovery?
- Please describe a recent situation in which you exceeded a customer’s expectations. How do you know you exceeded your customer’s expectations? How did the customer/patient respond?
Empathy / Compassion
- Tell me about a time when you were sensitive to how another reacted in an emotional or tense situation. What did you do? What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you volunteered your help to someone in need. How did they react? How did it turn out?
- Give me an example of a time when your positive attitude caused others to be motivated or energized. What was the situation? What was the result?
- Describe a situation when you coordinated several events or people at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
- Tell me about a recent job situation that required great precision to complete a task. How did you handle the situation?
- Tell me how you manage your daily work schedule.
- When have you found it valuable to use a detailed checklist or procedure list to reduce potential errors on the job? What as the outcome? What would you do differently today?
- Give me an example of a situation where you needed to pay attention to small but important details? When was this? How did it turn out?
Recognizes what needs to be done and accomplishes it proactively and with minimal supervision.
- Tell me about a time when you had to take charge and start the ball rolling to get a job done. What were the ramifications if the job didn’t get done? How did it turn out?
- Give a specific example of a time when you put forth extra effort to attain a goal. Why was the extra effort necessary?
- Describe a situation in which you identified a problem and took action to correct it rather than wait for someone else to do so.
Integrity and Trust
Is widely trusted; is seen as a direct, truthful individual; can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent him/herself for personal gain.
- Give a specific example of a situation in which it was imperative that you maintain confidentiality, yet someone asked you to release the confidential information. What did you do?
- Describe a time when you were asked to keep information confidential.
- On occasion, we are confronted by dishonesty in the workplace. Tell about such an occurrence and how you handled it.
Relates well to all kinds of people inside and outside the organization; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can defuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
- We’ve all had situations in which we’ve disagreed with our manager. Tell me about a time this happened to you.
- How would your current team members describe your strengths and development needs?
- Describe a situation in which you were able to effectively “read” another person and guide your actions by your understanding of their needs and values.
- Describe a recent unpopular decision you made and what the result was.
Practices attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when he/she disagrees.
- Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you did not listen well to what someone had to say. How did you resolve the issue?
- Describe a situation in which things went astray because you relied on incorrect information from others. What have you learned from that experience?
- Describe how you would demonstrate active listening skills. Can you provide a specific example of how this has served you well in the past?
Can quickly find common ground and solve problems for the good of all; can represent his/her own interests and yet be fair to other groups; can solve problems with peers with a minimum of noise; is seen as a team player and is cooperative; easily gains trust and support of peers; encourages collaboration; can be candid with peers.
- It is very important to build good relationships in the workplace but sometimes it doesn’t always work. If you can, tell about a time when you were not able to build a successful relationship with a difficult person.
- Tell me about a time when you helped a new member acclimate to your department. How did you go about making him/her feel welcome and a part of your unit? How was the new member received by your coworkers?
- Tell me about a time when members of your work team had difficulty adapting to the differences (e.g., personal, cultural, etc.) of others on the team. How did you handle the situation?
Spends his/her time and the time of others on what’s important; quickly zeros in on what’s critical and puts the trivial aside; can quickly sense what will help or hinder accomplishing a goal; eliminates roadblocks; creates focus.
- Tell me about a time when a coworker did not report to work and you had to take on extra duties to help out in the absence of the coworker. How did you plan your day? How did the day go?
- How do you schedule your time? Set priorities? How do you handle doing twenty things at once? Give an example of when you have managed your time successfully.
- Give an example of a time when your schedule or project plan was upset by unforeseen circumstances. How did you respond in that situation? What did you do to avoid potential problems?
- Describe a time when you had to make a difficult choice between your personal and professional life. What process did you go through to determine the greater need?
Uses rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective solutions; probes all fruitful sources for answers; can see hidden problems; is excellent at honest analysis; looks beyond the obvious and doesn’t stop at the first answers.
- Tell me about a time when you encountered a problem and your supervisor was not available to help you. How did you handle the problem?
- Tell me about a decision you made in which you had to consider serious risks. How did you go about determining the impact of those risks?
- Tell me about a time when you used fact-finding skills to solve a problem. What was the situation? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of how you solved a problem in a unique way within the past 18 months.
- Describe a situation in which you forecasted a problem and prepared a strategy for handling it. How did it turn out?
- We can sometimes recognize a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example of how you acted to prevent a larger problem from occurring.
Identifies information and materials both internally and externally that contribute to the completion of quality work.
- Tell me about a time when you lacked much of the knowledge or information necessary to get a task or project done. How did you remedy this situation? From whom or where did you go for assistance?
- Describe a specific situation in which you had to conduct research to complete tasks/projects. Describe in detail the process you used to conduct this research.
- Tell me about a time when you realized you lacked a skill or set of knowledge that you needed to do a task. What did you do to complete the task?
- Tell me about a time when you were able to “think outside of the box” to come up with a solution. What did you do? And what were the results?
Effectively works toward common goals by supporting, encouraging, and sharing information with colleagues.
- Describe a situation in which several of your coworkers didn’t get along. How did you handle the situation in order to get results?
- Describe a situation when a problem arose within your department and you encouraged a team approach to solve the problem. Was your approach successful? Why or why not?
- Tell me about a time when you had to enlist the support of your coworkers, subordinates, or supervisors to complete a task. How did you go about getting their help?
- Give an example of when you had to organize a team in order to achieve a goal. What process did you use to select the team members?
- Sometimes teams lose their motivation to perform. Describe a situation when you needed to motivate a team. What was the outcome?
Uses his/her time effectively and efficiently; values time; concentrates his/her efforts on the more important priorities; gets more done in less time than others; can attend to a broader range of activities.
- Give a specific example of a situation in which you were faced with a difficult deadline to meet. How did you respond? What was the outcome?
- We all have to work very hard at times. Describe a situation when you really had to put forth extra effort. What did you do? How did you ensure that your final product would be completed in a timely and accurate manner?
WAGES AND BENEFITS