7 Examples of Competency Based Interview Questions

Written by: Search Consultancy
Published on: 5 Nov 2020

Advice in partnership with Search Consultancy


If you’ve ever been for a job interview, chances are you were asked a series of competency based questions. Competency based questions are common place in recruitment and are used by employers to test a potential candidate’s skills and abilities. This increases the likelihood that if selected, they’ll be able to perform the role to the required standard.

The questions are often phrased in ways such as “give an example of a time when…”, which is a prompt for you to describe a situation from start to finish. Although daunting, you shouldn’t dread competency based questions. Good preparation and practice will ensure you’ll handle the questions effectively and confidently.

Competency based interview questions cover a range of aptitudes that all employers are looking to see in candidates when applying for their jobs. This list is by no means conclusive but will give you an idea of what you can expect to be asked. To help you prepare for that all important interview, we’ve outlined the seven most common competency based questions covering the seven of the most important aptitudes you should display in an interview. 

If you would like to find how to improve your interview skills or other tips contact your nearest Search office to discuss your needs in more detail. If you're confident about your interview skills already, check out our current vacancies below.

The Competency Based Interview Questions Examples

1. Adaptability

Describe the biggest change that you have had to deal with in the workplace? How did you cope with it?

2. Communication

Tell us about a situation where your communication skills made a difference to a situation.

3. Creativity

Tell us about a time where you had to think ‘outside the box’

4. Decisiveness

Describe a time when you had to make an important decision in the workplace?

5. Flexibility

Describe a situation where you had to fully change your approach to a task.

6. Leadership

Tell us about a time where you faced a challenge leading your team. How did you address this?

7. Teamwork

Describe a time where you positively contributed to your team.