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BACKGROUND REVIEW

Application/Resume

The following questions are designed to confirm the information on the candidate’s
resume. Verify the address and phone numbers with information provided by Human
Resource Services. If there are changes, advise the candidate to update his or her resume
in Human Resource Services with the correct information.

Educational Background

1. What is the highest level of education you have received?

2. List all degrees you have earned. Give the name of the institution from which each
degree was earned and the field of study of each degree.

3. List any other education or training relevant to the (position title) position.

Employment Background

1. Who is your present or most recent employer?

2. What are/were your major responsibilities at (present/most recent job)?

3. Discuss/determine skills and level of expertise related to (position title). (Insert


specific questions).

4. Which skills have you acquired in your present or previous positions that make you
competitive for this position?

5. What do/did you like best about that position? What do/did you like least?

6. Which accomplishments in your present position are you proud of and why?

7. Why are you planning to/did you leave that position?


INITIATIVE

Following is a list of sample questions designed to gather information about an


individual’s ability to identify tasks that need to be done without specifically being told to
do them.

1. Have you found any ways to make your job easier or more rewarding?

2. What do you do differently from other people in the same position?

3. Have you ever recognized a problem before your boss or others in the organization?
How did you handle it?

4. What do you do in your job that is not covered in your job description?

5. We’ve all had occasions when we were working on something that just “slipped
through the cracks.” Can you give me some examples of when this happened to you?
Cause? Result?

6. In your past experience, have you noticed any process or task that was being done
unsafely (incorrectly)? How did you discover it or come to notice it?

7. Are you doing a good job? How do you know?

8. Give me some examples of doing more than required in your job?

9. Can you think of some projects or ideas (not necessarily your own) that were carried
out successfully primarily because of your efforts?

10. What new ideas or suggestions have you come up with at work?

11. This job requires much time working alone. Tell me about a job or project where you
worked unsupervised and were given only general guidelines for job/project
completion.

12. Have you found any ways to make other employees’ jobs easier or more rewarding?

13. What career accomplishments are you most proud of?

14. What did you do to change the aspects of your job that you dislike?
STRESS TOLERANCE

Following is a list of questions designed to provide information relating to an individual’s


stability of performance under pressure. These questions are not designed to rate a
person’s stress level. They are designed to give the interviewer an idea of how the
applicant has reacted to past stressful situations.

1. What pressures do you feel in your job? How do you deal with them?

2. Describe the highest pressure situations you have been under recently. How did you
cope with them?

3. Tell me how you maintain constant performance while under time and work load
pressures.

4. Describe times in the past year when you have been most upset with yourself at work.

5. Describe times in the past year when you have been most upset with someone else at
work.

6. Describe the last time a person at work (customer, co-worker, boss) became irritated
or lost his/her temper. What did they do? How did you respond? What was the
outcome?

7. Tell me about some situations in which you became frustrated or impatient when
dealing with (customers, co-workers, boss). What did you do?

8. In your career, what has been your greatest disappointment?

9. We’ve all lost our temper at one time or another. Describe for me the last time you
lost your temper. What had occurred? How did you respond?

10. Give me an example of when your ideas were strongly opposed by a co-worker or
supervisor. What was the situation? What was your reaction? What was the result?
PLANNING AND ORGANIZING

Following is a list of questions designed to gather information relating to an individual’s


ability to schedule work and handle multiple tasks.

1. How do you organize your day?

2. How often is your time schedule upset by unforeseen circumstances? What do you
do when that happens? Tell me about a specific time.

3. Describe a typical day ... a typical week. (Interviewer, listen for planning)

4. How do you establish priorities in scheduling your time? Give examples.

5. What is your procedure for keeping track of items requiring your attention?

6. What did you do to get ready for this interview?

7. We have all had times when we just could not get everything done on time. Tell me
about a time that this happened to you. What did you do?

8. Tell me how you establish a course of action to accomplish specific long-and-short


term goals.

9. Do you postpone things? What are good reasons to postpone things?

10. Give me some examples of projects or tasks where you postponed immediate action.
Why?

11. How do you catch up on an accumulated backlog of work after a vacation or


conference?
TECHNICAL AND/OR POSITION SPECIFIC

Following is a list of questions designed to gather information relating to an individual’s


past work experience, duties, and working conditions which are similar to those of the
position for which the individual is being considered.

1. What training have you received in ____________________?

2. Describe how the process can best be performed. Have you discovered any
shortcuts? How do they work?

3. Describe your experience with the following tools and equipment. (Interviewer, list
job related tool).

4. Walk me through the procedures you would follow to_______________.

5. What equipment have you been trained to operate? When/where did you receive that
training?

6. What equipment did you operate in your job at ___________________?

7. Describe your experience performing the following tasks. (Interviewer, list job
related tasks).

8. What job experiences have you had that would help you in this position?

9. How do you follow the prescribed standards of safety when performing (task)
_________________?

10. Have you ever identified potential malfunctions of equipment? How did you discover
the potential malfunction? What did you do to correct the problem?

11. Being a ________________________ certainly requires a lot of technical knowledge.


How did you go about getting it? How long did it take you?

12. Do you consider your technical abilities basic, intermediate, or advanced?

13. On a scale of one to ten, ten being you are a perfect technical match or this position,
where would you rank yourself?

14. What would you add to or subtract from your technical background to make you more
qualified for this position?
WORK STANDARD

Following is a list of questions designed to gather information relating to an individual’s


personal standard of performance.

1. What are your standards of success in your job? What have you done to meet these
standards?

2. Bosses sometimes are not satisfied with the way we do certain things or complete
certain projects. Can you give me some examples of when this happened to you?

3. What do you consider the most important contribution your department has made to
this organization? What was your role?

4. What factors, other than pay, do you consider most important in evaluating yourself
or your success?

5. Everyone has to bend or break the rules sometime. Can you give me some examples
of when you had to do this?

6. When judging the performance of others, what factors or characteristics are most
important to you?

7. Describe the time you worked the hardest and felt the greatest sense of achievement.

8. Tell me about a time when you weren’t very pleased with your work performance.
Why were you upset with your performance? What did you do to turn around your
performance?

9. We’ve all had to work with people who are very difficult to get along with. Give me
an example of when this happened to you. Why was the person difficult? How did
you handle the person? What was the result?

10. When have you declined a work-related decision? Why?


TEAMWORK

Following is a list of questions designed to gather information relating to a person’s


ability to work and get along with others.

1. We’ve all had to work with someone who is very difficult to get along with. Give me
an example of when this happened to you. Why was that person difficult? How did
you handle that person?

2. When dealing with individuals or groups, how do you determine when you are
pushing too hard? How do you determine when you should back off? Give an
example.

3. From time to time, all of us are confronted by someone who wastes our time at work.
Tell me about some situations like that. What did you do?

4. How do you go about developing rapport (relationships) with individuals at work?

5. Give me some examples of when one of your ideas was opposed in a discussion. How
did you react?

6. Describe a situation when you found yourself dealing with someone very sensitive.
What happened?

7. Describe some situations when you wished you had acted differently with someone at
work.

8. Tell me, specifically, what you have done to show you are a team player at
______________.

9. We all have ways of showing consideration for others. What are some things you’ve
done to show concern or consideration for a co-worker?

10. When did you last lose your temper at work? Describe the reasons. What was the
outcome?

11. How do you keep your employees informed with what is going on in the
organization?

12. What methods do you use to keep informed with what is going on in your area?
COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Following is a list of sample questions designed to gather information relating to an


individual’s communication skills. This section also includes observations to be made
during the interview.

Interviewer’s Observations

A. Consider if the applicant is able to express himself/herself effectively and in a well-


organized manner.

B. Observe whether the applicant has good eye contact.

C. Consider whether the applicant’s grammar, sentence structure, etc. are appropriate to
the requirements of the position.

These questions should be customized to fit your position. Normally, only two or
three questions would be used:

1. We’ve all had occasions when we misinterpreted something that someone told us
(like a due date, complicated instructions, etc.) Give me a specific example of when
this happened to you. What was the situation? Why was there a misinterpretation?
What was the outcome?

2. What kind of reports/proposals have you written? Can you give me some examples?

3. Give an example of when you told someone to do something, and they did it wrong.
What was the outcome?

4. What reports that you are currently preparing (or recently prepared) are the most
challenging and why?

5. What kinds of presentations have you made? Can you give me some examples?
How many presentations do you make a year?

6. Give me an example from your past working experience where you had to rely on
information given to you verbally to get the job done.

7. What different approaches do you use in talking with different people? How do you
know you are getting your point across?

8. What is the worst communication problem you have experienced? How did you
handle it?
LEADERSHIP

Following is a list of questions designed to gather information relating to an individual’s


utilization of appropriate interpersonal styles and methods in guiding individuals or a
group toward task accomplishment.

1. Tell me about a time you had to take a firm stand with a co-worker. What was the
situation? What was difficult about the co-worker? What was the firm stand you had
to take?

2. Describe how you instruct someone to do something new. What were you training
them to do? Walk me through how you did it.

3. Tell me about a time you had to win approval from your co-workers for a new idea or
plan of action.

4. Tell me about a new idea or way of doing something that you came up with which
was agreed to by the boss. What did you do to get it to the right person? What did
you do to get the boss to agree? Be specific.

5. Describe any supervisory or leadership training, schooling, or work experience you


have had and its relevance to this position.

6. Give a specific example of something you have done that demonstrates you are a
team player.

7. What leadership skills and experience do you have that would qualify you as an
effective leader? Be specific.

8. What are your long-and-short term plans for your department? Are they in writing?
JOB MOTIVATION

Following is a list of questions designed to help identify an applicant’s motivation to do


the type of work the position requires. The intent is not to see if they had good
motivation/satisfaction in their previous jobs, but to see if the types of things they enjoy
doing will be available in this position. For example, if a person said he enjoyed his last
job because he liked to work outside and with people doing different things all of the
time, a desk job in accounting would probably not provide high satisfaction.

1. What do you like best (least) about your job as a _______________________ ?

2. What were/are your reasons for leaving _________________________________?

3. Give me some examples of experience in your job at ________________that were


satisfying? Dissatisfying? Why?

4. What gave you the greatest feeling of achievement in your job at ______________?
Why?

5. Give me an example of when you worked the hardest and felt the greatest sense of
achievement.

6. All jobs have their frustrations and problems. Describe specific job conditions, tasks,
or assignments that have been dissatisfying to you. Why?

7. Give me some examples of past working experience that you have found personally
satisfying.

8. What are some recent responsibilities you have taken on? Why did you assume these
responsibilities?

9. Tell me about the most boring job or task you have had. Why was it boring? What
did you do about it? How did you handle the boredom?

10. Tell me about a time when the duties and responsibilities available in a specific
position overlapped with duties and responsibilities that brought you personal
satisfaction.

11. Why do you want to be a _____________________________ (title of position)?

12. Why did you choose this (career, type of work)?

13. What job values are important to you?


Assess on
11. Competence Can he / she do the job ?
12. Motivation Will he / she do the job ?
13. Match Will he / she fit in (Team / organisation )?

Interview structure
15. Opening, rapport building and basic knock out items
16. Current and previous roles
17. Aspirations and Awareness
18. Education and upbringing
19. Circumstances and interests
20. Closing, wrap up

Current and Previous Roles


9. Tell me about your career to date starting with your current job and responsibilities?
10. How did your interest in this job develop?
11. How are you measured? How well are you doing comparatively? Why?
12. What are the most satisfying aspect of your role, and the most frustrating? (What do
you enjoy most, and the least?)
13. What aspect of your job is the most challenging (and easiest)?
14. What part of the job do you consider to be your most successful? Why? and least
successful?
15. What are your greatest achievements at work? Most significant disappointment or
failures?
16. What is the most complex task you have undertaken?
17. Take me through your typical working day?
18. Tell me about your current and previous bosses. (What kind of people are they? The
best, the worst )
19. Tell me about your previous roles? - Why did you move? What factors influenced
your move to ..? How would you describe your career to date?
20. Describe the work you do.
21. Why do you like your work?
22. What areas of your work that you do not enjoy?
23. Why do you describe your achievements as achievements?
24. What areas do you need to improve in?
25. If I were to ask your Manager to describe you, what do you think he would say?
26. If I were to ask the people in your team to describe you what would they say?
27. What are your goals for the next 3 years?
28. What would you like to be remembered for?
29. How would you do things differently in your work?
30. What are the points when you find people in your team getting stressed?
31. When do you feel stressed? Can you tell me about the last time you got stressed?
32. If you had to run your team (or company), what would be your priorities?
33. What are the 3 most critical things in your job?
34. How do you handle your people? If they have a grievance, what do you do?
35. How do you check for quality?
36. When do you know there is a quality problem?
37. What do you do about it in your present job?
38. When you retire what would you like people to say about you?

Aspirations and Awareness

39. What are the most important factors you consider before taking a job? How should it
be structured to provide you with satisfaction? What motivates you (and demotivates)
40. Where do you want to be in two years time?
41. What do you see as your strengths and limitations? (what will help you achieve your
aspirations?)
42. How would your colleagues / boss customers describe you, etc.?
43. Anything you would like to change about yourself? Why?
44. What do you see as the qualities of a successful ...?
45. How do you stack up against them? (strongest / weakest ) What experience have you
had using these skills? and evidence
46. To what extent do you consider that progress in your role or career is representative
of your ability?
47. How do you cope with conflict? (Any examples?)
48. What have been the high points in your life?
49. What have been the low points?
50. What would you have like to have done differently?
51. What do you consider have been the critical points in your life?
52. How would you describe your life today?
53. Which role in your life do you enjoy the most?
54. What do you like about yourself? What do you not like about yourself? What are you
proud of in life ?

Education and Upbringing

55. Tell me about your education - any achievements, any regrets / How successful were
you? Would you recommend that your younger brother/sister goes to the same
school? Why?
56. Why did you study (etc.) and why select.......?
57. What did you learn out of university which is relevant to a .....role?
58. Apart from your studies what other university activities did you get involved with /
How do you relate that experience to your career?
59. In retrospect do you feel you should have done something different?
60. Tell me about your childhood? How do you get on with your parents ( On which
occasions have you disagreed with your parents)
61. What sort of expectations did your parents have about your career and education?
What do your brothers and sisters do (older, younger)? Have you discussed this job
with your parents?
62. Who has influenced you the most? Why?
63. How do you relate to your father/mother?
64. Who has most influenced your personal development?
65. What would you have liked to study if you had a chance all over again?
66. What do you like about your studies?
67. How much of it do you feel applies to your work now?
68. Which areas do you think you need to upgrade yourself?
69. What do you think of the present education system?
70. What are your colleagues doing now?
71. What relevance do grades have to the workplace?

Circumstances and Interests

72. How is your health? Any days off in the last year?
73. What is the most serious illness you have had?
74. Any plans for marriage? (for non married people)
75. What are your major interests outside work? Any notable achievements? How much
time do you devote to your leisure activities?
76. Any positions of responsibility? How did you come to be ...? Why do you think you
were selected? What is involved in the role? How successful were / are you?
77. What do you know about the IT scenario in India? Describe.
78. Can you compare your approach to your work versus leisure activities?
79. What risks do you see in moving to... (Company)
80. What do you do in your spare time?
81. How do you divide your time between your professional growth and personal
growth? What is the nature of investments made?
82. Have you attempted to carry on your early interests? What prevented this?
83. What do you expect your company to do to enhance your interests?
84. How watertight are your interests from your work?
Sample of Competency-based Interview Questions

PERSUASIVENESS: Reason effectively to convince the other party. Achieve goals and

alter views by demonstrating shared benefits.

Behavioral statements:

11. Showing a cooperative attitude by convincing people that the decision is necessary

(rather than imposing the decision).

12. Get an idea of colleagues' counter-arguments and resistance in advance - act on this

in anticipation.

13. Relate the benefits of ideas or recommendations to the needs and interests of

individuals and clients.

14. Present compelling arguments to support positions.

Questions:

8. As a member of a staff department how have you gone about persuading line

managers in the past? Give an example.

12. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was accepted by your boss or

colleagues? How did you present it?

13. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was rejected by your boss or

colleagues? Why was it rejected?

14. In a discussion most people are usually convinced that their ideas are right. How

successful are you in getting others to accept your point of view? Can you give an

example?

15. What do you think is the best way of 'selling' an unpopular idea? How do you go

usually go about this? Example?


TEAM-WORK: Be active in realizing shared goals - even when you do not get a direct

benefit.

Behavioral statements:

85. Dealing well with different viewpoints as part of a (multidisciplinary) team.

86. Work co-operatively with equals or other team members to set

responsibilities.

87. Share information, ideas and suggestions to accomplish mutual goals.

88. Support team decisions even if not in total agreement.

Questions:

21. Can you recall a situation when you completely disagreed with the way your team

was working? What did you do then?

22. Have you ever been a member of a team that broke up because it was impossible to

work with one another? What was your position?

23. Do you work together with colleagues at the moment? How do you deal with conflicts

/ disagreements / misunderstandings in this group?

PLANNING / ACTION: Deploy human and other resources to meet targets and

standards. Do it on time.

Behavioral statements:

9. Plan work so that it gets done on time.

10. Formulate work objectives clearly including a timetable and priorities.

11. Getting thing done by focusing on the implementation.

12. Anticipate and act to compensate for potential risks and problems.

Questions:
15. Have you ever had to readjust a timetable due to unforeseen circumstances? How

did you go about it? Examples, please.

• What are your department's long and short term plans? Have they been put into

writing?

• What were your work objectives last year? Were they achieved?

• Can you give an example of how your department arrives at operational plans to

adjust to new situations?

• How did you plan your time at work over the past week?

• Describe a normal working day or week for me. How do you plan your daily

activities?

LEADERSHIP: Set challenges within own parameters. Then coach and motivate staff to

realize these. Welcome and delegate responsibility. Be forceful when appropriate.

Behavioral statements:

Practice and stimulate open and two way communication including frank and honest

feedback to co-workers.

Show interest and give support and coaching when necessary.

Involve subordinates in issues of company and department policy.

Develop ideas to improve departmental operations and take the appropriate actions to

implement change and ensure group acceptance.

Questions:

• Have you over had a subordinate who did not perform as well as you thought he

should? What did you do about it?


• Have you ever had to arbitrate between two staff members who were unable to

work together? How did you get them to cooperate?

• How often do you hold meetings with your staff? Why not more/less often? How

did you prepare for the last meeting?

• Have you ever involved your staff in issues of company policy? How did you go

about this?

• Have you ever lead a work group or project team whose members were not

lower-placed than yourself in the organizational hierarchy? How did you manage

this?

• Has it ever happened that targets were not met while you were in charge or had

final responsibility? What did you do then?

PROBLEM ANALYSIS: Identify problems; recognize significant information; gather and

coordinate relevant data; diagnose possible causes.

Behavioral statements:

4. Take well planned steps to gather and organize data for diagnostic purposes.

5. Distinguish the grade of problems and to indicate major issues.

6. Foresee problems and to judge their relevance.

7. Ask for questions and ensure they are answered.

Questions:

13. Describe a significant problem that you were confronted with during the past

year? What steps did you take to assemble and organize data? What do you

consider to be the cause of the problem?

• Unforeseen problems sometimes arise. Have you ever been surprised by an


unexpected problem?

• Have you ever been confronted with a situation which turned out to be very

different (and perhaps more complicated) than you had at first judged?

• Sometimes a problem seems to have been solved when in fact only part of a far

more extensive, underlying problem has been dealt with. Have you ever

experienced a situation like this?

• Can you describe a problem that you were unable to solve?

ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION: Set and meet the highest standards. Be discontented

with average performance.

Behavioural statements:

• Set high standards and seek continuous improvements.

• Input more than the required effort to realize predetermined targets.

• Formulate realistic and challenging tasks for yourself and the team members.

• Maintain quality and urgency towards desired results.

Questions:

14. When have you aimed for perfection? Concrete examples please.

14. What do you demand of yourself in your work? Do you demand the same things

of your staff?

15. If you have recently had to evaluate a staff member or colleague on job

performance, what for you was the difference between a good worker and a poor

one?
16. Can you remember ever demanding of others too much or too little?

17. Have you ever worked in a team? What did you expect of the other team

members?

18. When have you been satisfied with your work? Can you give an example of a

situation in which you were unable to come up to your own standards? What did you

do about it?
Sample of Competency-based Interview Questions

PERSUASIVENESS: Reason effectively to convince the other party. Achieve goals and

alter views by demonstrating shared benefits.

Behavioral statements:

15. Showing a cooperative attitude by convincing people that the decision is necessary

(rather than imposing the decision).

16. Get an idea of colleagues' counter-arguments and resistance in advance - act on this

in anticipation.

17. Relate the benefits of ideas or recommendations to the needs and interests of

individuals and clients.

18. Present compelling arguments to support positions.

Questions:

9. As a member of a staff department how have you gone about persuading line

managers in the past? Give an example.

16. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was accepted by your boss or

colleagues? How did you present it?

17. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was rejected by your boss or

colleagues? Why was it rejected?

18. In a discussion most people are usually convinced that their ideas are right. How

successful are you in getting others to accept your point of view? Can you give an

example?

19. What do you think is the best way of 'selling' an unpopular idea? How do you go

usually go about this? Example?


TEAM-WORK: Be active in realizing shared goals - even when you do not get a direct

benefit.

Behavioral statements:

89. Dealing well with different viewpoints as part of a (multidisciplinary) team.

90. Work co-operatively with equals or other team members to set

responsibilities.

91. Share information, ideas and suggestions to accomplish mutual goals.

92. Support team decisions even if not in total agreement.

Questions:

24. Can you recall a situation when you completely disagreed with the way your team

was working? What did you do then?

25. Have you ever been a member of a team that broke up because it was impossible to

work with one another? What was your position?

26. Do you work together with colleagues at the moment? How do you deal with conflicts

/ disagreements / misunderstandings in this group?

PLANNING / ACTION: Deploy human and other resources to meet targets and

standards. Do it on time.

Behavioral statements:

13. Plan work so that it gets done on time.

14. Formulate work objectives clearly including a timetable and priorities.

15. Getting thing done by focusing on the implementation.

16. Anticipate and act to compensate for potential risks and problems.

Questions:
16. Have you ever had to readjust a timetable due to unforeseen circumstances? How

did you go about it? Examples, please.

• What are your department's long and short term plans? Have they been put into

writing?

• What were your work objectives last year? Were they achieved?

• Can you give an example of how your department arrives at operational plans to

adjust to new situations?

• How did you plan your time at work over the past week?

• Describe a normal working day or week for me. How do you plan your daily

activities?

LEADERSHIP: Set challenges within own parameters. Then coach and motivate staff to

realize these. Welcome and delegate responsibility. Be forceful when appropriate.

Behavioral statements:

Practice and stimulate open and two way communication including frank and honest

feedback to co-workers.

Show interest and give support and coaching when necessary.

Involve subordinates in issues of company and department policy.

Develop ideas to improve departmental operations and take the appropriate actions to

implement change and ensure group acceptance.

Questions:

• Have you over had a subordinate who did not perform as well as you thought he

should? What did you do about it?


• Have you ever had to arbitrate between two staff members who were unable to

work together? How did you get them to cooperate?

• How often do you hold meetings with your staff? Why not more/less often? How

did you prepare for the last meeting?

• Have you ever involved your staff in issues of company policy? How did you go

about this?

• Have you ever lead a work group or project team whose members were not

lower-placed than yourself in the organizational hierarchy? How did you manage

this?

• Has it ever happened that targets were not met while you were in charge or had

final responsibility? What did you do then?

PROBLEM ANALYSIS: Identify problems; recognize significant information; gather and

coordinate relevant data; diagnose possible causes.

Behavioral statements:

8. Take well planned steps to gather and organize data for diagnostic purposes.

9. Distinguish the grade of problems and to indicate major issues.

10. Foresee problems and to judge their relevance.

11. Ask for questions and ensure they are answered.

Questions:

14. Describe a significant problem that you were confronted with during the past

year? What steps did you take to assemble and organize data? What do you

consider to be the cause of the problem?

• Unforeseen problems sometimes arise. Have you ever been surprised by an


unexpected problem?

• Have you ever been confronted with a situation which turned out to be very

different (and perhaps more complicated) than you had at first judged?

• Sometimes a problem seems to have been solved when in fact only part of a far

more extensive, underlying problem has been dealt with. Have you ever

experienced a situation like this?

• Can you describe a problem that you were unable to solve?

ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION: Set and meet the highest standards. Be discontented

with average performance.

Behavioural statements:

• Set high standards and seek continuous improvements.

• Input more than the required effort to realize predetermined targets.

• Formulate realistic and challenging tasks for yourself and the team members.

• Maintain quality and urgency towards desired results.

Questions:

15. When have you aimed for perfection? Concrete examples please.

19. What do you demand of yourself in your work? Do you demand the same things

of your staff?

20. If you have recently had to evaluate a staff member or colleague on job

performance, what for you was the difference between a good worker and a poor

one?
21. Can you remember ever demanding of others too much or too little?

22. Have you ever worked in a team? What did you expect of the other team

members?

23. When have you been satisfied with your work? Can you give an example of a

situation in which you were unable to come up to your own standards? What did you

do about it?
Sample of Competency-based Interview Questions

PERSUASIVENESS: Reason effectively to convince the other party. Achieve goals and

alter views by demonstrating shared benefits.

Behavioral statements:

19. Showing a cooperative attitude by convincing people that the decision is necessary

(rather than imposing the decision).

20. Get an idea of colleagues' counter-arguments and resistance in advance - act on this

in anticipation.

21. Relate the benefits of ideas or recommendations to the needs and interests of

individuals and clients.

22. Present compelling arguments to support positions.

Questions:

10. As a member of a staff department how have you gone about persuading line

managers in the past? Give an example.

20. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was accepted by your boss or

colleagues? How did you present it?

21. What is the best suggestion you ever made that was rejected by your boss or

colleagues? Why was it rejected?

22. In a discussion most people are usually convinced that their ideas are right. How

successful are you in getting others to accept your point of view? Can you give an

example?

23. What do you think is the best way of 'selling' an unpopular idea? How do you go

usually go about this? Example?


TEAM-WORK: Be active in realizing shared goals - even when you do not get a direct

benefit.

Behavioral statements:

93. Dealing well with different viewpoints as part of a (multidisciplinary) team.

94. Work co-operatively with equals or other team members to set

responsibilities.

95. Share information, ideas and suggestions to accomplish mutual goals.

96. Support team decisions even if not in total agreement.

Questions:

27. Can you recall a situation when you completely disagreed with the way your team

was working? What did you do then?

28. Have you ever been a member of a team that broke up because it was impossible to

work with one another? What was your position?

29. Do you work together with colleagues at the moment? How do you deal with conflicts

/ disagreements / misunderstandings in this group?

PLANNING / ACTION: Deploy human and other resources to meet targets and

standards. Do it on time.

Behavioral statements:

17. Plan work so that it gets done on time.

18. Formulate work objectives clearly including a timetable and priorities.

19. Getting thing done by focusing on the implementation.

20. Anticipate and act to compensate for potential risks and problems.

Questions:
17. Have you ever had to readjust a timetable due to unforeseen circumstances? How

did you go about it? Examples, please.

• What are your department's long and short term plans? Have they been put into

writing?

• What were your work objectives last year? Were they achieved?

• Can you give an example of how your department arrives at operational plans to

adjust to new situations?

• How did you plan your time at work over the past week?

• Describe a normal working day or week for me. How do you plan your daily

activities?

LEADERSHIP: Set challenges within own parameters. Then coach and motivate staff to

realize these. Welcome and delegate responsibility. Be forceful when appropriate.

Behavioral statements:

Practice and stimulate open and two way communication including frank and honest

feedback to co-workers.

Show interest and give support and coaching when necessary.

Involve subordinates in issues of company and department policy.

Develop ideas to improve departmental operations and take the appropriate actions to

implement change and ensure group acceptance.

Questions:

• Have you over had a subordinate who did not perform as well as you thought he

should? What did you do about it?


• Have you ever had to arbitrate between two staff members who were unable to

work together? How did you get them to cooperate?

• How often do you hold meetings with your staff? Why not more/less often? How

did you prepare for the last meeting?

• Have you ever involved your staff in issues of company policy? How did you go

about this?

• Have you ever lead a work group or project team whose members were not

lower-placed than yourself in the organizational hierarchy? How did you manage

this?

• Has it ever happened that targets were not met while you were in charge or had

final responsibility? What did you do then?

PROBLEM ANALYSIS: Identify problems; recognize significant information; gather and

coordinate relevant data; diagnose possible causes.

Behavioral statements:

12. Take well planned steps to gather and organize data for diagnostic purposes.

13. Distinguish the grade of problems and to indicate major issues.

14. Foresee problems and to judge their relevance.

15. Ask for questions and ensure they are answered.

Questions:

15. Describe a significant problem that you were confronted with during the past

year? What steps did you take to assemble and organize data? What do you

consider to be the cause of the problem?

• Unforeseen problems sometimes arise. Have you ever been surprised by an


unexpected problem?

• Have you ever been confronted with a situation which turned out to be very

different (and perhaps more complicated) than you had at first judged?

• Sometimes a problem seems to have been solved when in fact only part of a far

more extensive, underlying problem has been dealt with. Have you ever

experienced a situation like this?

• Can you describe a problem that you were unable to solve?

ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION: Set and meet the highest standards. Be discontented

with average performance.

Behavioural statements:

• Set high standards and seek continuous improvements.

• Input more than the required effort to realize predetermined targets.

• Formulate realistic and challenging tasks for yourself and the team members.

• Maintain quality and urgency towards desired results.

Questions:

16. When have you aimed for perfection? Concrete examples please.

24. What do you demand of yourself in your work? Do you demand the same things

of your staff?

25. If you have recently had to evaluate a staff member or colleague on job

performance, what for you was the difference between a good worker and a poor

one?
26. Can you remember ever demanding of others too much or too little?

27. Have you ever worked in a team? What did you expect of the other team

members?

28. When have you been satisfied with your work? Can you give an example of a

situation in which you were unable to come up to your own standards? What did you

do about it?