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Behavioral Competencies - Organizational Success


  • Gaining the cooperation of others can be difficult. Give a specific example of when you had to do that and what challenges you faced. What was the outcome? What was the long-term impact on your ability to work with this person?

  • Please give me your best example of working cooperatively as a team member to accomplish an important goal. What was the goal or objective? What was your role in achieving this objective? To what extent did you interact with others on this project?

  • Tell me about a time when your coworkers gave you feedback about your actions. How did you respond? What changes did you make?

  • Describe a project you were responsible for that required a lot of interaction with people over a long period of time.

  • How have you recognized and rewarded a team player in the past? What was the situation?

  • Tell me about a course, work experience, or extracurricular activity where you had to work closely with others. How did it go? How did you overcome any difficulties?

  • Describe a problem you had in your life when someone's help was very important to you.

Customer Orientation

  • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to address an angry customer. What was the problem and what was the outcome? How would you assess your role in defusing the situation?

  • Give me an example of when you initiated a change in process or operations in response to customer feedback.

  • Tell me about a marketing promotion/initiative or information dissemination you developed. How did it meet the customer's need?

Commitment to Continuous Quality/Process Improvement

  • Tell me about a suggestion you made to improve the way job processes/operations worked. What was the result?

  • Tell me about one of your workplace improvements that another department now uses.

  • Give me an example when you initiated a change in process or operations.

  • In your last job, what problems did you identify that had previously been overlooked? Were changes made? Who supported the changes as a result of your ideas?

  • Describe something you have implemented at work. What were the steps you used to implement this?


  • Describe the most significant or creative presentation/idea that you developed/implemented.

  • Describe a time when you came up with a creative solution/idea/project/report to a problem in your past work.

  • Tell me about a time when you created a new process or program that was considered risky. What was the situation and what did you do?

  • Can you give me an example of how you have been creative in completing your responsibilities?

  • Can you think of a situation where innovation was required at work? What did you do in this situation?

Flexibility/Adaptability to Change

  • By providing examples, demonstrate that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and/or environments.

  • What do you do when priorities change quickly? Give me one example of when this happened.

  • Tell me about a decision you made while under a lot of pressure.

  • Tell me about a specific time when you were given new information that affected a decision that you had already made.

  • Give me an example of a time when there was a decision to be made and procedures were not in place? What was the outcome?

  • When was the last time you felt pressure on a job? How did the situation come about? How did you react? What made you decide to handle it that way? What effect, if any, did this have on your other responsibilities?

  • What are some of the things your last employer could have done to keep you?

Continuous Learning/Development

  • Describe a decision you made or a situation that you would have handled differently if you had to do it over again.

  • When you have been made aware of, or have discovered for yourself, a problem in your work performance, what was your course of action? Can you give me an example?

  • Tell me about a time when your supervisor/co-workers gave you feedback about your work/actions. What did you learn about yourself?

  • What have you done to further your own professional development in the last 5 years?

  • Tell me about a job that you had which required you to learn new things.

  • Tell me about a recent job or experience that you would describe as a real learning experience. What did you learn from the job or the experience?

  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to complete a difficult assignment even though the odds were against you. What did you learn from that experience?

  • Discuss the highlights of your most recent educational experience. Did you accomplish any special achievements? What were your most difficult challenges?

  • I noticed on your resume that you attended _____________ training program. Please describe the training program. How have you applied what you learned to your current job?

Displays Vision

  • Describe what steps/methods you have used to define/identify a vision for your unit/position.

  • In your current or former position, what were your short and long-term goals? How long ago did you set them? Who else was involved in setting them? Which ones were achieved?

  • How do you see your job relating to the overall goals of your present/previous organization?

  • Tell me about a time when you anticipated the future and made changes to current responsibilities/operations to meet future needs.


  • What are 3 effective leadership qualities you think are important? How have you demonstrated these qualities in your past/current position?

  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to approach things your way. At what level was the person you had to persuade?

  • What risks did you take in your present/previous job? Tell me about it.

  • Tell me about your efforts to "sell" a new idea to your supervisor.

  • Describe a leadership situation that you would handle differently if you had it to do over again.

  • What one experience proved to you that you would be a capable manager?

  • What have you done to develop the skills of your staff?

  • Tell me about a time when you were able to provide a co-worker with recognition for the work they performed. What did you do?

  • Tell me about a time when you reached out for additional responsibility.

  • Tell me about a project/suggestion that you initiated. Explain how you communicated the project/suggestion.

  • What have you done in your present/previous job that goes beyond what was required?