The Top 26 Competencies for Behavioral Interview Questions

Competency based interviews identify the characteristics necessary to be successful in the position and selects corresponding interview questions. A summary overview of each competency is given below. The link contains more detailed information including interview questions as well as examples of positive and negative indicators. Most job descriptions will have multiple competencies but the interview is likely to focus on the most important 4 or 5 competencies that are critical to success.

Competency Summary Table

CompetencyDescription
Change AgentCreates buy-in toward new ideas, initiatives, and goals. Motivates others with positive energy that moves the organization forward in the change management process.
Customer ServiceSupports internal and external customers with quality service. Considers impact to customers when making decisions and seeks out customer information to fully understand how to improve customer satisfaction.
Decision MakingConfidently makes data-driven decisions. Self aware of previous mistakes and implements improvement actions.
ExperiencePossesses relevant experiences to help achieve company objectives. Demonstrated ability to apply experience to new situations and prevent or resolve issues.
FlexibilityWilling to adapt in order to meet company goals and objectives. Servant leader that puts their needs aside to help others achieve business targets.
Functional/Technical ExpertiseDemonstrated knowledge of leading edge concepts required by job responsibilities. Effectively defines business opportunities and develops and implements action plans within their expertise to achieve business results.
Influence and PersuasionAble to understand both sides when convincing others in positive or negative circumstances. Tactfully expresses critical opinions or constructive ideas on controversial topics. Able to adapt to the audience present, including authority figures, and successfully responds to questions and objections.
InitiativeProactively takes initiative to get things done, even outside their direct scope of authority and ownership. Actively influences others to achieve goals and objectives in alignment with company direction. Goes beyond what is required and takes responsibility for outcomes.
InnovationPromotes creativity and informed risk taking. Actively looks for opportunities to improve technical leadership and operational effectiveness. Works within change management structured processes to implement continuous improvement actions.
IntegrityConducts themselves fairly, ethically, and responsibly in all aspects and expects the same of coworkers. Responds to unethical behavior appropriately. Promotes trust and respect.
Industry KnowledgeStays current on the latest technical developments and trends in their field. Able to explain both the theoretical concept as well as the application of new developments and processes.
LeadershipLeads by example in focusing activity on company priorities and milestones. Recognizes risk and takes action to prevent or minimize problems before they happen.
Learning KnowledgeDemonstrates an ability and desire to learn, both what is necessary and what is beyond the essential. (see also Industry Knowledge)
Management SkillsDemonstrated ability to direct activity and focus on company priorities to meet schedules. Understands how to delegate effectively, how to manage critical items, and when to intercede. Knows how to develop capability of team members to improve overall effectiveness. Improves morale by their actions and coaching.
MaturityHas ownership for their actions and learns from their mistakes. Self-motivated to assess each result, especially failures, for improvement opportunities and takes action to implement them. Makes full effort on difficult assignments and keeps timely communication of issues.
MentorshipActively supports and encourages professional growth in others.
Multi-Functional ApproachAble to work effectively with members outside their direct influence from other areas or departments. Effective and desirable contributor on projects or daily tasks.
PerformanceContinuously works towards achievement of goals and does what it takes to get the job done. Able to “bounce back” from problems, pressures, stress and difficulties.
ProactiveAnticipates necessary work and completes it prior to being asked. Active participant in continuous improvement initiatives and recurrence prevention countermeasures. Brings attention to potential problems and coordinates mitigation actions. Identifies potential problems and works on solutions that minimize negative impact. 
Problem-Solving SkillUses a structured approach involving problem analysis and appropriate inputs, including subject matter experts, to determine the best course of action. Keeps an open mind to new perspectives and ideas.
Relationship with VendorsIs an active member in the industry with current vendor contacts. Professional relationship does not present a conflict of interest and is compliant with company policy.
ReliabilityDependable work ethic, accurate decision making, trustworthy. Timely in meeting business deadlines and commitments to coworkers. Able to accurately interpret data and information and understand the implications in dynamic situations. Keeps strong communication with stakeholders to prevent surprises of challenges or problems.
Respecting DiversityAble to adapt their own behavior and methods to work effectively with others. Maintain professional working relationships with difficult people or those with different values, cultures, or backgrounds.
Shared ValuesAlignment to the core values of the organization as defined by company leadership. A perfectionist may struggle in a work environment based on the motto of ‘move fast and break things’. 
TeamworkCollaborates effectively with others to successfully deliver business results.
Technical LeadershipAble to apply technical knowledge to a situation and influence the decisions and actions of others appropriately. Able to execute technical decisions in leading others to worthwhile objectives.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Change Agent

Creates buy-in toward new ideas, initiatives, and goals. Motivates others with positive energy that moves the organization forward in the change management process. Ability to create positive energy to motivate and move individuals and/or groups toward new ideas, goals or changes.

Positive Indicators

Speaks with enthusiasm; consistently sets a positive example; exhibits good coaching/mentoring skills; regularly uses goals to motivate; ability to understand and to take into account opinions and doubts of others

Negative Indicators

Bland communication style; limited goal awareness; uses negative examples; little interpersonal insight; asserts without regard to consequences

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time that you played a key role in sustaining the momentum and direction of a change effort.
  • Pick an event where you were an example of high motivation for other people.  Be specific and explain how you were able to influence others.
  • Some situations require that ideas and/or opinions be expressed that are not congruent to the people that you are trying to influence.  Describe a time when this happened to you. How did you encourage change? 
  • Tell me about a high stress situation you had to handle at work.  What did you do to alleviate the tension and how did you resolve it?  What changes were you able to influence?
  • Tell me about a project you were assigned in which you had to build enthusiasm for within your team. 

Customer Service

Supports internal and external customers with quality service. Considers impact to customers when making decisions and seeks out customer information to fully understand how to improve customer satisfaction.

Positive Indicators

Often recognizes customer needs; works hard to ensure satisfaction; often provides high level of satisfactions; willingly responds to service failures

Negative Indicators

Fails to recognize customer needs; unconcerned with customer satisfaction; rarely provides high level of satisfaction; does not respond to service failures

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had an unsatisfactory relationship with a key customer.  What did you do?
  • Describe a situation in which you were unable to meet a customer’s expectations.  What did you do?
  • From your experience, what actions have you found effective in building customer relationships? What hasn’t worked and why?
  • Give an example of a time when you listened to a co-worker or internal customer’s needs and quickly responded to that need.
  • Describe a time that you had to deal with an unreasonable customer.  What did you do? What was the outcome?

Decision Making

Confidently makes data-driven decisions. Self aware of previous mistakes and implements improvement actions.

Positive Indicators

Regularly shows objective attitude; isolates problem causes; sound judgment; regularly bases decisions on facts; makes decision that solve problems

Negative Indicators

Lets personal bias influence decisions; rarely asks “why”; poor judgment; bases decision on emotions; generates impractical solutions

Sample Questions

  • Describe a situation in which you used your training and experience in making a decision that required sound judgment.
  • Tell me about a time when you were able to remain objective even though you were emotional about a problem situation.
  • Tell me about a time you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information.  How did you handle it?
  • Give me an example where you had to make a quick decision.  What obstacles did you face? What did you do?
  • Describe a time where you had to make an unfavorable decision.  What was the outcome?

Experience

Possesses relevant experiences to help achieve company objectives. Demonstrated ability to apply experience to new situations and prevent or resolve issues.

Positive Indicators

Initiates and supports meaningful team projects; serves on teams where experience is needed; recognizes and appreciates contributions of team members; understands importance of sharing past experiences; puts needs of team above his/her own when necessary

Negative Indicators

Unwilling to share information; goals are limited to completing work specifically assigned to her/him; doesn’t volunteer to help others; puts own needs and concerns above those of the group

Sample Questions

  • Describe a time where your experience helped you solve a critical issue for the company.
  • Tell me about a time when a co-worker solicited your expertise on a subject matter.  Did the problem get resolved?
  • Tell me about a time where you had to solicit experience from another co-worker.  Was this difficult for you? Why?
  • Describe a time that you solved a problem where your experience level played a key role.
  • Describe a time that you were asked to speak on a subject to educate your co-workers.

Flexibility

Willing to adapt in order to meet company goals and objectives. Servant leader that puts their needs aside to help others achieve business targets.

Positive Indicators

Socially flexible, “you” oriented; able to skillfully compromise; accepts others; tolerant of differences; always handles effective transitions

Negative Indicators

Rigid in social dealings; “me” oriented; uncompromising; critical of others’ actions; intolerant; unable to manage transitions effectively

Sample Questions

  • Tell about a time when you were able to change in order to meet a business need.
  • Describe a time when a customer needed you to perform a service to which you were not accustomed.  How did you adapt?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to manage an important transition.  What did you do to make it as seamless as possible? 
  • Tell me about a time when the demands on your job changed quickly.  How did you handle the situation? 
  • Give me an example of a time when you were recognized for your flexibility. 

Functional/Technical Expertise

Demonstrated knowledge of leading edge concepts required by job responsibilities. Effectively defines business opportunities and develops and implements action plans within their expertise to achieve business results.

Positive Indicators

In-depth knowledge of functional/technical area; pursues knowledge and ways to advance learning, even on own time; keeps abreast of new technology within his/her scope of work; develops comprehensive project activity plans

Negative Indicators

Minimal knowledge of functional/technical area; does not take advantage of situations to advance knowledge

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when a co-worker solicited your expertise on an issue.  How was the problem resolved?
  • Provide me with an example of one of the most complex assignments or projects you have completed.  What was your role? 
  • Give me an example of a difficult problem you have handled.  How did you gather and evaluate information? How did you identify the root cause of the problem?
  • Tell me about a time when you used your expertise to solve a problem.
  • Tell me about a major project you developed and completed. Explain the scope, objectives, time frames, budget and end results.

Influence and Persuasion

Able to understand both sides when convincing others in positive or negative circumstances. Tactfully expresses critical opinions or constructive ideas on controversial topics. Able to adapt to the audience present, including authority figures, and successfully responds to questions and objections.

Positive Indicators

Often convinces others; able to use tact when persuading; eager to present new ideas to authority; inventive; often meets objections successfully

Negative Indicators

Fails to convince others; rarely uses tact when expressing ideas; never presents ideas to authority figures; avoids responding to objections

Sample Questions

  • Give an example of a time when you had to build a rapport with someone in order to achieve a goal.
  • Describe a challenge you had in overcoming a co-worker or customer’s objections.  How did it work out?
  • Tell me about a time when you sold an idea to your boss. 
  • Describe a time when you persuaded an individual or group on a certain course of action. 
  • Different people have different motivators.  When have you been successful using knowledge of what motivates people to bring about an important change?

Initiative

Proactively takes initiative to get things done, even outside their direct scope of authority and ownership. Actively influences others to achieve goals and objectives in alignment with company direction. Goes beyond what is required and takes responsibility for outcomes.

Positive Indicators

Works well without supervision; likes new opportunity; plans for situations before they arise; turns business leads into successes; demonstrates a sense of urgency to achieve important goals; willing to “go the extra mile” in terms of time/effort

Negative Indicators

Does not work well without supervision; does not take on additional responsibilities; rarely recognizes problems in advance; ignores business leads

Sample Questions

  • Describe a time when you voluntarily took on a special project above and beyond your normal responsibilities.
  • Provide an example of a time when you identified a problem and took the initiative to solve it.
  • Give me an example of a time when you maintained a high level of enthusiasm even though the situation was very difficult. What did you do?
  • What have you found to be the most significant obstacles in getting people to take action? How have you handled these obstacles?
  • Describe an opportunity that you took advantage of and an opportunity that you did not.  What were the results?

Innovation

Promotes creativity and informed risk taking. Actively looks for opportunities to improve technical leadership and operational effectiveness. Works within change management structured processes to implement continuous improvement actions.

Positive Indicators

Likes to improve upon convention; invents/adapts new methods for use; pursues ongoing improvement; regularly suggests novel solutions; applies new technology to problems; determines impact of risks/rewards associated with change

Negative Indicators

Accepts conventional practice; uses only established methods; does not pursue system improvement; little attempt to create new solutions; ignores new technology

Sample Questions

  • Give an example of a time when you suggested or developed a new way to meet a business need.
  • Think of a standard practice that you chose to improve.  What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you encouraged and supported new ways of doing things.
  • Give an example of a time when you successfully implemented a novel solution to a common problem.
  • Describe a time when you solved a problem by applying a new technological advance.

Integrity

Conducts themselves fairly, ethically, and responsibly in all aspects and expects the same of coworkers. Responds to unethical behavior appropriately. Promotes trust and respect.

Positive Indicators

Honest even when self-damaging; always shares credit when appropriate; corrects harmful behavior in others; takes responsibility for work ethics; candid and forthcoming

Negative Indicators

Fails to recognize customer needs; unconcerned with customer satisfaction; rarely provides high level of satisfaction; does not respond to service failures

Sample Questions

  • Describe a time when you chose to be honest, even though being quiet or agreeable may have been easier.
  • Give me an example of a time when you prevented unfair or inappropriate behavior by your coworkers.
  • Tell me how you have built trust with your employees, coworkers and/or customers.
  • Tell me about a time that you made a significant mistake.  What did you tell your boss and/or peers? 
  • Describe a time when you promised more than you could deliver. What did you do?

Industry Knowledge

Stays current on the latest technical developments and trends in their field. Able to explain both the theoretical concept as well as the application of new developments and processes.

Positive Indicators

Comes from Tier 1 technical company in closely related industry; works directly in production or research; able to comfortably discuss the processes

Negative Indicators

Long separation from the industry; non-cutting edge factory; hides behind jargon

Sample Questions

  • Describe a time where you used a new idea (not your own) while avoiding infringement.
  • How do you find out about new ideas in the industry? Describe a particularly useful idea.
  • Have you ever participated in bringing up a first-of-kind tool? What kind of problems did you encounter? How did you solve them?
  • What do you do to keep up with current and possible future trends and issues? Give me a couple of examples.
  • Describe a situation where your strategy did not work well for you. Why? How did you handle it?
  • What key business setbacks have you experienced? What did you learn from them?
  • Give me a couple of examples of some calculated risks you have assumed. What were the results?
  • How have you translated a strategy into action with your team?
  • Describe a strategy you developed and your contingency plans.
  • Tell me about your key strengths and how they are demonstrated in your track record.
  • Give me a couple of examples of what you have done to prepare to deal with global business opportunities.

Leadership

Leads by example in focusing activity on company priorities and milestones. Recognizes risk and takes action to prevent or minimize problems before they happen.

Positive Indicators

Comfortable with being a role model; actively follows-up with associates; offers constructive feedback; successfully suggests risky solutions; assumes leadership as appropriate; effectively delegates tasks; establishes trust relationships

Negative Indicators

Unconcerned with setting an example; unwilling to delegate/empower associates; reluctant to act as a coach; avoids suggesting risky solutions; tends to follow rather than lead

Sample Questions

  • Think of a time in which you had no formal position authority, but still assumed a clear leadership role.  Walk me through how you demonstrated leadership.
  • Describe a work situation when your example served as a model for others. 
  • Tell me about a time when your direct reports were not following the instructions provided.  What did you do?
  • Describe your leadership style. When does it work? When doesn’t it work?
  • Describe your effectiveness as a leader. What criteria did you use?

Learning Knowledge

Demonstrates an ability and desire to learn, both what is necessary and what is beyond the essential. (see also Industry Knowledge)

Positive Indicators

Genuinely excited by new developments; interested even when only peripherally related to candidate’s job; comes from Tier 1 technical company in closely related industry; works directly in production or research; able to comfortably discuss the processes

Negative Indicators

Long separation from the industry; non-cutting edge factory; hides behind jargon

Sample Questions

  • What have you learned today? This week? This month?
  • Describe a time where you used a new idea (not your own) while avoiding infringement.
  • How do you find out about new ideas in the industry? Describe a particularly useful idea.
  • Have you ever participated in bringing up a first-of-kind tool? What kind of problems did you encounter? How did you solve them?
  • What do you do to keep up with current and possible future trends and issues? Give me a couple of examples.
  • Describe a situation where your strategy did not work well for you. Why? How did you handle it?
  • What key business setbacks have you experienced? What did you learn from them?
  • Give me a couple of examples of some calculated risks you have assumed. What were the results?
  • How have you translated a strategy into action with your team?
  • Describe a strategy you developed and your contingency plans.
  • Tell me about your key strengths and how they are demonstrated in your track record.
  • Give me a couple of examples of what you have done to prepare to deal with global business opportunities.

Management Skills

Demonstrated ability to direct activity and focus on company priorities to meet schedules. Understands how to delegate effectively, how to manage critical items, and when to intercede. Knows how to develop capability of team members to improve overall effectiveness. Improves morale by their actions and coaching.

Positive Indicators

Consistently sets a positive example; regularly uses goals to motivate; good coaching/counseling skills; uses plans to guide activities; highly organized

Negative Indicators

Rarely sets a positive example; limited coaching/counseling skills; limited awareness of goals; rarely uses plans to guide activities; disorganized

Sample Questions

  • Describe how you’ve defined and used goals to guide your actions or those of your department. 
  • Describe a time when you failed to complete a project successfully. What were the consequences? What did you learn?
  • Think of a project in which you successfully coordinated people, tasks and schedules.  What did you do?  
  • Tell me about the techniques you have used to maintain speed of execution among your direct reports.  
  • Tell me about a time when your direct reports chose not to follow your instructions.  What did you do?

Maturity

Has ownership for their actions and learns from their mistakes. Self-motivated to assess each result, especially failures, for improvement opportunities and takes action to implement them. Makes full effort on difficult assignments and keeps timely communication of issues.

Positive Indicators

Calm under pressure; difficult to provoke; uses criticism to learn; skilled at conflict resolution; rarely defensive; accepts responsibility for own mistakes or those of direct reports

Negative Indicators

Emotionally volatile; quick temper; overly sensitive to criticism; overreacts to conflict; defensive; looks to superiors to resolve issues

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time at work when you had to deal with unreasonable expectations of you.  What did you do?
  • Give me an example of a time when a direct report or co-worker really tried your patience.  What did you do?
  • Describe a time when you were directly told gossip you knew to be true but damaging.  How did you handle the situation?
  • When have you had to deal with the anger or hostility of a co-worker?  Please be specific. 
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to deal with strict deadlines or time demands.

Mentorship

Actively supports and encourages professional growth in others.

Positive Indicators

Encourages and advises direct reports and co-workers by sharing their own experiences and knowledge of the profession; supports and encourages others work; good listener; strong communication skills

Negative Indicators

Works only as an individual contributor; unwilling to support others; ineffective listener; poor communication skills

Sample Questions

  • Give me an example of a time when you helped a direct report accomplish a project.  What effect did your help have on the individual?
  • Tell me about a time when you helped a direct report or co-worker with his/her career objectives.
  • Tell me about a time when you taught a direct report or co-worker a new job or skill.
  • Give me an example of a time when you helped co-workers deal with job challenges.
  • Give me an example of a time when you and your direct reports established joint goals.

Multi-Functional Approach

Able to work effectively with members outside their direct influence from other areas or departments. Effective and desirable contributor on projects or daily tasks.

Positive Indicators

Routinely works with different areas with success, effective member of a team, promotes a friendly working environment, solicits inputs from other people and departments, displays team spirit, flexible

Negative Indicators

Typically works alone with little input, causes problems while working in a team atmosphere, does not take inputs from others well, uncompromising

Sample Questions

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to work with others on a project or to solve a problem.  What was your role?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to rely on someone else for data to complete your project.
  • Give me an example of a time when someone offered you advice at work.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone on a project that had a different opinion than you on how to get the job done.  How did you resolve the differences?
  • Tell me about a time when you were able to be flexible in dealing with a person with a different viewpoint than yourself.

Performance

Continuously works towards achievement of goals and does what it takes to get the job done. Able to “bounce back” from problems, pressures, stress and difficulties.

Positive Indicators

Sets and achieves ambitious goals; Measures the right things; Drives for continuous improvement; Listens and responds; Provides constructive feedback; recognizes achievement; learns from mistakes

Negative Indicators

Does the minimum required; handles the routine or the expected; unable to develop viable solutions to challenges; provides little or no feedback to others; easily sidetracked by obstacles; consistently fails to deliver on commitments

Sample Questions

  • What has been the most significant goal you have achieved? How did you achieve it? Were there other key goals you were unable to achieve? Why?
  • In your past jobs, how have you determined what needs improvement and how have you ensured it was addressed?
  • Have you consistently delivered expected results? Please explain.
  • Describe how your last two bosses have evaluated your performance. What did they identify as strengths and developmental opportunities?
  • Tell me about some of the major challenges you have been confronted with in your job. Why were they challenges? What did you do about them?
  • What have you done to recognize others’ achievements?
  • Tell me about a couple of the most difficult situations in which you had to give feedback.

Proactive

Anticipates necessary work and completes it prior to being asked. Active participant in continuous improvement initiatives and recurrence prevention countermeasures. Brings attention to potential problems and coordinates mitigation actions. Identifies potential problems and works on solutions that minimize negative impact.

Positive Indicators

Identifies potential problems and takes action; completes actions prior to being asked; shows initiative; demonstrates positive thinking

Negative Indicators

Work methods are reactionary or passive; is not a forward thinker; tends to be negative

Sample Questions

  • Give me an example of a time when you identified potential problems with a particular process or tool. What action did you take?
  • Give me an example of a time when you were proactive in your job.
  • Tell me about a situation in which you felt you acted too quickly and later regretted it.  What caused it?
  • Give me an example of a time you had to undertake additional responsibilities.  What preparations did you take?
  • What have you done to eliminate unnecessary or redundant work in past positions?

Problem-Solving Skill

Uses a structured approach involving problem analysis and appropriate inputs, including subject matter experts, to determine the best course of action. Keeps an open mind to new perspectives and ideas.

Positive Indicators

Uses analytical skills; systematically attacks problems; defines alternate courses of action; regularly trouble-shoots solutions; regularly questions assumptions

Negative Indicators

Not analytical; less systematic in problem solving; builds a single-solution strategy; fails to trouble-shoot solutions; prone to make assumptions

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you were systematic in identifying potential work problems.  What did you do?
  • Think of a problem you addressed by focusing on the underlying process rather than on what appeared to be an isolated event.  Describe the approach you used. 
  • Give me an example of a time when you identified several solutions to a single problem. 
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to obtain all the facts and options before determining a solution to the problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you used “common sense” to solve a complex problem.

Relationship with Vendors

Is an active member in the industry with current vendor contacts. Professional relationship does not present a conflict of interest and is compliant with company policy.

Positive Indicators

Familiar with vendor names/specialties; has a positive attitude toward vendors; previous contact with vendors; knowledge of vendor procedures

Negative Indicators

Unfamiliar with vendor names/specialties; exhibits bias; possesses a conflict of interest

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had a difficulty with a supplier.  What did you do? 
  • Describe how you have notified a vendor of an incident involving its product.
  • Describe how you have worked with a vendor to address a quality issue.
  • Give me an example of a time when you worked with a vendor to solve a problem.
  • Tell me about a recent vendor proposal or data.  What did you consider most important when reviewing it?

Reliability

Dependable work ethic, accurate decision making, trustworthy. Timely in meeting business deadlines and commitments to coworkers. Able to accurately interpret data and information and understand the implications in dynamic situations. Keeps strong communication with stakeholders to prevent surprises of challenges or problems.

Positive Indicators

Consistent results and decision making; demonstrates the ability to accurately analyze and interpret data; works effectively in high pressure situations; exudes confidence in decision making; works efficiently and effectively; dependable; trustworthy

Negative Indicators

Poor decision making skills; unable to accurately interpret data; poor decision making; unable to adapt to changing situations. 

Sample Questions

  • Provide an example of a time when you demonstrated your reliability and dedication to meeting company goals.
  • Give me an example of a time when you did and did not work well under pressure.
  • Describe one of your most stressful work-related problems.  How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you handled a heavy workload with multiple deadlines.
  • Describe a time when you were given several rush projects to be completed simultaneously.  How did you establish priorities?

Respecting Diversity

Able to adapt their own behavior and methods to work effectively with others. Maintain professional working relationships with difficult people or those with different values, cultures, or backgrounds.

Positive Indicators

Accepts others; tolerant of differences; socially flexible; “you” oriented; interacts easily with many styles; encourages a diverse workforce

Negative Indicators

Critical of others’ actions; intolerant; rigid in social dealings; “me” oriented; resists adaptation to others’ styles; does not value a diverse workforce

Sample Questions

  • Describe a series of interactions you had in which you adapted your behavior around the other people’s styles.
  • Please provide an example that shows your skill in interacting with people who have different values than you.
  • Describe a time when you were able to adapt to a person from a background or culture that was different from yours.
  • What constitutes tolerance and intolerance of diversity?
  • What do you see as the most challenging aspects of an increasingly diverse workforce?

Shared Values

Alignment to the core values of the organization as defined by company leadership. A perfectionist may struggle in a work environment based on the motto of ‘move fast and break things’. 

Positive Indicators

Recognize shared values; understand and respect shared values; support shared values; think and act based on shared values

Negative Indicators

Unwillingness to recognize shared values; ignorant toward shared values; do not practice share values

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you used your company’s shared values to resolve an issue.
  • Give an example of a time you were expected to adhere to a policy even though it was not convenient.  What did you do?
  • Give an example of a time when you supported your company’s shared values.
  • Tell me about a time when you did not agree with the shared values of a group or a company.
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with a company policy.

Teamwork

Collaborates effectively with others to successfully deliver business results.

Positive Indicators

Confronts negative attitudes; skilled in participative management; builds overlap of personal/team goals; never allows abuse of team member; enthusiastically works with others; recognizes and appreciates contributions of team members; able to work with multiple areas or departments on projects or daily tasks

Negative Indicators

Tolerant of negative attitudes; rarely uses participative management; unaware of team goals; allows abuse of team member; reluctant to work with other departments; puts own needs and concerns above those of the group; unable to work with multiple areas or departments on projects or daily tasks

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about one of the most effective teams you worked on.  What did you do to contribute to its effectiveness?
  • Describe a time when you chose to help others with a non-essential project even though it required a sacrifice on your part. 
  • Give me an example of a time when you fully supported a team decision even though you didn’t agree with it.
  • Give me an example of a time when you worked with another department on a project or to solve a problem.  What was your role?
  • Describe your worst experience working on a team. What did you learn?

Technical Leadership

The ability to demonstrate a high level of service delivery; do what is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction; deal with service failures and prioritize customer needs.

Positive Indicators

Comfortable with being a technical role model; actively follows-up with associates; offers constructive feedback; successfully suggests risky solutions; assumes leadership as appropriate; effectively delegates tasks; establishes trust relationships

Negative Indicators

Unconcerned with setting an example; unwilling to delegate/empower associates; reluctant to act as a coach; avoids suggesting risky solutions; tends to follow rather than lead

Sample Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you taught a co-worker a new engineering technique.
  • Describe a technical project that you helped lead.
  • Give me an example of a time when you used technical facts and reason to persuade a co-worker to take action.
  • Describe a time when you championed a new idea even though you recognized a potential risk.
  • Describe something you’ve done that shows your technical leadership.

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