Two. Competency-Based Questions and Answers

Six. Individual Responsibility

Along with evaluating your accomplishments and how you work in a team environment (see Chapter 10 for team-oriented competency-based questions), interviewers will view your individual characteristics— those traits that demonstrate who you are, what your ambitions are, and how you manage work situations on your own. Specifically, interviewers will closely inspect the following core competencies that pertain to individual responsibility: decisiveness, independence, flexibility, and career goals.


Taking a decisive approach when managing organizational issues demonstrates your assurance in your ability to make the right decisions. Interviewers will evaluate your self-confidence and observe how that translates to your work life.

Interview Questions and Answers

Question 1. There are times when a firm decision must be made quickly, and there are other times when it is prudent to consider all angles before reaching a conclusion. Give an example of a situation when you took time in making a final decision.

situation: One of the first assignments I tackled at Trucking Services, Inc., was to monitor the delay of international shipments. For an unknown reason, packages were not arriving at distributors on time.

action: As the first course of action, I joined the production line to get a hands-on feel for the shipping process. This step allowed me to pinpoint the lag in production time and determine the next course of action.

result: I recommended logistic solutions that took into consideration the different configurations of the packages, including varying weights and dimensions. Once the new system was in place, the orders arrived as scheduled.

Question 2. Rarely do issues arise that are one-dimensional. With that fact in mind, describe a time you handled a situation that had different layers.

situation: At Management Properties, I was charged with spearheading a four-phase, seven-hundred-unit redevelopment, which included two condos, multiple townhouses, and a ninety-one multi-office facility. There were many initiatives I had to manage in order to receive approval for all the construction efforts.

action: To ensure that everything went off without a hitch, I diligently cut through a lot of red tape, including completing necessary paperwork, obtaining necessary licenses, and attending town meetings. In addition, I networked with local business and community leaders to receive their buy-in on the project's large scope.

result: Based on my efforts, I delivered positive results, including a town vote by unanimous approval to green-light the construction. Consequently, each phase of the project was completed within the specified time schedule and within budget requirements.

Question 3. Tell me about a time when you encountered competing deadlines and you had to choose one deadline to fall by the wayside in order to meet the others.

situation: Though there are occasions when I am pulled in multiple directions, there has never been a time when I dropped the ball. That said, I will gladly share a situation when I managed to juggle my time. In one particular instance, I was on my way to meet a client at a press conference when I received a desperate call on my cell from another client, asking for assistance in managing a crisis that just unfolded.

action: Since I could not be in two places at the same time, I requested the assistance of another senior-level staff member, who gladly agreed to lend a hand.

result: We split the responsibilities. I attended the press conference, and once it was over, I rushed back to the office to co-manage my other client's crisis.

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