Interview Questions

Communicating and Influencing

1. Communicating and Influencing

Definition: Relates well to others; adapts communication style to successfully influence and communicate with others. Listens to other people and communicates with impact and empathy. Successfully explains complex or technical information to non-experts. Makes an impact, putting one’s own point across with clarity and purpose. Communicates effectively orally, in writing and via electronic means in a manner appropriate to the audience.


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Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

Why did you need to change their mind(s)?
What approach did you adopt?
How effective were you?

We often need to talk others round to our own way of thinking.

Give an example of when you persuaded other people to work in a different way.

What objections did you have to overcome?
How did you overcome them?
What could you have done better?

The ability to influence other people is very important in most roles.

Tell me about a time when you had to support an unpopular business decision.

Who did you have to get on your side?
How did you know it was the right thing to support?
How did you get others on board?

The ability to influence other people is very important in business.

How have you ensured that the relevant details were communicated to the right people when making an important decision?

How did you check that everyone understood what the issues were?
What changes did you make as a consequence of others’ views?
What objections did you face?

It is vital that we share information appropriately with others.

Tell me about a time when have you implemented a new way of working which others disagreed with.

What did you do when you realised they disagreed?
Why do you think this happened?
What could you have done to prevent this happening?

Sometimes our decisions are not popular with others but we have to try and convince them of the benefits.

Give me an example that demonstrates how you go about sharing ideas and information with others at work.

What benefits have you seen occur as a result?
How did you decide on your approach to sharing the information?
What got in the way of sharing information effectively in this situation?

Sharing our ideas and information is key to running a successful business.

Give me an example that characterises your approach to communication in the workplace?

What was the specific situation?
Why was communication so important?
What impact did your communication skills have on the situation?

Communication is an important aspect of pretty much everyone’s working life.

Tell me about a time when used your own your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.

What were you influencing them on?
What was your approach?
What was the outcome?

Sometimes our formal presentation skills are important for influencing a person or group.

Team working

2. Team working

Definition: Works effectively as part of a diverse team and demonstrates the ability to work collaboratively and empathetically within diverse teams. Puts the needs of the team above their own and demonstrates openness and honesty with team members. Builds a sense of team spirit by listening to, encouraging and supporting colleagues and wider team members.


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Tell me about a time when you had to encourage others to work better as a team.

Why did you decide to step in?
How did the team react?
How effective was your encouragement?

In many roles, working together as a team is very important.

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully work closely with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

In what capacity did you have to work together?
How did you ensure that you were able to do that?
What impact did working with them have on you (positive or negative)?

Sometimes we have to work with people we might not naturally get along with.

Describe a situation in which you needed to come up with differing/conflicting ideas with your team members in order to accomplish key work goals.

What was your role in the process?
How did you ensure the work goals were achieved?
How did you find the process overall?

When working in a team, it is often the case that not everyone agrees.

Describe a time when this happened to you.

What was the decision and why did you disagree with it?
How did you feel about going along with it?
What impact do you feel your own actions had overall?

Sometimes we go along with team decisions, even though we might be 100% in agreement with them.

Describe a situation when you came to an agreement that was a compromise with someone in your team.

What did you do?
How did you feel about doing making compromises?
How did it work out?

When we work with others we usually have to find ways to compromise.

Tell me about a recent piece of work where you were required to work closely with others over an extended period of time.

How did you the team decide who was doing what?
What difficulties did you experience and how did you overcome them?
How did you ensure the team was working effectively?

Often we are required to work closely with others over a long period of time.

Tell me about a difficulty you faced when trying to get along with peers or team members at work.

How did you handle the situation?
Why do you think the problems arose in the first place?
What was your input to resolving the difficulties?

We can sometimes find it somewhat of a challenge to get along with others.

Tell me about a time when you have had to get on with someone in your team or department who was very different to you.

What made this person so different to you?
How did you create an effective relationship with this person?
How did this person react to your approach?

It is likely that most of us have to get along with many different types of people at work.

Building relationships

3. Building relationships

Definition: Successfully networks within and outside of the organisation. Builds and sustains effective relationships within own area and across the wider organisation; forms long-term mutually beneficial working relationships with colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers that support the longer term goals of self, team and the organisation as a whole.


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Tell me about a time when you faced a significant challenge working with people outside of your own team, area or organisation.

Why was it challenging?
What did you do?
What was the result?

Working with people from diverse backgrounds can be quite a challenge sometimes.

Describe a time when you wished you’d been more collaborative with others at work.

What did you do?
What would you do differently?
What was the impact of your approach?

In many organisations collaboration is key but sometimes it can be easy to forget about.

Tell me about a time when you worked with someone and it increased your awareness of personal and cultural differences?

What was your experience of working with someone so different to yourself?
How did this affect your relationships with individuals from different backgrounds than your own?
What did you learn from this experience?

In today’s world, we often work with people from very diverse backgrounds.

Please tell me about a time when you had to cooperate with colleagues from other areas of the organization in order to reach a common goal or goals?

How would you describe your approach?
How close were you in achieving the goals set for you?
How did you achieve cooperation between you and your colleagues?

We often have to work with people from right across the business and even further.

Describe a time where you had to build working relationships with people outside of your immediate team.

How did you approach this?
What did you find most challenging?
What was the outcome?

It is vital in work that we look outside of our own team and build new relationships.

Please give me an example of how you have involved people from other teams in order to achieve your goals.

What approach did you take and why?
What were the benefits?
What barriers did you overcome and how did you overcome them?

Sometimes we have to get other people on board from outside of our own team in order to deliver our goals.

Tell me about a time when you had to manage such demands and inputs from many and varied stakeholders across the business?

What was the situation at the time?
What did you do to manage competing demands?
What was the overall outcome?

Sometimes we face situations where we have multiple and conflicting demands from stakeholders across the business.

Tell me about a time when you achieved success due to the network of personal contacts you had?

What was required of you?
Why was your network so important?
Could you have been more successful if you had a wider network?

We often find there are benefits to having a wide network of contacts from around the business.

Focusing on the customer

4. Focusing on the customer

Definition: Strives to anticipate and understand the needs of customers. Applies their understanding of customers to ensure they receive timely and efficient service, going the extra mile in order to surpass expectations. Focuses on customer needs and levels of satisfaction in all they do; acts upon customer feedback; takes customer concerns and feedback seriously.


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What have you done to understand a customer’s point of view regarding a situation or problem they were facing?

How did you approach this?
Why was it so important to understand their view?
What was their reaction to your approach?

Often we need to work hard to understand a customer’s perspective.

Tell me about how you have built a collaborative relationships with one of your customers.

How do you know your approach was a truly collaborative one?
What did you do to achieve this?
How did the situation turn out?

Customers are at the heart of what we do and we have to be able to work closely with them.

Tell me about your most difficult customer and how you worked with them.

What made them so difficult?
How did your approach help the situation?
What was the final outcome?

Not all of our customers are easy to work with.

Tell me about a time when you overcommitted yourself or your organisation to a customer?

What happened?
How did you resolve the situation for yourself and the customer?
What impact did your actions have on the relationship with the customer?

To better serve customers, we may sometimes intentionally or unintentionally promise more than we can deliver.

Describe a time when it was particularly important to establish a good relationship with an external customer.

What did you do?
How did you decide on your approach?
How successful was it?

Building strong relationships with customers is always important.

Describe a time when you were able to provide fast and quality service in response to a customer’s request or problem.

Why was it important that you did this?
What did you actually do to service this customer?
What were the implications of your actions?

Sometimes our customers can be demanding.

Tell me about a time when one of your customers made unreasonable demands of you and/or your organisation.

Why were their demands so unreasonable?
How did you respond?
What was the customer’s reaction?

Even our best and favourite customers can make unreasonable demands!

Please tell me about when you have ‘gone the extra mile’ for a customer in terms of service.

What did you have to do for the customer?
Why was it so important to do this?
What was the impact of your actions (for you, the customer and your organisation)?

Like many organisations, we pride ourselves on our excellent standards of customer service.

Creative and Analytical Thinking

5. Creative and Analytical Thinking

Definition: Finds new ways to move the organisation forward by applying creativity balanced with realism and pragmatism. Takes account of wider factors in their approach to analysing problems and develops workable, innovative solutions. Demonstrates the intellectual and analytical capacity to quickly identify issues and propose solutions. Considers a multitude of angles when analysing a problem or situation. Draws effective conclusions, even when dealing with conflicting or complex data.


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Tell me about a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

What was the problem?
What process did you go through in solving it?
Was there anything else you could have done?

Sometimes we face complex problems and situations at work.

Please tell me about a creative idea you thought of with the intention of improving one of your company’s products or services.

What was your idea?
How did you explain it to others?
What happened?

Sometimes an organisation’s most creative ideas come from unexpected places!

Think about a problem you faced and tried to solve but couldn’t. Tell me about what the problem was.

What solutions did you try?
How did you come up with those solutions?
What happened in the end?

Sometimes we face problems that just do not seem to have a solution!

Think about the sources of information have you used to solve problems and tell me about a time when you used one (or more) of those sources in reaching a conclusion about a problem you faced.

What was the problem?
How did you decide what information was most relevant?
How did you approach the analysis of that information?

We are faced with many types of information on a daily basis.

Tell me about an innovative change or idea that you brought into the organisation?

What was innovative about it?
How did you come up with the idea?
What impact did your idea have on yourself or others?

Innovation can be a real asset to an organisation.

Tell me about a time when you used facts and figures from multiple sources to solve a problem.

What part did the facts and figures play?
How much did you rely on them?
What was the outcome?

Facts and figures are often a regular part of our working lives.

Think about the kind of information have you been required to analyse and tell me about one of your most difficult analyses.

Why was analytical thinking so important in this instance?
What were you required to do?
How useful did your analysis turn out to be?

Analytical thinking can be a real asset to any organisation.

Tell me about a complicated problem you have had to deal with recently.

How did you identify or gain a better understanding of that problem?
What sources of information did you use to understand it?
What was the final resolution?

Sometimes it can take us a while to get to the bottom of a problem.

Commercial and Market Awareness

6. Commercial and Market Awareness

Definition: Demonstrates up-to-date knowledge of industry, market and competitor information. Uses such information to inform planning and decision-making. Identifies and seizes opportunities to grow the organisation; demonstrates an understanding of the wider issues that can impact its success. Understands how their own area and input can impact the wider organisation and beyond.


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Tell me about a specific situation when you needed to consider such trends in relation to a business decision you were making.

Why did you feel such trends were important at that point?
How did you go about doing so?
What other information would have been useful?

Having an understanding of key social, political and economic trends can be really useful in business.

Tell me about a time when yours or your team’s actions had an adverse affect on another part of the organisation (or wider than that if relevant).

What was the action you took?
What issues did it cause for others?
How could the situation have been avoided?

It not always possible to anticipate the impact your own team or department’s actions might have on other parts of the business (or even wider).

Tell me about a specific situation when you needed to have knowledge about the commercial landscape in order to successfully deliver a project or activity.

Why was it so important to consider the commercial landscape?
How did you access such information?
In what way did the information prove to be useful?

Having an understanding of the commercial market within which we operate can be really useful in business.

Tell me about a time when you have used global market and/or financial data to put a business plan together.

How did you identify the specific activities necessary to execute the plan?
How did you access the key information?
How did the data help make the plan a success?

When formulating plans for the business we often benefit from utilising global market and financial data.

Tell me about a time when having more knowledge about the market and the business would have allowed you to be more successful.

What was the specific situation?
Why do you feel you didn’t have the information you needed?
What have you done to rectify this for the future?

Having strong market and business knowledge is an important part of many roles, however, we do not always find the time to focus on this.

Tell me about a decision you made recently which supported wider business goals.

In what way did your decision support the goals of the business?
How did you ensure others understood your logic?
What other alternatives did you consider?

Understanding and supporting the wider goals of the business is important in any organisation.

Tell me about a time when you identified an opportunity to save costs that was in line with the wider business goals.

Why did you feel there was a need to save costs?
How did this relate to the wider goals of the business?
What cost savings did it result in?

It is important that all employees are aware of the wider goals of the business and use these goals to aid their decision-making and to enhance the way the business is run.

Describe a situation when your understanding of your own organization’s strengths and weaknesses helped you either win business or move the business forward?

What was the specific situation?
How did your knowledge help?
What else would it have been useful to know?

Every organisation has some aspects that are great but others that do not compare so well to the competition.

Achieving Results

7. Achieving Results

Definition: Takes responsibility for the successful delivery of own tasks and responds quickly and enthusiastically to requests from others. Displays drive, determination and resilience even in challenging circumstances. Thrives on challenge and hard work; displaying enthusiasm in all that they do. Takes action rather than over-debating or over-analysing. Approaches work with a sense of urgency. Focuses on results, keeping the end goal in sight at all times.


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Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty in order to do a good job.

What was the specific situation?
What did you do that went beyond what was expected?
What did you learn from the experience?

Sometimes there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day and our goals seem unachievable.

Give me an example of a time when you were struggling to meet your own goals or objectives.

Why was it proving so difficult at that time?
What did you in this situation?
What was the end result?

Sometimes we struggle to meet challenging goals or objectives.

Tink about a situation where your own fast response to a situation or problem had a positive impact.

What happened?
Why did you take the route you did?
What was the impact of your fast response?

Sometimes we face situations and decisions where we do not have the luxury of time.

Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your own or others’ tasks.

Why did you have a situation where you had too much to do?
How did you prioritize the tasks you were facing?
What was the final outcome?

Sometimes we have periods where we have more to do than we can be expected to manage.

Tell me about a time when you had to stay motivated despite not feeling that way personally.

What was reducing your motivation at that time?
How did you stay motivated?
What aspects of work do you find most motivating?

Sometimes we have to stay motivated even when we might not feel like it.

Tell me about a significant setback that you have had to deal with recently and how you resolved it.

Why did the setback occur?
What was your response to the setback at the time?
What did you do to move on from it?

We all face disappointments and setbacks at one time or another.

Give me an example of a time when you encountered an issue or situation that was particularly stressful for you.

How did you react to the situation or issue?
Why did you find this particular situation so stressful?
Typically, how do you react when there is a significant issue or crisis?

Work can be stressful at times and we all deal with stress differently.

Please tell me about a time when you have overcome a particularly difficult problem at work in the last year or so.

What factors did you consider when tackling the problem?
What was your solution and how was this arrived at?
How did you personally feel about the situation at the time?

Problems often tend to be par for the course in our working lives.

Planning and Organising

8. Planning and Organising

Definition: Delivers high quality work in an efficient and timely manner. Successfully manages own and others time and ensures necessary resources are available as required. Adapts to changing circumstances without compromising on quality or creating unrealistic schedules and prioritises work effectively as required. Creates and monitors clear action plans and communicates updates to plans with all relevant stakeholders.


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Tell me about a time when it was vital that you managed your own time effectively.

What was the situation?
How did you ensure your time was managed effectively?
What was the overall outcome?

Managing our own and others’ time is a useful skill in work.

Give me an example of a time in which you had to implement a [project/program/business plan.]

How did you approach this?
How did you ensure the plan would stay on track?
How effective were you?

Developing and implementing plans is a key aspect of many roles.

Describe a project or initiative that you have worked on that demonstrates your organisational skills.

What was involved from you in this project or initiative?
How did you establish what resource, support or help you needed?
What problems or issues did you have to resolve?

We all need to be organised but it can be absolutely vital in some environments.

Please tell me about a recent occasion when you had to meet an important deadline.

In terms of organising the work, what did you find most difficult?
How did you establish what resources or support you needed?
How did you manage the demands this made on your time?

Deadlines are a core part of our daily lives.

Please describe a time where you were required to plan and deliver a project or activity within a tight timescale.

How did you approach this?
What difficulties did you experience?
How did you overcome these difficulties?

Sometimes timescales for projects or work activities are not as generous as we would like them to be.

Tell me about a time when a plan you had made had to change as a result of factors outside of your control.

What caused the changes to the plan?
How did you respond to the changes at the time?
What did you learn from the experience?

Project planning is important in so many roles.

Tell me about a time when it was important that you monitored a plan to ensure it stayed on track.

How did you go about checking the plan was on track?
How did others react to you?
How successful were your efforts?

Whilst plans are very useful, it is also important that we ensure they stay on track.

Taking the lead

9. Taking the lead

Definition: Takes control and responsibility and sets direction. Exercises leadership and takes initiative. Supports and encourages others and facilitates their development. Responds well to people-related issues and provides appropriate feedback to others. Keeps others motivated and creates opportunities for them to be successful.


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Tell me about a time when you have supported someone to develop a new skill or improve their performance.

Why did you support this person?
How did you support them?
What feedback did you get from them?

Whether we have formal leadership responsibilities or not, we often face opportunities to help others to develop.

Tell me about a time when you gave someone feedback because you felt they could improve their performance.

How did you approach the situation?
How did the person react?
What, if anything, could you have done better?

Sometimes we have to give feedback to others that isn’t 100% positive.

Tell me about a time when you took showed initiative and took the lead.

Why was it important that you did this?
How did you approach taking the lead?
What was the impact of your actions?

Whilst some people have been formally assigned positions of responsibility, there are occasions where we have to step up to the plate even when it might not be our job.

Tell me about a time when you successfully motivated a group or team that were struggling?

What was the situation?
How did you keep them motivated?
How did they react to you (initially and afterwards)?

Staying motivated all the time is not possible and we can all take responsibility for keeping peers, colleagues and team members motivated.

Tell me about a time where you felt that you set a clear direction for others to follow.

What approach did you take and why?
How did you determine that you were being clear about what was expected?
What was the outcome?

Sometimes it becomes important that we set direction for others.

Give me an example of how you have supported someone who was having a difficult time.

How did you know that they needed support?
How did you raise or talk about the issue with them?
What was the result?

We all encounter colleagues and team members who are having a hard time at some points in our careers.

Tell me about the most difficult people-related situation you have had to deal with recently?

What approach did you take and why?
What challenges did you face?
How did you overcome these challenges?

Humans are not infallible and working with other people doesn’t always go smoothly.

Please describe what you have done as a leader in your current role to create a context where your team can be a success.

How did you go about this?
How did your team react to you?
What was the final outcome?

When we take a leadership role, our team’s actions reflect on us.

Supporting change

10. Supporting change

Definition: Responds well to change and supports change initiatives. Adapts own approach and style in line with changing circumstances. Handles others’ resistance to change in a positive manner. Implements change initiatives as requested and responds well to difficulties that change may create.


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Tell me about a time when you had to quickly change your approach due to factors outside of your control.

How did you respond to the changes?
How did the changes affect what you were doing?
How did you feel about the changes during and afterwards?

Sometimes circumstances outside of our control impact our work.

Tell me about a time when you had to adjust your own approach despite your original intentions.

How did you feel about having to make the changes to your planned approach?
Why did you feel it necessary to change your approach?
What was the impact of your changes?

Sometimes we have to adapt our approach despite our best attempts.

Tell me about a time when you were asked to make a change to the way you work or to your approach?

What was the situation and what changes were you asked to make?
What did you find most challenging about this?
What benefits do you think the changes offered?

We all have our own preferred approaches to work but at times we have to make changes.

Give me an example of when you had to try and convince others that an upcoming or recent change was a good idea.

What was the change?
What was your approach in convincing others?
How successful was your approach?

Not everyone is open to change and sometimes we are faced with people who whole-heartedly disagree.

Tell me about a time when you were faced with resistance to a change you were responsible for.

Where was the resistance coming from and why?
What did you do when faced with resistance?
How successful was your approach overall?

Sometimes we are faced with resistance when introducing a new initiative or a change to existing processes.

Please give me an example of a new idea or a change that you were responsible for implementing.

What was the impact of the change?
How did you feel about the change?
What was the most difficult thing about implementing the change?

We are all responsible for implementing changes at one time or another.

Tell me about when you faced some large changes and how you responded to them.

What were the changes?
How did the changes affect you?
How did you respond to the changes?

In many organisations we see some fairly major changes being implemented on a regular basis.

Tell me about a situation where you faced a decision about whether to continue as planned or change your direction?

What was the situation you faced?
How did you decide what the best course of action was?
How did you feel when faced with the decision?

Sometimes we have plans to go one way but circumstances change and we are faced with a decision about how best to move forwards.

Developing self

11. Developing self

Definition: Looks for opportunities to develop self and own skills. Pushes self outside of own comfort zone in order to develop and learn. Understands own strengths and development needs and responds to them accordingly. Seeks feedback from others about own behaviour. Keeps up to date with new methods, research and approaches.


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Tell me about a time when you felt it was important to change an aspect of your own behaviour.

Why did you think it was important to change that behaviour?
How did you go about making the change?
How successful has the change been?

Looking for ways we can improve ourselves can only help us in our work.

Tell me about a time when your actions had a less than positive impact on other people or the business.

What was it that you did?
How did you feel at the time?
What did you do to try and resolve the situation?

We all have strengths and development needs relating to the way we work.

Give me an example of when you have proactively sought feedback from others.

What was the situation?
Why did you feel it important to seek feedback?
What impact did the feedback have on you?

Finding out more about ourselves is usually a useful thing to do but it doesn’t always come easily.

Tell me about when you capitalised on an opportunity to learn a new skill.

How did the opportunity arise?
How did you feel about learning the new skill?
To what extent do you think this experience helped you?

Learning new skills and improving ourselves comes more naturally to some people than others.

Tell me about some self-development that you have undertaken in the last six months.

How did you decide to develop yourself in this area?
What did you learn about yourself?
How have you applied your learning?

Sometimes self-development takes a low priority in our work and lives.

Please tell me about how you keep up to date with the latest thinking in relation to your work.

What sources of information do you use?
What are some of the main themes you have identified from doing this recently?
How has this changed your approach/your work?

Research and innovation happens so quickly, it can be very hard for us to keep our knowledge of latest thinking up to date sometimes.

What has been the most important new approach or method you have learnt recently?

How have you put this learning into practice?
Tell me about what you now do differently as a consequence of this.
What has this taught you?

Methods and approaches come and go and we have to be on the lookout for new approaches that can help us and our organisation.

Tell me about the last time you volunteered to work on a project even though it seemed intimidating to you.

What happened?
What did you find most challenging about the situation?
What did you take from the experience?

It can be easy to stay within our own comfort zones and learning new skills isn’t always easy or fun.

Making decisions and taking risks

12. Making decisions and taking risks

Definition: Considers the pros and cons and likely risks of a problem/solution/approach. Makes difficult decisions and makes quick decisions when needed. Takes risks after considering the implications and weighs up evidence for the best approach. Tries new and untested approaches where appropriate.


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Tell me about a recent occasion when you examined a problem to determine which factors posed most and least risk.

How did you approach the problem?
What factors did you consider?
What was your final recommendation/decision based on?

Some risk is inevitable but we can often undertake some analysis to weigh things up.

Tell me about a difficult decision you have made recently.

What made it difficult?
What factors did you consider in making the decision?
How successful was your decision?

Not all decisions are easy ones to make.

Tell me about a decision you made that you later regretted.

What was the decision and why did you regret it?
What factors did you fail to consider or miss when making the decision?
How did you get over the decision?

Sometimes our decisions don’t work out as we intended.

Tell me about a time when you had to make a snap decision.

What was the decision and why did you have to make it so quickly?
How did you decide what to do in such a short time?
How did you feel about your decision?

We don’t always have the luxury of time when it comes to making decisions.

Tell me about a time when you took a risk and were ultimately glad that you did?

What happened?
What factors did you consider when deciding to take a risk?
What did you learn from this?

Risk is sometimes inevitable and we have to learn to deal with it.

Tell me about a time when you took a risk but later regretted it.

What happened?
What factors did you consider when deciding to take a risk?
What did you learn from this?

Sometimes we take risks and go on to regret them.

Describe a time when you chose a low-/no-risk option over one with higher risk.

Why did you rule out the option with a higher risk?
Was there a downside to the route you opted for?
What was the outcome?

Sometimes we have to find a balance between high risk and lower risk options.

Describe a time when you decided to try a new and untested approach to handling a problem.

What happened?
How did you decide to move forward with the new approach?
What was the outcome and what did you learn from it?

Sometimes we are not entirely sure what we are getting ourselves into but decide to move ahead anyway.

Maintaining quality and integrity

13. Maintaining quality and integrity

Definition: Works ethically and with integrity. Gives credit where credit is due and stands up for what they believe is right. Treats commercially sensitive nature as it was intended. Says no to bending the rules or turning a blind eye. Always delivers on promises and to a high standard. Works to earn the trust of others.


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Tell me about a time when you were given credit for something that you weren’t solely responsible for.

What did you do?
How did you feel?
What did you learn about yourself and others?

There may be times when we are given credit for an accomplishment that was actually a joint effort or something that a colleague led on.

Give me an example of a time when you witnessed a colleague doing something that you did not feel was appropriate.

What did you do?
How did you feel towards the colleague?
What would you do differently if it happened again?

Sometimes we may be faced with people whose honesty and integrity operates at a different standard to our own.

Can you tell me about a situation where you were unsure whether information you were privy to should or shouldn’t be shared.

What was the information and who wanted to see it?
How did you decide what to do?
What was the final outcome?

In the workplace we handle so much information, sometimes it is hard to know what is meant to be kept in confidence and what is ok to be shared.

Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something that you didn’t believe was right or proper.

What was asked of you and by who?
How did you respond to the request?
What do you now think of your actions?

There may be times when we are asked to do something that we don’t believe is right.

Tell me about a time when you made a promise to someone that you then had to go back on.

What was the promise?
What happened?
How did you feel at the time?

Sometimes we make promises that we then fail to keep.

Tell me about a time when you were expected to deliver work to a particularly high standard.

What did you do?
What difficulties did you face?
What was the outcome?

High standards and quality results are hugely important to us.

Tell me about something you did that ensured you earned the trust of people you work with.

What did you do that made them realise you could be trusted?
What feedback did you receive?
What difficulties did you face?

Being trusted by our colleagues and co-workers is vital in work.

Tell me about a time when you were asked to bend the rules or turn a blind eye.

Who was asking this of you?
How did you respond?
What impact did this experience have on you?

Sometimes we are asked to bend the rules or turn a blind eye and it can be hard to say no.


Even More

Your first interview will be competency based (either telephone or in person) and you will need examples of:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Career Motivation
  • Commitment to Career
  • Recent development in the firm
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Communication Skills
  • Responsibility
  • Problem Solving

Typical questions:

What are your 3 main weaknesses?

What other schemes have you applied to?

What motivates you to apply to…?

What do we provide for our clients?

Where do we operate?

Why did you choose your University?

Name the services we provide

What will you be doing here on a day-to day basis?

Why will this job be rewarding?

Who are our main competitors and how are we different?

Can you name any recent developments in our firm?

Why do you want to work here?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Have you done any relevant work experience?

Why have you applied to this division?

Describe a time when you found yourself in a difficult situation, how did you deal with it?

Provide an example of when you have worked to a tight deadline and how did you deal with this?

Provide an example of time where you have had to deal with a difficult customer

What do you think will be challenging about here?

How would your friends describe you?

How do you go about working with difficult colleagues give an example?

What has been the most rewarding part of your degree?

What grade are you aiming for, how will you achieve this?

Provide an example of a time when you worked in a team and needed to persuade the group.

How do you managed your finances whilst at University?

Describe a time when you have failed at something.

What skills have you learnt at university that are not related to your studies?

Why have you chosen this location?

Final Round

The next set of interview will be with higher ranking members of a firm and will be less technically difficult than the first round.

It will be more like a conversation where they will see if your personality fits in at the firm. You will be asked about why you want to join the firm and what you hope to achieve. Make sure you can answer:

  • Why you want to join this firm?
  • Why not a competitor?
  • Why the line of service you have joined?
  • What do you think you can bring to this firm?
  • How do you think you will benefit from working here?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
  • What do you do in your spare time?

Be confident but not too confident they will know more than you.