Careers and Employability Service

Competency questions

Competencies are the skills, knowledge, or attributes that are required to perform a certain role (such as teamwork, communication, or leadership). Employers are looking for evidence that you have the required competencies which they state on the job description. Take a look at the job description/person specification of the role you are being interviewed for to see the different types of skills that employers may ask you questions about.

Examples of questions

  • Provide an example of a situation where you have taken on the role of a leader. Describe the skills you used and the results that were achieved.
  • Describe a situation where you have used your communication skills to achieve a positive outcome.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to analyse complex data and draw relevant conclusions.


You can demonstrate that you have these skills or competencies by using examples from your own experience. Consider the role and the job description and use the most relevant examples that will help the employer see that you are a good fit for the role.

A good technique to use in order to structure your answer effectively is using the STARS technique. Remember to use achievement focused language such as “enhanced”, “impacted”, “resulted in”, “achieved”, “increased”, “efficiency”. It is also a good idea to demonstrate that what did you helped the organisation in terms of performance or profitability.

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