Step 3: Prepare for questioning

Author: Chantal Haynes- Curley

Competency-based questions

The types of questions you may be asked depends on the interviewers – a trained interviewer will likely follow a competency-based interview process which involves asking competency-based questions. The objective of which is to structure questions that elicit a specific example – for example they may ask you to discuss a time where you have had to work against competing deadlines. The key to answering this question would be to outline the process you took in resolving the problem and point out the skills, knowledge and/or experience use used to come to a successful solution. Common questions in competency-based interviews include: “Give an example of a time you worked in a team to complete a task”, and “Describe a significant problem you encountered recently, and how you sought to resolve it”.

Open questions

A less experienced interviewer may ask you some open questions, these questions tend to be very broad so it is up to you to anticipate what information the interviewer may be looking to obtain from the question. For example, “ Tell me about yourself”, this question is very broad indeed and lots of people make the mistake of answering questions like these in a General manner, “ My name is Alex...I studied at…” This answer doesn’t assist the interview process as the information is already contained within the CV. Instead, a well thought out response would highlight information not already available to the interviewer, for example, “ I am here today to interview for this role as I am very interested in your organisation, It is a long-standing ambition of mine to qualify as an accountant within a large firm such as yours, I have worked very hard towards achieving this goal, studying full time while working.  My passion for this work has motivated me throughout…”, this is a substantial response and the respondent has used their opportunity to showcase their ambition, motivation and drive.