21 Social Skills Competency Questions Examples

This article will discuss how we can use our social abilities to pass a competency-based interview with these 21 relatable examples successfully. We will be sharing the full list of social skills competency questions, at the end of this article. You can download them for free.

But before we get to list and discuss them, first, we will know a little bit about how competency interviews function so we can prepare for them.

A competency-based interview is a selection process composed of several stages. It begins with identifying the need to create a vacancy and goes through the selection of curriculum and specific tests until the interview.

Competency-based interview questions always require an example of something you’ve done in the past; For example, an employer may start the question by saying:

  • Describe a time when …
  • Give an example of when …
  • Have you ever been in a situation where …
  • Tell me about a time when …

21 Examples of Social Skills Competency Questions

Competence and skill are two concepts that are related. While skill consists of putting into practice theories and mental images that have been acquired, competence is broader and consists of injunction and coordination of knowledge, attitudes, and skills. So there are social skills that we need to have to answer competency questions and successfully quickly.


SOCIAL SKILL
COMPETENCY QUESTION


Verbal Communication
Describe how you communicate to your team a new project, new methodology, or new routines?
Imagine that you received a far higher target than expected; how are you going to act in disseminating this information to your team?

What are the advantages of verbal communication in the workplace?

  • It allows the articulation of the information that we want to transmit in the best possible way between what we live, think, and feel;
  • Communication is an aggregated value of interest to any institution, whether about employees who are at the same hierarchical level or superiors or subordinates.
SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
Decision-MakingWhat’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made in your life? Tell us about it.
What’s the most assertive decision you’ve ever made, and what’s the most disastrous? Tell us about it?
Describe a situation where you had to complete a job with a high standard and at the same time meet a strict deadline.

How do we demonstrate decisions in the workplace?

In business decision-making, the first step is to know the impasse to be solved and try to see the situation as clearly and logically as possible, considering all the points. Then, make a good analysis of the possible alternatives, separating each of them’s positive and negative points.

Making decisions is a daily challenge for managers and professionals in all areas. And doing this intuitively, without data and hard facts, can be extremely damaging to any business.

SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
Positive AttitudeComment on a case where you worked as hard as possible and felt like you weren’t recognized but continued the task until the final delivery.
Tell us about a situation where you insisted on defending your ethical values, even though the climate was not prone to this behavior?

How can we have a positive attitude at work?

  • Looking for tips not to procrastinate during activities we need to perform;
  • Respecting everyone avoiding speeches and prejudiced attitude;
  • Pay close attention to the amount of harmful content you consume every day, whether sad news or angry text;
  • Reduce content that causes you anxiety and increase content that makes you feel good.
SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
Cognitive FlexibilityHave you ever lived a situation that forced you to change your mind suddenly? How did you do?
Tell me about a time when you had to take responsibility for a task that was not part of your scope of work. What was it like?
How do you react to difficult changes? Give a specific example.
Tell me about some critical situation in a project you could predict and take actions that would prevent a failure?

Examples of Cognitive Flexibility Exercises to Improve at Work

  • Create a reading routine, as reading activates various regions of the brain, working together at the same time, it represents a mental exercise;
  • Studies have shown that the practice of mindfulness meditation can increase both attention and cognitive flexibility;
  • Regular aerobic exercise is associated with the growth of new brain cells and is an effective way to increase cognitive flexibility.
SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION



Time Management and Organization
Describe a situation where you had to solve several critical problems on the same day. How did you get through this?
Tell us an example of how you organize your personal and family priorities?
Give examples of how you identified a work routine problem, looking more closely at the situation/project.

How can we manage our time at the workplace?

  • Know how to say no, the work overload generates more fatigue and consequently, less productivity;
  • Find out what time you perform your activities with the most effective and adapt;
  • Have a weekly moment to make a planning of your activities of the week, analyze your backlogs, your projects, and even professionals;
  • Disable mobile message notifications and email alerts;
  • Take a moment or two in your day to check messages, emails, or social media.
SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
LeadershipTell us about a delivery you made that depended on the team and how you did to motivate people to deliver the results.
Do you remember any meetings where you had to position yourself quickly and your communication was effective? Tell us in detail how it was.
Give us examples of how you check the results of your area’s goals. And how do you establish the action plan to achieve them?

What is the importance of leadership in the workplace?

Leadership in the workplace is an essential function of management. It helps maximize efficiency and achieve organizational goals. For a good leader, the satisfaction and performance of its leaders are also part of the processes.

A good leader in a work team is the one who knows that the secret to team-work consists in:

  • Delegation of tasks;
  • Assignment of responsibilities where each professional can develop according to their knowledge and skills.
SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
Give and Receive FeedbackTell me something important you learned from your team?
Tell me a situation where you had to offer your help to solve a difficult problem?
Name a situation where you noticed someone working with you needing help.
Tell a story about a situation where you had to live with a boss or hard-working colleague.

How to give and receive feedback in an emotionally intelligent manner?

1. Plan your feedback and set goals, so you don’t start a blindfold discussion;

2.  Be honest with your collaborator is fundamental to give positive feedback successfully;

3.  Start by exposing praises with examples and then talk about the negative points;

4.  Point out solutions and give tips on how your professional can evolve to grow even more in the company;

5. Feedback should be given individually, preferably with an eye to eye, not to expose your employee in front of the team, especially if the feedback is negative.

Related Articles:

20 Tips on How to Give and Receive Feedback

8 Ways to Give Constructive Criticism at Work

The Importance of Social Skills in Competency Questions 

 Some social skills like verbal communication, leadership, receive, and feedback is crucial by applying for a job.

Interviewers use competency questions to show candidates how we do in various situations in the past, revealing individual personality traits. Competency questions are an excellent help for interviewers interested in finding out exactly who a candidate and how we can act if employed.

Tips and Suggestions for Getting Ready for the Job Interview 

  • Practice orally summarizing your skills, experience, and career path;
  • Take note of your strengths and weaknesses;
  • Think about the future and how you want to see your career grow;
  • Find out why you want to work for the company you’re applying for.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE 21 SOCIAL SKILLS COMPETENCY QUESTIONS CHEAT SHEET

#SOCIAL SKILLCOMPETENCY QUESTION
1Verbal CommunicationDescribe how you communicate to your team a new project, new methodology, or new routines?
2Imagine that you received a far higher target than expected; how are you going to act in disseminating this information to your team?
3Decision-MakingWhat’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made in your life? Tell us about it.
4What’s the most assertive decision you’ve ever made, and what’s the most disastrous? Tell us about it?
5Describe a situation where you had to complete a job with a high standard and at the same time meet a strict deadline.
6Positive AttitudeComment on a case where you worked as hard as possible and felt like you weren’t recognized but continued the task until the final delivery.
7Tell us about a situation where you insisted on defending your ethical values, even though the climate was not prone to this behavior?
8Cognitive FlexibilityHave you ever lived a situation that forced you to change your mind suddenly? How did you do?
9Tell me about a time when you had to take responsibility for a task that was not part of your scope of work. What was it like?
10How do you react to difficult changes? Give a specific example.
11Tell me about some critical situation in a project you could predict and take actions that would prevent a failure?
12Time Management and OrganizationDescribe a situation where you had to solve several critical problems on the same day. How did you get through this?
13Tell us an example of how you organize your personal and family priorities?
14Give examples of how you identified a work routine problem, looking more closely at the situation/project.
15LeadershipTell us about a delivery you made that depended on the team and how you did to motivate people to deliver the results.
16Do you remember any meetings where you had to position yourself quickly and your communication was effective? Tell us in detail how it was.
17Give us examples of how you check the results of your area’s goals. And how do you establish the action plan to achieve them?
18Give and Receive FeedbackTell me something important you learned from your team?
19Tell me a situation where you had to offer your help to solve a difficult problem?
20Name a situation where you noticed someone working with you needing help.
21Tell a story about a situation where you had to live with a boss or hard-working colleague.

Here’s another valuable resource for you to watch and practice with questions and answers you might be asked during that next interview.

Conclusion

A competence interview is of paramount importance within a recruitment and selection process. After all, it is possible to know better and closely each candidate who applied for the vacancy. The job interview’s purpose is to obtain from the applicant the complementary information that has not been described in the resume.

I hope you learned a bit about what kind of social skills competency questions you might get asked and with that you are more confident on how to answer or what skills you may share in such cases.

Reference and Further Reading

125 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips) (2021). Career Guide.

Competency-Based Questions (2021). Wikijob.

SEAGER, Charlotte (2020). How to handle competency-based interview questions. Totaljobs.

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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