To help in answering competency-based interview questions, use the STAR method to structure your answers.  Here’s an example question with suggested responses:

How might you respond to a fellow team member feeling overwhelmed with their workload?

 

Situation

Suggested response:   My current role as a team member (along with other team members) is to respond to customer email queries within 24 hours.  About two months ago, we were asked by the management, in addition to our customer service work, to compile a survey on the types and timings of queries in a particular one-week period.

 

Task

What was the situation you were confronted with?

Suggested response:  Some team members receive more queries than others.  One team member is extremely busy with questions and was overwhelmed with this additional task.

 

Action

Explain what you did and how and why you did it.

Suggested response: The team member and I talked through her situation, and I suggested she talked with our supervisor.  Also, I suggested that for that one week, 20% of her calls were diverted through to me and one other colleague.

 

Result

Describe the outcome of your actions.

Suggested response:  The team member, myself, and another colleague met with our supervisor and a management team member.  It was agreed that for that week, 20% of the overwhelmed team member’s emails would be temporarily diverted to another colleague and myself.  The outcome was a less stressful team member who, with fewer queries to deal with for the week, could complete her part of the survey, which she efficiently did.

To learn more about the STAR approach to interview skills for yourself, look at my career coaching page.