Competency-based interviews are where each question is designed to test one or more specific skill. The answer is then matched against pre-decided criteria and marked accordingly.
more information about Example Questions
Give us an example of a situation where you had to deal with a conflict.
How do you influence people in situations where there are conflicting agendas?
Describe a situation where you had to change your approach half-way through a project or task following new input into the project.
Tell me about a time when you took a leadership role in a team?
Tell us about the biggest challenge that you have had to deal with. How did you cope with it?
The key to answering all questions is that you are required to "demonstrate" that you have the right skills by using examples based on your prior experience (you should draw examples from voluntary/community, work and/or academic experiences), and not just talk about the topic in a theoretical and impersonal manner.
more information about A way to address competency based interviews is to use the STAR technique
Situation Task Action Result
Situation or Task
Describe the situation that you were confronted with or the task that needed to be accomplished. With the STAR approach you need to set the context. Make it concise and informative, concentrating solely on what is useful to the story. For example, if the question is asking you to describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person, explain how you came to meet that person and why they were being difficult. If the question is asking for an example of teamwork, explain the task that you had to undertake as a team.
This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing. Now that you have set the context of your story, you need to explain what you did. In doing so, you will need to remember the following:
Be personal, i.e. talk about your role in the team. Go into some detail.
Do not assume that they will guess what you mean.
Steer clear of technical information, unless it is crucial to your story.
Explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.
Explain what happened eventually – how it all ended. Also, use the opportunity to describe what you accomplished and what you learnt in that situation. This helps you make the answer personal and enables you to highlight further skills.
This is probably the most crucial part of your answer. Interviewers want to know that you are using a variety of generic skills in order to achieve your objectives. Therefore, you must be able to demonstrate in your answer that you are taking specific actions because you are trying to achieve a specific objective and not simply by chance.
more information about Examples of Technical/logical thinking questions
Another type of question you may encounter in an investment banking interview is one which is designed to assess your thought process and technical ability, versus focusing on providing the ‘right’ answer. You should be able walk through your thought process and come to a logical answer, even if it is not correct.
A car travels a distance of 60 miles at an average speed of 30 mph. How fast would the car have to travel the same 60 mile distance home to average 60 mph over the entire trip?
Most people say 90 mph but this is actually a trick question! The first leg of the trip covers 60 miles at an average speed of 30 mph. So, this means the car travelled for 2 hours (60/30). In order for the car to average 60 mph over 120 miles, it would have to travel for exactly 2 hours (120/60). Since the car has already travelled for 2 hours, it is impossible for it to average 60 mph over the entire trip.
You are given a 3-gallon jug and a 5-gallon jug. How do you use them to get 4 gallons of liquid?
Fill the 5-gallon jug completely. Pour the contents of the 5-gallon jug into the 3-gallon jug, leaving 2 gallons of liquid in the 5-gallon jug. Next, dump out the contents of the 3-gallon jug and pour the contents of the 5-gallon jug into the 3-gallon jug. At this point, there are 2 gallons in the 3-gallon jug. Fill up the 5-gallon jug and then pour the contents of the 5-gallon jug into the 3-gallon jug until the 3-gallon jug is full. You will have poured 1 gallon, leaving 4 gallons in the 5-gallon jug.