ITU Managerial Competencies: The Four Pillars

The Four Pillars

Leadership Activities

Behavioral Interview Question Bank


Describe a time when you had to criticize or discipline the performance of someone who worked with you or for you. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?

Describe a work situation in which you delegated responsibility successfully. Then tell me about a time when your delegation of responsibility did not work out well. How did you handle that situation?

Think of a situation when managing a subordinate was difficult. Describe the situation and how you addressed it.

Describe some specific things from your current (last) job that would lead me to the conclusion that you have leadership ability.

Explain a situation where you empowered others to enthusiastically submit their ideas.

Explain a situation where you have seen someone prematurely present his or her point of view or opinion to someone else. Have you ever done that? What was the outcome?

Influencing Others

What do you consider to believe the most effective way to influence others' actions, decisions, or thinking?

Who is the most convincing person you have ever known? What did that person do that made them so convincing?

What steps do you take when trying to gain support for an idea of another person(s)? What is the biggest mistake someone could make when doing that?

Give me an example of a time when you listened carefully and you learned something that helped you gain support or convince someone of something? What is the one thing you listened to and how did it help you?

Give examples of tools you have used to persuade someone of your point of view. How successful were you?


Have you ever had to make a decision about something for which no guidelines existed? What was the situation and what did you do?

Tell me about a time when you took charge as a leader in a work situation without being formally assigned to that role by your boss.

Tell me about a challenge you faced in a previous work situation. How did you respond?

Recall a time when you made what you consider a mistake or a bad decision on the job. How did you handle the situation?

Describe a time when you acted on someone's suggestion.

What is the worst business decision you ever made? What made it the worst and what did you learn?

Give an example of someone you know whose personal actions led to disastrous results. What advice would you give that person?

What person from history do you most admire for taking blame for a failure? What did taking the blame do for that person?


Describe a difficult transition for you. What made it difficult and how did you work it out.

Give an example of a time you had to suddenly change direction on an assignment or project at work. How did you accomplish it? Did you meet the deadlines?

How do you regroup when things haven't gone as planned?

Describe a situation where you had to be flexible. How did it work out in the long-term? How did you feel about it?

Describe a time where you have had to adjust a plan or make significant changes (e.g. budget cut, deadline moved, etc.).

Customer Service

Tell me about a time when you felt you went beyond the call of duty in helping a client.

Describe a situation in which you were not able to satisfy a customer.

Tell me about a situation in which you were proud of the way you handled a customer problem. Tell me specifically what you did to achieve a good result.

Describe the most challenging customer service experience you've had and how you handled it.

Work Styles

Describe what you liked and disliked about how you were managed in previous positions.

What approaches worked best for you in the past in communicating with your boss? With your co-workers? With your subordinates?

Walk me through the major highlights of your career so far and tell me where you want to go next.

In your most recent position, what did you learn? How did you apply this learning?

Describe some specific things from your current (last) job that would lead me to the conclusion that you are a (choose one) thorough, creative, analytical, productive, customer service oriented, person.

Objective Listening / Communication

Give me an example of a time when someone else provided you with a solution to a problem or situation that you would not have been able to arrive at yourself. Did you give credit to the other person? How?

How often do you implement ideas suggested by someone else? Please give an example? What the credit given publicly?

Demonstrate for me how you confirm to others that you have clearly understood what they said to you.


List some things you think are important to remember in order to be a productive team member? What is the worst mistake a person on a team can make?

Describe a project you did as part of a team or a work group. What was your role and what were your specific contributions to the project's success?

Tell me how you increased teamwork among a previous group with whom you worked.

Give me an example of a group or team decision that was made and you felt that it was wrong or was something with which you disagreed. How did you handle it? What was the end result?

Describe examples of an effective team project and one that was less effective. What was the difference? What did you learn from these experiences?

What would you do, or have you done, if you learned that one of the members failed to meet commitments to the team?

Have you seen someone violate a trust relationship with another team member? What happened? How could it have been prevented?

Organization / Time Management

Describe the tools you use to manage your time daily, weekly and monthly?

Think about a deadline you were unable to meet. What factors contributed to that situation?

Describe a time when you had too many things to do (work and possibly personal) and talk about how you prioritized you time.

How much time do you spend organizing you day? When do you do it and what is the impact of doing it?

Goals / Projects

Describe how you organized your work to complete a project from beginning to end. How did you deal with changes or problems that arose? How did you keep the project on track? Describe the outcome. What did you learn?

Tell me about a time when you set specific work goals for yourself. How did things turn out?

What is the difference between activity and results? How do you personally define this difference?

Describe a time when you worked for a very long time on something with no distraction or break? What did you dislike most? How long did it take? How successful was it?

How do you ensure that you and others follow through on commitments?

Describe a current project and the plan you developed. What were the essential components?

What happened when you missed a deadline? What did you learn?

Describe a project in which the results were less than stellar. What happened?

Stress / Conflict

Tell me about a work emergency or crisis of some kind in which you were involved. What was your role? What did you do?

We've all felt stress in our work lives. Tell me about work-related situations that cause stress for you. How do you typically handle such stress?

Describe a stressful situation on your most recent job and how you handled it.

Describe a situation in which communication was difficult and tell me how you handled it?

In your past work life, what kind of co-workers or clients rubbed you the wrong way? How did you respond?

Tell me about a time when you needed to admit to others that you had made a mistake. How did you handle it?

Give an example of a situation in which others made an error or mistake and you had to take the blame. How did you feel about it?


What experiences have you had working with people of different ethnicities, age, or physical ability levels?

In the past have you had a preference for working mainly with men or women? Explain your answer.

Tell me about a time when you had to be creative to achieve results.

IT Questions

In your job at ( ), did you have to use judgment in deciding what to enter/maintain in the data base, or did you enter straight from completed forms? (If the former) Tell me about those items that required making a judgment.

Describe the specific tasks you accomplished using a software program or equipment.

Follow-Up and Probing Questions

These can be applied fairly if each candidate is given approximately the same degree of probing by interviewers.

  1. Please clarify what you mean by ...
  2. How did you feel when that happened?
  3. Why do you think you reacted as you did?
  4. Did you consider other options at the time?
  5. Please give me more details about ...
  6. How do you think others felt about your actions at the time?
  7. Looking back on the experience, how do you see things now?
  8. What was going through you mind when you took that action?
  9. Did the outcome of your action satisfy you?