Careers Service

Non-academic interviews

Non-academic job interviews can take different formats. Competency interviews are the most commonly used but you may encounter other formats including strengths based, case study and technical interviews.

With competency interviews, you will be asked questions based on the skills and qualities required for the job. You will be expected to give examples of when you have demonstrated these competencies. The employer will want you to draw examples from your academic studies, work experience and any other activities you've been involved in.

Examples of competency questions include:

  • Describe a situation when you have had to persuade an individual or a group to take a particular course of action. What did you do and what was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of when you led a team. How did you lead and motivate this group effectively? On reflection, how could you have improved your performance?
  • Tell me about a time when you have used your creativity to solve a complex problem.

For more information on different types of interviews and more examples of questions see the Interviews section of our website:


Good preparation is the key to ensure you perform to the best of your ability. Information and advice on preparation can be found in the document below: