Capability Questions

These are specific, job-related questions are designed to assess your suitability for the position. Select examples from your past experiences to demonstrate the capability the employer is looking for.

Capability Questions

These questions usually form about 50% of the interview. It is essential that the examples you select are a good match for the role. It is much easier to have thought about this during your interview preparation than to try and attempt it under pressure in the interview itself. Examples include:

What is your greatest strength?
If you've prepared properly you will have several strengths to choose from. The obvious choice would be the strength that best suits the demands of the job. This is one of the most common questions and represents a good opportunity to assert your career statement. Pick an instance that illustrates your ability to demonstrate the top competency of the job.

What are your weaknesses?
You could mention something that is not critical for the job, skills you have improved on, or turn a negative into a positive. Even though the question is about weaknesses, your answer should always be framed around positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee.

One approach to answering this question is to analyze the key skills and strengths required for the position you are interviewing for and then come up with an honest shortcoming that is not essential for success in that job.

Saying that you have none is not a sensible option, but neither do you want to admit to weaknesses. Often the most effective approach is to link this question to your continuous professional development (CPD) activities.

Explain why you have focused on this skill and what you have done or are doing to develop it. You can discuss the steps you have taken to improve this area, and then focus on your current, improved level of skill. This approach shows you are self-critical and take ownership of your personal and professional development.

Another option is to try and turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get work completed or wanting to double-check every clause in a contract can both be turned into strengths, demonstrating that you are a candidate who will make sure that tasks are completed on time and who pays attention to detail.

What skill have you acquired most recently?
It may be a formal qualification or on-the-job training that demonstrates your commitment to CPD. Once again make sure that the skill demonstrates a key role competency or how you will add value to the organization's skill base.

'Budgeting and costing have always been an area I have struggled with so I have recently attained an AAT Level 2 certificate with the Association of Accounting Technicians. This has given me the knowledge and confidence to perform the essential accounting aspects of the job.'

Give an example where you have worked well under pressure
This question is designed to ascertain your ability to control and plan your own workload. Make sure to select an example that is appropriate for the role and avoid assigning blame.

You may also be interested in:
Interview Questions | Interview Behavior | Capability Questions | Commitment Questions | Compatibility Questions | Questions About Your Self-Image | Questions About Your Application | Questions You Should Ask.

Key Points

  • Capability questions usually form about 50% of the interview.
  • They include questions about strengths, weaknesses, skills, and workload management.
  • Preparation is the key to choosing the best example in each case.
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