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Competency Assessment Questionnaire Interpretation Key

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A competency is the knowledge, skill, ability and/or enabling behavior required to effectively perform work. The competency profile for each job describes the particular knowledge, skills, abilities, enabling behaviors and level of performance required to do that job. The Competency Assessment Questionnaire provides supervisors reliable performance-based assessments of participants applying for acceptance into succession plan development programs. Competencybased assessment focuses both the employee applying for acceptance and the supervisor deciding to accept or not accept an employee into a succession plan development program on job requirements and behaviors needed to do the job well. The Office of Personnel Management’s HR Manager is the source of the competencies used in the competency assessment process. HR Manager, a database of valid and reliable competencies, provides an occupational profile for each job in the State personnel system. Each profile lists the competencies needed to be successful at entry into a position and those needed to perform at more advanced levels. Most of the competencies in the profile have levels of proficiency described in behavioral terms, enabling matching of descriptions of accomplishments or actual accomplishments to a particular level of performance. The competencies that do not have proficiency levels described are usually isolated enabling behaviors that are difficult to quantify (e.g., self-esteem). The HR Manager also provides competency- and performance-based questions for use in structured interviews. Our succession plan competency assessment procedure utilizes both features (proficiency levels and competency-based questions). Used together, supervisors are able to make acceptance and non-acceptance decisions based solely on competency assessment. The procedure instructs supervisors to use the proficiency level descriptions to establish performance criteria, and instructs them to use the questions to assess an employee’s competency level based on those established performance criteria. The proficiency level descriptions are matched to the five levels assigned each of the factors (decision making, complexity, purpose of contact, and line/staff authority) included in the State’s job evaluation system so during the structured interview, listen for the specifics the questions yield about an applicant’s performance. The questions may be modified to include job specific terminology. When you question employees about their competencies, listen for information that describes performance criteria established for the job and indicators of superior performance in their responses.

*The questions used in this Interpretation Key are from the HR Manager database. To find additional questions login to the HR Manager, select Recruitment and Selection, and then navigate to the occupational profile for your position. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click View Questions. Access to the HR Manager is limited by licensing agreements; please contact your HR staff for login instructions.

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How have you applied the information to your work? Self-Management—sets well-defined and realistic personal goals. regulations. applies what is learned from written material to specific situations. reports. What types of information did you present and how did you organize what you wrote? Who was the audience? How did you adapt the writing to meet the audience’s level of knowledge? What was the outcome? 2. effort. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. that is appropriate for the intended audience. determines accuracy and relevance of information.Competency Assessment Questionnaire Interpretation Key Arithmetic—performs computations such as addition. What was the problem and who was affected? How did you generate and evaluate your alternatives? What was the outcome? Writing—recognizes or uses correct English grammar. Describe the types of documents you have written. and spelling. and division correctly using whole numbers. Who set the goal and what did you do to try to achieve the goal? What was the outcome? Problem Solving—Identifies problems. graphs or diagrams you have read to perform your work. and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner. Questions: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. punctuation. displays a high level of initiative. Describe a situation in which you identified a problem. communicates information in a succinct and organized manner. multiplication. graphs. and evaluated the alternatives to make a recommendation or decision. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. charts. Describe the types of written materials you have read to perform your work. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. demonstrates responsible behavior. produces written information. Describe a situation in which you met a goal or took initiative to complete an assignment. What changes did you suggest? What was the outcome? 2 . is motivated to achieve. How have you applied the information to your work? 2. uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives. and percentages. What calculations did you perform and what size were the sets of numbers with which you worked? What was the result? Reading—understands and interprets written material. including technical material. instructions. decimals. tables. Describe the types of documents you proofread or edited. Describe the types of charts. and to make recommendations. rules. fractions. or tables. Questions: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Describe how you have used mathematical computations to complete a work assignment. which may include technical material. subtraction. works with minimal supervision.

and group identity. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. What was the work and how did the application of technology affect the outcome? What role did you play in selecting and applying the technology to the task? 3 . makes clear and convincing oral presentations. concern. What kind of information did you present and how did you organize your material? Who was the audience? Teamwork—encourages and facilitates cooperation. What kind of information did you present and how did you organize it into a presentation? Who was the audience? 2. Describe a situation in which you worked with a team to achieve a common goal. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Describe a situation in which you had to deal with individuals who were difficult. Describe a situation in which you have made an oral presentation to an individual or a group. pride. principles.Interpersonal Skills—shows understanding. or relationships that explain facts. or equipment effectively. Describe a situation in which you orally defended or explained a recommendation or idea. Explain how you arrived at a conclusion. empathy. listens to others. Describe a situation in which you used computers or other equipment to help accomplish work. tools. attends to nonverbal cues. tact. taking into account the audience and nature of the information. What was the length of contact? How did these relationships affect your work? 2. relates well to people from varied backgrounds and situations. hostile. What was the goal? Who was on the team and how was the team assembled? What steps did you take to work towards meeting the goal? What was the outcome? Technology Application—Uses machines. analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions. uses computers and computer applications to analyze and communicate information in the appropriate format. Describe a situation in which you analyzed and interpreted information. data. distressed. develops and maintains relationships. trust. may deal with people who are difficult. and responds appropriately. What was the outcome? Oral Communication—expresses information to individuals or groups effectively. What information were you given? Describe any guidelines you used. works with others to achieve goals. courtesy. hostile. Who was involved? What specific actions did you take and what was the outcome? Reasoning—Identifies rules. Questions: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Questions: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Describe a situation in which you developed or maintained work relationships with others within or outside of your work unit. fosters commitment and team spirit. is sensitive to individual differences. or other information. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. or distressed.

What were the alternatives that you considered and what did you decide? Who was affected by your decision? What was the outcome of your decision? Customer Service—works with customers to assess needs. What level of contact did you have with them? What specific actions did you take to assist the customer or client? What was the result? Planning and Evaluating—organizes work. causes change. project. knows products and services. adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. is committed to providing quality products and services. even in uncertain situations. changing conditions. or assignment. determines resource requirements. to accomplish organizational goals. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Describe a situation in which you gathered or organized information that was needed by others. resolve problems. Describe a situation in which you planned. monitors progress.or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them. Information Management—identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information. perceives the impact and implications of decisions. or unexpected obstacles. Describe a situation in which you made a decision that impacted your work and/or the work of others. Describe a situation when you had to modify an existing plan or otherwise had to change direction in response to a changing situation. coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization. effectively deals with ambiguity. organized or evaluated a program. determines short. organizes and maintains information or information management systems. Who was involved? Describe any guidelines you used to determine the steps you needed to take. What was involved? What did you do and what was the outcome? Decision Making—makes sound and well informed. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. commits to action. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. and objective decisions.Flexibility—is open to change and new information. satisfy expectations. Describe how you have applied mathematical or statistical techniques to perform your work. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. sets priorities. evaluates outcomes. What mathematical or statistical techniques did you apply? Describe any guideline you used to determine the techniques you used. Describe any guidelines you had to help you organize and maintain the information? 4 . What was the timeframe? What was the outcome? Mathematical Reasoning—solves problems by choosing appropriately from a variety of mathematical and statistical techniques. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. Describe a situation in which you assisted a customer or client. provide assistance.

or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact. or change their behavior. and challenges others.Creative Thinking—uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems. Who was affected? What was the result? Vision—understands where the organization is headed and how to make a contribution. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. What was the goal and who was involved? What did you do and what was the outcome? Influencing/Negotiating—persuades others to accept recommendations. Describe a situation in which you led or motivated others. takes a longterm view and recognizes opportunities to help the organization accomplish its objectives or move toward the vision. negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions. grievances. Describe a situation when you developed an innovative way to perform work or an innovative way to modify a work activity. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. What was involved and what was your role? What was the outcome? Leadership—influences. Describe a situation in which you negotiated and agreement or persuaded others to accept recommendations or a new viewpoint. designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable. confrontations. Describe a situation at work in which you prevented or handled a conflict or confrontation. What was the issue and who was involved? What was the outcome? Conflict Management—manages and resolves conflicts. works with others towards an agreement. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. cooperate. Describe a situation in which you helped meet your organization’s objectives or worked towards the organization’s vision. What was the outcome? 5 . motivates. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. adapts leadership styles to a variety of situations. Question: Individual Contributor/Work Leader/Staff Authority level positions 1. What was the issue and who was involved? Describe any guidelines or standard procedures you used to help you handle the situation.

Give an example of a problem. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. Leadership—inspires. even in uncertain situations. both inside and outside your organization. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. what alternatives did you consider. What were the results? 2. commits to action. openness. What was the problem. and what was the outcome? Decisiveness—makes sound and well-informed decisions.g. Describe the types of problems (e. Describe a decision or decisions you have been responsible for. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. adapts leadership styles to various situations. What was involved. causes change. models high standards of honesty. Who was the audience.Oral Communication—expresses ideas and facts to individuals or groups effectively. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. Who was involved and what was the outcome? 6 . challenges staff. uses sound reasoning to arrive at conclusions. who was affected. Describe a situation where you performed a leadership role and/or motivated others toward the accomplishment of a goal. facilitates an open exchange of ideas. programmatic or organizational) you have handled. trust. Describe the kinds of documents you have been responsible for writing or editing. and your target audiences. the types of review they had. Describe the types of audiences you have addressed as part of your work and the type of information you presented. in order to accomplish organizational goals. integrity.g. who was affected. 2. and what was the outcome? Written Communication—expresses facts and ideas in writing in a succinct and organized manner.. Describe a situation in which you took corrective action (e. distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical judgments. guides others toward goals. against an employee or contractor). motivates. mentors. Describe a situation where you had to make a decision in the absence of guidance or adequate information. and respect for individuals by applying these values daily. Describe a situation where you had to defend or explain an idea or proposal. coaches. finds alternative solutions to complex problems. 2. how did you deal with it. what was the issue and what was the outcome? Problem Solving—identifies and analyzes problems.. Who was involved and what was the outcome? 3. what did you do. Describe you past achievements which demonstrate you writing ability. listens to others. perceives the impact and implications of decisions. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. makes clear and convincing oral presentations. and the risks involved.

and capabilities of others. and the outcome. and what was the outcome? Interpersonal Skills—considers and responds appropriately to the needs. Give an example of an unstructured situation involving a project or program where you had to operate without clear guidelines. What was involved. or unexpected obstacles. ensures staff are properly selected. adjusts approaches to suit different people and situations. and what was the outcome? Self-Direction—demonstrates belief in own abilities and ideas. and what were the results? 2. what did you do. Who was involved? What was the issue or objective? What did you do? 2. pushing authority down and out throughout the organization. product. shares rewards with staff. What was the situation. adapts behavior and work methods in response to new information. Describe a situation when you had to modify a plan or had to change direction in response to a changing situation (e. changes in staff or budget resources.Flexibility—is open to change and new information. requirements. Have you designed or implemented any innovative human resource strategy or system? Describe the human resource management function or functions involved.. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. What was involved and what was the outcome? 3. Human Resources Management—empowers staff by sharing power and authority. Give an example of a project or a situation that required dealing with a diverse group of people and establishing cooperative relationships to accomplish a specific goal. Who was involved. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. changing conditions. and what was the outcome? 2. resources. and are treated fairly. Describe you accomplishments related to human resource management. what did you do. leadership). and what was the outcome? 3. Describe a situation in which you represented you organization and dealt with a variety of stakeholders. or service. effectively deals with pressure and ambiguity. appraised. What human resource management functions have you carried out. What was the situation. Describe a situation in which you set your own goals and implemented them.g. what did you do. Describe a situation in which you initiated and developed a new program. What was involved and what was the outcome? 2. what was your role. technology. 7 . Describe a work situation in which you were under pressure due to deadlines. used. or organizational changes. develops lower levels of leadership. seeks feedback from others and opportunities for selflearning and development. what was the issue or objective. Describe any self-development activities you have undertaken during the past several years. recognizes own strengths and weaknesses. and developed. feelings. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. is self-motivated and results-oriented. the type of innovation. what did you do. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. deadlines.

What did you do. What do you do to encourage creativity in others? Technical Competence—understands and appropriately applies procedures. and group identity. how you applied these techniques. what were the results. interest-based bargaining. Give an example of a situation in which you provided an innovative solution to make an organizational improvement. works with others to achieve goals. builds consensus through give and take. 3. What do you do when you are give an assignment in an area that is beyond your own expertise? 5. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. and the outcome. pride. Have you acted in the role of a negotiator? What did you negotiate. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. What do you do to stay current in your field? 8 . What did you do and what was the outcome? 4. and what was the outcome? 2. Describe how your training and/or experience have contributed to your technical competence. Who were the individual involved. or accounting). and policies related to specialized expertise (for example. Give examples of work products or roles you have performed which demonstrate competence in your area of expertise. physical science. Describe a situation in your work where you had to use persuasion to gain cooperation from others to accomplish a goal. designs and implements new or cutting-edge programs/processes. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. with whom. 2. law. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. alternative dispute resolution)? Describe the situation. Team Building—manages group processes. win-win negotiation. develops networks and coalitions. and what level of the organization was affected? 3. Describe a situation in which you gave expert advice in your area of expertise to others.. engineering.Influencing/Negotiating—persuades others.g. 2. requirements. and what was the outcome? 3. negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions. program or service that you developed. regulations. what was the issue. Have you ever created a team? What was the purpose and what was the outcome? What sis you do to ensure team effectiveness? Creative Thinking—develops new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to make organizational improvements. Give an example of a new product. encourages and facilitates cooperation. trust. maintains credibility with others on technical matters. gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals. Have you had training in or experience applying formal negotiation or bargaining techniques (e. fosters commitment and team spirit.

To what extent have you initiated or participated in an organizational change effort and at what level of the organization? What was involved. is committed to improving services. 2. achieves quality end-products. Did you take any actions to prevent it from developing? If so. monitors and evaluates the progress and outcomes of operational plans. Describe the scope. and disagreements in a positive and constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact. 9 . Vision—envisions a long-term view and initiates organizational change for the future. what was your role. Have you been involved in any efforts to assess customer needs and improve processes to deliver better products or services? Who were your customers. how did you plan the project and achieve the desired objectives? What were the results and impact on your organization? External Awareness—identifies and keeps up-to-date on key agency policies/priorities and economic. and what was the outcome? Planning and Evaluating—determines objectives and strategies. Describe how you keep up-to-date on key agency policies and priorities and any external trends affecting your organization. understands where the organization is headed and how to make a contribution. service or program? 2. Describe a conflict situation you encountered in your work and how you handled it. and social trends which affect the organization. and the outcome. and what was the outcome? Conflict Management—manages and resolves conflicts. What types of measures have you used in evaluating a project. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. spots opportunities to move the organization toward the vision. builds the vision with others. coordinates with other parts of the organization to accomplish goals. what was the issue. and what was the outcome? 2. confrontations. Have you had any training or experience applying alternative dispute resolution techniques? Describe the issue and parties involved. Describe a project or program that you planned and/or evaluated. what methods did you use. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. anticipates potential threats or opportunities. political. what role did you play in the process.Client Orientation—Anticipates and meets the needs of clients. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. Who was involved. describe the actions you took and the outcome. your role. and the outcome. 3. how you applied the techniques. what was involved. product. Give an example of a situation where you took a long-term view and redirected a project or program. Questions: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. Describe a situation in which you identified a potential conflict situation in your organization. What was involved.

race. What was your role.Managing Diverse Workforce—is sensitive to cultural diversity. gender. Describe any contributions you have made to maintain or promote workforce diversity. what was the outcome. and what level of the organization was affected? 10 . and other individual differences in the workforce. Question: Unit Supervisor/Senior Authority/Manager/Leading Authority/Senior Manager level positions 1. manages workforce diversity.