Friday, 23 September 2011

Competency Based Interview Questions

Competency Based Interview Questions
(How Many Can You Answer?)

Core Competencies
•Tell me about a time when you changed your priorities to meet others' expectations.
•Describe a time when you altered your own behaviour to fit the situation.
•Tell me about a time when you had to change your point of view or your plans to take into account new information or changing priorities.
Client Focus
Give an example of how you provided service to a client/stakeholder beyond their expectations. How did you identify the need? How did you respond?
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a client/stakeholder service issue.
Describe a situation in which you acted as an advocate within your organization for your stakeholder’s needs, where there was some organizational resistance to be overcome.
Describe a situation you were involved in that required a multi-dimensional communication strategy.
Give an example of a difficult or sensitive situation that required extensive communication.
Tell me about a time when you really had to pay attention to what someone else was saying, actively seeking to understand their message.
Organizational Awareness
Describe the culture of your organization and give an example of how you work within this culture to achieve a goal.
Describe the things you consider and the steps you take in assessing the viability of a new idea or initiative.
Tell me about a time when you used your knowledge of the organization to get what you needed.
Problem Solving and Judgment
Tell me about a time when you had to identify the underlying causes to a problem.
Describe a time when you had to analyze a problem and generate a solution.
Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a problem or make a decision that required careful thought.  What did you do?
Results Orientation
Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a goal.
Tell me about a time when you improved the way things were typically done on the job.
Describe something you have done to improve the performance of your work unit.
Describe something you have done to maximize or improve the use of resources beyond your own work unit to achieve improved results.
Tell me about a time when you worked successfully as a member of a team.
Describe a situation where you were successful in getting people to work together effectively.
Describe a situation in which you were a member (not a leader) of a team, and a conflict arose within the team. What did you do?
Role Specific Competencies
Developing Others
Tell me about a time when you coached someone to help them improve their skills or job performance.  What did you do?
Describe a time when you provided feedback to someone about their performance.
Give me an example of a time when you recognized that a member of your team had a performance difficulty/deficiency.  What did you do?
Impact and Influence
Describe a recent situation in which you convinced an individual or a group to do something.
Describe a time when you went through a series of steps to influence an individual or a group on an important issue.
Describe a situation in which you needed to influence different stakeholders with differing perspectives.
Describe something you have done that was new and different for your organization, that improved performance and/or productivity.
Tell me about a time when you identified a new, unusual or different approach for addressing a problem or task.
Tell me about a recent problem in which old solutions wouldn't work.  How did you solve the problem?
Tell me about a time when you had to lead a group to achieve an objective.
Describe a situation where you had to ensure that your "actions spoke louder than your words" to a team.
Describe a situation where you inspired others to meet a common goal.
Relationship Building
Describe a situation in which you developed an effective win/win relationship with a stakeholder or client. How did you go about building the relationship?
Tell me about a time when you relied on a contact in your network to help you with a work-related task or problem.
Give me an example of a time when you deliberately attempted to build rapport with a co-worker or customer.
Resource Management
Describe a situation in which you took a creative approach to resourcing to achieve a goal.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a particular resource management issue regarding either people, materials or assets.
Describe the options you would consider to resource a project or goal if you did not have the available resources within your own span of control.
Describe a situation in which you established a partnership with another organization or stakeholder to achieve a mutual goal. What steps did you take to ensure the partnership was effective?

Describe the level of stress in your job and what you do to manage it.
Describe a time when you were in a high pressure situation.
Describe a time when things didn't turn out as you had planned and you had to analyze the situation to address the issue.
Strategic Thinking
Describe a challenge or opportunity you identified based on your industry knowledge, and how you developed a strategy to respond to it.
Describe a time you created a strategy to achieve a longer term business objective.
Describe a time when you used your business knowledge to understand a specific business situation.

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Saturday, 10 September 2011

What Happens When Waterfall on Agile (Scrum)?

Article written by Sreenivas Mothukuru
1)      Ignore tools and look for reasons:
Instead of using / appreciating the features which specialized tools provide teams start overlooking the tools and complain about the features.
2)      Result in “over commitment” or “under commitment” or “as per the commitment”:
Due to point 1, team members pull user stories based on their gut feeling. This might result in a) over commitment b) under commitment c) as per the commitment at the end of the sprint.
3)      User stories will be de-scoped from the Sprint:
Due to point 1 & 2, teams commit for 'N' user stories and complete N - n (n = 0 to N). In every sprint pulling user stories out will gradually impact the confidence level of scrum teams and decrease team's velocity.
4)      Lose focus on Quality:
Sometimes team run after doing more ... more ... more and finally lose focus on the quality.
5)      Sudden surprise during sprint period:
User stories will creep into Sprint backlog and create sudden surprise to the team members. Any new additions during sprint work without teams concern and not managing the existing user stories will create unnecessary confusion to the team and effects team morale.
6)      Due to point 3, 4 & 5 thin line between Scrum Master, Dev and QA become a huge barrier.
7)      Agile formalities will be shelved:
Grooming will end up with actual scrum team members not involving in understanding user stories, not sizing stories. Planning will end up with a fewer user stories in sprint backlog and NO team commitment, ignore Definition of Done & Definition of Ready, Daily stand up meetings will prolong for long time (30-45 minutes), No Retrospective meeting means no scope of improvement.
8)     Due to point 4 bugs will crawl into the system and eventually create busy work for maintenance team.
9)     Instead of building quality into the system ... teams’ move towards addressing / fixing issues during warranty period.
10) Team members start Blame Game.
11) Burn down chart shows sceneries of mountains and valleys.
12) Unknowingly Scrum Master move towards micro management.
13) Eventually teams become incapable at giving proper estimates.
14) Conflict of Interest arises. People will put their own interests ahead of the interests of group / organization.
15) Team members lack authority and decision-making ability.
16) A culture that doesn't support learning evolves.
17)  Denial is embraced instead of the brutal truth.
18) In the words of W. Edwards Deming, team end up "robbing people of their pride in workmanship”.
- Feel free to add a few points (if I miss any). Also correct me if I'm wrong or compliment me if I'm right in any case :)
- Above points are written based on my assumptions (not experience).

- Mothukuru Sreenivas