Competency Areas for Non-Exempt Jobs

You can select questions from Interview Questions Worksheets in the following 14 competency areas to develop job interviews that meet the unique needs of your organization when hiring employees for hourly jobs / wage jobs:

Oral Communication / Listening

  • Expressing thoughts, ideas, and opinions clearly, fluently, and concisely
  • Listening attentively to others and responding appropriately to their questions and comments
  • Asking appropriate questions in order to obtain information and to determine the needs of others
  • Comprehending and following oral instructions

Written Communication / Documentation

  • Preparing and maintaining timely, accurate, and complete records
  • Securing, consolidating, and recording information on applicable forms, logs, and computer screens

Co-Worker Relations / Teamwork

  • Working effectively and cooperatively with co-workers (e.g., peers, management)
  • Showing appreciation and respect for co-workers' values, ideas, and perspectives
  • Demonstrating a willingness to participate as a "team" member to improve the overall effectiveness of one's work group and to achieve group goals

Customer Relations

  • Establishing and maintaining harmonious relations with internal and external customers by being courteous and helpful
  • Showing appreciation and respect for customers' needs, expectations and perspectives
  • Representing one's organization by demonstrating behaviors that reflect an attitude of customer service, responsiveness, and concern

Problem Solving

  • Using good judgment and discretion with minimal guidance or supervision
  • Applying a systematic process for understanding and defining problems encountered on one's job
  • Developing alternative solutions and using resources creatively in addressing existing or anticipated work problems

Work Organization/Time Management

  • Organizing one's own work activities and using time management techniques to meet deadlines
  • Achieving work objectives in a systematic, efficient, and timely manner
  • Keeping one's work area orderly and organized
  • Selecting and organizing the appropriate resources needed to achieve work objectives

Quality Orientation

  • Producing work outcomes that are accurate, complete, and compatible with quality standards
  • Handling work requiring attention to detail and thoroughness
  • Achieving results that reflect an appreciation for quality and high personal standards of performance

Initiative and Perseverance

  • Initiating job activities without prompting from others
  • Influencing situations in order to achieve work objectives
  • Remaining committed to job activities and completing them even when obstacles and delays impede progress

Personal Integrity

  • Accomplishing work objectives in a conscientious and reliable manner
  • Assuming full responsibility for one's own actions and decisions (e.g., following through on promises, maintaining confidentiality, being honest)


  • Adapting to changes in job demands, work priorities, and organizational structure without adverse effects on one's job performance
  • "Switching gears" quickly in response to changes at work

Stress Tolerance

  • Achieving work objectives under frequent pressures, deadlines, and productivity demands
  • Responding constructively to difficult situations on one's job

Self Development

  • Taking the initiative in identifying one's own strengths and development needs
  • Demonstrating a willingness and ability to stay abreast of changes in one's job
  • Using the appropriate resources for learning new work procedures, practices, and techniques

Organizational Commitment

  • Being motivated to meet or exceed productivity and quality standards on one's job
  • Demonstrating commitment to organizational values, goals, and policies
  • Using work time conscientiously and maintaining an acceptable attendance record

Safety Awareness

  • Understanding the importance of using safety equipment and following safety procedures to protect oneself, customers, and the public
  • Demonstrating a willingness to take the necessary precautions to decrease the chance of accidents
  • Paying constant attention to safety considerations and the prevention of accidents on the job