KSA questions are the questions about work which many people stumble over at interviews. Interviewees usually do know how to answer KSA questions, but in the interview environment, these questions can be trouble if you’re not prepared for them. KSA interview questions can be very straightforward, or tricky.
What are KSA questions?
The letters KSA stand for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. KSA questions will typically cover all three areas.
Knowledge includes your formal qualifications, training, and experience. In your interview, knowledge-related KSA questions will relate directly to the position description and the job.
Skills are generally defined as manual verbal or mental skills. Skills-related KSA questions will relate to specific required job skills.
Abilities mean literally your ability to perform particular tasks. Abilities-related KSA questions may require you to describe how you perform a task at work.
Important – Consider your answers carefully!
Many interviewees simply don’t adequately answer KSA questions. For example – In a hypothetical job description, one of the requirements is to operate a particular type of content management system:
Don’t just say – “I work with a CMS system”, when asked about your experience on these systems. This simply doesn’t tell the interviewers everything they need to know.
Say – “I work with a (give system name) content management system and/or I have trained/worked on the particular content management system.” This answer gives far more useful and accurate information and better showcases your Knowledge Skills and Abilities.
KSA interview questions and answers
Some KSA questions are very general in nature, and you will need to be careful to make sure that your answer is adequate to address all the requirements of these questions.
For this section, we will provide either specific or generalized answers.
Question 1: What experience do you have operating Microsoft Windows software?
I have experience with Windows 7, Windows 8, Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint. I use Excel daily in my work in the accounts department, and am proficient in managing accounts spreadsheets. I use Word for internal and external correspondence, including creating macros. I use Outlook for company emails.
Question 2: Give us an example of your ability to work in a team.
I work in a team of 12 people. My teammates and I organize our work together, contributing to the total team effort. I contribute my specialist knowledge in (refer to essential skills related to the position) with the group to achieve our goals.
Question 3: Tell us something about the scope of your current work.
Provide a description of specific tasks in your work which relate directly to the requirements of the position to help your interviewers assess your KSA statement.
Question 4: Give us an example of your exercising leadership at work.
Describe a case in which you were required to take leadership of the work of your team. Provide a straightforward description of the needs of the situation, and clearly describe your solution, defining your achievements.
Question 5: Describe your experience in working with customer information systems.
Describe clearly the customer account information systems you work with. Explain the work you do, like managing client account details, the customer service you provide, reporting systems, system management, and related information.
Question 6: Give us an example of a problem you faced at work, and how you solved it.
Explain the problem, and why it was important. Guide your interviewers through your solution to the problem, explaining how your solution worked and what you achieved.
Question 7: What experience do you have in client relations management?
Describe your experience working in client relations, including use of CRM systems, and formal internal procedures for client relations management and reporting. Also describe the extent of your experience in terms of time and complexity.
Question 8: What supervisory experience do you have?
Describe your supervisory experience, detailing your specific supervisory role, your time in the role, and the number of people you supervise. Your interviewers should receive a straightforward, easy to understand description of your experience.
Question 9: What experience do you have in this role?
Summarize your experience which directly relates to the position. If you work with related areas, explain the relationship.
Question 10: What ongoing training or formal education studies are you doing?
Give a simple description of your training or studies, including where you’re studying, and the qualification or certification for which you are studying.