Role Play Interview Questions | How To Prepare For It

Role plays test how candidates might approach difficult situations that frequently occur in the corporate world.

Through role play interview questions, the interviewers paint hypothetical or real-life situations to see how the interviewee responds and also check their suitability for the job.

In this article, we explain a role play interview, describe what to expect during a role play interview, list its benefits, offer tips for a successful role play interview, and list possible role play interview questions to expect.

Table of contents

What’s Role Play Interview?

According to Indeed, a role play interview is a type of interview in which your prospective employer gives you a scenario to act out.

The role play interview, in most situations, simulates a situation you’re likely to face in the role for which you’re seeking.

Role plays assess how candidates respond to challenging situations regularly in the workplace. Interviewers frequently ask applicants to play the part of a specific corporate employee and respond to hypothetical or real-life scenarios.

After being given a brief description of the situation, the candidate will have several minutes to prepare for their part, which will typically mimic something that could happen in the job that they are seeking.

Also read: 10 Important Interview Etiquette that You Must Keep to Secure a Job in 2023

What Should I Expect In A Role Play Interview?

Role play interviews vary in duration and format, but they share some common qualities. Depending on the scenario’s complexity, they typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

In most cases, the interviewer or hiring manager will present you with a scenario and offer you the knowledge you need to solve the problem. You’ll often have enough time to plan a strategy before getting started.

Following the explanation and preparation, you will execute the competency test with the help of one or more staff members who will play the other roles.

After you’ve solved the challenge, the interviewer will evaluate and provide feedback on your role-playing performance.

You can read this: Top 20 Bank Teller Interview Questions and Answers

Are There Benefits Of Role Play Interviews?

Role play interviews are very different from standard interviews, which are typically more conversational. Role play interviews, on the other hand, can be really beneficial. Consider the following benefits:

1. Demonstrate skills

One of the most significant advantages of a role play interview is the opportunity to show your skills rather than just talking about them in a conversational interview.

2. It applies to the job

Oftentimes, the scenario you role play is one you’re likely to encounter while on the job, helping you prepare effectively for the position.

3. Receive instant feedback

Most standard interviews don’t contain quick feedback on your performance from the hiring manager, however, role play interviews nearly always include an assessment and feedback component after the scenario is completed.

4. Interact with employees

You’ll have the chance to meet current company employees and work with them during the role play. This is an opportunity you don’t usually get during a traditional interview.

How To Prepare For Role Play Interviews

Nothing beats preparation. To perform well in role play interview questions, here are a few tips to guide you:

1. Research potential role play interview questions

Consider the role you are applying for and the obstacles or scenarios you would encounter in that capacity. This can help you figure out the circumstances you’ll face throughout your role play interview.

2. Practice with a friend

You can ask a friend to help you perform a practice role play interview using a scenario you’ve researched online. This way, you’ll have some understanding before going into your actual interview.

3. Review the job description

Use the job description to figure out what abilities and attributes the hiring manager will be looking for during the role play interview. Knowing which talents to emphasize during the interview will aid in the development of an effective role-playing plan.

Check this: Secret Service Hiring Process | Job Application, Interviews, and Employment

4. Record yourself while practising

Examine the records of your practice sessions for areas where you might improve.

During the role play exercise, employers will evaluate your communication skills and body language, so make sure you appear natural, confident, and professional. Examine your posture and movements, and refrain from saying “um” or “ah” during the talk.

5. Enlist help from others

Ask friends or colleagues in your industry to help you specify potential scenarios you might encounter during your role play interview.

6. Do a background study on the company

Studying the company’s history is crucial since you may need to base your role play talk on specific facts about the organization, so make sure you have your points straight.

The significant participants in that industry, competitors, years of establishment, and successes, must all be known.

When the interviewer sees that you have done your homework before the interview, he will be impressed.

It shows that you are enthusiastic about the job. As a result, look over the company’s website, bulletins, periodicals, and customer reviews.

7. Always ask questions 

If you have questions during your role play interview, ask them during the preparation period. Having the correct information will help you perform better during the role play itself.

8. Be confident

Confidence is crucial in a competency-based interview. You will receive unfavourable criticism if you enter an interview weak and frightened and fail to deal with the situation calmly and professionally.

Make sure you understand what you’re doing in a given situation and maintain positive body language.

Read also: How to Get into Acting Jobs with no Prior Knowledge

Why Are Role Play Interviews Conducted?

Role play interviews are one of the most effective techniques to assess a candidate’s suitability for a certain role.

This is not only because the scenarios are representative of real-life work settings, but it also allows a candidate to exhibit their capacity to work under pressure.

You may also be required to display other talents linked to the assignment, such as leadership and communication skills, depending on the task.

While these skills may be examined during a competency-based interview, you must exhibit them throughout the recruitment process, or your interviewer will assume that you are only claiming to have them rather than having them.

In a role-playing environment, maintain your self-confidence; others will be nervous.

Possible Role Play Interviews Questions

In an interview, role-play questions otherwise known as competency-based interviews are used to assess a candidate’s interpersonal abilities.

When the interviewer asks such questions, he pretends to be a customer or client, and the candidate is expected to sell him a product or an idea.

Here’s an example of role play interview questions that are mostly conversational:

  • Why do I need to choose your company
  • What are the benefits your company offers
  • If I am able to get the same product at a lesser price, then why should I choose your product?
  • What makes your product unique and different from others?

Here are some examples of possible role-play scenarios that you might be given for different job types.

1. Sales role play interview example

You’re a door-to-door salesman, and your goal is to persuade the next person who opens their door to purchase a refrigerator. Your goal is to come up with practical remedies to any of their objections.

2. Manager role play interview example

You got promoted ahead of a coworker. As a result, your colleague has chosen to work for a major competitor. Your goal is to persuade your coworker to stay without jeopardizing the reputation of your organization.

Also, you can check this: What is an Informal Interview and How Does It Work?

3. Customer service role play interview example

An irate customer complains that a security door they purchased from your company did not prevent a break-in at their home.

They are threatening to file a complaint with the consumer protection agency. Your goal is to resolve the customer’s problem while causing the least amount of damage to the company’s reputation and money.

FAQs On Role Play Interviews

What is the purpose of role play in interviews?

Role play interviews use the best scenarios that reflect common work situations, to test a candidate’s suitability for the job.

What are the things required for the role play?

The main rules of the test are as follows: role plays must be focused; objectives must be explicit and understandable; instructions must be clear and understandable; and feedback must be specific, relevant, and timely.

What do you learn from role play?

Role playing helps you develop empathy towards others by experiencing new perspectives. It also increases your problem-solving skills and self-expression through communication

How can I prepare for a role play interview question?

To prepare for a role play interview question, review the job description and identify the skills and competencies required for the position. Research the company and its culture, and practice responding to common interview questions. Consider practising with a friend or family member to simulate a role play scenario.

How should I approach a role play interview question?

To approach a role play interview question, listen carefully to the instructions and ask clarifying questions if needed. Take a moment to think about the scenario and how you would approach it, and then communicate your plan clearly and confidently. Be sure to incorporate relevant skills and competencies and use examples from your past experience to support your answers.

What are some common role play interview questions?

Some common role play interview questions include: “How would you handle a difficult customer?” “How would you handle a team conflict?” “How would you handle a stressful situation?” “How would you handle a sales pitch?” “How would you handle a problem with a coworker?”


If you encounter a difficult role play interview question, don’t waffle. Say what you have to say concisely and then wait for the next question. More is not necessarily better in an interview — if you talk too much around a question and add unnecessary verbiage you’ll just look nervous.


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