You’ve been invited for an interview and been told that it’s a competency-based interview, but you’re not sure what that means or what to expect.
Competency-based interviews are based on the idea that past behaviour is the predictor of future behaviour. Every job can be described in terms of key competencies and can include:
During the interview the interviewer will be trying to get an overall impression of you as a person, including what your strengths and weaknesses are. Competency-based interview questions will ask you to give an example of a certain situation, what happened, what you did and how it was resolved.
Example questions include:
To prepare for this type of interview first review the job specification and then identify the competencies that are likely to be assessed. Next review your CV and identify two examples for each competency that you will refer to in the interview (if you find this exercise difficult it could be a good indication that the job may not suit you).
Use the STAR model to structure your answers:
For example, if they’re looking for someone with teamwork and leadership skills, think of a situation where you’ve demonstrated this.
Using the STAR technique above your answer might be:
‘I demonstrated my teamwork and leadership abilities when I was asked to lead and delivered a presentation to some clients on how we could improve their hiring practices. Before the presentation I put together a small team of colleagues to help me collate information on market trends and competitor analysis, the results of which enabled us to offer a competitive price to the client during the presentation which resulted in us winning the businesses’. The length of your answer should be roughly 2-3 minutes long.
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