Home: Competency Interviews
Competency based interviews are becoming more and more popular with interviewers worldwide, so you're right to want to prepare for them.
In the next few pages, you'll discover:
Soon you'll be feeling confident about your competency based interview and ready to deal with anything your interviewers throw at you.
Competency interviews are about finding out how competently you performed in work situations in the past. Interviewers realize that how you did perform in the past is a better prediction of how you will perform in the future, compared to asking you how you would perform in a given situation.
So instead of asking you: "How would you deal with a difficult customer?" they ask you: "Describe a time when you dealt with a difficult customer". The interviewers want to know what you did in that situation, why you did it and what the outcome was.
To decide what interview questions to ask, the interviewers think about the job role and what key competences are needed to do it effectively. They draw up questions designed to find out if you are indeed competent at this things.
Here's an example: Let's say the job requires someone who can work under pressure, in a busy office for example. The interviewers will come up with questions to find out how well you worked in pressurized situations before. They will be interested in how you felt, what actions you took and the results of those actions. They might even ask what you'd do differently next time.
As well as looking for positive indicators that you are competent, interviewers also watch for negative indicators which will go against you. These include seeing challenge and change as a problem, failing to get help when appropriate, taking things personally and so on.
To obtain the most from their competency interview questions, interviewers look for the following key components in your answers (STAR).
Has the candidate explained the situation he/she was in and in which he/she took action?
Has the candidate explained what they did in response to the situation?
Has the candidate explained the outcome that resulted from their action?
If you've not given enough detail, the interviewers will usually follow-up with extra questions, such as:
To prepare for competency based interviews, follow these 5 steps:
Here are some of the competences you may be asked to evidence in competency interviews, plus example questions:
We are adding more competency interview questions each week so revisit this page regularly for updates.