The Competency-Based Interview & How to Prepare

Competency-Based Interview

The Competency-Based Interview & How to Prepare

Like with any interview, the key to success in a competency-based interview is PREPARATION!

This particular use of interviewing technique allows the interviewer to explore your core skills, by enquiring about your past experience and how you approach certain situations. Your past work behaviour gives a good indication of your suitability for a future role. You will be expected to give real-life examples of situations you have faced. It is really important therefore, that you do your homework before going in for your competency-based interview.

There are a number of core competencies that interviewers might focus their questions around, such as:

          Communication skills       Planning & Organisation      Teamwork         Adaptability

               Management & Leadership skills               Analytical & Problem-solving skills

Before the interview, go through the job description and highlight any key skills listed. For each one you find, prepare an example of how you have used that skill in your past experience. If you cannot relate it to a work environment, then don’t be afraid to occasionally use examples from your home life or even your time at university.

Consider using the STAR Technique for each skill listed:

Situation – describe the situation you were in?

Task– what did you have to do to resolve the situation?

Action – how did you approach and complete the task?

Result – what was the outcome?

To help you along, we have listed a few examples of the sorts of questions you might get asked. Try and adapt the STAR Technique to each one:
  • Give an example of a time when you had to work as a team to solve a problem
  • Tell me about an event or project you have been involved in
  • Describe a time when you had to show initiative
  • Give an example of a situation where you had to deal with conflict
  • Tell me how you prioritise your workload on a daily basis?
  • Describe something you achieved at work that you’re really proud of
  • Describe a time when you initiated a new approach or had to influence others to your way of thinking
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to adapt to change
  • Give an example of a time you made a mistake. How did you resolve it?

Good luck!