Most jobseekers fear them but I say embrace them. Ok competency interviews are more difficult BUT they mean that the client has put some though into the recruitment process. This means that you will not be assessed on you interview ability or what school you went to. Instead you will be assessed against the key behaviours and competencies for the role. This will reduce the chance of a wrong hire for the client BUT more importantly a wrong job for you.
What is a competency based interview?
These interviews are based on the theory that past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour. It uses probing questions such as “tell me about a time when you failed to achieve a specific goal” or give me a specific example of a time when you managed a number of projects simultaneously”. You need to prepare for competency interviews by recalling specific examples. You can also expect the interviewer to probe for more details on the situation you describe. If you have work experience great but if you do not use project, college of hobbies to provide examples.
How to prepare for competency based interviews?
You can ask for the competencies you will be assessed against. If these are not available try to work out what competencies will be assessed or hunt out similar job descriptions. Then use the STAR technique to prepare.
Situation or Task – Describe the situation, be specific and avoid generalization. Give the interviewer enough information so they understand.
Action – Describe the action taken and ensure you focus on “you” and not the team.
Result – What was the outcome or what happened? What did you achieve? What where the learning opportunities?
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