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Competency based interviews are becoming increasingly more common and work on the principle that past behaviour is the best indicator of how people will behave in the future.
The interview is focussed around a group of competencies / behaviours that are required for success in the role, with the interviewer asking a number of questions which will allow you to demonstrate how your previous experience and expertise relates to these competences. As you move through the questions, the interviewer will take you through what each question is asking and the information that is being sought. The information will require you to refer to your past experiences within / outside work and will be centred on your own actions and learning.
Competencies can be split into five areas:
These refer to the personal attributes required for the role and can include decisiveness, initiative, knowledge, independence, integrity, tenacity and flexibility.
These refer to your ability to manage others and can include leadership, empowerment, planning, organisation, strategic thinking and project management.
These refer to your ability to interact with others and can include communication, openness, relationship building and ability to work as part of a team.
These refer to your decision making abilities and can include analytical skills, problem solving, attention to detail, innovation and practical learning.
These refer to the things that drive you and can include motivation, results focus, resilience, initiative, energy and quality focus
The job description may include a list of the key competences required for the role. If not it may be worthwhile phoning the HR department for the information. This will allow you to reflect on your past and prepare a good number of relevant examples in advance. Some interviewers may even allow you to refer to your notes.
We recommend using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach, to ensure that you answer the questions in a structured manner.
Situation – Describe the situation or problem.
Task – Outline the task that was required to solve the issue or problem.
Action – Describe the positive actions that you took and any obstacles that you overcame.
Result – Describe in detail the positive result.
If you require any further guidance on preparing for a competency based interview, please do not hesitate to contact us.