Competency Based Interviews
linkdy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career. You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this
Many job search and promotion interviews are now competency based. Competency based interviews provide the interviewer with a quick way to assess whether you have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to do a good job. And competency consists of these three elements;
- Knowledge – how much you know about something,
- Attitude – how you approach something
- Skills – how good you are at applying your knowledge
A competency based question will usually ask you to take something from your own experience. This could be, for example, how you managed a difficult situation or how you showed leadership. You will then need to explain how that demonstrated your competency. And the easiest way to do this is to use the STAR format.
Competency Based Interviews – using the STAR format
The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format may be used by the interviewer to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires. But you can use it yourself to help you answer questions.
- Situation: The interviewer will ask you to describe a recent challenge or situation you encountered. You will need to explain the context; your role and what the work was about.
- Task: The interviewer will want to know what you needed to do and what you wanted to achieve. Sometimes you may be asked about a “Target” that you set yourself rather than a “Task.” This will illustrate the strength of your motivation and, for example, your commitment to self development.
- Action: You will need to describe what you did, why and how? Were there alternative actions that you could have taken and why didn’t you choose them. Set out the steps you took in logical order.
- Results: What was the outcome? What did you achieve and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn and how have you used that learning since.
Be concise, crisp and clear
Make sure that your answers are concise, crisp and to the point. Be careful not to meander away from the main points. Make sure the interviewer understands the situation and the action you took clearly. Be sure you don’t blame anyone for the problem you faced.
Competency based interviews give you a good opportunity to demonstrate what you can offer to an employer. And they are something for which you can prepare. Read the job specification carefully and identify the competencies required. Then, find examples from your own experience and think them through using the STAR structure above.
Good luck with your interview and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at interviews and job search.