To make the interview process as standard and as fair as possible, interviewers opt to undertake Competency-based interviews. More and more large organisations are using this technique when multiple managers are interviewing for the same position.
Competency Based Interviewing can sometimes be referred to as Structured Interviewing or Evidence-Based Interviewing and there are two common approaches; one is to ask a series of questions, targeted at each of the core competencies while the other involves in-depth probing questions with the interviewer actively listening for clues which provide evidence that the candidate possesses the necessary skills.
The word competency is widely used in business environments and refers to the skills that are necessary to achieve an effective performance level in the job. Every job will have a set of key competencies, some of which are essential and others desired and all are required to do the job properly.
When preparing for a Competency Based Interview the experienced interviewer will draw up a list of questions relating to each competency and all directed towards discovering if the candidate has the necessary skills.
The most common types of questions asked in Competency Based Interviews are behavioural-based. These are also called Situational and are used as a tool to discover how your behaviour in a previous role or situation can contribute to your performance in the job being recruited for.
These will usually start with phrases such as:
Your interviewer may also choose to ask direct questions such as:
When you have demonstrated and proven the competencies you are being asked about within a work environment. If you cannot think of a specific example at work has there been a time outside of work e.g. at school/university, during voluntary work or within your leisure activities (e.g. a sports team) that you can utilise? If possible, try to avoid describing how you ‘would’ approach a situation – only do this is if you cannot think of real life examples. An excellent way to structure your answers to competency-based questions is to use the STAR technique.
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