Competency based interview tips

In a competency based interview the interviewer is ultimately looking for you to demonstrate examples of when you have used certain skills and abilities.

Quite often, the competencies the interviewer is looking for can be found in the job description provided, so take some time to think about the times when you have demonstrated the core skills listed on there in the past.

Once you are in the interview, you must ensure that you structure your answer. When the interviewer asks you to describe when you have worked in a team or when you have dealt with conflict, for example, you must answer the question having thought back to your examples, but in a set manner:

  • Firstly, set the scene by explaining the background behind the example you are about the give. This should only take around 10-20 seconds.
  • Next, talk about your part in that. For example, when talking about team work, it is a common mistake for people to refer to terms such as ‘the team did this…’ or ‘we did that…’ It is extremely important that you bear in mind that you are there to talk about yourself, your skills and your experience. Remember to talk about the role you personally played in previous jobs.
  • Then go on to explain the outcome of that action, was it positive or negative?
  • Finally, talk about what you have learnt from the experience. If the outcome was negative, explain how you would have handled it differently. The interviewer is looking to hear that you have learnt and developed from the experience.

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