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Competency Based Interviews

Competency based interviews are now commonly used by employers and recruiters. If you have an interview coming up, it’s important to understand what a competency based interview is and how best to prepare for it. Here are my top tips:

What is a Competency-Based Interview?

Competency-based interviews (also called structured or behavioural interviews) are interviews with questions that target a specific skill or competency. Candidates will be asked questions relating to their behaviour in specific circumstances, which they then need to back up with situational examples of times in the past when they have performed particular tasks or achieved particular outcomes using certain skills.

 How to Prepare for a Competency Based Interview

Read the job description thoroughly.

Often key competencies will be stated on the job description – if not ask ahead what the key competencies are for the role.

For each competency:

  • Think of 1 or 2 examples drawn from your previous work experience (as recent as possible) that will demonstrate your competency (ability) in that area.
  • Make sure your answers have context, are always in the 1st Person and explain the outcome.
  • Write down your examples – it will help you remember them in an interview situation.

Julia Pennington, Managing Director

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