How to deal with competency based interviews?

Increasingly, interviews are based on competencies. These are particular skills and qualities they are looking for in a candidate. Some examples of competencies are:

Leadership
Team working
Communication skills
Conflict management
Delegation
Influencing
Risk taking
Integrity

Preparation

Check on the competencies required in the job description or the application form. Then think about examples from your work when you have demonstrated them. It is important when talking about competencies to always give examples. Usually they will ask for this: “Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication skills to influence someone.”

Make notes in bullet form so that you can review them before the interview. If possible have two examples of each one because sometimes they ask you for another example.

Don’t worry about stating the obvious. What may seem obvious to you, still needs saying. For example you may believe that you are acting with integrity all the time but you still need to come up with a specific example. If you don’t say it, then they can’t give you credit for it. You could say something like: “My aim is to act with integrity at all times but I suppose a particular example where that became important was…”

Delivery

When answering this type of competency question try using the following ‘STAR’ structure to give coherence to you answers.

S for Situation: What was the situation you found yourself in? Set the scene with a couple of sentences. Don’t go into too much detail at this point – save that for later.

T for Task: What was it you had to do? What was the project?

A for Action: This part is crucial. What did you do? How did you influence the outcome? What effective behaviours did you display?

R for Result : People often forget this part. So make sure you end by clearly stating what happened as a result of your actions.

Using this structure will give your answers clarity and direction and will help you to speak to the point and to know that you’ve given the right amount of information.

Practice

Practice using the STAR technique, but don’t learn answers off by heart as this can sound over-prepared and inauthentic. Instead become familiar with discussing the examples so that when it is required you are able to speak fluently and precisely.

Arnab Ghosh

My name is Arnab Ghosh. I have been working as a Corporate professional for the past 19 years. After completing my graduation from City College {University of Calcutta}, I started my career with R.S.Software India, followed by Vedika Software Pvt.Ltd. Have worked with industry giants such as Convergys, Satyam Nipuna Services, Wipro BPO, Tata Teleservices Limited, Aircel, TaxiForSure, Brainware University among others. I am a certified trainer from Aircel Academy – Manager As a Coach & Trainer. I have also completed certifications from TBO Academy & Alison Education in the field of “Soft Skills“, the knowledge of which I apply to my students at my University regularly. I have also successfully completed “The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” certification from Google and “Digital Marketing Course” from TBO Academy. I was awarded “Google Analytics for Beginners” certificate by Google after successfully completing their course. I have achieved CEFR level B2 (Upper Intermediate) in a test of English proficiency from the British Council English Score. I am a bundle of drive, energy, commitment, and dedication and firmly believe in living my life in my own terms, be it working my heart out to achieve business targets or enjoying my spare time doing things that give me joy and feelings of contentment. My hobbies include reading books & listening to music and blogging. I sincerely believe that one should never lose focus in life and that one has to put in a lot of hard work & effort to reach the top.

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