What is a competency based interview?
Competency and behavioral interviews are based on the belief that past actions are a strong indicator of future performance. They focus on the specific skills required to succeed in a particular role e.g. communication, negotiation, drive etc. The interviewer is looking for a specific example that demonstrates that you possess the competency required. In order to prepare for a competency interview you must analyse the job, pick out the skills and traits they are looking for and then identify the specific experiences you have had that highlight these skills and traits. • • • • You will be questioned in detail about each competency so use a solid example where you can remember a lot of detail. You may use examples from Work, College or extra curricular activities. Be specific in your examples, don’t generalise Have a number of specific examples ready – don’t keep using the same one, The best way to answer the question is to use the three-step STAR process
Situation or Task - Describe the situation you were in or the task you had been assigned Action -Describe the action YOU took, the suggestions YOU made, the obstacles YOU overcame Result - Highlight the positive result that was achieved as a result of your actions. For example, you could explain about a specific time when communication broke down within your project group (situation). To resolve the problem, you scheduled informal meetings for people to discuss relevant issues (action). Morale then improved, as did the lines of communication and you came in the Top 5 in the class (result).
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Describe the achievement of which you are most proud. What was challenging about what you did?Tell me about a time when you have incorporated other ideas to improve your own performance What positions of responsibility have you held and what did you enjoy most and least about these? Tell me about a goal you have had and didn’t achieve. What did you do about it? Tell me about a time when you had a particularly heavy workload. How did you deal with this? What aspect of the situation did you find most difficult? Tell me about the most challenging aspects of one of the positions of responsibility you hold (or have held in the past)? Tell me about a situation where you had to persevere to complete a major task whilst under pressure or in the face of setbacks / adversity. Tell me about a situation where you have had to use your initiative. What was the outcome Give an example of when you have produced a piece of work for someone that exceeded their expectations. Tell me about a situation where you have been criticised with good reason. How did you react?Describe a situation where you have worked hard to ensure a good relationship with someone you worked for. How will you approach studying for your final exams? Can you talk about a project you worked on which did not go as well as planned?What you will be rated on: Positive • Sets and achieves challenging objectives • Plans in a structured manner and finishes tasks • • • • • • • • • Takes on positions of responsibility and makes things happen Have researched the career opportunities at the firm applied to –Knows about training, career progression etc When under pressure, gets things done Takes the initiative and drives own career Overcomes and learns from setbacks Responds positively to challenges Seeks ways of bettering him /herself through feedback Shows enthusiasm for work and challenges Prioritises conflicting demands Negative Achieves no more than the minimum expected Does not see things through when challenges occur Does not stretch him / herself Changes course without good reason Relies on others to make things happen for him/ herself Shows no evidence of setting personal goals / targets Fails to met deadlines Leaves work unfinished Shows poor judgment in prioritising work Resistant to change Does not respond quickly to others’ needs
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