A guide to competency based interviews

A competency based interview is a great way to assess candidates' skills and abilities. In this type of interview, employers ask questions about past behaviour to determine if the candidate has the skills and abilities required for the job.

Competency based interviews are often used for positions that require specific skills, such as customer service or technical support. They are also sometimes used for managerial or leadership positions. Employersuse this interview method as a way to evaluate whether the candidate has the required skill level to carry out the work competently and effectively.

Skills to Look for During an Interview

With this style of interview, there are several skills you should look out for:

Communication - Can the candidateexpress themselves clearly and concisely? Do they listen well? A competency based interview will assess how well the candidate communicates. This could be using a series of questions and grading the candidates response or giving them an exercise or assessment to complete.

Problem Solving - Does the candidate have the ability to identify problems and come up with creative solutions? In-tray exercises are a great tool for assessing problem solving abilities.

Flexibility - Is the candidate able to adapt to change and handle new situations? In an increasingly fluid business landscape across all industries, employees must be flexible in terms of their approach to a project, working style or methods. The ability to change course quickly is important.

Leadership - Does the candidate have the ability to motivate and inspire others? Leadership is one of the most valued skills. If you are recruiting for a managerial role, the candidate must demonstrate they can use their leadership skills to direct a team and overcome challenges.

While it’s good to know what skills competency interviews can measure, it is also important to know how to assess competencies through interview questions.

Competency Based Interview Questions

The questions you ask should be carefully thought out as they will be an attempt to learn more about the candidate and uncover the specific skills they have which will be useful for the role they have applied for. Some of the questions you could ask include:

Describe your biggest achievement to date - The purpose of this question is to determine what the candidate considers to be an achievement and how they completed the task.

Explain a situation where you showed problem solving abilities - Designed to assess how well a candidate approaches problem solving. Is their approach logical? It also highlights their thought processes they went through to solve the issue.

How do you cope with challenging situations? - This question will show how the candidate reacts under pressure. Are they able to stay calm and think clearly or do they crumble? It will also explore the way in which the candidate approaches problems and their approach to resolving or overcoming difficult situations.

Not all questions must be competency based. Aim to achieve a good balance between competency interview questions and traditional questions that allow you to find out more about the candidate.

As you review interview answers, make sure that candidate responses are evaluated against the STAR criteria. Candidate responses should be structured around:

Situation - Describe the situation you were in or the task that you needed to complete.

Task - What did you need to do?

Action - What steps did you take to complete the task or achieve the goal?

Result - What was the outcome of your actions? Did you meet your goals?

When conducting a competency based interview, it is important to ask specific and detailed questions. The answers to these questions will help you to determine if the candidate has the skills and abilities required for the job.

Here are some tips for conducting a competency based interview:

1. Decide which competencies are required for the position. Choose between 3 and 5 core competencies.

2. Prepare a list of questions that will assess those competencies.

3. Ask the candidate to provide specific examples of when they have demonstrated the required competencies.

4. Listen carefully to the answers and take notes.

5. Use the answers to determine if the candidate has the skills and abilities required for the job.

Competency based interviews can be an effective way to assess candidates' skills and abilities. By asking specific and detailed questions, you can determine if the candidate has the necessary skills for the job.