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  • Writer's pictureDini Habib

How do I prepare for competency-based interview questions?

Competency-based interview questions are a popular way to assess job candidates. Unlike traditional interview questions that focus on your past experience and qualifications, competency-based interview questions are designed to measure your skills and abilities in specific areas related to the job role. Here's how to prepare for competency-based interview questions and ace your next job interview.

Research the job requirements and technical and transferable skills needed.

Before your interview, thoroughly research the job requirements and competencies listed in the job description. This will give you an idea of the skills and abilities the employer is looking for and help you tailor your responses to the interview questions. For example, if the job requires strong leadership skills, you can prepare to discuss when you successfully led a team.

Use the STAR technique.

The STAR technique is a useful framework for answering competency-based interview questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When answering a question, describe the situation, explain the task or challenge you faced, outline the action you took to overcome it and discuss the result or outcome. This will help you provide a structured, detailed response demonstrating your skills and abilities. For example, if you are asked to describe a time when you had to solve a problem, you could use the STAR technique as follows:

  • Situation: I was working on a project that was over budget and over budget.

  • Task: My task was to find a way to reduce costs and speed up the project timeline.

  • Action: I conducted a thorough project analysis and identified several areas to cut costs and streamline processes.

  • Result: By implementing my recommendations, we reduced costs by 20% and completed the project on time.

Prepare examples.

Competency-based interview questions often ask you to provide examples of times when you demonstrated a particular skill or ability. To prepare for these questions, consider specific examples from your past work experience showcasing your skills and abilities. For example, if the job requires strong communication skills, you could prepare to discuss when you successfully resolved a conflict with a coworker or client.

Understand the types of questions.

There are several types of competency-based interview questions that you may encounter, including:

  • Behavioural questions: These questions ask you to describe a specific situation and how you handled it. For example, "Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult team member?"

  • Situational questions ask you to imagine a hypothetical situation and how you would respond. For example, "What would you do if a client was unhappy with your work?"

  • Knowledge-based questions test your knowledge of a particular subject related to the job role. For example, "What is your understanding of project management methodologies?"

Examples of jobs that use commonly use competency-based interview questions.

Competency-based interview questions are used across a variety of job roles and industries. Here are some examples of jobs that are likely to use competency-based interview questions:

  • Project Manager

  • Sales Representative

  • Customer Service Representative

  • Marketing Manager

  • Human Resources Manager

  • Team Administrator

By following these tips and preparing for competency-based interview questions, you can showcase your skills and abilities to potential employers and increase your chances of landing your desired job.

Good luck!


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