Handling Competency Based Interview Questions

Interviews can be daunting at the best of times. However, with preparation, careful planning and by practising interview techniques you can give yourself a head-start from other applicants. One of the most challenging questions interviewers commonly ask is related to your ability to carry out duties.

We are frequently asked on how you should answer competency based interview questions. Therefore, we thought we would share this fantastic interview technique that has helped many people overcome this testing part of the interview process.

Firstly, what is a competency-based interview question?

Simply, they are questions where you will be asked to explain where you have demonstrated a particular hard or soft skill. You’ll often be asked these types of questions to help the interviewer gauge your previous performance and assess your, potential, future performance.

How should I answer these types of questions?

There are a few interview techniques that you can use to help you compose a response to competency questions. Typically, at Regional Recruitment Services, we suggest using STAR technique, as it is simple to apply but enables you to give a meaningful answer.

Star stands for: Situation, Task, Action, Results

1 ) Situation and Task

When using this interview technique, you need to describe the situation that you were in.

Give context to your story but ensure that it is concise and informative, focusing solely on what is useful to the example. Once this is done, you can then talk about the task that you needed to complete within this scenario.

2 ) Action

This is the most important part of the STAR technique, as it is where you demonstrate and highlight the skills you are referring to. By explaining what action you took to complete the task. When talking about what you did, you should try to be:

  • Personal, talk about you, not the team.
  • Go into some detail, never assume the interviewer will know what you are talking about.
  • Unless it is crucial to the answer, try not to use technical information as it can be confusing.
  • Explain what you did, how you did it and why you did it.

3 ) Result

Finally, you need to explain how the example that you have given ended. In this step, you should describe what you accomplished and learnt from the situation. Doing this help to make your answer personal whilst giving you another opportunity to highlight your skills. Concluding what happened is crucial to your answer, as interviewers want to know that you use a variety of generic skills in order to achieve your objectives.

If you would like some additional help with your interview preparation, get in touch with us and one of our team will help you out. Or download our infographic to take away some of the key points.

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