As recruitment specialists, we often are asked for advice when it comes to interviews.
This blog focuses on competency-based interviews. Ultimately, this interview is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills and ability to do the job you are being assessed for. By matching the role profile competencies provided in the job description to specific examples from your past in preparation for the interview, you should confidently be able to cover any given scenario.
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How to prepare for competency interview questions
Plan and prepare
This may sound obvious, but interviews take practice. There will be a number of questions you will naturally be ready for, but there will be many that are designed to challenge you. The key here is to have examples ready, but you must deliver them in a natural way. A good interviewer will be able to spot a staged answer and will ask you the elaborate or provide slightly different examples if they want to challenge you further.
Use the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
You may have the best examples to give, however if you can’t articulate them, you will fail. The easiest approach is to set the scene of the example, tell the interviewer what you did, and what the result of this was. This will allow you to tell a story in a natural style, and to talk through your situation in a clear way. It also allows the assessor to question you – this is a good thing! The more the interviewer questions you, the more engaged they are.
Don’t allow the interviewer to put you off your game
Some classically trained interviewers will follow the ‘script’, showing no emotion and won’t even ask you any questions. They may have a huge amount to get through in a short period of time. Don’t let this put you off! Be confident in your ability to answer the question. There should be an opportunity at the end of the interview to build rapport so use this time wisely.
Expect the unexpected
More and more clients are aware that many questions can be prepared for, so expect a few curve balls. Some of the most peculiar questions can be used to put yo on the spot and test how you react and approach the problem at hand.