Competency Based Interviews are a common style of interview, especially within the public sector and HSE. That said, many private sector companies use this style of interview, especially US multinationals.
Common competencies include leadership skills, team skills, communications skills, planning and organisational skills, analysis and decision-making skills, problem solving skills, negotiation skills and influencing skills.
Competency Based Interview questions seek past examples that demonstrate a certain set of behaviours. You should use the STAR technique to achieve optimum outcome when answering competency based interview questions – Situation, Task, Actions and Results.
Competencies & Sample Questions
Below I will discuss two competencies – decision-making and leadership.
Decision-Making Skills – makes prompt, clear decisions which may involve tough choices or considered risks; takes responsibility for actions, projects and people; takes initiative, acts with confidence and works under own direction; initiates and generates activity
An example of a competency based interview question for decision-making would be …. Tell me about a time you to make a quick decision? What elements did you consider when making the decision? In what way did you assess risks involved?
Leadership Skills – provides others with a clear direction; sets appropriate standards of behaviour; delegates work appropriately and fairly; motivates and empowers others; provides staff with development opportunities and coaching; recruits staff of a high calibre
An example of a competency based interview question for leadership would be ….. Give me an example of a time when you led a team to achieve a certain outcome? How did you set tasks/goals for the team? How did you guide and motivate the group?
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