A competency based interview is designed to allow for open ended discussion about an individual’s skills and how they can apply their skills to a situation. It usually involves you applying your real-life experiences to a scenario that you may have to face in the job that you are applying to. This article will provide you with advice of how to prepare as best that you can before your interview date.
Understand What is Expected of You
With many competency based interviews you will have been given some information about what they will be looking from for you. They may provide a job description with desirable skills, a document with what they will assess or some other materials. Work with what you are given, even if the only thing you have to refer to is the job description. These materials will be the best starting point to any interview.
Prepare Some Examples
Before you attend ensure that you make time to write down some examples of situations in your jobs or education or any other setting where you have had to respond to issues or be challenged in some way. In many competency based interviews they will want to see some of your skills which are backed up by examples. The reason that they assess you in this way is because it is one thing stating that you meet all their requirements, but if you have never experienced a situation like it before you may just be saying what they want to hear. A great way to plan some examples is by using the STAR technique. The interviewer may ask you something like ‘tell me about a time when you have had to deliver a challenging message.’ You then want to set out your answer in the following structure.
The S stands for Situation. You want to describe the situation, whether it was at work or another setting.
Next is the T this stands for Task. You must tell them the task that you had to undertake; in this example it would be delivering the challenging message.
Then is A, this is Action. Describe the action that you took in order to complete the task well. This is the part they will be most interested in because they want to see how you responded to the task and whether that would fit with the job you are applying for.
Finally, R, this means Result. You want to show how your actions led to the situation being dealt with appropriately. It also shows that you have acknowledged how you made an effect, and this is great for self-development.
Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t be afraid about completing competency-based interview. They are all opportunities to practice and build up your confidence. Once you have done one, you can ask for feedback and even if they do not offer any you will have gotten familiar with the kinds of the things they like to ask. Interviews are nerve wracking but the more you do them the better they will feel.
Ask Your Friends
If you are unsure of what skills you can bring to the table or what your values are, make sure to ask those who are close to you: your friends, family or even your colleagues. Your colleagues will be able to tell you how you work professionally whereas your friends my know more about what interests and motivates you, both will be useful for an interview.
In conclusion, these tips should give you some advice about how to prepare for your interview. Remember, each experience will make you even better the next time around. If you would like more advice about how to excel at interviews, The College of Contract Management offers an interview coaching CPD programme.