The fastest growing area that my clients come to me for is help with Competency Based Job Interviews. This type of Job Interview are favoured by employers as a well structured, easy to follow format. Interviewees have to prove that that they have the necessary experience for the role. In this article I share with you what Competency Based Job articles are about, and how to ace them. Again if you have any questions use the comment box below…
A competence is simply a word that is used to describe a group of behaviours which are shown to be effective. They include attitudes, skills and knowledge, demonstrated as behaviours.
Why are they used?
There is a direct relationship between demonstration of competence and our performance at work. Consequently, it makes sense for interviewers to ask candidates about their competencies and see how they ‘match’ the job requirements. Similarly, from the individual’s point of view, they can assess whether the job matches their competencies and whether they are suited to a role.
Research has shown competency based questions are very effective in predicting future job performance and therefore competency based assessments have become the preferred style of recruitment for many employers. Competency based assessments also provide an objective and evidence based way of assessing candidates and a common benchmark to assess all candidates against. This means we do not rate candidates against each other; instead, we compare each candidate against the competency standard required for successful performance in the role.
What is a competence based interview?
A ‘competency based interview’ is an interview in which each candidate is asked similar questions, designed to obtain information about the match between the candidate’s competencies and those required for the job.
How is this different from other interviews?
In a competency based interview, questions that give information about the key competencies for the job are asked. These questions concentrate on the most important parts of an individual’s past experience, focusing on the behaviours that were demonstrated. The responses will then allow the interviewer to ‘match’ the individual to the job, based purely on what is necessary to be successful in the role.
So what will happen during the interview?
The interviewer/s will ask you questions to gain information about the key competencies, often beginning with phrases like:
‘Tell me about a time when ……’
‘Describe an occasion when …..’
‘When has it been important to …..’
‘Give me an example of …..’
This may feel strange at first, not least because it appears rather formal as an approach, and the interviewer will be taking notes of all the evidence for each of the competencies from your responses to the questions.
Remember that the interviewer is interested in finding out about you and what you have achieved, not about your team, project or manager’s achievements. So, remember to talk about the part you played in the team’s achievements, your contribution to the project’s deliverables and how you have supported your manager and the business through the achievement of your objectives.
During the interview
Remember that you should try to answer the questions as specifically as you can. If the interviewer stops you from expanding on a particular point, don’t let this put you off. The interviewer must ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to discuss the key competencies they are interviewing for. They may steer you back onto areas where you describe your competencies in more detail.
There will be an opportunity at the end of the interview for you to add any information that you think is relevant, but has not been covered during the interview. This is also the point at which you should ask any outstanding questions you have about the job.
And after the interview?
The interviewer will review the notes taken during the interview, and make a decision regarding each candidate’s suitability for the role.
In summary, the competency based interview is being used to improve the objectivity and quality of selection decisions. It makes no additional requirements of you, but you should prepare for the interview in a slightly different way, see Preparing for Competency Based Interviews Part 2
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