Competency Interviews - In a Game of Examples, Here's How to Win

18 November 2018


Competency Interviews - In a Game of Examples, Here's How to Win
Competency or behavioural interviews are used to show how you would demonstrate certain behaviours in the workplace. We have developed a fool-proof overview of how to handle these often dreaded interviews. 

Compared to a traditional CV-based interview, this style can be more challenging. We have seen many interviewees break out into a cold sweat and list competency based interviews among their list of fears, somewhere between public speaking and hangovers!

We are here to demystify competency interviews and give you the best chance of making it a success.

First things first - what to expect? Usually speaking, competency based interviews cover a few key topics or areas:
  1. Ambition/Drive - assess your own motivation and ability to push through challenges

  2. Communication Skills - ability to adapt your approach to different types of personalities is key to being able to manage teams and interact with peers

  3. Organisational Skills - can you plan and manage multiple projects?

  4. Customer Focus - assess your focus on customer satisfaction

  5. Influencing/Persuading Ability - good communication skills are essential, but can you influence a team member or client to buy in?

  6. Interpersonal & Team Skills - the ability to work well with others is essential for most positions nowadays. Between projects, scale ups and dealing with strategic partners it’s important to have the ability to work well with others. It’s equally important to be able to handle tricky or difficult teammates

  7. Problem Solving - questions here will determine if you have/can process information and detail, under pressure, and provide examples of same


The STAR model will allow you to effectively structure your answer logically and concisely.


 Describe the situation or problem you were faced with, keep your examples 


 What did you have to do?


 What action did you take and why? What were the challenges you faced?


 What was the outcome?

Final pointers:

  • Prepare for tough questions - competency interviews in their very nature are designed to draw out examples or real life scenarios from you. This can be tough if you haven’t prepared for this style, so be prepared to be probed.

  • Always refer to ‘I’ not 'we’ - it’s important to convey your impact or influence in every example. By saying ‘we’ you run the risk of your example seeming like a group rather than an individual win.

  • Have at least 2 examples ready for each of the above topics - it’s important to remember that no-one knows your experience better than YOU do, so prepare well and give them the insights they’re looking for!

What our video below for more tips

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