Competency Based Interviews - 6 Steps to Success!

More and more organisations are using a competency based framework for interviewing. Here are 6 steps to help you make the best impression - and get the job!

Competency based interviews are intended to get the best from you, the candidate, whilst also fulfilling the needs of the organisation to get the very best person for the job. There are some easy steps to make the most of yourself and have a much better chance of success.

  1. Prepare well, but keep it sensible
    As long as you know the job you are going for, ask for details of what you will be measured against. Ask for a set of competencies. Ask for a job description. This sets you up to succeed, not just because you are better informed, but also because you have asked - which will impress the decision-makers, before you even get there!
  2. Get Creative
    Here is the time to use your own experiences to create 'stories' which you can use in the actual interview. These 'stories' are real scenarios that you have been a part of, which over a period of days and weeks beforehand, you write up. Maybe you will have 20+ initial ideas.
  3. Leverage!
    Take the very best scenarios and write them out, bullet points first. Then flesh them out, whilst referring carefully to the competencies you've been given. It is amazing how you can 'tune-in' your scenario to include many, if not all of the competencies. And if you can't fit them all in, there will be a use for them - later!
  4. Practice
    By reading through your scenarios (and by now you should not have more than six or seven) you will familiarise yourself with the contents, so well, that they will become second nature - even in the scary experience of an interview.
  5. In the Interview
    There are some tactics in here too!

  6. Strong Ending!
    Keep the whole thing light, even as you leave at the end. Have a conversation in general terms - about anything! Do make sure that you ask them some things that are about them - they will love it if you ask them some open (what, how, when, where, who) general questions about your new job! About something nice in the building or their clothes - take as it comes and do what feels comfortable!
    Remember that competencies are there to help you and they provide a guide-map for your competency based interview success!

    About the Author