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How To Prepare For A Competency-Based Interview

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If you are actively looking for a job then it is more than likely that you will have to face at least one competency-based interview along the way. If you haven't come across one yet, be assured they are simply a way for the interviewer to assess if you have the right skills to do the job. A competency-based interview is more in-depth than a traditional one, and as a result both the employer and candidate gets more from the experience. So how do you prepare?


Identify key skills


In an ideal world the employer would give you a list of the competencies they are looking for. If not, then you can do it yourself by looking at the job description and choosing key skills and strengths mentioned. Common key competencies to look out for include communication, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, organisation and analysis.


Give examples


Once you have your list of competencies you then need to think of two or three examples of how you have used this skill in the past. These do not need to be overly complicated – after all, you are not being asked to demonstrate how you changed the business model. However, what they do need you to demonstrate is that you played a significant role in reaching a particular outcome.


Think STAR (or CAR)


To help you fully explain each situation you can use the acronym STAR - Situation, Task, Action and Results. A shorter version of this is CAR – Context, Action and Results. This helps you by taking you (and the interviewer) through each situation step-by-step. Put simply, you need to set the scene, say what you did, and explain the result of your actions. This also helps your answers sound natural and engages the interviewer.


Practice your answers


Before you go into the interview it helps to have practised your answers. Rehearsing means your answers will be much clearer and you are more likely to recall the finer details of each of your examples. Remember – for each example you are narrating a story, and that takes practice.


Give us a call


If you have been set any task that you are unclear on, or just want to find out a bit more about the format of the interview, call your consultant. All the team at DNA are equipped to give you all the advice and assistance you may need to be successful - and we love hearing from you. So never be afraid to pick up the phone.