Competency-based interviews, also known as behavioral interviews, are an effective questioning technique that enables interviewers to gather specific and practical examples from shortlisted candidates, like yourself. By eliciting real-life examples of how you have behaved, acted, or performed tasks in the past, interviewers can assess your abilities and experiences more holistically and without bias.
Compared to traditional or unstructured interviews that only gather information without examples of past performance or actions, competency-based interviews are more objective. However, they are also more subjective in terms of your answers since they require concrete and specific examples, rather than generic responses.
Examples of Competency-based Questions include:
- “How have you contributed to the success of your previous company in the past?”
- “Tell me about a time when you have previously influenced and encouraged your team to attain targets?”
To prepare for a competency-based interview, you need to imagine yourself as the interviewer and identify the skills, values, and competencies that are essential to effectively do the job. Then, connect and match them with your previous roles, and identify milestones in your professional career for each of them.
To give structure to your answers, use the STAR method for every skill, value, and competency you’ve identified. This involves describing the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of your past experiences.
By doing this, you will be able to navigate a competency-based interview more easily, even if your interviewer's set of skills, values, and competencies are different from what you’ve thought of.