Competency-Based Interview Advice

Interviewers use competency questions to find out how a candidate may act if employed and as a way of fairly assessing people with differing levels of experience.
To prepare you need to start by identifying which skills, knowledge and behaviours the employer is looking for. The obvious place to look is on the job description, but you can also ask the person arranging the interview for more information, for example, do they have a competency framework you can see? Then think hard about situations where you have demonstrated these skills and be prepared to elaborate on your answers

Here are 5 of the most common competencies you might be asked about:

  1. Communication – “Tell us about a time when you had to adjust your communication approach to suit a particular audience.”
  2. Decision Making – “Give an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision.”
  3. Teamwork – “Describe a situation where you were working as part of a team. How did you contribute?”
  4. Trust worthiness – “Would you report a colleague who you knew was taking money from the company illegally?”
  5. Leadership – “Describe a situation where you took on the role of the leader. What were the challenges and how did you address them?”

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Clients have found working with us as sole supplier hugely beneficial. It allows clients exclusive access to the best candidates in the market and is often a highly effective way of speeding up the hiring process. We were recently approached by a client who had been struggling to find the right type of candidates for a position they had been trying to fill. After engaging us on a retained basis, they were able to fill their job inside two weeks and were so impressed with the quality of candidates we delivered for them, they decided to make two additional hires.

Given many clients are using us on a retained or exclusive basis, it’s more important than ever that you keep in touch with our consultants to access the best opportunities in the market. There are often roles that won’t be accessible elsewhere, even on the employer’s website!

Throughout the interview process, we’ll also have a direct line with hiring managers so we can advise on what skills and qualities they’re looking for candidates to demonstrate to give you an extra advantage.

We post regular job updates on Twitter and LinkedIn so you can keep up to date.


On the couch with the Chairman : Face-to-face Interviews versus Phone/Skype Interview

Face-to-face interviews versus phone/Skype interview Both have their advantages – the key is to be prepared for either scenario – that is, do your research and have key questions ready when it’s your turn to ask.   Pros for phones or Skype interviews: Why? You can’t attend a face to face interview due to time …

Good vs Bad Bosses – How Do You Tell the Difference?

It’s no secret that “People don’t leave jobs they leave managers” according to Gallup’s Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Well-Being. At least 75% of the reason people quit is influenced by their manager. A boss who you respect as well as one who respects you will help create a happy environment where you will thrive. If you are going to have a positive working relationship with your manager is a big consideration when deciding whether to accept a job offer.

The ideal is a boss who motivates you and gives you consistent feedback, allowing you to improve. If you need help assessing whether the person interviewing you is a boss you WANT to work forhere’s what to check 

One of the most important things to check are their references. This is easily done through reaching out to the previous employees from the organisation on sites such as LinkedIn. This way, you are able to find out about their experience working for that individual as well as the company as a whole. This is a better idea than reaching out to current employees – rather reach out to those who no longer have strings attached. You can also look on company review sites such as Glass Door, to get a feel for the company. Similarly, you can do a social media search through taking a look at the company Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to see whether they post regular and engaging content. This will give you a feel for the company environment and allow you to judge whether you can see yourself working there.

Moreover, remember that interviewing is a two-way street, so a useful approach is to ask your own interview questions. Ask about management and working styles, so you can find out if the company shares the same values as you. If you find that their working style differs to yours, have a conversation with your potential boss exploring new ways to work that suit both of you. Their response will give you a good indication of whether this would be the right boss and company for you. If you connect early this will also allow you to eliminate any unnecessary stress.


Making your interview less trick and more treat this Halloween

Here at Media Contacts, we understand how frightening the interview process can be, and if the pressure is starting to freak you out, try not to panic. We’ve come up with a list of ways to make your interview less trick and more treat this Halloween.

  • Arrive on time – There is a certain balance here as you must never be late for an interview, however, try not to arrive more than 5-10 minutes early to your interview. If you are running late due to transport issues, always make sure to phone the interviewer in advance and apologise.
  • Read the job specification – One of the best ways to make a great first impression and to really sell yourself in an interview is to highlight your experience and how its fits with specific aspects of the job description. This shows them that you are what they are looking for and can solve problems they may have effectively.
  • Research the company – Always be prepared and research the company including their achievements, any special events that have taken place, their social media pages as well as your specific job role and the tasks you’re particularly interested in doing. This shows a keen interest in the company and the effort you’ve put into research aspects other candidates may not have taken the time to do. You can also go into more depth and research news about them and what their competitors are up to, giving suggestions on ways to move forward in the future.
  • Prepare questions to ask – Don’t get spooked at the end of the interview when you’re asked if you have any questions. Ensure you have some prepared beforehand.
  • Get clothes ready in advance – We bet you didn’t know that according to a recent survey 33% of hiring managers knew whether they would hire someone in the first 90 seconds. Therefore, it goes without saying that first impressions are very important.
  • Smile and maintain eye contact – Don’t show your fear to the interviewer! Always show confidence by making eye contact throughout the interview, they want someone who isn’t spooked out by talking to people!
  • Never lie – Interviewers will know if you’re lying, so don’t make anything up to try and seem smart – as when they probe you with questions that you can’t answer correctly, you’ll be in for a fright!
  • Prepare your answers to common questions – Use your experience from previous interviews to help with your preparation. Its highly likely that you will be asked common questions such as ‘give examples of when you were faced with a challenge and how you overcame this’ and also about your strengths and weaknesses and why you would be suitable for the job, so make sure you have answers well memorised for these questions.