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