Competency Based Interviews – What You Need To Know

Sounds daunting. But competency-based interviews are a pretty standard approach for interviews, to ensure an objective and fair selection procedure that is evidence-based.

So, what is a competency? It’s a specific skill, quality, knowledge or behaviour needed to be successful in the role. And competency-based interviews really just use scenarios to give you the opportunity to share evidence that you have these characteristics. They allow you to say “Let me give you an example”.

As you go through the interview, you’ll be asked a series of questions which are structured around the competencies the role needs. You’ll need to refer to your past experiences and show your actions and learning points, often drawn from your CV and work experience, but sometimes from your life outside work too. Here are a couple of example competency-based questions – you should always be told what competency the interviewer is looking to explore when they ask you the question:

Competency: Communication.

Question: Provide an example of a complex issue or business problem you had to explain to non-investment / finance staff. How did you approach it? What was the outcome? What would you do differently?

Competency: Problem Solving and Judgement

Question: Tell me about a problem you have recently encountered. Tell me about the last problem you could not solve. Give me an example of a problem which required particularly careful thought.

When preparing for your interview, think about your previous experience, particularly times when you’ve performed well, or where you learned something about yourself. You might find it helpful to adopt the “STAR” format to help organise your thoughts – it makes it easier to respond to the interviewer too if you structure your answer this way:

  • S: Situation or
  • T: Task
  • A: Action you took
  • R: Result

Remember that you’re aiming to show the interviewers that you can do the job in question, so help them to find out as much as possible about your qualities and experience. Even if your interview isn’t going to be competency-based, it’s a good interview technique to provide evidence in your response to questions.

Want to know more? As specialists in financial and professional recruitment, our Meraki Talent consultants are happy to chat through your CV, offer guidance on preparing for interviews and even to do a practice run with you. Check out our vacancies now, or get in touch to share your CV with us.