Questions in a competency-based interview are used to assess the specific competencies of an individual, as opposed to relevant work experience. Whilst these questions will still cover a candidate’s experience, the interviewer will be trying to ascertain if they have a particular set of skills which will be of benefit to the role and the company as a whole. Candidates will be asked for real life examples of situations they have been in which will demonstrate their behaviour type and indicate how they may react in future work scenarios.
A typical question could be “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with conflict within a team.” Your response can be about a professional work scenario or an example from a personal situation, such as university or a hobby. By asking this question, the interviewer is looking to understand your team skills and your ability to manage conflict, both of which may be crucial to the role you are interviewing for.
The best way to prepare for a competency-based interview is to study the job description and identify the main competencies and then think of real examples that demonstrate your experience and capabilities in these areas. Find some relevant practice questions online, or ask your recruitment agent for relevant questions, and prepare your potential answers in advance. Try and vary the scenarios you use as examples, as this will demonstrate the breadth of your experience and will give the interviewer more material to consider.