How to Do Well at Competency Based Interviews:

For anyone looking to change jobs and put themselves out in the job market, it will be extremely probable that you will encounter a Competency Based Interview, if you have not already.  To do well in a competency based interview, it is very important that you research in advance, the sort of competencies, skills and behaviours required for each role and company.  You then need to think about your career and experience to date, to develop a good set of examples and situations you will be able to discuss confidently.

Research is key:  You may already have some similar competencies, required skills and behaviours in your present role, so go back to your present role profile and think about what you have been doing in each area.  Most of the competencies for the role you will be interviewing for can usually be found on a job description, so try and get this if you have not had it already, if you are working with a good recruitment consultant they will be able to help you too.  Some companies may list some of the key competencies, or behaviours the business look for on their website or, on other press, or articles so do try and search these out as well.

Competency Based Interviews are designed to identify what you have done and each question should target a specific skill or competency.  Your answers should give the interviewer a real insight and view of your behaviour and abilities in a previous situation, which is likely to occur again within the role you are applying for.

Skills, Behaviours or Competencies could include such things as; Communication, Influence, Leadership, Team Work, Creativity, Adaptability, Flexibility, Conflict Management, etc.

To answer a competency based question effectively, you need to be able to refer to a specific situation you, or your business/team were involved in and give detailed information of the circumstances around what happened, giving concrete examples of why you made the decisions or, carried out the actions you did and what the results achieved were.

Here are some examples of competency led questions:

Competency questions will usually start with an initial open question such as one of the above and then following your initial answer there will be additional probing questions to establish the detail of your thoughts and involvement.

Key Tips for your Answers:

 Each interview and interviewer will be different with their own unique style and requirements.  The only way to excel at interviews is being the best you can be and being as prepared as possible, with a well thought out and where possible, practiced delivery.

Good Luck!

Article courtesy of CCMA recruitment partners Douglas Jackson

Douglas Jackson are an executive search and management recruitment agency. We recruit exclusively for the Contact Centre, Call Centre and Customer Service markets.

As recruitment specialists, we help our clients attract and retain, Director, Head of Department and Management talent, for their call centres, contact centres and customer service departments.

 Visit Tel: 0845 620 9720, email: