Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Addressing Competency Based Interviews Questions for Professionals

Competency-based interviews are a good way of finding out a lot regarding a candidate. Companies would like to grill the candidate and grind him to get to the core to find if he is fit for the position. But, a candidate should treat it as a chance to display his skill sets and experience and prepped up for the interview to handle such questions. The key to a successful and satisfying interview for candidates would be the amount of preparation undergone before the interview. As per a recent research, 55% of recruiters are frustrated by candidates in an interview, who seem to be better on paper than they actually are.

Questions on Conflict management and ethics

Personal and career objectives

Employers are likely to invest time and money in training, it is inherent that they would like to make sure their objectives coincide or do not conflict with yours. So, it is very important to highlight your skills and showcase how your training was advantageous for your previous employer.

Questions on Adaptability

How quickly and how positively will you adapt to changes in work practices, work roles, and work environments?
How do you manage or avoid stress?

Other Example questions:

Tell me about a time when you changed your priorities to meet others’ expectations?
Tell me about a time when you had to change your point of view or your plans to take into account new information or changing priorities?

Problem-solving and decision-making

What’s your problem-solving style?
Do you manage your activities to minimize or avoid them?
How do you behave in a crisis?

Administrative skills

Tell me how you organize your work and schedule your time?
Tell me about computer software packages you are familiar with and your experience in using them?


These questions are used to check if you are an active listener. The interviewers will also judge if are you able to read the non-verbal messages or cues that others are communicating. It is important that your communication is engaging enough and in a convincing manner.

Example questions:
1. Describe a situation you were involved in that required a multi-dimensional communication strategy?
2. Give an example of a difficult or sensitive situation that required extensive communication?

Ability, competence, and achievement

These questions judge your inspirations and what motivates you to achieve. They are posed to identify if you are a team person and cope up well with co-workers. Recruiter tries to check if you have any issues working in a time or if you are stand alone type of employee.

Example questions:

What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
Describe a time when you led or motivated others?

These are posed to check if you possess efficient work habits, and if are adept with the knowledge of workplace and it's routine activities. They are used to judge your experience of typical and common office administration processes.

Now that you know the kind of interview questions related to competency, follow the checklist given below which can act as a reminder to help you conduct well in the interview, highlighting your skill sets and expertise.

  1. Research the internet – A research by Changeboard, an HR Community, revealed that 25% of candidates who walk into an interview are under-prepared. Hence, it is important to do proper research about the role and company along with its website. Make sure you’ve researched enough on the company by following forums, employee feedback sites like glassdoor, check out for any news they’ve issued in the press etc,. recently. If it is a completely new area of career you are entering into, also check for its competitors and issues related to the industry, which will surely help you to prepare.
  2. Check LinkedIn and Search Google- Look up on the Google, company website or LinkedIn page to check if who will be interviewing you and try to find some history of them. Try researching where have they worked before, which university they attended and if there is anything common with them. Greet them by name as you have already checked their profile on LinkedIn before the interview giving that impression and taking the first advantage of getting noticed. Though common connections are always useful and highly probable, checking for the contacts prior to the interview on LinkedIn could be vital.
  3. Structure of Answering - Thinking about how you structure your answers will make it easier to answer and make the interviewer understand the point. When answering Competency based questions you should generally, break down the answer into four points as per HR professionals. Firstly, begin with an ideal situation you have dealt with. Secondly speak about the objective you were required to reach, thirdly depict what action you have taken to achieve the objective. The fourth and final point would be talking about the effect it had on the project and business overall. It is important to provide a complete answer, but also make sure to keep it short and concise.

It is important to be yourself when you answer competency based questions. Try using real time, along with any life-related experience and connect them to your experience in the way you reacted and felt. These are not difficult questions, or queries meant to twist you, they’re used to check if you are the best match to the organization or not. A little bit of preparation will go a long way in answering and realizing that competency-based interviews represent an unmatched way to describe some of your finer experiences.

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