Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / JUN. 07, 2013
version 24, draft 24

Performing Competency Based Interviews

Competence based interviews are common practice among many companies that engage in thorough recruitment strategies to ensure the best possible candidate is hired for the job. A competency-based interview will enable the interviewer to examine certain competencies and attributes about the candidate using various techniques. The interviewer will be able to examine the interviewee’s ability with teamwork, planning ability, coping with change, presentation skills, customer service, problem solving, and self-motivation.

It is important that candidates are assessed at interview stage on their skills and main competencies that will be key to successfully performing the job offered. By analyzing an interviewee to this extent, you can further guarantee that the new employee will do well in the job and be happy with the working environment.

A competency based interview does not necessarily have to be in the form of a written test like many candidates think. In fact, most competency-based interviews will require the interviewer to ask specific questions in order to extract information from the candidate to assess particular skills. A good tip for candidates attending an interview is to look over the original job advert for the vacancy, if the advert includes requirements such as good interpersonal skills, ability to multi-task and excellent communication skills; it is likely that the interview will be competency based. Further to this, it will be likely that the interviewer will ask you a series of questions to assess your abilities in these areas.

Typically, competency based questions are designed to find out how a candidate has performed in the past, as a testament to how they can perform in the future. This means that many competency questions are based on an applicant’s previous work experience and ability to handle certain pressures. Usually, candidates will be asked about a specific time when they applied certain skills or experienced a particular situation. They may also be asked how they responded to a problem at work and how the problem was resolved.

Competency based interviewing is considered a very fair method as candidates are typically asked the exact same questions to assess their relevant abilities for the role. By listing the main competencies in your job advert, you will provide interviewee’s with ample time to prepare complete answers to competency questions that will likely be asked during the interview. Many times, candidates are very stressed and under pressure in an interview and this may affect their ability to remember key experiences they have had, or to answer questions fully. Therefore, by listing the exact competencies you require, they can prepare answers detailing their specific and relevant experiences in advance of the meeting.

It is prudent to inform candidates if you are going to give a competency test during the interview, particularly where the time frame of the interview is short. There are many online competency tests that can be taken my candidates to practice before their interview and it is wise to allow them to practice in order to get the best from them.

As an interviewer, you should be prepared for asking competency-based questions and it may be advised to write all your questions down prior to starting the interview. It is also important that you ask questions that will draw out the exact competency you are looking for in the candidate. Candidates may ramble on, providing long detailed answers and so it is vital that you listen carefully and pull out the relevant information from what the interviewee provides you with.

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