What You Need to Know About Competency-Based Interviews and STAR technique

interviews

Introduction

Competency based interviews are becoming increasingly popular with recruiters and employers as a way to assess job candidates. This type of interview seeks to understand how a candidate has used their skills and knowledge to effectively handle a situation or complete a task in the past. To help you prepare for a competency based interview, this blog post will discuss what competency-based interviews are, and the STAR technique – which is a useful tool for providing effective answers.

What is a Competency-Based Interview?

A competency-based interview focuses on past experiences and behaviours a candidate has demonstrated in past roles. It is designed to assess the candidate’s capabilities and how they might fit into the role they are being interviewed for. The interviewer will typically ask questions around a set of pre-determined competencies that are important for the role, which allows the interviewer to get a better sense of the candidate’s true capabilities and how they might perform in the role.

The best way to prepare for a competency-based interview is to:

  1. Identify the competencies that are essential for the role
  2. Focus on providing examples of past experiences that demonstrate those competencies
  3. Be prepared to answer questions about why you are the right fit for the job and why you are passionate about the role.

An example of competency-based questions:

Problem solving

  • Tell us about a time when you faced a big challenge and how did you tackled it?

Communication

  • Tell us about a time you needed to persuade someone to change their opinion (sold your idea).
  • Can you give us an example on when you had to give feedback?

Time management

  • Can you describe an instance where your supervisor or manager just gave you too much work with not enough time? What did you do?

Teamwork

  • Group project – What do you do when a team member refuses to, or just can’t complete their part of the work?
    Give us an example.
  • Tell us about a time when you had to collaborate with a team of people with lots of different ideas. 

Adaptability

  • Can you give us an example of when you had to adapt to a new and sudden change in the workplace?
    What happened?

What is a STAR Technique?

The STAR technique is a popular job interview strategy used by hiring managers to assess job candidates. It is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. The STAR technique helps hiring managers to evaluate job candidates by allowing them to tell a story about their experiences and achievements. It is a useful tool for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and show how they used them in a real-world setting.

1. Situation

The situation portion of the STAR technique requires the job candidate to provide a brief description of the context of their experience. This includes the kind of situation they were in, the environment they were in, and any other relevant information. This is important because it gives the hiring manager an idea of the context in which the job candidate used their skills.

2. Task

The task portion of the STAR technique requires the job candidate to describe the specific task they were tasked with and what their role was in the task. This includes the objectives they were trying to accomplish and any challenges they encountered. This is important because it helps the hiring manager understand the kind of responsibility the job candidate was given and how they handled it.

3. Action

The action portion of the STAR technique requires the job candidate to describe the steps they took to complete the task. This includes describing the actions they took, the strategies they employed, and any skills they used. This is important because it helps the hiring manager understand the job candidate’s thought process and how they used their skills to solve the problem.

4. Result

The result portion of the STAR technique requires the job candidate to describe the outcome of their actions. This includes describing how their actions resulted in a successful outcome and any lessons they learned. This is important because it helps the hiring manager understand the job candidate’s approach to problem-solving and how they learned from their experience.

Conclusion

Competency based interviews are an important part of the hiring process, and the STAR technique is a useful tool for providing effective answers. By using the STAR technique, you can provide a concise and detailed overview of how you used your skills and knowledge to effectively handle the situation. This will help to demonstrate your competency and make a strong impression on the interviewer.