Preparing for a competency-based interview

If you have been invited for a job interview, chances are it will be competency-based.   Competency-based interviewing (CBI) is the most popular interview approach used by employers, and it’s based on the premise that future performance can be predicted by your current and past achievements during a face-to-face interview.

If the interviewer decides you meet the competencies laid out in the job and person description, chances are you’ll shortlisted for the role.

Here’s some tips to help you prepare for a competency-based interview:

  • Re-visit the job description and person specification before your interview and ensure that you have covered off all bases, including the tasks and responsibilities, and have an example ready for each competency.
  • Review your CV and memorise examples to demonstrate your capability to perform the tasks listed in the job specification, for example particular scenarios, actions you took and the impact on the business.
  • You’ve probably already done a lot of the legwork when you submitted your original application, perhaps without realising it, so it’s really a case of making sure you have relevant examples and rehearsing your lines.
  • Write down your best example next to each competency and devising possible questions by thinking as if you are the interviewer.
  • Ask a friend to put you through your paces by conducting a mock interview.
  • If you have the time and technology, video yourself answering specific questions. Watching recordings of yourself can highlight areas of improvement, for example if you talk too quickly when under pressure, fidget, or need to prepare more for particular topics.

When the big day finally arrives, you’ll feel prepared and the interview is more likely to go well for both parties.  We all get nervous in interview situations, but the tips above will help you to show your expertise, motivation and ultimately why you are the ideal candidate.

Above all, an interview is your opportunity to bring your career to life and show you have the skills to do the job by providing examples of your achievements. Remember: be prepared, answer the questions as efficiently as you can, and show an interest in the company.

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