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What have competencies got to do with it?

What have competencies got to do with it?

In this type of interview your performance will be measured against the organisational competencies. If your answers match closely to what the organisation is looking for you are more likely to get the job.

A Competency/ Structured/ Behavioural Interview structures the questions around the competencies. It’s a more systematic approach to finding out where your skills lie in relation to what the company needs. Competencies are general personal/ professional skills like:

For instance, you may have a question like:

‘Please provide an example of a time when you communicated well with a colleague?’

Or a bit more advanced question might be:

‘Please describe a time where you have influenced strategic direction?’

The first question is looking at how you tend to communicate. By providing a real life example of a time you have done this you are explaining how you are likely to behave in the future.

The second question is interested in how you use your communication style to influence at a senior level, so is likely to be suited to a more senior role. Both questions are looking at how you communicate, and both questions will be mapped onto the organisations definition of what effective communication looks like (this may vary- not all organisations value the same style of communication- think government department versus fast food chain for example!)

Matching your past experiences to what the organisation is looking for takes practice and guidance.

As well as competency questions the interview may cover specific technical aspects of the job. For instance, you may need to demonstrate your understanding of specific legislation or procedures, professional approaches or learning.

You will be able to recognise the difference in question type once you have read through the example questions provided.


What is difficult about this type of interview?

What is difficult about this type of interview?

It doesn't matter what you have done, how much experience you have and how suitable you are for the role if you don’t answer the question according to this new format. It catches a lot of good applicants out because they hear a competency based q...

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