A competency based interview follows a structure designed to establish your level of competency relevant to the specified criteria of a role. Interviewers are trained to ask questions about your current or past job to get specific examples of things you have done which provide them with information on your level of competency. This form of interviewing works on the principal that current and past performance is one of the best predictors of future potential.

What are Competencies?

Competencies are underlying characteristics of individuals which are related to effective performance in a given job.  Skills and knowledge are important in any given job, but competencies relate to personal attributes and behaviours, e.g. values, motives, etc. There are a varying number of competencies considered essential to any given role. Some common ones include:

  • Team Work
  • Customer Focus
  • Problem Solving
  • Using Initiative
  • Working Under Pressure / Resilience/Flexibility
  • Planning/Organisation

How are Competencies measured?

Your suitability for a role will be determined by your responses to a series of questions posed around each key competency relating to it antabuse tablets.

For example, “Tell me about when you last worked in a team. What did you like most about it? What did you dislike?”

For a team-based role, the interviewer will be scoring highly the ability to gel well with others, a supportive and helpful attitude and someone who can balance their own objectives with those of the team. Receiving a poor rating would be a candidate shown to dislike relying on others; who works best alone and puts personal objectives first.

How can you prepare for a Competency-Based Interview?

To prepare, you should read through the competencies in the role profile, look at the definitions of the competencies required and think of times when you have demonstrated that competency.  Think through this and ask yourself “how did I do that?”, “what exactly did I do?” To follow are the sorts of questions you can expect, relevant to the common competencies listed:


Describe a time when you worked in a really effective team.

What made the team so effective? What was your particular contribution to the team?
How did your colleagues relate to you?

Describe an occasion when you had difficulties working with a team.

What caused the problems?
How did you respond?
What was the outcome?


Give me an example of when you put a customer first.

What sacrifices did you have to make? What impact did this have on your other activities?
How was this seen by others?

Tell me about the last time a customer made an excessive or unreasonable demand of you.

What made them so demanding?
What did you do to assist them?How much time did this take?


Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to be totally objective when reaching a decision.

What were the facts you had to review?
How did you weight the different pieces of information?
Looking back, what do you think of your decision?

Tell me about when you have had to identify the key cause of a problem.

How did you work out the cause?
How did you solve the problem?
What lessons did you learn?


Describe the last time you had to make a spur of the moment decision.

Why did it have to be made so quickly?
How did your decision affect others?
What would you do differently if you could do it again?

Give me an example of when you had to work without any guidance.

Why was this?
How did you cope?
What feedback did you receive?


Describe a crisis you have handled recently.

What caused it?
What did you do to resolve it?
What were your feelings at the time?

Describe an occasion when something at work was causing you to feel negative or fed-up.

What had caused these feelings?
How did you approach your work at the time?
What impact did this have on your friends or work colleagues?


Tell me about a time when you had to prioritise a list of activities.

Why was this necessary?
On what basis did you make your decisions?
How did this work out in practise?

Give me an example of when you had to work to an important deadline.

How manageable were your time-scales?
What did you do to ensure that the deadline was met?
How would you organise your activities differently next time?

We hope you find this information helpful when planning for and attending a Competency-Based interview. For any further information, please contact one of the team at Connect. Good luck!

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