Different Types of Competency Based Interview Questions

Competency Based Interview Questions

A job interview is not a test of your knowledge but your ability to use it at the right time. An interview judges you on various aspects; your knowledge; your behaviour and your competencies.

Competency based interviews are becoming a common way to predict a candidate’s future performance. An employer decides a desirable competencies for a job role and designs interview questions that help them decide the perfect fit for the role.


Defining Competencies

Competencies are skills that enables a person to do a task. A set of defined behaviours that provide a structured guide enabling identification, development and evaluation of an employee or a candidate fir for the job.

A competency based interview is meant to understand this set of behaviours required for a particular job profile. For an employer understanding a candidates competencies is as important as the subject knowledge and experience.


Competency Based Interview Questions

The set of interview questions that are used by an employer to understand the competencies of an applicant vary greatly on the position applied, the nature of the job and the industry. Broadly the competency based interview questions can be grouped into five bite size areas. They are:

  • —  Individual Competencies
  • —  Managerial Competencies
  • —  Analytical Competencies
  • —  Interpersonal Competencies
  • —  Motivational Competencies


Individual Competencies

Individual competencies refer to your personal attributes like tenacity, decisiveness, independence, knowledge, personal integrity and risk taking abilities.

The most common example of question that tests your individual competencies is “Tell me about a time when your work or an idea was challenged?”

The other examples of the question can be:

  • —  What is the most awful professional difficulty you’ve ever had to face? Did it help you grow?
  • —  Can you describe a time at work when you brought bad news to your manager?

When answering an interview question based on individual competency, have a story or an incident ready that tells the employer that you have the ability to behave in a responsible manner and also are courageous and honest enough to support correct work standards.


Managerial Competencies

These refer to abilities that help you take charge of other people. Namely these refer to empowerment, leadership, strategic thinking, project management, managerial control and corporate sensitivity.

Some examples of the questions that judge managerial competencies could be:

  • —  Tell me about a time you led a group to achieve an objective.
  • —  As a manager, do you direct the project or direct the people?
  • —  Describe a success/failure you’ve had as a manager

Answering these questions emphasize on the importance of a manager in meeting organization’s goals. Use real-time examples of situations where you were able to manage a situation, manage people, or manage projects efficiently.

Analytical Competencies

Analytical skill is the ability to visualize, conceptualize, articulate or solve uncomplicated or simple problems by coming to sensible decisions with the given knowledge. With the interview questions that judge analytical competencies, an employer is looking for decision making qualities, analytical skills, ability to give attention to details and practical learning.

An example of the questions that judge analytical competencies could be:

  • —  Tell me about a time when you identified a new approach to a problem

To answer use simple work-based examples such as a time when you budgeting skills led to substantial savings in areas which could not be thought of.


Intrapersonal Competencies

A lot of workplaces work on the basis of project teams and the organizations believe that more collaborative the teams are, more likely are they to thrive. Hence, when looking for intrapersonal competency in an individual they are looking for someone who has the understanding of how their presence effects the world around them.

An example of the questions that judge intrapersonal competencies could be:

 —  Describe a situation where you got people to work together

Have story that narrates the same and use it here.


Motivational Competencies

What are the things that drive you or self-motivates you? Quality, focus, result orientation or initiative.

An example of the questions that judge motivational competencies could be:

  • —  When did you work hardest and feel greatest achievement?

Highlight your work through examples to answer this question.


A Simple Way to Tackle Competency Based Interview Question

It is best that you have a structured answer to any of the competency based interview question. When framing your answer understand the situation, think about the task required to handle the situation, the action that you took and the result that followed. Use real life examples and relate them to your experience, how it made you feel or how you reacted.

These questions are designed to pick the perfect fit for the role and the organization.

Image – BlueSkyImage/ Shutterstock

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Categories: Interview Tips

About Akansha Arora

Akansha Arora is a professional writer and blogger who loves to pen down her views on a number of topics that interest a reader. A writer by day and a reader by night, her passion is to help readers in all aspects of job search and resume writing.

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