How to answer Competency Based Questions

Competency based questions often associated with behavioural interviewing allow candidates to demonstrate competencies required for the job or role. These questions place great emphasis on exploring in detail job related experiences, skills and abilities and the way an individual behaves in certain situations. Behavioural interviewing was developed with the belief that past performance predicts the future on job behaviour. Hence, competency based questions attempt to provide insight as how individual might perform or behave under certain circumstances. Below, we provide you some techniques as how you should go about answering these kinds of questions in an interview.



S.T.A.R format for competency interview questions

To maximize your chances of success, make your examples specific, measurable and relevant. Provide examples with measurable information relating to time, money you have saved, costs you reduced or relationships you improved with customers, suppliers or other business partners by deploying behavioural competencies. Try to think of examples that are as relevant as possible for the role or position you apply. Use S.T.A.R. format when giving your answers.

S.T.A.R. format is the way in which the recruiter would like to receive your answers. S.T.A.R. refers to situation, task, action and result. In simple words, when you are being asked behavioural question such as 'tell me about the time you faced a challenging situation in your last job - what was the situation and how did you deal with it?' you should structure your answer around the four below points: