Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

How to prepare for a competency based interview

By . December 20, 2018
The interview is the go to method and an essential tool for recruiters in finding the ideal employee. Interviewers ask for many things from the interviewee in order to gaining an insight into the type of person the interviewee is. Competency based interviews take a more detailed turn and forces the interviewee to show evidence and examples the interviewee has encountered, where they have accomplished certain tasks using certain skills. In short, competency based interviews relate to past situations. This will show the interviewer how you will react to similar situations in their employment if you are successful.

Now that you know what a competency based interview is, how can you prepare for one? The best way is to read the job description for the job that you have applied for. Job descriptions are filled with ‘key words’ for skills that are classed as essential or desired. Using the ‘key words’ think of a couple examples where you have showcased those skills and what the results were. Don't be discouraged to use an example if the outcome didn't show positive results, you can use this opportunity to show that you have learnt from your past choices. Explain that you see what went wrong and what you would have done differently. This can show the interviewer a lot more than just saying you received a negative response to a task.

There may be times where you will be attending an interview for a new career or you do not have much experience in a role, what can you do to show you have evidence of required skills? Skills are transferable to different situations if you don't have an example of skills in employment then you can use examples from other areas. School/College/ University, Hobbies, volunteer work or your personal life can all be used to share evidence of skills that you have.


Ability to defuse a situation – If you play a team sport and you have had members of your team disagreeing with each other which required you to resolve the confrontation, use it as your example. Not only will it show that you can defuse a problematic situation but it also shows that you can work within a team.

Ability to communicate – Presentations that you have given within your time in education is a superb example for this. Presentations require confidences and the ability to communicate clearly. If you can give an example of a time where you have given a presentation this would be a step in the right direction.

If you are struggling to find an example of skills that can be transferred you can always talk about a fictional situation and how you would go about handling it.

Show and Tell

As well as explaining evidence you have encountered you should also show evidence if it is possible. Showing evidence on what you have worked on previously can present the interviewer with more information about you in a shorter amount of time.

What to remember

Remember competency based interviews ask for evidence that you can complete required tasks. Read the job descriptions and think back to when you have accomplished and acquired skills that are being asked for. When explaining your evidence go into as much detail as you can. Detail the processes of the tasks, any complications that came up, how you handled the complications and the outcomes. Be honest with the outcome even if they were not as expected. As long as you can show that you learnt from your experience it will not be seen as a negative.

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