COMPETENCY BASED QUESTIONING
Preparing for your interview is important and it’s great that you’re doing your homework to make sure you nail it! Competency Based Questioning sounds scary right? But don’t worry; it’s just a fancy way to describe a style of questioning. Competency interviews are really popular amongst employers and we like them too. They are a good way to identify how candidates have performed previously as an indicator of how they might perform in the future.
The questions you’ll be asked will call upon your work experience and will be aimed at identifying whether you have the right behaviour, attitude and ability to perform successfully in the role. For example, if the role is customer service focused (hint!) you may be asked how you deal with difficult customers to win them around and ensure they leave with a smile on their face.
Have a read of the role profile for the job you have applied to and pick out the key behaviours, attitudes and abilities that you will need. Think about what questions you might be asked and what experiences you have had that you could talk about to allow yourself to shine.
Ok, so we’re not going to give you the answers but we will give you a little help. There is a way to approach competency questions to make sure that your answer is clear and covers all the main bits the interviewer will be expecting to hear. It’s called the STAR technique because of what it stands for:
S – Situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result
When you are asked how you have handled something previously, start by setting the scene and giving an overview of the situation or task you were faced with.
Once you have set the scene, move on to talk about what action you took. Give detail but make it relevant so that you cover the main points. What did you do, how did you do it and why did you do it this way?
Finish off by summarising the end result. What happened? What was achieved? What was the impact on the store/team business? It’s also good to summarise how successful you think you were. Don’t be afraid to say you didn’t feel the result wasn’t what you had set out to achieve. It’s often not about whether you failed or succeeded but about your ability to reflect and to show that you learned something from the experience so that you can be more successful in the future.