Axio Development

Competency Based Interviewing Course

Course Overview

This competency based interviewing course works on the principle that past behaviour is an accurate indicator of future performance. Competency based interviews can be used by organisations across all sectors. A competency-based interview is more systematic and each question targets a skill needed for the job.

Competency based interviewing, often referred to as situational, behavioural or competency interviews, are a style of interviewing often used to evaluate a candidate’s key competencies, particularly when there are a number of candidates who have the technical merit for the role.

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Questions about the Competency Based Interviewing Course

By the end of this one day course, participants will have:

  • Conduct a competency based interview, using a variety of techniques such as the STAR method.
  • Learn how to acquire evidence through effective questioning and listening skills
  • Position competency based interviewing in the context of your organisation
  • Format and develop techniques of a competency based interview
  • Review of candidate ratings and recommendations
  • Score candidates without bias and make the right candidate selection

If you have had mixed results up to now with your recruitment decisions then this course will help you to increase your effectiveness and make your hiring decisions more robust

This is either a half day or one day course dependent upon numbers

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Further questions about Competency Based Interviewing

Most frequent questions and answers

What is competency based interviewing?

Competency based interviewing are more systematic questions which target certain situations, tasks, actions and results a candidate may portray in the workplace.

As an example, an interviewer may ask: Describe a situation in which you had to deal with a difficult person.

You would be expected to provide a concrete example, in which the interviewer would then dig further into, asking for specific explanations about the candidate’s behaviour, skills or techniques.

Why use competency based interviewing?

Competency interviewing is a great way to not only understand someone’s technical capabilities, but allow you to gain an understanding to how someone would act within certain scenarios.

As the name implies – you would use a competency based interview to understand a candidates competency to do the job.

What are competency based questions?

Competency based questions are interview questions that cover some of the following key competencies:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Organisation
  • Responsibility

Some example competency questions include:

  • Describe a situation where you solved a problem
  • Give an example of a time where you made a difficult decision
  • Tell me about a time you took responsibility for a project

How do competency based interviews differ from normal interviews?

Normal interviews tend to deal in generalities – focusing on broad open questions to gain a general impression of the candidate. You can combine a normal interview with a competency based interview

Normal interviews are great to do over the phone to seek a candidates interest in a role.

What differs from a normal interview to a competency based interview is, within a competency based interview the interviewee with ask specific questions focused entirely on:

  • About you and your values – do you fit company culture?
  • Technical capabilities – are you able to do the job
  • Soft skills – how does the candidate perform when working in a team?

The questions are structured with each technical skill/soft skill being tested.

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Competency Based Interview Training

How to Run Competency Based Interviews

Interviews can be just as nerve wracking for the interviewer as it is for the interviewee, however, with proper preparation you can develop your own competency based framework to use when interviewing candidates.

This is a quick guide/outline to follow in order to be prepared for the next time your conduct an interview.

Before you can start building a strategy and effective questions for the interview, it’s important to reflect on what are the company values, what makes a good employee at the business and what are the required technical and soft skills for the role.

Doing this ground-work will ensure you create the most effective questions to use in your competency based interviewing framework.

Now that you know what is important to the company and what is need from the candidate, you can start to write effective questions to ask in the interview.

Your questions should focus on core competencies for the role you’re hiring for. Think carefully about the structure of your question, to ensure the candidate can provide specific examples for each competency.

A good method to keep top of mind is the STAR framework:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Results

You’ve built a series of questions to ask in your interview, it’s now time to build these into a selection criteria.

A selection criteria allows you to accurately grade each candidate on their skills, attributes, knowledge and behavioural traits, that you are trying to recruit for.

A great place to start is to review the job description that has been set as well as creating a skills matrix for this role.

Prepare yourself by understanding the matrix you’ve created. It’s also hopeful to build an interviewing team that also understand the selection criteria / framework you created, as well as ensuring your team understand how competency based interviews work.

A great competency based interview will be structured and have defined goals for the business.

Some of the ways to ensure you deliver a structured interview with your candidates is to:

  1. Define a structure before hand. E.g. Ask each candidate the exact same initial questions.
  2. Listen carefully.
  3. Allow thinking time. You’re asking difficult questions – give the candidate space to think.
  4. Take notes to reflect on later when evaluating and discussing the candidate’s performance.

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