Competency based interview questions
Competency based interview questions: this is a type of behavioral interview.
A behavioral job interview is a technique usually employed by companies to assess how a candidate will handle or respond to a situation. In this type of interview, an interviewer can tell if a candidate is qualified for the job by asking questions about the applicant’s previous work experiences. Questions in a behavioral interview are focused on how the candidate managed various work situation in the past. How the candidate responds to such questions will expose their personality, skills, and experience. The Logic behind a behavioral interview is that how you succeeded in the past will determine how you will succeed in the future (your success in the past is a positive indicator of your success in the future).
II. Strategy for answering behavioral interview questions
Employing the STAR techniques is effective when answering interview questions that require you describing the situation that took place. The star technique which consists of 4 steps is an excellent way to organize your thoughts. They are:
(S) Situation: which requires you giving an account of what happened
(T) Task: You describe your objective. You describe the issue that needed solving
(A) Action: You discuss the steps taken to solve the problem
(R) Results: You reveal the outcome, what you accomplished and the results of your actions. Your response should focus on how your actions provided a solution. For instance, the steps you took to resolve a conflict between two employees in your team.
Guides on how to handle behavioral interview questions
• Do not be in a hurry to answer questions. During an interview, you may be anxious and want to answer questions quickly; such answers may be wrong and discouraging. Whenever you are asked a question, take a moment before you answer. Doing so keeps you calm, allows you think of the situation properly and come up with an appropriate answer.
• Plan ahead: Practicing how to answer behavioral questions before an interview is helpful. It can give you different scenarios you can use in answering behavioral interview questions.
• Employ the STAR tactics. Using the STAR strategy mentioned above can help you answer behavioral questions successfully without going off point. Employing the STAR technique can help organize your thoughts and develop a thorough answer for the question.
• Be optimistic. Answering behavioral interview questions requires you to emphasize on the problem or failure. However, you should discuss more of how you solved a problem and the positive outcomes instead of concentrating on the negative aspect.
III. Examples of behavioral interview questions
1. Give an example of how you handle a challenge?
There was a time we were in the middle of an important negotiation with a new sponsor, and suddenly, my supervisor who was in charge of the presentation had to leave town.
I was asked to step in for my supervisor with the PowerPoint presentation from the notes he left, and his manager briefed me. My presentation was a success. We secured the sponsorship, and the management team recommended me for an award.
2. Have you ever made a mistake? How did you manage it?
I once gave a wrong quote for a particular membership fee to a club I previously worked with. I accepted that I made a mistake, and I opened up to my boss; he loved the fact that I was honest. He was considerate and told me to waive the application fee for the new member, whom later joined the club despite my flaw. I was sorry about my mistake. However, I learned from it. After that, I ensured I paid close attention to details to prevent giving inaccurate information in the future.
3. How do you set goals? Give an example.
I have always wanted to work in the fashion industry but got my first job as a sales officer in a department store. I decided that I would work my way up to being a department manager, then, I would be able to save enough money to attend a design school.
4. Give an instance where you worked effectively with a team?
I was part of a research team in the department of history during my final semester in school. The professor in charge was writing a book on the development of language in the Middle Ages, and each member of the team was given a sector to work on. I proposed we meet independently to discuss our progress and assist each other if there were problems before meeting with the supervisor. The professor was impressed with our cooperation, and it made his research easy.