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Competency-Based Interviews: Are You Prepared?

A competency-based interview can be a daunting concept. In these meetings, technology candidates need to give specific examples of times in which they demonstrated specific traits or skills. Questions require interviewees to describe situations and problems, followed by the actions they took to find a resolution and the results of the situation. This is why your interview preparation is going to be key to landing that dream job.

Competency-based questions give companies a chance to evaluate a person’s mindset and approach to work, revealing information that doesn’t appear on a CV. These questions go beyond exploring a tech employees skill working with software or device and distinguish what that person will be like as a new hire.  

The good news? The right interview preparation can ensure that you are ready to amaze your would-be new manager with the perfect competency-based interview.  


What Are Competency-Based Interviewers Looking For? 


interview preparation


Different organisations need different competencies. While soft skills remain essential for every business, such as the ability to work as a team, specific industries will be looking for evidence of expertise in particular areas. For instance, your hiring manager might ask questions which prompt you to demonstrate your: 

  • Technical knowledge: The IT industry relies on candidates having perfect technical skills – whether they are focused on cloud computing, Salesforce marketing, or coding. A competency-based interview allows you to highlight the measurable value of your experience.
  • Problem-solving abilities: The agile pace of things like salesforce and digital marketing industries mean that today’s organisations need to be able to adapt and evolve quickly. Tech hires must be able to respond to everyday challenges quickly, and creatively, using their unique background to aid them.
  • Analytical thinking: Technology has made the analysis of data easier than ever. However, a technology employee will still need to figure out how to use the information gathered by a business in a productive, and lucrative way.  

How to Prepare for Your Competency-Based Interview 

Competency-based interview preparation is all about finding the best way to demonstrate the skills your new manager might be looking for.  

To get started, speak to your specialist technology recruitment agency about the business you’re applying to work for. They can provide you with useful information about the company that you can use to predict your competency-based questions.  

For instance, if you learn that the brand you want to work with is highly-focused on company culture, then you can assume they’re going to want to know about your ability to work with other tech staff members.  

You can also look at the job description. For instance, an employer looking for a salesforce consultant is sure to be searching for someone who demonstrates a strong knowledge of the software, and a passion for technology.  


Expect a Structured Approach  

It is also worth noting that your competency-based interview will not be the same as other interviews you have had with organisations in the past. These discussions follow a highly-structured format, designed to give interviewers all the information they need about a candidate.  

For instance, an employer may say: “Tell me about a time when you used a specific technology process to solve a problem”. Then, you would need to highlight a specific situation in a previous career or position where you came up with a resolution to benefit the business.  

It’s easy to get off-track when answering competency-based questions, so before you start speaking, think of a specific example of a situation you can use to demonstrate essential skills for your role. By focusing on one example, you can keep your answer clear, concise, and on-topic.  


Use the Star Approach to Shine  


interview preparation


The easiest way to respond to the structure and focus of a competency-based interview is to have a plan of action for creating the perfect answer. The “STAR” acronym is a useful tool that can remind you of each point you need to cover in a response: 

  • S: Situation – Describe the situation or challenge you faced. 
  • T: Task – Explain what needed to be done to reach your goal. 
  • A: Action – Express what you did personally, and how you contributed to a positive outcome. 
  • R: Result – Thoroughly cover how your work led to a positive result for the organisation. 

Following this structure and practicing your answers before-hand will help you to feel more confident then next time you are in a competency-based interview.  

While you might not be able to prepare for anything your interview will bring, you can take steps to ensure that you are prepared, succinct, and professional on the day.  


About Resource On Demand 

Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.  

We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills. 

The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.  

To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 

2022-08-17T15:23:41+00:00 Careers, Interview, Work Tips|