A Guide to Competency-Based Interview Preparation

A Guide to Competency-Based Interview Preparation

What is a Competency-Based Interview?

A competency-based interview is a structured interview method where employers assess a candidate’s level of knowledge and capabilities relevant to the job. It takes an in-depth look into job-related skills and assesses the candidate’s suitability by exploring their past experiences, decision-making processes, and problem-solving skills. During the interview, questions are based around core competency standards and job-specific skills, requiring candidates to provide detailed answers illustrating their strengths and abilities.

Preparing for a Competency-Based Interview

The best way to prepare for a competency-based interview is to research the position and the core competencies the employer is seeking. You can acquire a competency framework from the employer that outlines the job-related skills and abilities the company is looking for in a successful candidate. Drawing upon the competency framework, you can identify the most important skills and create a list of questions that you can expect to be asked during the interview.

It is important to also think carefully about your past successes, challenges, decision-making processes, and problem-solving abilities. This will help you structure meaningful anecdotes and illustrate important competencies during the interview. As part of your preparation, you should also rehearse possible answers in advance and review the job description to ensure you're familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role.

Tips for a Successful Competency-Based Interview

When it comes to competency-based interviews, having a clear and concise answer is key. To ensure your answers are as effective as possible, here are a few tips:

Assessing a Candidate’s Competency

During the competency-based interview, the interviewer will use the questions to assess the candidate’s competency in relation to the job role. Once the candidate has answered their questions, the interviewer will use specific criteria to analyze the responses. This includes assessing the candidate’s understanding of the job, assessing their strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the role, and determining whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the team and organization.

The Benefits of Competency-Based Interviews

The purpose of using the competency-based interview technique is to identify which candidate is most likely to be successful in the role. Competency-based interviews enable employers to identify not only the candidate’s understanding of the job but also their potential for growth. It also helps to create a better understanding between employer and employee, helping the employer gauge which candidate will thrive in the working environment.


By utilizing competency-based interviews, employers can increase the chances of recruiting the right person for the job. Adequate preparation and understanding of the competency framework are key to the success of the interview. Candidates should research the core competencies and job description, showcase their key strengths and abilities, and demonstrate the value they can bring to the organization.

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