In Brief: “Competency based questions have long been considered tricky questions that are hurled at a prospective interviewee when the interviewer seems to have nothing else to inquire. However, nothing can be farther from the truth. The competency based answers during a job interview are quite an intelligent and quick way to find out about the attitude and mindset of the individual who has applied for the job. “
These competency based interviews give the HR and other departments a brief idea as to how the individual performs (i.e. behavioral interview). The answers to the competency based interview questions also provide a graphic portrayal of his or her attitude towards work, people and life in general.
Competency based interviewing is the best way to uncover the behavioral aspects of an individual in a quick and precise manner.
Competency based interview questions
Your initiative to solve problems
The interviewer can ask about how you had used your initiative to solve any difficult problem at the workplace. The question may also ask you about any situation in which you were supposed to solve a problem without being informed of the complete details.
The interviewer can also ask about the achievement which you think was the most important for you, professionally and personally speaking. If you think that there were two different achievements on the professional level as well as on the personal level, the interviewer may ask you to elaborate on the reasons.
The most difficult incident and other difficulties
The Interviewer can also ask about the most difficult incident you have ever had to handle. Also, the interviewer may ask you about the person whom you have found to be the most difficult to work with, in addition to the reasons why. The interviewer may also ask you whether your differences with the person were resolved in an amicable manner or in any other manner.
Depending on the job that you are seeking, you may also be asked to give an example of a case in which you demonstrated any leadership qualities. These questions are team leader interview questions but are often asked of any individual.
Competency based interview answers
The questions that are asked are quite significant, and it is essential that you answer them in the best way possible:
1. The best way to answer these questions is to be concise, crisp and to the point.
2. You should not meander away from the point while answering these questions, because meandering way from the question will imply that you are inventing an answer at best, or would mean that you are a person who has no integrity at worst.
3. Firstly, ascertain that you make the interviewer understand the problem that you were facing.
4. Do not place the blame on anybody, or crib/complain about anything.
5. Let the interviewer decide whose side he or she should be on.
6. Make sure that you inform the interviewer about the steps that you took as an individual and as a team to ensure that the problem was sorted out without any hitches.
7. You may also tell the interviewer about the success that you experienced with these steps.
8. You can also inform the interviewer as to how you would presently handle the situation as opposed to your handling method employed in the past.
The difference between skill, competency and behavioral:
Skill is a part of competency. Competency consists of three parameters- Knowledge (K), Attitude (A) and Skills(S).
For example- I might be having very good interpersonal skills or people skills, but I will not be competent to join a company as HR Professional unless I possess adequate education/experience (Knowledge) and the right temperament/ behavior (attitude).
While rating skills, you have to determine what abilities are required to perform a job practically but while rating competency, you have to determine the set of abilities/ skills required along with the knowledge and attitude needed for the said job.
Read further at examples of competency based interview questions and answers.
You may also refer to: the behavioral interview.