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5 tips for overcoming a competency interview

Companies are aware of the importance of hiring the right candidate. With the objective of gaining precision in the search, the processes are becoming more sophisticated, especially when it comes to covering strategic positions for the company.

In this context, competency-based interviews are gaining more and more popularity, as they allow for a deeper understanding of the candidate while asking the fundamental questions of a conventional interview.

Knowing how to answer these questions can be challenging, and it also gives candidates the opportunity to delve into their achievements and strengths, as well as put their skills to work during an interview.

We offers you five tips that will help you get the job you want:

1. Get ready

Preparation is as important as with any other type of interview. Analyze the description of the offer (skills or knowledge required) and look for similarities between the position offered and your professional career, from goals, personal achievements or even the fact that you have already worked with some employees of the company for which you are being interviewed.

“The interviewer wants you to give concrete examples of your professional experience and to relate the skills acquired to the position you are applying for” explains Marco Laveda, Managing Director of Robert Walters Spain & Portugal.

“Take your time to remember how you excelled in your professional career and identify occasions where you can demonstrate the skills necessary to perform your role”, adds Laveda.

2. Practice the answers

Practice the answers so you can show your skills convincingly. You should express yourself fluently, in detail and following a logical structure. All the examples, processes, problems or objectives that you expose will work in your favor and bring solidity to your speech. In addition, there are certain professional skills that are increasingly in demand: team management, time management and multitasking.

Being able to look for the perfect time to demonstrate these skills will give you a competitive edge over other candidates.

3. Pay attention to the interviewer

Learn to interpret the signals of those who are interviewing you. Understanding their verbal language or their questions will help you to know what kind of examples you are interested in showing. The most prepared candidate will adapt his speech to what the company is looking for and will demonstrate his ability to influence. In this sense, it will be essential to identify the level of formality required by the interviewer to ensure that the conversation is dynamic and fluid.

4. Anticipate the questions

There are three very common questions in a competency interview:

  • Describe how you managed a delivery project on a very tight deadline while managing your usual workload.
  • Give an example of a complex task you had to perform and explain how you performed it.
  • Have you worked on different projects simultaneously? How did you organize your schedule so that you could fulfill your duties effectively?

5. Be authentic

As part of the competency interview, you should highlight your skills, but you’re not interested in getting hired based on lies and half-truths. Selection professionals know when a candidate is trying to fit in with the position in question or to respond correctly instead of in a genuine way.

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