What Are Competency Based Interviews?

Competency Based Interviews


    Interview Tips & Guidelines

Competency based interviews - what you need to know

Competency based interviews help to give a future employer, a clearer picture of how your previous experience and behaviour may relate to the position you are applying for.

It is a more open style of questioning that gives you an opportunity to relay your experience in better detail.

Whilst each organisation has their own range of competencies (or Competency Framework) -  we have compiled posts for the most common competencies, complete with example questions and tips on how to answer.

Before you get started, take a quick read through the following bullet points, and bear these in mind as you work your way through the competency based questions.

Preparing for your Competency Based interview:

  • Practice your answers with an audience. Sometimes things make absolute sense to you - but not to other people.
  • Be specific - don't talk about what you "generally do", give a real life example.
  • Choose the best example for your answer - sometimes the most recent example is not the best.
  • Maintain eye contact. It is likely the interviewer will spend lots of time writing - so when they do look at you, make sure you're making eye contact.
  • If you need to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.


Know the organisation you are applying to.

For more junior roles you may only be asked to demonstrate what you know about the organisation. However, for more senior roles you will be asked to display comprehensive experience of operating effectively within different organisational structures.

Examples of Questions

  • What do you know about this organisation?

Tips for Successful Answers:

  • Do your research - be prepared to talk about the company you are applying to.

The team at Harris Jones have compiled a series of blogs to help you plan towards a competency based interview. Check them out here:

Competency Based Interviews – Teamwork & Relationships
Competency Based Interviews – Communication & Influencing Skills
Competency Based Interviews – Problem Solving and Decision Making
Competency Based Interviews – Planning, Organising and Results
Competency Based Interviews – Customer Service/ Conflict Management



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