Competency Based Interview – How To Prepare Yourself For It

Competency Based Interview – How To Prepare Yourself For It


competency based interview


A lot of recruiters are talking about competency based interview, and you might even find it being mentioned in your campus placements. It’s not some new trendy interview method but a structured way of conducting fresher job interviews. Before learning how to crack these interviews, here is a look at what it means.

Competency itself means the ability to do something successfully. In the case of a competency based interview, a candidate is assessed on the basis of their competency to do specific tasks or perform skills.

The main reason an interviewer conducts a competency based interview is that fresh graduates do not have work experience. This makes the job of an interviewer tougher because they cannot ask questions based on the work experience or speak of those achievements.

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The interviewer generally asks a range of questions that test some of your skills, attitude, and abilities. Here are a few topics on which interviewers ask questions in a competency based interview –

  • Communication Skills
  • Ability to make decisions
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Leadership qualities
  • Logical and strategic thinking
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Integrity and moral values
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creative and Out of the box thinking
  • Dealing with tough situations and people

The best thing about such interviews is that most recruiters use standard interview questions. This makes it easy for you to prepare for such an interview. Now, we have listed down some interview preparation tips to help you ace a competency based interview –


List out skills and abilities that will appeal to a recruiter

This might seem easy but once you start writing down a list of interview skills you might find how many of them can be irrelevant to the recruiter! The fact that you know how to write well might be irrelevant to a coding job, but it might be useful for a marketing job. Find skills and abilities that will fit in the above-listed topics that may be brought up in a competency based interview.


Find out situations where you used these skills and abilities

It is challenging to think of real-life examples, where you displayed your skills, while sitting in an interview. You will be under stress and might end up providing unnecessary examples. This is why once you have listed out your skills, take more time out to list out the situations when you used these skills.

For example, if the recruiter asks ‘Tell us a time when you displayed your leadership qualities’. You can describe a situation when you were part of a college team for an innovation competition, and how you led the team to win it.

Of course, you cannot just make up these stories! You need to back them up with proofs whenever asked for. Even if it is something small, narrate the story around it.


Learn the STAR technique of narration

If you are one of those people who ramble on and doesn’t know how to tell a story, this is for you. Concise and impactful communication is one of the best interview skills you can have. The STAR technique will help you narrate a story well, here is how –

S – Situation – Elaborate on the situation/background/context you found yourself in

T – Task – Explain the goal or the work that needed to be done to be successful in the situation

A – Action – What steps did you take to achieve the task

R – Result – What result did you achieve finally?

Learn to narrate any situation in this method, and you will find that interviewers will pass you with flying colors in your competency based interview.


Take a mock interview

A mock interview is the best way to gain confidence and familiarise yourself with the interview environment. You can use the MockAI tool that uses artificial intelligence to help you assess your interview skills.

The Mock AI will record your interview and give you detailed feedback on your communication skills, body language, and other significant factors. Since the competency based interview often asks standard questions, MockAI will be helpful as it has hundreds of common interview questions to ask.



These steps should help you in preparing for your competency based interview. If you have any more queries, you can leave a comment below, and we will answer it for you.

Special Offer: Get AMCAT at just Rs.949/-. Use Code BLOG2019 at payment page. Hurry! code valid till 31st March 2019 only. Register Now.