Making a good impression in the job interview is one of the most underrated skill sets for career professionals. Statistics bear that the average professional is spending 3.2 years before making an employment change. Some of this frequency of change is due to mergers, reorganizations, and down-sizing.
You must remember that you are self-employed. Whether you think so or not, you are. You have to manage your career like an entrepreneur manages his business. One skill is understanding how to handle competency based interview questions. This interview type is much more structured then the traditional method of asking questions.
With the traditional form of interviewing, a hiring manager asks a set of open ended questions for the purpose of getting to know someone better. The questions can be very random and the goal is just to collect information. It is a "feeling you out" interview in which they decide if you are a good match based on your answers.
Competency based interview questions are much different. These questions are pre-determined ahead of time and in many cases there are hidden points you are given based on your response. Each question is targeting a specific skill set that the hiring manager believes is important to the job. They want you to offer specific examples to support your answer. The reason is that they want to better under stand your behavior patterns behind the questions.
Competency Based Interview Questions and Answers
Here is a list of skills that you may be asked to provide examples for:
- Team work
- Risk taking
- Conflict management
In preparing for an interview, it wouldn’t hurt for you to take out a 3×5 card and write down the above list so that you can come up with answers to competency based interview questions. Then, think of some good examples and write beside the words a phrase that describes a good example you have of displaying that skill set. Obviously, you cannot have the 3×5 card in front of you, but you can use it beforehand to review some of the best examples you have to offer. By doing this little exercise you will be better prepared for competency based interview questions. Also, be sure to check out my thank you letters strategy as a way to properly follow up after an interview.