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How to succeed in Competency Based Interviews

Well done, your carefully crafted C.V has landed on the right desk and you have been invited for an interview for the job you want so badly. However you have been informed that it’s a competency based interview and perhaps you are not too sure what to expect.

Excelling at Competency interviews is something of an art form, as they are heavily scripted and, often prepared by psychologists to specifically provide insights into character, qualities and capabilities.

Luckily there is a technique designed to allow you to excel in Competency Interviews and demonstrate fully, your suitability for the role; The STAR technique; a tried and tested way of answering competency based questions using four stages: Situation, Task, Action and Result.


Start by explaining clearly what you were doing and where you were in your chosen situation, be clear and concise to set the scene for the next part.


What were you asked to do? Or what did you identify yourself that needed to be done? Again be detailed but try and remain concise and clear, allowing your interviewer(s) time to imagine the scenario you are creating.


After identifying the task, go on to state clearly what you or your team did. Again, be efficient and concise, and make it easy for the listener to build the image in their heads.


Finally, after describing the situation, the task at hand and the actions you or your team took, state the outcome, and make it positive, this is the closing statement in your Star technique, so make it clear that the result was good and very much what was required to improve or rectify the situation.

Any or all answers given, based around the STAR technique, clearly demonstrate you have used a skill or displayed a quality in a particular context, which will be clear for the interviewer to imagine, and apply to potential situations in their own environment, situations where you can excel as you have in the past.

To find out more about gaining career developing training and widening your job opportunities, please go to Souters College.

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