Every job has a set of skills or competencies that will be essential to you being able to do a good job. These competencies will fall under different categories, usually in 6 or 7 key areas. Some will be softer skills and will have developed naturally in your career and some will be skills you will have specifically learnt and enhanced throughout your career.

Examples of competencies could include:

Follow these simple steps to prepare for the dreaded competency interview.

  1. Read the job / person specification several times as the competencies important to the hiring organisation will be in this document. When reviewing the competencies think about how you could sell yourself if you got asked a question in this area.
  2. Prepare 7 or 8 example scenarios that show how you meet the key competencies required for your Finance related role in advance; you will just then need to slightly mould/tailor your answers to fit the specific question requirements during interview.
  3. Use the STAR method when structuring your answers – talk through your answers using each heading as a guide to ensure you cover off all the relevant points.
    • S ituation
    • T ask at hand
    • A ction you took
    • R esult and outcome
  4.  The questions can often be lengthy and sound quite complex – don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question in full or elements of the question (they are often multi-part) – eg. give me an example of a time when you changed a policy or process? How did you ensure success? What would you do differently if you were to do it again?
  5. You can never predict what is going to be asked but you can predict how your skills and experience fall under different competencies. The key is preparation and structure using the STAR method as it is tried and tested.

If you need any personal help with competency interviewing please contact us. This is all part of our service.

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