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Competency-based interviews are becoming a regular part of the recruitment selection process. The word competency refers to the behaviour deemed necessary to achieve organisational goals

The philosophy behind the use of the competency interview is that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. The interviewer will look to obtain specific examples of when and how you demonstrated particular behaviours. Candidates will be asked the same questions and evaluated by probing the same specific skills to ensure a fair and consistent process.

Competency-based interviews are meant to be challenging, but we have found that well prepared candidates will be in a position of strength and often feel more confident going into an interview. Your Consultant at OPEX Selection will brief you on how to prepare for any forth-coming competency-based interview or any other interview that you are attending tailored to the appointment.

However to prepare for a competency-based interview firstly review the job description in detail and evaluate which skills and characteristics they are likely to assess. Then identify the situations where you have demonstrated these skills and characteristics.

Well-structured and comprehensive answers articulated from the ‘first person’ i.e. “I achieved...., I engaged my team....., I drove results through the strategy deployed from my Line Manager etc... will impress interviewers.

When utilised, the STAR interview model will provide you with structure to all answers:


Briefly describe a challenging situation that you have been involved in; select a specific situation where you have been integral and where a positive outcome has been achieved (either a tangible benefit or a learning experience). Highlight facts and figures where possible to provide an idea of scale from any appointment you have held, voluntary or other relevant event.


Briefly describe the task / remit that the situation required or your ideas for resolving the problem


In detail describe the action you took with the focus on ‘you’, focus on what you actually did, the process you went through and what you did to overcome obstacles.


In detail describe what happened, how the event ended, what you accomplished (again figures will provide an idea of scale) and what you learnt.

You can download this insight on making the best possible impression at a Competency Based Interview by our experienced Consultants at OPEX Selection

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