We don’t go to many interviews, and when we do get shortlisted we want to be successful. So much depends on our preparation as well as how we answer questions. My interview coaching service is effective and clients get great results. I’m also mindful of different budgets, hence offering an online course – designed to be like a one to one session with me, and as it contains 13 videos it means that when clients come to their 1to1 coaching session we can get straight to enhancing their performance, I’m not having to share knowledge. The good thing about this online course is you get life time access. I was chatting to a possible client today and she’s just started looking for another job. She was pleased I suggested she started work now on her interview skills, as it’s been 8 years since her last interview. She’ll have the time to prepare well, and not have the need to rush to get everything done by yesterday. If this interests you take a look here.
I’ve got a good reputation as an interview coach. I’ve taught inhouse managers to interview and assess and continue working on quality control on a major government recruitment scheme. I’ve also designed literally hundreds of assessment centres and love to coach my clients to answer competency based interviews.
I was checking on my blog and have 7 articles written around competency based interviewing. Some from 10 years ago. It was interesting to review the articles written and bring some up to date. Now, I don’t expect you to read them all (and I have combined some) but here they are. Not as good as my online course, or 1 to 1 coaching with me, but evidence I know what I’m talking about.
There are many different types of interview and my favourite from an interviewer and interviewee perspective is the competency based interview.
This is where the company has identified the competences needed to be successful in a job and the interviewer will ask questions that relate to these competences.
Why is the Competency Based Interview good for the interviewer?
The questions are relevant as they link into competences, they can be planned and it’s easy to see if a candidate is giving you a specific answer.
Why is the Competency Based Interview good for the interviewee?
Companies will let you know the competences in advance so you can think of specific examples. You aren’t going to be at the whim of an interviewers’ questions. you’ll know that if there is a competence on vision that you need to think of specific examples where you have demonstrated vision, if it is working with others that you think of examples of where you have worked with others. But of course, you need to go deeper than this – think of many examples – where you have worked well with others, how you built up a relationship, a difficult situation you had to overcome and more.
Would an interview practice session help?
Sometimes it can be useful to have a trial go with an experienced interviewer so you both can see how you respond under pressure with The Competency Based Interview, and you also get specific and helpful feedback.
When I do my interview coaching sessions I act as interviewer to begin with, then after each question I put on my coaching hat and we dissect the response and how the person could have improved, and to congratulate them on what they did well.
This provides a practical example, from July 2007
Martin rang me and sounded very nervous. He had applied for a job and hadn’t expected to get short listed. Now he had an interview in a weeks’ time and was very nervous.
I don’t know why he hadn’t expected to get an interview, we had done a really good job on his CV, ensuring we addressed all the key points in the ad, carefully reading and ensuring we covered the essential and desirable requirements and pulling together a strong covering letter, emphasising how well he matched up.
Martin hadn’t been for an interview for several years so we needed to quickly get him focused on performing well. He couldn’t come and see me for a practice session so the interview coaching was done by phone, (this was 10 years ago, now it would be by Skype!)
The letter came with some additional information including a list of the company competences. This was great as it made preparation straightforward. I undertake a lot of competency based interviewing. As an interviewer, I probe well to get the detail, so it is best to prepare.
The Competency based interview
If you are going to face a competency based interview you should have a list of the competencies sent to you in advance. When you look at the list you need to think of examples that demonstrate your abilities in this area and I always encourage clients to look for at least 2 examples of each competence which is quite a lot of work.
When you get a competency question you need to be prepared and structured. You will be asked questions which relate to scenarios and for each scenario you should:
- Briefly outline the situation
- Describe what you did
- Say what the outcome was and give your estimate of the proportion of credit you can claim for that outcome
- Say what you gained from the experience
Describe an effective team of which you are a member. What is your contribution to the team? In what way is the team effective?
I have been a member of a local cricket club in Cheshire for the last two years, which not only is fun but also provides an escape from studying Engineering. I am an important member of the team as I am the main strike bowler and sound middle order batsman with an average of over 20 last season; and I was therefore, partially responsible for one of the clubs most successful seasons in its history. In addition, to good performances on the field, the club also performed well off the field, as we organised various fundraising events that have benefited both the club and the community. For example, this year we held a fete where I was responsible for running a food stall, which improved my organisational and interpersonal skills.
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If you think I can help, or you have a question on preparing for The Competency Based Interview please get in touch.