Competency-based questions aim to find out how you have used specific skills in your previous experience and how you approach problems, tasks and challenges. These questions require detail and thought, so it's best to give yourself plenty of time to answer them.
Example competency-based question
'Describe a time when you worked in a team'.
The employer wants to find out whether you have the right skills for the job, so you'll need to use an example. Experiences you could use:
- work experience
Answering a competency-based question
To answer, use the STAR technique:
- describe a Situation
- the Tasks you needed to do
- the Actions you took
- the Results you achieved
Employers want to know that you can get along with others in a team. Show that you make an effort to pull your weight and you communicate well.
Here's an example answer:
Situation: In my part-time job, we had 3 days to complete our annual stock check.
Task: We had to count every item of stock accurately, ensuring we stayed on schedule. I was in charge and worked with 2 colleagues in my department.
Action: I assigned different sections of the stock to each person, along with a target time. Some sections went more quickly so we recognised our time to help each other out.
Result: By working together and being flexible, we completed the whole task on time. In fact we were the first department to finish.