Competency-based interviews are totally different to typical interview situations – but how are competency-based interview questions marked?
You should always be aware that your skills, knowledge and attitudes are being tested in interviews of this nature, as your interviewers will have worked out the types of answers scoring positive points before the interview. Preparing detailed answers to common questions in advance is an essential task for any committed candidate.
Your interview questions will encompass a variety of likely areas and responsibilities to be faced within the job role. Your detailed research into the position and readings of the job specification allow you to gauge the role and the work you will be doing if you are successful, this way you can prepare yourself more thoroughly for your interview. More senior vacancies will entail greater probing and detail within the likely questions and answers.
Common questions asked at competence-based interviews include:
- “Describe a time you had to deal with pressure at work.”
- “Describe the best ways you manage your day in your current role and the types of common problems that can occur on a regular basis.”
- “Tell us about a time you dealt with conflict in the workplace, or with customers.”
- “Give an example of when your communicating skills proved critical in the workplace.”
You will find a much more complete listing of likely questions at competency-based interviews in point 4.7.
The interviewers will mark your responses to questions in a rigid fashion, based on the positive and negative indicators they identified prior to interview.
Marking your Answers
Check out the detailed information available at Interview Skills Consulting on competency-based interviews and likely interviewer marking techniques. Your interviewers will run through their standard assessment questions without deviation during every interview.
Each interviewer is likely to mark your answers independently, with a panel discussion taking place after the interview to assess the markings and obtain a final result.
Positive indicators include:
- Demonstrates a positive approach to the problem involved
- Considers the wider need of the situation
- Recognises own limitations
- Ability to compromise
- Will seek help when needed
- Effective strategies to deal with stress or pressure
Negative indicators include:
- Challenges are seen as problems
- Unsuccessfully attempts to deal with the situation alone
- Inappropriate strategies used to deal with stress or pressure
The candidate(s) offering the best answers, with most positive indicators, are likely to be called back for further testing or offered the job. Each question is psychologically geared towards assessment of candidates’ positive and/or negative attributes, sometimes negative indicators may be split into minor negatives and decisive negative indicators to assist more within the selection process.
Negative indicators are often split into further sections: minor negative indicators (which doesn’t matter all that much) and decisive negative indicators (which are more important).
Marks are attributed based on the extent that a candidate’s answer matches the indicators – ranging from 0 (no evidence) to 4 (Good to excellent) depending on the number of positive or negative indicators.
In some circumstances, interviewers will ask additional leading or probing questions if they feel you haven’t quite addressed all the necessary indicators within your answers. Marketing can become more subjective, if questions are prompted and pushed because the interviewer has a more positive outlook on your suitability for the role.
Performing well within work-based interviews is not just about presenting a positive, “can-do” attitude, however. Detailed examples, in-depth knowledge of similar workplaces and experiences of working well in teams and independently are all likely to be queried within this interview format.
Your answers should reflect as much pertinent information and detail as needed to demonstrate your ability to succeed in this role.
Passing a competency-based interview can be subjective in many ways, preparing adequately in advance helps any candidate overcome common hurdles.
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