A typical competency-based interview follows a flow, which serves as a guide for the interviewer and this holds true for all other types of interview. A smooth flow of question and answer process will satisfy the goal of both interviewer and interviewee. Typically, interviews would last 30 to 40 minutes, or can be a little longer such as when the interviewer is handling a candidate for a senior or higher position in the company. Commonly, interviews are also conducted in a one-on-one manner, but in some cases, panel or group interview applies. Interviewing a team may take longer than the usual.
So, just like any other interview process, the competency-based interview is structured into three main parts: introduction, body of the interview, and conclusion.
Before the start of the interview, the interviewer will call out the applicant’s name and make a formal introduction. For initial interviews, a recruitment personnel usually conducts it. The next stages of it will be endorsed to higher management such as the HR Head or Manager. After the introduction, the applicant will then be escorted to the interview area or in the conference room. Sometimes, the interviewer will let applicants fill out a personal information sheet or other forms that will be used during the interview.
The interview normally starts with asking questions about personal background such as education, family background, work experience, and basic information. Although not that important in a competency interview, the interviewer’s purpose is to confirm the truthfulness of the information found on the resume. Also, the candidate will be asked about what his knowledge of the company and the position applied for.
The interviewer may also brief this person on the interview process of the organization such as the interview stages that will follow, should the applicant be short-listed.
Body of the Interview
In this section of the interview flow, the interviewer will start asking behavioral or situational questions as a way of determining strengths and potentials based on an applicant’s competencies. In a way, this part is the competency assessment of candidates.
As a candidate, a person has to come out stronger than the rest of the applicants for the position. Aim to impress the interviewer with answers and non-verbal gestures. The use of interview techniques is proven to be effective to capture the interest of the interviewer. A competency interview is different from any other regular interview; it seeks to bring out whatever skills and attributes an applicant has, to measure suitability for the position. Expect the interviewer to ask questions that require examples and giving of situations in this part of the interview.
Since this part of the interview is the meat of the whole process, it is necessary for an applicant to ensure that the interviewer is satisfied with the answers given for each of the questions asked. Always highlight personal competency and other core skills such as leadership competency, communication competency, technical competency, and many more.
Once the interview is about to end, an applicant might be asked to pose questions or clarifications to the interviewer. Many inexperienced applicants think it is better to play safe by not asking anything, but the truth is that the interviewer might assume this is due to a lack of interest in the position and the company. So, for the wrapping up section of the interview process, an applicant should make it a point to ask relevant questions.
What questions should be asked? Basically, here are two types of questions an applicant can ask:
- Ask questions that show interest in the job and the company. Note that an applicant is being interviewed because the employer needs a potential candidate to fill in a particular job and it is essential for this person to show to them that he is the right one.
- Ask questions that manifest active listening during the entire interview. An applicant will surely impress the interviewer with it.
Basically, this is how a typical competency-based interviewing process goes. With ample preparation, an applicant can smoothly go through the interview flow with the interviewer and may even get a good impression from the employer. Remember that the entire process is targeted at identifying potential work competency so be ready for it.