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  string(19) "2014-10-02 01:41:33"
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  string(5132) "“Tell me about a time When…”

As a recruitment consultant, sometimes I find myself sounding like a broken record when I ask my candidates “Tell me about a specific time when…” It’s the question I ask multiple times a day, multiple times in one interview as a way to get to know my candidates as decision makers, personalities, and of course as employees in the workplace.

Working in recruitment I was trained and have also learned through experience why asking what are referred to as ‘Competency Based Questions’ is the best way to gain a full scope and understanding of a candidate’s work history. These questions are standard for 95% of interviews one will attend; yet many people are caught off guard when asked questions phrased in this way.

Obviously I have been in the candidate seat myself, and struggled to answer these questions. Flashback to my first corporate job interview fresh out of university. After a series of “Tell me about a time when…” questions I found myself with sweaty palms looking like a deer in headlights in front of a panel of interviewers… yikes! The most frustrating part was, its not that I didn’t have answers to the questions, I had no clue how to phrase them in a way that articulated my skills and experience in the best way possible.

For the job seekers our there, having an insight as to why recruiters are asking you these types of questions, and how to best answer them will help you articulate your experience with confidence!

What is a Competency Based Question?

In the context of Human Resources, the term competence is referred to as one’s ability to perform a job properly. A competency (or behavior) based question is used as an opportunity for you to demonstrate through a carefully crafted answer how you use your skills and strengths listed on your CV to perform your job.

Why am I being asked Competency Based Questions?

Success in most jobs means having more than technical skills. We need to have motivation, clear communication, accountability, and a solid grasp on emotional intelligence to perform in our jobs. These days, most jobs are very fluid, one person’s role will require them to work across multiple departments with multiple people, and complete various different tasks at the same time.

Competency based questions dissect how you react and perform in situations involving challenge, change, and teamwork.  Providing an in-depth and thorough answer about a challenging 3 month project you completed in your current job provides employers with an insight to how you might react in a similar situation within their company.

How do I answer competency based Questions?

A: Competency based questions are best answered by the using the STAR format describing the following in your answer:

S- the specific situation you were involved in

T- the task you performed

A- the action you took to complete the task

R- the results

A question answered in this format isn’t easy to answer without adequate preparation. Do some brainstorming! Pinpointing specific circumstances over years of work experience can be overwhelming, and you can end up feeling like you have been put on the spot in an interview. To prepare yourself, write down three or four instances from your current or previous work experience where you feel you reached a pinnacle, and be able to talk the interviewer through them.

Think about times when you overcame challenges, were recognised for a job well done, or personal achievements that define you as a valuable employee.

Next, jot down what happened in the situation using the STAR format. It is important that you answer the question in the proper format to avoid confusion in your answer.

Last but not least, practice! In front of the mirror or with someone else, speak about your situations until you can articulate them clearly.

The most important thing to remember about Competency Based Questions is that your interviewer is not trying to trick you! They are taking the time to get to know your personality, how you think, act, and make decisions.

Bearing all this in mind, get out there and ace your next interview! Now that you know the purpose of these questions and how to answer them; prepare, practice, and perfect them!

 

Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide"
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  string(53) "Competency Based Job Interviews: A Beginner’s Guide"
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  string(130) "Competency based job interviews are about taking the time to get to know your personality: How you think, act, and make decisions."
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“Tell me about a time When…”

As a recruitment consultant, sometimes I find myself sounding like a broken record when I ask my candidates “Tell me about a specific time when…” It’s the question I ask multiple times a day, multiple times in one interview as a way to get to know my candidates as decision makers, personalities, and of course as employees in the workplace.

Working in recruitment I was trained and have also learned through experience why asking what are referred to as ‘Competency Based Questions’ is the best way to gain a full scope and understanding of a candidate’s work history. These questions are standard for 95% of interviews one will attend; yet many people are caught off guard when asked questions phrased in this way.

Obviously I have been in the candidate seat myself, and struggled to answer these questions. Flashback to my first corporate job interview fresh out of university. After a series of “Tell me about a time when…” questions I found myself with sweaty palms looking like a deer in headlights in front of a panel of interviewers… yikes! The most frustrating part was, its not that I didn’t have answers to the questions, I had no clue how to phrase them in a way that articulated my skills and experience in the best way possible.

For the job seekers our there, having an insight as to why recruiters are asking you these types of questions, and how to best answer them will help you articulate your experience with confidence!

What is a Competency Based Question?

In the context of Human Resources, the term competence is referred to as one’s ability to perform a job properly. A competency (or behavior) based question is used as an opportunity for you to demonstrate through a carefully crafted answer how you use your skills and strengths listed on your CV to perform your job.

Why am I being asked Competency Based Questions?

Success in most jobs means having more than technical skills. We need to have motivation, clear communication, accountability, and a solid grasp on emotional intelligence to perform in our jobs. These days, most jobs are very fluid, one person’s role will require them to work across multiple departments with multiple people, and complete various different tasks at the same time.

Competency based questions dissect how you react and perform in situations involving challenge, change, and teamwork.  Providing an in-depth and thorough answer about a challenging 3 month project you completed in your current job provides employers with an insight to how you might react in a similar situation within their company.

How do I answer competency based Questions?

A: Competency based questions are best answered by the using the STAR format describing the following in your answer:

S- the specific situation you were involved in

T- the task you performed

A- the action you took to complete the task

R- the results

A question answered in this format isn’t easy to answer without adequate preparation. Do some brainstorming! Pinpointing specific circumstances over years of work experience can be overwhelming, and you can end up feeling like you have been put on the spot in an interview. To prepare yourself, write down three or four instances from your current or previous work experience where you feel you reached a pinnacle, and be able to talk the interviewer through them.

Think about times when you overcame challenges, were recognised for a job well done, or personal achievements that define you as a valuable employee.

Next, jot down what happened in the situation using the STAR format. It is important that you answer the question in the proper format to avoid confusion in your answer.

Last but not least, practice! In front of the mirror or with someone else, speak about your situations until you can articulate them clearly.

The most important thing to remember about Competency Based Questions is that your interviewer is not trying to trick you! They are taking the time to get to know your personality, how you think, act, and make decisions.

Bearing all this in mind, get out there and ace your next interview! Now that you know the purpose of these questions and how to answer them; prepare, practice, and perfect them!

 

Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide

Tags: Cox Purtell | Cox Purtell Blog | Job Search | Permanent Recruitment | Recruitment Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Melbourne | Recruitment Agency Sydney | Recruitment Melbourne | Recruitment Sydney | Temporary Recruitment |

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