Tap to Read ➤

Preparing for a Competency Based Interview

Ujwal Deshmukh
As a job aspirant, you will often be facing interviews that are designed to explore and bring out the best qualities and abilities in you. Such interviews are termed as competency interviews. Read ahead to know more...
To survive in this world of growing business competition, organizations are always in search of the best candidate. Generally, the basic expectations of any organization from a candidate are honesty, loyalty, smart working ability, logical thinking and the capacity as well as intelligence to handle duties and responsibilities independently.
Competency based interviews are conducted by the human resource management personnel and the operational head of the organization. It judges the candidate's usefulness to the organization and also brings the best out of him.
During your job search, keep yourself ready for such challenging interviews that will be tough enough to rack your brains, and would be the only factor that would decide, whether you are fit to work in the organization or not. We know you are wondering what exactly does a competency based interview consist of and what facing such interviews is all about.

Parameters of a Competency Based Interview

Leadership Skills

Organizations always want candidates who can lead a team and in turn lead the organization towards achieving its objectives and goals. These interviews therefore consist of questions and situations that judge the leadership skills hidden in you!

Responsible Nature

Gone are the days of schools and colleges where everything was taken care of by parents and teachers. You have now applied for work and will be held responsible for certain things that come under your scope of work. It is serious business that you are going to deal with from now on and therefore, you have to learn to be responsible at the professional front.

Communication Skills

One of the most important skills that you need to develop to survive in the corporate world are your communication skills. Competency based interviews are normally held with the senior management, and also written tests are conducted, to check whether you are competent enough on the parameter of effective communication skills.


Being a team player is the basic necessity of working in a professional environment. These interviews would check your ability to work in a team by conducting group discussions, by referring to some situations wherein your answer and solution will decide whether you are fit for teamwork or not.

Decision-making Capacity

Are you able to make decisions or you rely upon others to make decisions for you? Well, today's business environment needs a person who can independently take decisions in the company's favor. Therefore your decision-making capacity also will be looked for.

Career Orientation

Many a time, organizations would ask you to rate yourself from 1-10 to check your career orientation, and how much you are concerned about your career. This also helps them in understanding how loyal and honest you would be, while working in the organization.

Problem Solving Quality

There would not be a single day in your professional life, when you will not face any problems. On such instances, it is your problem solving ability that will help you in dealing with different situations.
Organizations usually test a person's situation handling capability to find out whether he can solve problems on his own or he would require someone's help to tackle the situation. They also look for whether he is assertive or biased while solving problems.
Apart from the mentioned ones, other parameters are general awareness about the corporate world, result oriented nature, personal goals in life and expectations from the organization.

Grooming Yourself for Competency Based Interviews

Pre Interview Activities

Let's see what are the things that you should do before you face the interview. Gather information about the organization, browse through its website, try to determine what exactly the organization will be expecting out of you. The best way to find out this thing is to understand the objectives, mission statement and the long term goals of the organization.
In the meanwhile, you can visit a library and try to read something on the subject, also read books on the topic 'most frequently asked interview questions and their answers'. Be ready with your answers. Browse through some commonly asked situations in the interview. Try to find out a solution by yourself.

Actual Interview

The first thing we would like to mention over here is to be confident. Have a winner's body language and style and please do not be afraid of anything! Shake hands comfortably. Sit erect and confidently. The interviewing panel is aware of the fact that, you have already prepared your model answers for the common questions and also model situations.
It is quite possible that they might ask you some other questions. So you need not be confused. Answer what you feel right and try to resolve situations applying your knowledge and capacity to the maximum. Remember that at the end, the interviewer wants to know your own view and attitude towards different things.

Concluding Session

Once your interview is over, you will also be given an opportunity to ask questions about the organization to them. Therefore, be relevant and to the point, ask questions that will reflect your concerns for the organizational development as well as self development within the organization.
Do not abruptly end the interview. Shake hands once again, wish them a great day ahead and leave the room with confidence.
This was an overview of the concept of interviews based on competency, and how to prepare for them. However, the type of questions, situations, competency parameters depend upon the type of organization you have applied for. So be prepared and get going! Wish you luck for your interview!