Competency-based Interviews

Competency-based Interviews…?

Competency-based Interviews have been around a long time. However in recent years, they are becoming more formal and becoming part of an overall recruitment and selection process, where each candidate is required to complete a Competency-based Application Form first. Competency-based interviews are usually based on the contents of the Competency-based Application Form, though employers would design a competency-based interview upon receipt of CV’s. The competencies usually discussed at interviews are skills, talents, abilities that the successful candidate must have in order to carry out the duties and tasks of the role as outlined in the job advertisement / job description / job specification. The interview board would ask each candidate to give them an example i.e. tell them a story of an achievement, project, task that would best convince them that they have this competency in their natural possession. In order to convince them, the candidate would need an example that is preferably linked to a current or previous employment over the past 5-7 years (10 years maximum). The candidates with the best examples that are well structured, narrated and have a start, middle and end usually are selected or paneled.

The most common and well known format for sharing competency examples with interviewers in an interview situation is the STAR format i.e.:

  • S = Situation
  • T = Task
  • A = Action
  • R = Result

The Situation is the background to the competency example and gives the interviewers an overview / introduction of the where, what, who of the story.The Task tells the interviewers what you done (you, not we) in the competency example and what you had to do.

The Action shares with the interviewers how you done what you had to do. This is the detail of what you had to do i.e. how did you do it? The Result is the outcome i.e. what happened at the end. Was there a saving made, a project completed, increased turnover, a new client brought on board, an award achieved for example. When it comes to interviews today, competencies are what it is all about; the interviewers want to hear stories…!

Leadership – Moving on Up in Your Career!

Leadership is now becoming a paramount competency whether you are leading people or not. Every business / management / human resource magazine always has an article or two or indeed section dedicated to leadership. This is because most people who read these are career-orientated and therefore want to progress in their career; and in order to progress in their career, they must have excellent leadership skills, talents and abilities, so as to help their organisation achieve their business goals.

High potential employees who want to be the future leaders of or in their organisation need three key skill sets to realise their career ambitions namely:

  1. Business acumen
  2. Strategic acumen
  3. Financial acumen

Where is the organisation going, what strategy do they have and how do they plan to achieve their financial targets? Having this acumen (knowledge and expertise), will propel you to new heights in your organisation.

High potential employees need to be smart, hardworking committed, trustworthy and resilient; they need to be great with their customers, be able to empower their teams, negotiate effectively, manage conflict and be great communicators.

High potential employees (who want to be leaders) need to understand the business, where it is going and their role in taking it there, have the ability to scan the external environment and identify risks, opportunities, make strategic recommendations, understand the financials of the business, the story they tell and take appropriate action or make appropriate recommendations. This is the door-opener to career-advancement in your organisation i.e. business, strategic and financial acumen. All the other competencies are what make you different.

So, if you aspire to leadership i.e. going from middle management to senior management you need to develop the skills, competencies and acumen in business, strategy and finance. This can be achieved through mentoring, further education, training, reading and initiating / leading innovative projects…

Source: Susan Colantuono (TEDTALKS – Audio – November 2013) 

Be Your Own Best Careers Coach…

Be your own best careers coach…I read a book a number of years back called ‘Be Your Own Best Career’s Coach’. It always stuck with me in that nobody is more interested in you and your career than you! People care (of course they do) and help (of course they will), but they have their own challenges in life that takes priority over everybody and anything else. So, when it comes down to it, you have to make it happen by coaching yourself to realize the ideal in a career that meets all of your values and job criteria. How do you do this? Read more

Looking for a job after a long illness…

Looking for a job at any time is a challenge, even in the prime of your health. Looking for a job after a long illness is doubly challenging. If you are someone who after an accident, disability or sickness needs to / wants to return to the world of work, don’t think about all the time you have been out of work, don’t think about how things may have changed and certainly don’t think about giving up before you start. What can you do? Who will pay you for your skills? Can you help an employer make money or save money? Are you employable at all? It is ‘Yes’ to all of these questions. Read more

You got to keep going…

You got to keep going, you really have to, in whatever business or career you are in. There isn’t much more choice especially if you have your own business and are self-employed. The words stoic, resilient and determination come to mind as words that describe what you have to be, do and act. When significant challenges face you or creep up on you, you have to have the right attitude of dealing with them or better still your hard work up to now helps you to deal with these challenges. They will give you the confidence to believe that things will improve because of your strong business sales, marketing and financial models. Let’s talk about these business sales, marketing and financial models under the following: Read more

Job / Career / Life Management Websites…

Job / Career / Life Management Websites are becoming more and more popular everyday. We see them advertised in local and national newspapers and other forms of advertising mediums, not to mention On-Line. The people behind them are usually self-employed who for whatever reason want to give something back, have an own-business aspiration, have taken early retirement, have taken a redundancy package, have had personal experiences of the service they are trying to offer and  / or want to offer a business from their home on a part-time / full-time basis. Should you need their services think about the following website criteria, before making a decision on which person to choose to help you in your job / career / life challenge: Read more

Career Planning in your Organsiation

Career Planning in your Organisation i.e. the place in which you work, is not always the responsibility of your manager or the organisation. Yes, the organisation is responsible to provide the environment, culture and resources to help you plan your career, but at the end of the day it is you who has to use the environment, the culture and the resources in which you work in to achieve your career aspirations. For the organisation to support and help you achieve your career aspirations, they (career aspirations) need to be linked to and have an adverse positive effect on the bottom line of the organisation i.e. deliver on sustainable competitive advantage. Read more

How to get promoted…

How to get promoted in an organisation is not always easy, especially for the people who have been in the organisation a long time and feel they deserve to be promoted. People may have been promised a promotion as part of a performance review or during the recruitment & selection process and it hasn’t materialized. And people may genuinely want to get to the top of their particular department or the actual organisation and there is no career path or opportunities for this to happen. Whichever one of the three situations above do not occur, the employee will leave the organisation and look to other organisations to meet their career needs. Read more