How To Nail a Competency Based Interview

At some stage of the recruitment process, chances are you’ll have a competency-based interview. You know, those questions you get asked such as; “Tell me about a time when…”, Or “Explain how you…”.


It’s an excellent way for a headhunter or hiring manager to get specific examples around the core competencies of the position in question.


But as a candidate, how do you best answer these?

A one-word answer won’t do, neither will 10 minutes of waffle ending up with you forgetting the original question!


So go ahead and use the STAR method. Trust me, if you don’t know about this, write it down and keep it safe.


It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.


  • What was the situation?
  • What did you see as the task?
  • What action did you take?
  • What was the result (or outcome)?


This format will not only keep you on track but ensure you provide a thorough yet clear and concise answer that the interviewer will be looking for.


Before you attend the interview, understand the position’s core behavioural and functional competencies (if you haven’t already been told). That way, you can make a note of highly relevant examples from throughout your career that you’ll be able to use.


Just remember to format your response using the STAR method. It might just give you the edge you need against the competition!