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Here' a beginners guide to competency based Interviewing.Hope it proves useful to all the members.
What is competency based interviewing?
It's a style of interviewing used so that a candidate can best show how they would demonstrate certain behaviours/skills in the work place; by answering questions about how you have reacted to and dealt with previous work place situations.
By using past experience a potential employer can predict future behaviour by:
You will be asked to give an example of a situation or task which led you to take a certain course of action. Probing questions will then be used to determine the course of action you took and what changes were created by those actions and the effects of those actions on others.
Traditional job descriptions are now quite out-dated. Most organisations will analyse a role by breaking it down into key competencies. For example the competencies of a lawyer may be planning and organising, innovation, personal drive, problem analysis and decision making. If an organisation uses this type of interviewing, it is very likely that your job will be defined on this basis and your performance in it will be managed through competencies. For example your appraisal may well be linked to evidence and real-life examples of having demonstrated these competencies.
2 How can I prepare for this type of interview?
The simple answer is you can't. You can prepare for the interview in the normal way by researching the company, making sure you are able to talk through the work and skills that you have described on your CV. You will be given the opportunity to market yourself for the role in the normal way. However, most candidates will find this type of interviewing much more interactive and enjoyable and it is likely that the interviewer will be able to encourage you to be much more open than in a traditional interview.
How will I be measured?
Usually the interviewer will have a number of pre-planned questions to ask you. For each of these questions they will ask for real-life evidence where you have demonstrated the behaviour or skills. They will know what the desired behaviours are and will look for positive and negative indicators. Examples of competencies and related questions are as follows:
Example one - Planning and Organisingcompetency & definitionPlanning & Organising: prioritises; sets stretching but realistic targets and deadlines; plans ahead and has a structured approach to the work Suggested Questions
Describe a project you have managed/been responsible for:· How did you plan your time? (& others time?) How did you deal with obstacles?Have you ever managed a project which you knew would run over the timescale? What did you do? What could you do differently next time?In your current job, how do you schedule your time and set priorities?How did you prepare for this interview?
Working in a structured and methodical wayMaintaining candidate detailsPlanning ahead to ensure timely delivery of resultsManaging time effectivelyMaintaining accurate management information, administrative records etcNegative IndicatorsWorks late but unproductively most of the timeSeldom completes a task unless they do all of the work themselvesReactive approachInflexible in modifying plan/prioritiesIs easily fazed by obstacles/interruptions
Example two - Team Skillscompetency & definitionTeam Skills: the ability to work with other people constructively to improve the effectiveness of the team Suggested Questions
Tell me about a time when you have started a new job
How did you go about building an effective working relationship with your colleagues/team? What effect did that action have on your success in that position? What effect did that action have on the success of the team
How do you galvanise your team into action?When has your own self-motivation rubbed off on others from whom you work?Describe an occasion when you chose not to work as part of a teamHave you ever had to work in a team where you felt other members of the team were lacking in commitment/ability?When has a colleague let you down and how did you react?
Desired BahaviourSelecting staff who will complement others in the teamCo-operating with others; helping people out when necessaryBuilding effective teamsConsulting others for advice when necessaryEnsuring that important information is communicated accurately and quicklyResolving conflict or disagreements quickly and without holding grudgesNegative IndicatorsAfraid to confront issuesInsensitive to people, their feelings and needsIndiscreet and gets involved in gossipPlays people off against each otherHolds grudgesWithholds information
Example three - Professional knowledge and judgementcompetency & definitionProfessional Knowledge &Judgement: has an extensive knowledge of his/her own field or department; understands the business and uses this to provide credible adviceSuggested QuestionsWhat examples are there during the past 3-6 months where you have made an important decision which turned out to be correct?Have you made any poor decisions in the past 6 months? Tell me about it/them?How do you gather information on clients? How have you used that information to influence a client or candidate?
When did a client last ask you for advice (other than re a live assignment)?
Desired BahaviourSound understanding of current lawSound understanding of clientsManaging the flow of information to clients effectivelyProviding commercial and practical advice to clientsProviding the client with credible adviceNegative IndicatorsInaccurate understanding of client's situationAssumes professional responsibility beyond level of competence/experienceAbdicated decision-making to othersIgnores side issues as irrelevant
Example four - Leadershipcompetency & definitionLeadership: Takes control of situations and events; recognizes and rewards others performance; motivates; coaches and develops othersSuggested QuestionsWhen was the last time you disciplined a member of staff? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?Describe a time when you have set goals for an individual or for your team How did you go about it? Were they achieved?Tell me about a sensitive or difficult staffing issues you have dealt with What did you find most difficult about it? What was this so? What was the outcome?
How have you introduced change to your team?How do you ensure your team gets feedback on its performance?Describe a situation in which you coached a team member
Giving feedbackConducting performance appraisalsDeveloping people on the jobCoaching and training staffSetting development objectivesDelegating effectivelyConfronting difficult management/staff issues promptlyMotivating teams to give their bestHandling disciplinary proceduresRecognizing good performanceReviewing performance of staff on a regular basisConducting effective meetings with teamNegative IndicatorsBelieves in an autocratic style of leadershipIs insensitiveDemonstrates an inconsistent style of leadershipTries to change how things are done without any consideration to proven methods and working practices
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