Economics/Business

Competency based questions examples/importance/structuring interview

To ensure good hires, many Human Resources professionals invest in the competency interview to better evaluate candidates and choose the one that best fits the company’s needs. Competency based questions examples

In this way, technical and behavioral skills are analyzed, which allows for a more accurate assessment and, consequently, a better contract. In addition, the organization’s results are also impacted, as employees are better trained.

Do you want to know more about the competency interview and how to structure it in your company’s selection process? Read on and check it out!

What is the competency interview?

The skills are characteristics that have, for example, skills, knowledge and attitudes. As each position requires different skills to be performed with excellence by the employee, the HR team must consider them when making a hiring. 

Thus, in a competency interview, it is common for the professional responsible for recruiting to question the candidate about past situations . The objective is to understand how that person acts in certain cases, such as overcoming a challenge or winning a goal.

The method has been widely used in selections, but for it to be really effective, it is necessary to structure the interview, focusing only on the competencies sought by the organization at that time.

In addition, the technique is not new: larger companies have been using it for years and, increasingly, smaller ones are reproducing this in their selection processes. It is usually a simple interview, in which the candidate reports how he behaved at certain times. Competency based questions examples

Since the focus is behavioral, although it is also possible to assess technical skills, some recruiters do not even question the professional’s résumé, trusting that everything contained therein is true and that it meets all the requirements of the vacancy, in a way to analyze only the answers in the interview.  

As an interviewer, it’s important that you know exactly which competencies you want to assess so that you can ask the best questions and, consequently, get the most assertive answers.

So, if you want to know if he works well in a group, for example, you can ask him to talk about when he needed to do a project in collaboration with other people and how the experience was, even if there were difficulties, etc. Based on the answer, you will be able to analyze whether or not he has this developed competency.

The importance of analyzing skills

Traditionally, the tendency was to assess only technical skills to choose the right candidate for a position. However, competency-based interviews are considered good tools to predict the professional’s performance.

That’s because, when we ask about past experiences, we can get an idea of ​​how they would behave when hired. For that reason, we need to ask the right questions. Competency based questions examples

And don’t forget that it’s very rare to find someone who is everything the organization is looking for, after all, no one is perfect. So, keep an open mind to know when the company itself can teach or develop a certain skill of the candidate, evaluating only the essential requirements.

technical x behavioral skills

Technical competences involve all the skills and knowledge that the professional has, based on his/her academic background, command of other languages, complementary activities and practical experience in the area. Furthermore, they are the ones who will guarantee that the tasks will be performed.

On the other hand, behavioral skills are related to the candidate’s personality. It is the way professionals deal with the different situations that occur in the work environment and involves issues such as emotional intelligence , ethics, communication, leadership and motivation. 

To know which competencies to assess, you need to consider organizational values ​​and culture to seek out candidates who share a similar vision, as well as the technical skills required. Competency based questions examples

After all, how to structure an interview based on competence?

The process of structuring a competency interview consists, basically, of the three steps that we will see below. 

Establish which competencies will be assessed

First, when we structure an interview by competency, we must define all the technical and behavioral competencies required by the company to know what we will and will not assess during the selection process.

It is based on them that we will prepare the questionnaire of questions to be asked to the candidates. For that, it is interesting to understand the characteristics of the best employees that the company already has in this position and, also, what differentials it is looking for.

Ideally, you have a limited amount of skills, which are really key to staying focused during the interview . Generally, the number is around five technical skills and five behavioral skills, and there may be variations.

make good questions

Preparing the questions that will be asked to candidates is the second step in structuring the competency-based interview. At that time, we created a script for the conversation . Remember that you don’t have to follow the exact same order for all candidates, but it will be a good guide to guide your inquiries. Competency based questions examples

Therefore, try to have at least two questions for each competency previously selected, always thinking about encouraging them to talk about past experiences in which they used those competencies.

15 questions for a good competency interview

Below you will see the first steps to apply a competency interview:

  • Define critical business competencies;
  • Define the human competencies (company values) that are essential;
  • Survey the profile sought for the position; and,
  • Create the behavioral interview script based on items 1 to 3.

In item three, it is very important that the Recruitment and Selection team talks with the job applicant to understand the level of responsibility that the position will require. Inquire about the actions and attitudes the new employee should take.

Don’t forget to validate the technical skills that are prerequisites for the position, such as years of experience, education, second language, etc.

Now let’s go to the questions you can use in your interviews. To facilitate this, we have separated by macro themes: Leadership, Customer Focus, Flexibility, Creativity. Keep in mind that for each career level you will need to adapt the questions.

To identify the Leadership competency :

  • Tell me about a delivery you made that depended on the team and how you did it to motivate people to deliver results.
  • Do you remember a meeting where you had to quickly position yourself and your communication was effective? Tell the fact.
  • What was the project you conducted that involved more than two areas of the company? What results were achieved?

To identify the Customer Focus competency : Competency based questions examples

  • Tell me an example where you managed to gain customer loyalty. What did you do to achieve this result?
  • What was the most difficult customer you had to deal with? What made it difficult? What did you do to get around the situation?
  • Tell about a situation where you reversed a bad impression the customer had of the company/product.

To identify the Flexibility competency :

  • Have you ever been in a situation that forced you to suddenly change your mind? How did it go?
  • Tell me about a time when you needed to take responsibility for a task that was not in your scope of work. How it was?
  • How do you react to difficult changes? Give a specific example.

To identify the Creativity competency :

  • Tell me about a situation where you found yourself creative in solving a complex problem.
  • Talk about a situation where you didn’t have the resources to accomplish the desired task. What did you do?

To identify the Priority/Organization Management competency : Competency based questions examples

  • Describe a situation where you needed to resolve several important situations in the same day. How did you organize for this?
  • Share an example of how you organize your personal and family priorities?

To identify the Focus on Results competency :

  • Give me examples of how you verify the results of your area’s goals. And how do you establish the action plan to reach them?
  • What was the last project/goal you accomplished? How did you work to achieve it?

This interview model is very effective when the job profile is well designed, so it is important that the manager and the HR professional work in partnership to draw the most complete profile possible. The competency interview assesses the candidate from different points of view and manages to signal the past experiences that have taken place and that are good indications of future performance. Competency based questions examples

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