How to ace a competency-based interview

Preparation is key when it comes to selling your own story.

by Adam Gale

Tell us about a time you nailed a competency-based interview. Struggling? While not exactly the most intimidating of all recruitment set-ups, these interviews can still catch you out if you’re not careful. Here’s MT’s handy guide to showing off your experience.

Be strategic

Competency-based questions are by their nature open-ended, which creates the temptation to rant. Don’t. Extraneous details can be an unnecessary distraction that could cost you the job – much like rapidly clicking your pen the whole way through the interview, only worse. ‘You’ve got to use every single word to sell yourself,’ explains interview coach Claire Jenkins. ‘Be tactical about anything that’s not strictly job-related.’

Personal details may make you memorable, but it really depends on the interviewer. You may think being a renowned high-wire tightrope walker/daredevil on the weekends is your greatest achievement, but they might worry whether you’ll actually be in the office on a Monday morning, rather than being scraped off the Big Top floor.

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