The best way to prepare for competency interviews

If you thought one long post on competencies was enough – well, you were sorely mistaken. This post is all about how to use your competencies in an interview (video or otherwise).

The key thing to aim for is flexibility. You want to go into an interview, and know you have numerous great examples to give them for any competency they could throw at you.

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Doesn’t she look smug?

How do you get this flexibility? Thought you’d never ask…

Make 25 flash cards. They don’t have to be big, and paper will do.

Come up with ten examples of things you have done in the last 5 years. So that is any jobs, volunteer placements, courses, classes, extra curricular activities in all shapes and sizes. You can even go back further than 5 years if you have done something particularly impressive and/ or fundamental to your sense of self.

Write one experience on each card.

On the other 15 cards, write the key competencies you can find here.

Turn all the cards over, keeping the piles separate. Shuffle them, and turn over one card from each pile.  Then out-loud (or at the very least whispering to yourself) talk about each example in light of the competency. Remember to stick to specific examples, and everything I wrote in the last article still applies. Use the STAR technique.

The benefit of using this technique is twofold.

Firstly, it gets you used to thinking on your feet. And secondly, it means you don’t just have two specific examples for team work and three examples for resilience etc.  You will end up with a number of different examples that you can rattle off confidently and comfortably. Competency interviews will hold no fear for you!

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Top Tip: If you’re struggling to think of what examples to use, get a big piece of paper and draw a spider diagram of everything that you do. Include jobs, volunteer placements, hobbies, classes, online courses, travelling….Everything.  Also, I found old CVs really helpful, as they mentioned things I had completely forgotten.





2 thoughts on “The best way to prepare for competency interviews

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing problems with your site.
    It seems like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me
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    1. Thanks for your comment! It’s a brand new site so may have some teething problems. I’ll look into it! But in the mean time, I could send you this article in PDF format? Just let me know via the contact page if this is something you would like 🙂


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