When it comes to interviews recruiters and employers alike are always impressed when a candidate shows a strong level of awareness of their skills, experience and capabilities. However, they are not impressed by grand claims made with no evidence to back them up! The best approach to take is always an honest one.
It is almost certain employers will ask competency-based questions which are questions that ask you to give an example of a time when you were in this situation before, what you did, and what the outcome was. By using competency-based questions employers can gauge your competency for the job, as PAST IS PROOF!
What sorts of things might they ask about?
- Technical Skills or Key Skills
If expert skills or knowledge are required for the role e.g. specific IT, Sales, Finance, you can bet you’ll be asked about them. – What knowledge and experience do you have of working with Java?
- Soft skills
These include communication, team working, negotiation, problem solving, leadership, decision-making, and working under pressure.
- Tell us about a situation where your communications skills made a difference to a situation?
- Give us an example of a situation where you worked under pressure. How did you deal with it?
- Describe a situation in which you were a member of a team. What did you do to positively contribute to it?
So how best to go about answering this type of question?
You know the employer wants to hear about your skills, and the only way to prove you have them is to discuss your previous experiences.
Examples are the Way Forward!
Go through the Job Description and pick out the key skills. It’s easy to predict the type of questions you’ll face; remember you MUST have an example prepared for each question to show you can do the job! Use this structure to help you answer the question…..STAR
S – Situation – Give the context of your example – set the scene (job, company, team)
T – Task – What were the objectives? What was the strategy put in place?
A – Action – What did you contribute? What problems arose? How did you solve them?
R – Result – What was the outcome? Lessons learned? How