What is a competency-based interview, and how to prepare?

Companies seek to improve their selection processes to identify the talents that are most in line with their culture and capable of delivering better results. Among the various techniques used to evaluate candidates for a vacancy is the competency interview. However, after all, what is this, and how can HR prepare to apply this filter to their selections?


In this post, we will explain the process better and give some tips for your company to adopt this sort of screening, getting more precise hires that meet the needs of the organization. If you are interested in building more structured and efficient teams, read on this post!



What is competence interviewing?

To understand what competence interviewing is, you must first know the meaning of competence. The term relates to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that make up a person’s personality.


During the competency interview, an evaluation of these aspects is made through questions related to the candidate’s activities. The interviewer asks the professional to narrate situations in which he or she needed to work in a team, or to face a challenging circumstance, or even to come up with a creative solution to a problem.


Thus, it is possible to analyze the skills present in the interviewee, realizing their particularities in the face of more complex situations. Remember that driving is entirely under the responsibility of the selection team, after all, it is who knows what are the skills required for the company and the position in question. There is no right and wrong – there are skills that meet (or do not) meet the demands of the moment.



How does this type of interview help companies?

Competency interviews are based on real experiences, experiences that the candidate had and can bring to illustrate some of his posture and attitude towards various problems.


It is an efficient tool for predicting future behaviors of the professional. Through it, it is possible to identify specific patterns in the face of group or leadership relationship conflicts, allowing the selectors to be able to assess if the candidate will have an excellent adaptation to the position and the organizational culture.


This type of interview usually has a very behavioral approach and gives an evident and objective view of the professional’s profile. This helps in selecting people who have to do with company values ​​and who can have a positive reaction to problems.



How should HR prepare to conduct a competency interview?

The competence interview differs slightly from the traditional interview, precisely because it has this more behavioral approach. It is, therefore, vital to create the right environment so that the candidate can talk about his or her experiences without shyness or nervousness disturbing him.


This will ensure a fairer assessment, with HR having all the information you need to be able to select the professional who has the profile the company seeks. To help with this, here are some tips.



Know the reality of the company

The first step in a behavioral interview that yields results is knowing precisely what the organizational culture is like and what the indispensable values ​​are for candidates. This definition will serve as a starting point for any interview, after all HR needs to know what it is looking for before starting any selection.



Detail the skills

Knowing precisely what the company is looking for, it is time to detail these skills. This control is vital for alignment when the selection process is done as a team. In this way, those involved can work together towards a single goal, eliminating communication noise. It is recommended to build a persona, an “ideal professional” who brings all the skills the company needs. Assessments can then be made on this persona.



Give respondent openness

Bullying the candidate will make them unable to answer the questions or try to manipulate the answers by saying what they think the interviewer wants to hear. To do a proper interview by competency, the recruiter must create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes the professional feel free to show who he or she is.


To do this, open the candidate, talk in a relaxed way, allow him to show his real ideas and attitudes in the circumstances. Only in this way is it possible to make an assessment according to reality, consistent with the attitude that the professional usually adopts.



Ask the right questions

The recruiter needs to ask questions that bring out situations experienced by the candidate and that show some of his personality and character. Some issues to address are:


How is your relationship with colleagues you don’t like?

Have you resolved any desktop conflicts?

How do you deal with stressful situations?

Have you ever made a mistake at work? How did you handle the situation?

Have you ever been in a conflict with your boss? How did you solve it?

These questions help you understand a little more about your attitude toward common problems across companies, giving you a clearer picture of your behavior.



Quantify the answers

To have a more appropriate evaluation parameter and not make this analysis so subjective, it is interesting to adopt a scale that allows the comparison between the answers. You can assign a numerical scale according to the questions you have planned, where 5 is closest to the desired answer and 1 is the farthest.


Although behavior is challenging to quantify, adopting this method will make it easier for candidates to evaluate. Knowing what a competency interview is and how to create the right scenario to conduct it properly is essential to making the most accurate selections and the right hires that can truly meet the needs of the business. With these tips, you will surely be able to structure a much more effective selection process.


A headhunter can help a lot in this process, as he has the know-how to select candidates not only according to their technical knowledge, but also taking into account their emotional skills.



Come and learn about the services offered by Ventura Tec and learn how we can help you find the right talent for your company! Visit our site!

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