Step by step guide to competency-based interviews

15 June 2020


You will need to be able to prove to employers that you have the skills that they require. In applications and interviews, employers use competency questions to gain this information. The questions normally begin with phrases such as “tell me a time when….” Or “give me an example of…..” your answers will be used as evidence that you have what it takes.

It is therefore important to prepare for interviews and think about the competencies that employers may be looking for.  You can normally find their values on their website, company information and through feedback on the web.

STAR Method

The STAR method of interviewing is used in many instances by employers.  There are many variations regarding this, but they will all use the same methodology.

STAR stands for:

This way of answering the questions will help you become organised in your thought processes. Examples of the questions, broken down into competency groups, are as follows: –


Culture Fit


Initiative and Taking Ownership

Once you have found out what potential employers are looking for, rate yourself or ask someone close to you to give you feedback as follows: –

1= I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it.

2= I am good at this. With some practise I can make it perfect.

3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.

4 = I am not particularly good at this – yet!

Below you will find links that you may find useful for further reading.


Indeed (team working)

Total Jobs Link

Michael Page

STAR Interview Technique Questions

Reproduced with thanks to Tracy Billingham HR Ltd


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