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By Patricia Maloney, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers
Q: I recently went for promotion which involved a competency-based interview. I prepared my examples so well for the competency questions that I totally neglected to prepare for questions relating to the job itself. I now feel unable to face the interview process again. (AD email).
A: Competency-based interviews are becoming more common place as a means by which the interview boards can select a suitable candidate for a job, writes Patricia Maloney, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.
In these type of interviews, candidates can get so caught up in the area they feel apprehensive about – the competencies – that they sometimes forget what the interview process is actually about, proving that you are the most suitable candidate for the job.
The interview panel are trying to gauge both can you do the job and will you do the job? Having a thorough knowledge of what that job will entail is always a good idea.
Know what the position involves and how it fits
You must know what the job is about. Research as much as you can, talk to employees past and present. Be familiar with the nuances of the position, what is currently operating or what projects are in the pipeline. Who do they do business with, what are current projections?
Read as much literature as possible and don’t confine your research to a one-page online search. If you are applying ‘in-house’, you already know the day-to-day operations but here you must show how your knowledge can further develop and improve the organisation. Keep focused while you are there and remember the reasons why you are there.
Know the structure and where the position fits
Any serious interviewee will have figured out where the position sits in the establishment or structure of the organisation and the working relationships between departments. The more you can show you know, the less time will be involved in on-boarding or induction training. Show you can hit the ground running
Be aware of your responsibilities
If you are applying for a management position, you should know or have an idea of the staff you are ultimately looking to be responsible for, and what their roles and responsibilities are. Likewise, who you will answer to, especially if they happen to be sitting across from you on the interview board. If it is product or sales, know the figures.
See yourself in the role
If you can’t visualise yourself in the role, you are unlikely to make the interview board see you in the role.
You must let them see the value you bring. Remember what the interview is about: they are looking for the best candidate for the position – you are there to convince them you are that best candidate. The competency-based interview is merely another means by which you can convince the board of your worth but don’t let it consume you or cause you to lose sight of what you are trying to achieve.
Finally, don’t let a bad experience stop you in your tracks. Put the last interview behind you. Now, set your sights and take aim, this time on target.
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Patricia Maloney, is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers. We have offices nationwide, plus a full online service. Our services include CV preparation, interview training, mock interviews, personal statements, career planning / direction, LinkedIn profiles and application forms.