How to Answer Competency Based Interview Questions

When you apply for a job you may get asked competency based interview questions in your interview. These questions are getting increasingly common so we wanted to arm our candidates with as much help as possible and advise you how to answer competency based interview questions.

how to answer competency based interview questions

How to Answer Competency Based Interview Questions

Competency based interview questions tend to fall into the 5 categories below. They may all not be relevant for your interview. For example if you’re not applying for a managerial position then the Managerial Competencies will not be relevant to you.

1. Individual Competencies

These questions relate to your individual skills such as initiative, time-management, knowledge and decision making processes.

“Tell us about a time when you managed your time effectively to meet a tight deadline.”

2. Interpersonal Competencies

Working in teams is common with most roles. You will need to demonstrate how well you work with others.

“Please describe a time when you interacted with a member of your team to solve a problem together?”

3. Motivational Competencies

How motivated are you? Are you self-motivated? What drives you to achieve results in your roles?

“What did you do to feel motivated when you faced a challenge in your previous role?”

4. Analytical Competencies

For example you will be asked about your problem solving capabilities and analytical skills.

“Describe how you identified and implemented a new approach to a problem.”

5. Managerial Competencies

For example, your ability to lead others, how you manage a team, how you provide strong leadership qualities to motivate a team.

“Tell us a time when you were able to improve a team member’s performance?”


how to answer Why do you want this job

The STAR technique

The STAR technique is a very useful tool in answering competency based interview questions in a structured way. When answering a question you describe the:

Situation that you are referring to

Task you undertook

Action you did

Result you achieved


Ultimately you shouldn’t be fazed by competency based interview questions as they are a great way to show the interviewer that you have the skills required for the role. To be prepared you should find out what skills the role requires and ahead of time think of instances when you have used those skills in previous roles. For each situation you should use the STAR technique. Once you have these answers prepared you will feel much more confident going to the interview as you will know you have the skills they are looking for.


If you are a candidate looking for work, please don’t hesitate to contact 2i Recruit to find out what job opportunities we have in Surrey and London. We are a leading recruitment agency in Godalming, Guildford.

View more advice for interviews on our blog.


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