Competencies based application forms / interviews

#41
OK three pages on and I am rushed for time - so If I am repeating others I am sorry.
Competency based interviews are looking for evidence that you can do the job and meet the competencies of the role. So google STAR interviews and you will see how it works - The Guardian has lots to say on it and the large corporates and Universities use it.
'Situation - Task - Outcome - Result is' in effect what they are after.
For example Question - give an example of where you had to deal with an awkward personality at work - so set the scene, Task what you were expected to do, outcome how you did it and then the outcome you all lived happily ever after.
Keep it short and sweet, practice some examples before hand and make sure you know what the competencies are for the job - take them off the job spec/person spec.
Do not take any thing for granted, the interview panel know nothing more than what is on the CV, cover letter and application form.
Best of luck!
 
#43
The problem with traditional interviews is that they require an interviewer who's good at getting the measure of someone in an hour. They need to be a skilled questioner; they need to be discerning, insightful, even handed, wise.

If you do "competency based" interviews however then you can delegate your recruitment to any old moon-faced, mouth-breathing spastic.

On the plus side, it's a good indicator that you're through the first round if the interviewer asks you to help them fill in their form...
 
#44
I've done a lot of these as both applicant and interviewer. If you want to chat offline, or want me to sanity check anything, delighted to do so.

As for steering off the work examples to give evidence, one of my examples I sometimes use is about working to get a car parking zone established in my local area. Mainly because its a great set of evidence about working to shift opinions, build a team, motivate and lead people and so on. anything can be interview evidence if you put your mind to it...
 
#45
Have one anecdote per competency and try not to repeat anecdotes. If you have to, make it sound as if it's totally a new situation.
I'd recommend having 2 strong anecdotes per competency and even a possible 3rd. The reason being you may think the anecdote fits the competency. However the panel may not. If it doesn't any halfway decent panel will give you another chance by either asking the question again or say something subtle like "that's a great response but in that example did you achieve x y or z".
 
#46
#47
I'd recommend having 2 strong anecdotes per competency and even a possible 3rd. The reason being you may think the anecdote fits the competency. However the panel may not. If it doesn't any halfway decent panel will give you another chance by either asking the question again or say something subtle like "that's a great response but in that example did you achieve x y or z".
Totally agree. In the case of a second interview you need a couple of new ones in the proverbial back pocket so you don't bore the interviewers who saw you at first interview.
In all fairness to the competency framework at least you get asked relevant questions. There is sadly a dearth of good qualified interviewers around so this format helps the amateur at least ask the right type of questions. It also ensures that the same questions are asked to all questions saving the claim of discrimination or favouritism. We ensure all questions are scored and a fair benchmarking exercise is maintained - so should a complaint be registered we can go back with evidence, even how they answered!
 
#48
There is sadly a dearth of good qualified interviewers around so this format helps the amateur at least ask the right type of questions.
Job interviews are, on the whole, a relatively poor method of selecting the best candidate, regardless of whether or not the interviewer is "good".
 
#50
OK - I would be interested to know how you suggest it's done?
Past performance is a better predictor of future performance than an interview is. Unless the interview has some type of test* as part of it, then it has nothing of real value to the interviewer that could not be gained earlier in the application process, apart from the ability to look someone in the eye and pretend that you can see into their soul. If you had a short list of candidates who all met the requirements and who all had suitable references** then you would be as well picking one at random as you would interviewing them and trying to decide who was the better candidate based purely on the interview.


* Test, for this purpose, includes technical questions and suchlike which would ensure that the interviewee is able to answer these questions themselves without reference to either friends or the internet.

**References. This is the source of the assessment of their past performance, and obviously is going to be the opinion of someone you probably don't know, so there is a degree of risk.
 
#51
**References. This is the source of the assessment of their past performance, and obviously is going to be the opinion of someone you probably don't know, so there is a degree of risk.
Be lucky if you an find any company that will provide a reference that says more than, "we can confirm that x worked for us between dates a to b" it's not worth the risk of litigation.
 
#52
As for the 500 words per competency - should I be aiming for as close to 500 as possible or-just get the point across? Do they down-score you for giving say...only 330 words?
 
#53
As for the 500 words per competency - should I be aiming for as close to 500 as possible or-just get the point across? Do they down-score you for giving say...only 330 words?
You'll be surprised how quickly you can eat up the word count if you follow the STAR format. 500 words will be used up at a rate of knots.
This is over 30 already.
 
#54
As for the 500 words per competency - should I be aiming for as close to 500 as possible or-just get the point across? Do they down-score you for giving say...only 330 words?
Personally I would aim for 500 words exactly but I realise that might be down to some of my own character flaws.

If there are 10 points to hit per competency, 500 words are not a lot.
 
#55
Bloody hell!! I see what you mean about 500 words not being much...just started "ditting on" and am already thinking...I'm gonna run out of word count!
 
#56
Right..so I've completed it now and fired it off.

It's been a learning experience. Thanks for all the valuable advice.
Personally- I found it mentally draining. Not because of not having required experiences but - the bullshit required to place them into the accepted format.

I was amazed at how little the 500 wordcount actually is when spinning a dit (very structured ones btw)

I hope I get to the next level but ultimately think - this is a new realm of job-seeking I need to actually educate myself in.

Cheers for the advice lads :)
 
#58
After only ever having held 3 jobs, in continuous employment since leaving school, I've now encountered "competencies".
Whatever happened to firing off a CV, seeing if ignited interest then 'holding your own' at an interview?

Strikes me as being akin to having to learn a ConLang and being just an exercise in English literature / imagination.
Surely it cannot be right you have to actually "study" how to apply for a job you hold relevant experience in??

Are people now specifically trained in how to interpret and mark accordingly these 'competencies based applications'?
Selection based on competence to do a job requires the recruiter to specify the required attributes, skills and knowledge of the applicants.*

Think ASK and ask for these before applying.

That way you may avoid talking yourself into work that would make you unhappy. This is also a danger of gaming the system.

Seek work that matches your strengths but know your strengths.

*many employers don’t have a clue how to do this.

Good luck,
 

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