Congratulations! You’ve landed a job interview, that’s half the battle.


You've been informed it's a competency based interview - We'd like to arm you with some helpful advice so you can get ahead of the game! 


A competency interview is a way of questioning that looks at real life examples of how you've demonstrated a particular skill. The best way to prepare for these sorts of interviews is by going through the job description. Focus on the key things they are looking for, then go through your own CV and write down some example experiences of a situation and how you demonstrated that competency. Don't forget to highlight the positive end result, such as, the project was a success, or the client was happy. 




It's also important to remember to talk about 'we' when you're discussing experience working in a team, but also talk about 'I' to ensure you are highlighting your own specific involvement and experience in a situation 


The interviewer may ask these types of questions and remember they are looking for real life examples to show how you have demonstrated a specific skill. Examples can be from a previous work experience, school or even from your personal life, including hobbies, sports and volunteer work. 

The best way to answer these questions is to describe a specific example that demonstrates your ability in that area using the “STAR” technique to structure your response:

S – Situation

T – Task

A – Action

R – Result


Great answers to interview questions are:


  • Relevant
  • Succinct
  • Able to show clearly what you did and how you did it
  • Delivered with an appropriate level of energy and enthusiasm
  • Not “waffly”!


Here are some examples of Competency Based Interview Questions:


  • Describe a time when you altered your own behaviour to fit the situation.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a new working environment.

Client Focus

  • Give an example of how you provided service to a customer/client that went beyond their expectations.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a customer problem.


  • Give an example of a difficult or sensitive situation that required extensive communication.

Problem Solving and Judgment

  • Describe a time when you had to analyse a problem and generate a solution.
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a problem or make a decision that required careful thought. What did you do?

Results Orientation

  • Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a goal.
  • Tell me about a time when you improved the way things were typically done on the job.


  • Tell me about a time when you worked successfully as a member of a team.
  • Describe a situation in which you were a member (not a leader) of a team, and a conflict arose within the team. What did you do?


  • Tell me about a time when you had to lead a group to achieve an objective.

Relationship Building

  • Give me an example of a time when you deliberately attempted to build rapport with a co-worker or customer.


  • Describe the level of stress in your job and what you do to manage it.
  • Describe a time when you were in a high pressure situation.

Remember when coming up with your answers, there should be a balance between selling yourself and being honest about your experience. Honesty is the key because you want to end up in a role that is right for you. If you strategically prepare for your interview, you should be in a good position to give answers that both highlight your skills and acknowledge areas where you might have room to grow. 

The above list of prompts is certainly not complete, but might be helpful to use whilst prepping for this particular sort of interview. Even if you aren't asked any of these questions verbatim, they will help direct your thought process and act as a bank of answers for other similar styled questions. 

Need some further guidance or advice ahead of your interview? Speak to your recruiter at Agenda Creative and Digital Recruitment, we're here to help. 


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