Lots of interviews and applications are Competency based. This is where they compare the skills your answers demonstrate against the vacancy’s specification. Use the CAR Method to answer competency-based questions in interviews and applications.
The CAR Method
Use one detailed example from your work and voluntary experience to answer each interview question.
1- Explain the context of your example. What was the aim of your task?
2 – What did you do? What skills did your actions demonstrate? Match these skills to the ones required for the vacancy you are applying for.
3 – What was the outcome? How were your actions successful?
When preparing for interviews it is useful to brainstorm your answers with the CAR Method.
– Identify your key transferable skills and qualities from your previous work experience.
– Transferable skills can include Communication, Interpersonal, Organisation, Teamwork, Problem Solving, and Leadership skills.
– Write down your key skills and think about a time when you demonstrated this skill in your work experience. Then apply the CAR Method to this example.
Examples of Competency Based Interview Questions
Planning and Organisation
– Describe a time when you were given a task to complete. How did you organise your work and manage competing priorities?
– When have you had to multi-task to ensure your work was complete on time?
– When have you used effective communication skills to resolve a problem?
– Provide an example of when you needed to communicate effectively to influence the outcome of a situation?
– When have you innovated a creative solution to resolve an unexpected problem?
– Describe a time when you faced a problem at work, how did you deal with it and what was the outcome? Why does this experience make you a stronger applicant?
– Tell us about a time you overcame a challenging situation?
– When have you utilised your leadership skills and thought outside the box to set the direction of your team?
– How have you managed a team successfully?
– When have you led a team successful and how did you respond to the challenges?
– When have you influenced a group of people outside of your own peer group?
– Describe a time when you have ensured that all team members contributed? How does this experience make you a better applicant?
– When have you been part of a new team and had to encourage the group to work towards a shared goal?