How to answer Competency Based Interview Questions the Best Way!

Competency based interviews are becoming increasingly popular as a way to predict a candidate’s future performance. Essentially, a series of behavioral questions, the interviewer will ask you to describe a situation which demonstrates your abilities that will be integral to the role you’re interviewing for.

Key competency based questions

Here is a comprehensive list of key competency questions, grouping them into five categories- Individual, Managerial, Analytical, Interpersonal and Motivational.

Individual competencies

These refer to your personal attributes; your tenacity, knowledge, independence, risk taking and personal integrity and your decision making process.

A typical question: Talk us through about a time when your work or an idea was challenged.


The ability to take charge of other people corporate sensitivity, project management and managerial control and leadership, empowerment, and strategic thinking.

A typical question: Talk us through how you led a group to achieve an objective.

Analytical competencies

The decision making abilities; innovation, analytical skills, problem solving, practical learning and attention to detail.

A typical question: Talk us through about a time when you identified a new approach to a problem.

Motivational competencies

The things that drive you; resilience, motivation, result orientation, initiative and quality focus.

A typical question: When did you work the hardest and feel the greatest sense of achievement?

Interpersonal competencies

Social competence. Most workplaces function on the basis of project teams and the more collaborative they are, the more likely they are to thrive.

A typical question: Describe a situation where you got people to work together.

The key to answering competency based questions

Answers to competency based questions are very structured, so we recommend the STAR technique, describing:

  • the Situation,
  • the Task required as a result,
  • the Action you took and
  • the Result of that action.

Ensuring a technique for answering interview questions is important. However, we believe that you can gain further benefits through a deeper understanding of what is required of you, along with examples of possible questions you may be asked.

Remember, be yourself when answering competency questions; use real life examples and relate them to your experience, how you reacted or how it made you feel. These are not tricky questions, they’re designed to create the best match between an individual and an organization. With a little bit of preparation, you’ll quickly realize that competency based interviews represent an unprecedented opportunity to describe some of your finer moments to a captive audience.