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What you NEED to know about competency based interviews

by , 05 May 2014
Ever heard of competency based interviews? If not, you need to step your 'recruitment game' up. Continue reading to find out what competency based interviews are so you can find the right candidate the first time around.


The A-Z of legal recruitment

  • Did you know there are 11 legal requirements for recruitment?
  • Do you know how the Employment Equity Act affects your job advertisement?
  • Do you know what checks you can legally conduct on an applicant?
  • Are you sure your employment contract includes the 16 clauses the law says you must have?

If you don't have all of these aspects correct, you'll be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your recruitment process.


Competency based interviews explained

According to ISC Professional, 'competency-based interviews (also called structured interviews) are interviews where each question is designed to test one or more specific skills.'

What makes competency-based interviews different from other types of interviews is they're more orderly. The site says each question targets a specific skill or competency.

When you ask the candidate questions about his behaviour in specific circumstances, he has to back his answers up with concrete examples. And this means 'you must dig further into the examples by asking for specific explanations about the candidate's behaviour or skills.'

For example, if you want to find out about the candidates analytical ability, you can ask him to describe a project he's put together, why he put it together, how he implemented it and the outcome of the project.

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management puts it simply when it says: These behavioural-type questions revolve around personal experiences of the applicant and practical work related questions.

It's up to you to decide what competencies the candidate needs.

For example, if you think the candidate needs to have strong problem-solving abilities and planning and organising abilities, ask competency based questions that'll help you assess these competencies.

But that's not all you need to know about competency based interviews…


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When you conduct competency based interviews, you need to have competency based questions

The good news is Recruitment: The Complete Guide has the full list of competency based questions you need to ask. So be sure to check it out.

The bottom line: What an applicant has done in the past is a predictor of what he'll do in the future and how you can expect him to perform in a work situation. So ditch 'normal interviews' and opt for competency based interviews instead and find the right candidate the first time around.

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