Top 10 competency-based interview questions to find the perfect candidate
This list of competency-based questions encourage interviewees to use real-life examples in their answers. You get to understand how a candidate made a decision, and see the outcome of their actions.Our top ten list of competency-based interview questions will help you recruit the skills your team needs.1. What are your greatest strengths?This is a classic interview question, and with good reason.It’s a chance for your candidate to prove they have the right skills for the role. Keep the job description in mind to see whether the interviewee understands how their skills relate to the role.Remember you’re looking for transferable skills, not proof that they’ve done the role before.2. What will your skills and ideas bring to this company?This competency-based question is an opportunity to see which of your candidates stand out from the crowd.A good candidate will show an understanding of your company goals within their answer. A great candidate will offer practical examples of how their skills can help you achieve that vision.3. What have you achieved elsewhere?Confidence is key in this competency-based question. It gives your candidate an opportunity to talk about previous successes and experiences that relate to your vacancy.Make sure the achievements you take away from their answers are work-related and relevant to what you’re looking for.4. How have you improved in the last year?Candidates can tie themselves up in knots trying to disguise their weaknesses. This competency-based interview question is a chance to show a willingness to learn from their mistakes.It’s also an opportunity to test the candidate’s level of self-awareness and desire to develop."Competency-based interview questions ask for real-life examples to show a candidate’s skills."5. Tell me about a time you supported a member of your team who was strugglingThis competency-based question will test your candidate’s ability to show compassion towards their colleagues without losing sight of their own objectives.Those further along in their career should be able to reference training or mentoring that not only helped their co-worker but also improved team performance.6. Give an example of a time you’ve had to improvise to achieve your goalIn other words: “Can you think on your feet?” It is increasingly important to be able to react to unexpected situations.The candidate’s answer should highlight their ability to keep their cool and perform in a scenario they haven’t prepared for.7. What was the last big decision you had to make?The answer to this question should be a window into your candidate’s decision-making process and whether their reasoning is appropriate for your role.This is a competency-based question designed to highlight how an interviewee makes decisions. Do they use logical reasoning? Gut intuition? However they manage big decisions, does their approach match what you’re looking for?8. Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult personAll candidates should be able to reference an experience of working with a challenging colleague. Look for them to approach this question with honesty and a clear example of working through the experience.Rather than passing blame, there should be a recognition of the part they have played in the situation, and how they might tackle it differently next time.It’s essential to get a sense of how candidates would fit and thrive within your company culture.9. What was the last thing you taught?You’ve asked the interviewee about their skills, but can they show a capability for teaching others about these skills?This question isn’t restricted to managerial or senior roles, and should be asked whenever you’re looking for a candidate who will add value to your team.10. Why are you a good fit for this company?The key to this competency-based question is whether the candidate can explain how their transferable skills would fit your role. This tests both an awareness of their own abilities and an understanding of what you are looking for in a new employee.The candidate should be able to confidently explain why they want to work for your company, and convince you that they would fit your team culture.If you’re interested in learning more about interviews, please contact your local recruitment specialist.
Remote onboarding: successfully settle into your new job online
Working remotely is not a new concept, but there are some employees who have never worked from home before. With organisations now looking to remotely onboard new employees, some may find it more challenging than starting a role in an office.This blog will explore the considerations you should make so that you can be an essential member of the team and acclimate quickly to your new role.Home officeOne of the first things to consider is finding a good working environment within your home, with minimal interruptions and maximum concentration. It doesn’t have to be an office of your own, just a place that is yours, that you can leave at the end of the day.Work-life balance is crucial to our mental health, but it’s impossible to completely maintain during the lockdown, so you need to compartmentalise and use indicators that let you know you’re either working or not working i.e. a desk for work use only.TechnologyYour company should send you all the resources you need, including computers, keyboards etc. but you need to prepare your home for the increased and prolonged use of technology. You may need to upgrade your broadband or the capacity of your own computer, for example. Your electricity and internet bills will rise, but there are tax reliefs for that, so look into how you can claim money back for the increased cost.Find out what platforms your team is using and how they want you to share your work or collaborate – then familiarise yourself with these systems and processes. Your routine may depend on that of others going forward. Get acquainted with their system in the first day or two so you can start contributing as quickly as possible without mishaps – this may require seeking out the best person in your team to be ‘on-call’ for any support.CommunicationWhen you’re in an office environment, it’s more likely that you’ll have casual conversations with your new colleagues in the vicinity. Now, you must make an effort to get in contact with them. You will likely have an introductory team meeting over Zoom, MS Teams or other software, but to get to know people better, you should be proactive. Aim to set up meetings with everyone individually, to find out who they are, what their role is, how you can support them – and also a bit about them outside of work.Most new starters, especially if they’re new to the industry, will need a lot of support and your team will expect you to ask for help rather than figure it out alone. Utilise the technology to keep in touch with your manager and colleagues as and when you need to. There will always be someone in your team who can help you out, but you need to ask. Find someone who can help you connect to others you need to know in the organisation.ExpectationsWhen anyone starts a job, you must first learn what your boss and team expect of you, and what you should expect from them in turn. Part of getting to know your team and their roles is learning what you will need from each other. You might find that your boss is checking on you a lot to begin with, but that will lessen over time as you build their trust by meeting or exceeding their expectations.Ask if there is anything you need to learn more about and aim to build your skills as you work – there are so many online resources and courses to choose from, it’s good to ask for some recommendations. Gaining relevant skills will benefit your team as well as yourself.Soft skillsCommunication is one of the most common soft skills that employers look for – others such as flexibility, resilience and time management are also highly desirable, especially during the lockdown. Having a good attitude, being eager to learn, and offering to do more to support your team will help you stand out as a valuable team member.Part of being proactive is having your own opinions and ideas, and sharing them in order to help the team. This may take a while to get right if you’re just getting the hang of things, so no one will expect perfect solutions right away – but if you do have an idea, don’t be afraid to share it because it may spark others’ creativity. The worst that can happen is they say no. It’s better to make mistakes and ask questions at the beginning so that you can learn and grow.You may be working from home for a long time, so make as much effort as you can to stay professional, stay connected, and make a good impression.If you’re still searching for your next remote role, or a talented candidate to share this information with, contact any Reed office via phone or email.
How to prepare for an interview presentation
Particularly for executive level positions, a presentation stage can be an integral part of the short-listing process.Many employers opt for a presentation interview as it gives a better overview of your general aptitude when compared to (or combined with) a traditional question and answer interview. The presentation is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge, experience and communication skills as well as your general organisation and diligence.Here are our tips on how you can ensure you deliver the best interview presentation possible.Preparing your presentation for an interviewKeep each slide short and significant, aiming for no more than 10 slides. This ensures the information you deliver is memorable and will help you to stand out from other intervieweesUse a range of formats to help illustrate your points. Include graphs, statistics, diagrams, video clips, and images to help break up large volumes of text and maintain the attention of the interviewersInclude quotes from industry leaders and/or research pieces. This helps give your points authority and demonstrate your commercial awarenessIncorporate company colours or fonts in the design of your presentation. This will show you’ve done your research and highlight your brand awarenessCheck spelling and grammar thoroughly – small mistakes can really undermine the content of your presentationPresenting tipsPresent confidently and enthusiastically. Remember to speak clearly, make eye contact and use open body languagePractice, practice, practice. Ensure you are well rehearsed so that you are familiar with the structure and are able to deliver your presentation smoothlyArrive early to give yourself time to set up the presentation and settle any nervesGet comfortable with PowerPoint and presentation equipment. Make sure you know how to work the projector, visual screens or remote control before you begin to avoid any awkward stumbles or pausesHave access to multiple sources of your presentation. Email the file to yourself and the recruiter, bring a copy on a USB stick and bring printed handouts. This way you are covered if anything goes wrong with the file you’re intending to useStay within the allocated time. If you have not been given a guidance on length, aim for the 10 minute mark. Time your presentation when you are practising to make sure it will fit within your allowed time slot. If you need to reduce the content of your presentation, cut out the least relevant or weakest pointsBe prepared to adapt. You may have practiced your presentation in a certain way, but the interviewer might not respond accordingly. Be prepared to be stopped for questions or further discussion unexpectedly10 minute interview presentation templateBelow is an example for the structure of your interview presentation. Use this as a baseline and adapt or reorder where appropriate based on the task you have been set by the interviewer.Slide 1:Introduction – Reiterate the objectives you have been set and lay out the structure of your presentation so that the interviewers know what to expectSlide 2:About you – Detail your professional experience, skills and working styleSlide 3:Company history – Give a brief summary of the company history, any milestones or awardsSlides 4-7:Answering the brief – Give your responses to questions you’ve been asked to answer, the benefits and limitations of your suggestionsSlide 8:Question and answers – Include a slide titled ‘questions and answers’ as a cue to pause for interactionSlide 9:Conclusion – Sum up the key points you have made, reach a decision and explain your reasoningSlide 10:Personal achievements – End the interview on a high with a brief slide on achievements that show you will succeed in the roleTaking these steps should help you to succeed in your presentation interview.