The competency-based interview is a popular choice amongst some employers, particularly within large organisations and the public sector. This type of interview is designed to be as objective as possible by asking each candidate exactly the same questions, with the interviewer beginning these questions with something along the lines of ‘tell me about a time when…’. In this case a structured response is essential, and a good way of organising your thoughts is to use the STAR technique.

SITUATION: What is the context?

TASK: What was required of you?

ACTIVITY: What did you do?

RESULT: What was the outcome?

Remember to keep your answers concise and to use specific and quantifiable examples, for example the names of the people involved and relevant numbers. This makes it more interesting for the interviewer and means that they are able to gauge your success more easily. Finally, finish on a positive note in order to give a strong and lasting overall impression.

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