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How to conduct a competency-based interview

Interview processes are always a challenge for both the employer and for the job seeker. One interview methodology which is rapidly gaining popularity is the competency-based interview. This essentially involves a series of structured questions which allow for a fair examination of the competencies of all candidates in an even manner. To find out how to conduct a competency-based interview, read this article.

Why carry out a competency-based interview in the first place

The traditional interview process which is commonly known as an unstructured interview consists of many open questions. While this is a useful way of gathering information about the candidate, it provides several issues. Ratter error Ratter error is whereby most candidates are rated as average. The problem here is that once a relatively good candidate comes along, he or she undergoes the "Halo effect" whereby he or she seems far better in comparison. Overly talkative interviewers can hamper the information gathering process. Interviewers going off into tangents can either make the candidate appear overly good or overly bad. Advantages of the competency-based interview The competency-based interview, on the other hand, means that all interviewers are asking the same set of questions. Each question has a rating attached to the outcome regardless of the interviewer subjectivity and therefore the score will come out the same.

How to carry out a competency-based interview

Prior to carrying out a structured interview, it is necessary to consider the job competencies which are required in the first place. Once a comprehensive list has been created, it is now possible to compile the list of interview questions. The interview questions consist of apparently straightforward experiential questions which ask the candidate to explain how in their experience, they have dealt with a particular issue in the past. The answers to these questions are then compared with a series of possible answers which have already been created by the interview panel. Each answer has a rating attached to it. The candidate’s answers are compared with the preselected answers and are rated accordingly. Consequently, each answer provides an objective score. At the end of the interview, the scores are calculated and once all of the candidates are interviewed, it becomes a simple process to evaluate and select the highest rating candidates. A final word Finally, it is important to also bear in mind general competencies which will not be rated in the structured questions. It is advisable to encourage interviewers to also write down additional remarks which they feel are relevant in order to provide a broader perspective. This can be useful in the case of comparing candidates which appear to be very evenly matched.

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