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Competency-Based Interview

Written by

Tiffany Clark

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

Apr 17, 2024
Competency-Based Interview
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Competency-Based Interview


Personal competency is a combination of a person’s skills, knowledge, attributes, and judgment. In a competency-based interview, a hiring manager can ask candidates questions about how they have handled specific situations in the past. Competency-based interviews work from the concept that steps taken by a candidate to solve a previous problem are a solid indicator of how they may behave in the future in a similar situation. 


In competency-based interviews, hiring managers can ask candidates questions that give the interviewers a clear idea of how well the candidates may handle circumstances that arise while performing the responsibilities required of the position. 


A candidate’s history tells a story about them, and this includes the skills, talents, knowledge, abilities, and real-world experiences that are used to handle a variety of diverse situations. Competencies hiring managers may look for include:


  • Leadership skills

  • Teamwork capabilities

  • Communication skills

  • Decision-making capabilities

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Communication skills

  • Effective time-management

  • Trustworthiness

  • Flexibility

  • Creativity

  • Integrity


Competency-based interviews are also called criterion-based interviews or behavioral-based interviews. 




Some examples of the types of questions asked during a competency-based interview include:


  • Describe a time when you contributed positively to a team.

  • When have you completed a task that seemed nearly impossible?

  • If you have ever received negative feedback from a supervisor, how did you handle it? 

  • Explain how you have handled conflict with a coworker.

  • How have you handled a situation where you worked with someone you didn't get along with? 

  • Describe a time when you handled a responsibility you’ve never had before. 

  • What workplace accomplishment are you most proud of? 


Related Terms

Criterion-Based Interview

is a term used interchangeably with competency-based interview.

Behavioral-Based Interview

refers to an interview in which hiring managers ask candidates behavioral-based interview questions. The aim of a behavioral-based interview is to reveal a candidate’s character traits, skills, and likely future performance. The term behavior-based interview is used interchangeably with competency-based interview.

Behavioral-Based Interview Questions

are the questions a hiring manager asks a candidate during a behavioral-based interview. Behavioral questions are designed to demonstrate how a candidate has used their skills to deal with specific situations.

Situational Interview

refers to an interview where a candidate is presented with the type of problem they may encounter if they’re hired for the position. The hiring manager asks questions that can reveal how a candidate will behave on the job. This term is often used interchangeably with behavioral-based-interview.

Behavioral Competencies

refer to personality traits, attitudes, and behaviors that help predict a candidate’s chances of success in the position for which they have applied. Examples of behavioral competencies include networking, negotiation, data literacy, organizational awareness, problem-solving, attention to detail, innovation, and creativity.

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