Competency Based Interviews

Hi Everyone,

Just want to put a question to the group regarding Competency Based Interviews and if these are considered the best way to determine a Candidates suitability for a promotion or a new job?

Based on more than a few years experience with competency based interviews in the Civil Service, I am of the opinion that new and better alternatives should be explored.

Interested in hearing your views.



  • What do you think are the new and better alternatives?

    PS - Welcome to the communities?
  • Peter - Have you seen the brand new Civil Service approach of Success Profiles?

    No longer will candidates be judged purely on their ability to write a good competency STAR example, but also on other areas such as behaviours, strengths, experience, technical skills etc. I think it's a really positive move and a powerful framework to base recruitment and performance decisions on.

    I do think situational or competency interviewing can be effective when done well, but other practical assessments and presentations are useful tools as well.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith, many thanks. Human Resources is a constantly changing and improving area where we are looking to develop the best in Employees to improve the organization they work for and the service provided.

    I think that is fair to say that the tools used by HR to recruit and determine suitability should also change and improve too.

    Was actually deferring to your good selves of new methods and strategies being developed to ensure that HR can identify the right Candidate for the job.
  • In reply to Lesley:

    Hi Lesley. I have and it's definitely a step in the right direction.
  • In reply to Peter:

    Yes Peter agree - but you clearly say that new and better alternatives should be explored so just would be interested in any ideas you have.....
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith, thanks very much for replying back to me.

    May I ask if you personally believe that Competency Based Interviews are the best way to determine a Candidates suitability for a job?

    I clearly do say better alternatives should be explored in the sense that no system is perfect and there is always room for improvement and finding a better way to achieve a task.

    I don't think I suggested that I actually had the new alternatives though. I wish I did as they would probably make me a lot wealthier than I am now. :)

    There is room for improvement in the current recruitment process such as the inclusion of more practical assessments to ensure a Candidate who may have an excellent CV on paper or have been coached how to answer during a competency based interview gets the opportunity to prove their actual ability.
  • In reply to Peter:

    Most selection is and should be conducted by line managers. Therefore the key for me is not introducing “new and improved” selection techniques every five minutes. But ensuring that the vast majority of line managers who recruit reasonably occasionally do so with a reasonable degree of competency and efficiently.

    Therefore for me there are almost as many, if not more, risks of moving away from competency based interviews as there are benefits.

    It’s a common trait in HR to move into the next big thing or shinny toy without fully appreciating that it’s not us but over pressed line managers who have too often to switch directions ( at their view on a HR whim) and replace something that seemed to work for a new untried untested fad that they aren’t that comfortable with.

    So let’s by all means tune up the process. Incrementally improve as we can. But I don’t see a significant step change here that’s worth going for. And yes people can be coached to answer competency based questions but if interviewed by an experienced compent manager it’s far harder to pull this off than many seem to think.

    If there was a vastly better solution you and I would probably be able to articulate it.