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At Hastings Direct we often ask competency and stength based interview questions at interview stage. These are a series of questions that will show whether or not you are competent in a number of key areas that we look for in potential employees. 

For a competency based interview question you will be asked to provide SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of professional experiences surrounding these competencies. Therefore, it’s good to go through your CV, looking at your previous experiences and thinking of at least one example in advance for each competency. 

It is important that you to go into depth with each example, you may lose marks if your answer is not informative enough or if your interviewer has to probe to find out enough information. Please do not assume that your interviewer will know what your previous role involved and avoid the use of jargon wherever possible. If this is not possible then you will need to explain any specific terms that are not commonly used. 

The following acronym (S.T.A.R.R.) may be useful for guidance on the level of detail required… 

S - Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in, explain your role and responsibility. 
T - Tasks – What tasks did you identify that needed to be done? 
A - Actions – What actions did you actually take? 
R - Results – What was the outcome as a result of your actions? 
R - Reflection – What did you learn from this, how did you know that you had done a good job? 

Anything less than this and you may risk the chance of not scoring highly enough in the competency based interview. 

Below are a list of example questions that are often asked in competency based interviews: 

  • Give me an example of a time where you have exceeded a customer’s expectations. 
  • Give me an example of a time where you have overcome a problem or an obstacle with another member of your team. 
  • Give me an example of a time where you have had to deal with a difficult / angry customer and how you responded to it. 
  • Give me an example of a time where you have had to work under pressure. 
  • Give me an example of a time where you have learnt something new at work. 

We wish you the best of luck with your interview!

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