What is a Competency…?

Are you competent in a particular skill that is an essential or a desirable in a Job Description? If the competency is not part of your skillset, you need to demonstrate that you are or can be on a Competency-based Application Form or at a Competency-based Interview.

So a competency is a skill, strength, characteristic that helps employees perform in their job / career in an efficient and effective manner that helps them deliver on the organisations goals and objectives.

Almost all of public sector bodies and a lot of the private sector organisations will only allow prospective candidates apply for live, open jobs through a Competency-based Application Form and will prepare their interview approach by asking competency-based questions as part of a Competency-based Interview.

The competencies are usually listed and included either directly or indirectly in the Job Description and it is up to each candidate to prepare, structure and narrate examples to the competency in the Competency-based Application Form. They will then have to explain the example in more detail at the Competency-based Interview.

Good examples written on a Competency-based Application Form in the STARLIS, STAR or ABC format (that meet the criteria of the competency explanation / criteria), always make for an easier Competency-based Interview.

Competency-based examples should be preferably taken from the last 5-7 years of one’s life and preferably from current or previous employments. The competency-based examples also need to be real and true, because experienced, well-trained Interviewers will probe and go deep into the content of examples, asking the What, Why, Who, Where, When & How questions i.e., open-ended questions.

Always leave enough time to prepare the competency-based examples. Whether writing them into a Competency-based Application Form or preparing them for a Competency-based Interview, they simply eat up time, especially the former. Do them in 1-1.5-hour chunks over a number of weeks, starting once you see the Job Advertisement / Competency-based Application Form and / or once you receive the invitation to attend the Competency-based Interview.

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