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Interview Tips

What is a Competency Based interview

The Competency Based Interview (sometimes referred to as the structured interview) is used to assess whether an individual has the behaviours to successfully work within the position they are being assessed for. It is commonly agreed that past behaviour is an indicator of future performance. In one study conducted by a man named Klemp, he describes competencies as:

An underlying characteristic of a person which results in effective and/or superior performance

Klemp, G.O.Jr (1980). The assessment of occupational competence. Report to the National Institute of Education, Washington, DC.

The Benefits of Competency Based Interviewing

The benefits of using the competency based interview in the Budget Recruitment and Selection process are:

  1. Improvement in the accuracy of suitability and assessment of potential for differing roles
  2. Facilitates a match between the key results areas of a role and a person’s skills/motivations.
  3. Increases fairness in the interview by ensuring the assessment is based upon relevant characteristics and behaviours
  4. Used as the basis for development within our organisation

What is the best way to prepare for the Competency Based Interview?

If you haven’t already done so, request a Role Profile from the Recruitment Team.

Read through the Key Results Areas and be prepared to describe specific work-related situations where you have demonstrated the key skills.

Use the S.T.A.R. technique when talking though your answers:

Situation: What is the situation you were faced with?
Task: What did you have to do?
Action: How did you go about completing the task?
Result: What was the outcome in that instance?

Remember to focus on what your specific role was in achieving the desired result, even if you worked in a team.

An example of a competence explored by Budget would be:

Building Strategic Working Relationships

People who use this competency effectively:

Develop and use collaborative relationships to facilitate the accomplishment of work goals.

In Preparation for the Interview

Complete an Application Form (PDF: 152k) and bring this along to the interview. Please provide two years of referee details using additional paper if required. We will not approach your referees until an offer has been made and accepted.

You will also need to bring along with you documentation that validates your legal right to work in the UK, as stipulated in the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996.

Option One

A valid UK or European Economic Area (EEA) country passport valid for at least 6 weeks at date of assessment.

A non EEA country passport valid for at least 6 weeks at date of interview showing either the following:

  • Right of abode in the UK
  • Right of residence in the UK
  • Right to remain in the UK

Option Two

A full, long Birth Certificate issued in the UK stipulating the names of your parents

A document stating your permanent National Insurance Number and name. There are only four documents that are acceptable:

  • P45
  • P60
  • National Insurance Number card
  • Letter from the Government agency containing your National Insurance Number

If you have changed your name or there is a discrepancy on your birth certificate, you will also need to provide legal proof of the change e.g. marriage certificate, divorce documents, deed poll, adoption certificate etc.

In Your Interview

  • Give a firm handshake
  • Maintain eye contact and smile
  • Listen to the questions you are asked, making sure you understand each one fully. Don’t be afraid of asking for clarification.
  • Speak slowly and take time to compose your thoughts before answering
  • Keep your answers brief and succinct. Be prepared for the Interviewer to probe and redirect you if necessary.
  • Avoid negative or nervous body language such as folding your arms or fidgeting in your seat.

Above all, relax – this is an opportunity to tell us what you can do and for you to explore us as your next career move!