Would you like to feel more confident when doing competency based and all other types of job interview?

At Maher Consulting we genuinely love helping people to prepare for all types of job interview but we specialise in Public Sector competency based processes. We provide simple, positive, practical and tailored advice that will give you much more confidence to tackle your interview in an authentic manner that feels comfortable for you.


Many companies and organisations, particularly the Public Sector, use competency based interviews. Your answers will require you to give specific examples from previous experience that demonstrates particular skills. Competency based interviews do not necessarily explore your career history in detail but instead focus on certain abilities or behaviours (competencies) that the organisation feel are crucial. They are based on the premise that “past actions are the best predictor of future actions”.

Structure is important:

To answer competency based questions successfully you must prepare well and approach your answers with clarity and structure. STAR (Situation, Task, Actions, Results) is a very common methodology often used for competency based answers. However we find that many of our clients find STAR overly complicated and a little confusing so rather than help them to answer questions they merely add an unnecessary layer of complexity to the process. We have developed our own simple but highly effective methodologies to help you successfully tackle competency based interviews.

How will I know I’m being asked a competency based question?

Competency-based interview questions are generally easily identifiable as they often start with “Describe a situation where you….…” or “Give us an example of a time when……” Common competencies vary but include teamwork, building & maintaining relationships, interpersonal communication skills, managing conflict, problem solving, planning & organising skills, analysis & decision making, working under pressure, innovation, commitment to providing a quality service and so on. This is not an exhaustive list so go through job description/person specification to identify other possible competencies.  Additional questions can then be asked to determine why you took the course of action you have just described. Why did you approach it that way? What did you learn? What would you change if you were in a similar position again?…..these are also common questions in competency based interviews. Always remember that the interview is about YOU and YOUR actions so use “I” not “WE” in your answers.

You must prepare well – but in the right way:

Many people find competency based interviews more daunting than the more traditional, general interview style. However they are not an unsurmountable barrier for candidates and should allow you to express yourself authentically. Any other way will not work for you!!!. Effective preparation is key and that is where we can definitely help you…..