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Competency based interviews

(15 Posts)
Shakey15000 Tue 17-Nov-15 11:58:43

Is it ok to take notes in? With bullet points as reminders to make sure I get the "buzz" words in? Or am I expected to reel off the example remembering to cover each key word/phrase?

I'm usually fine in interviews and have done a competency based one before but I actually despise them I'm a bit rusty smile

I do plan to, in response to the "Have you got any questions" ask if there's any part of my answers that need elaborating on etc. That's fine right? Any tips? Thanks

chipsandpeas Tue 17-Nov-15 12:32:52

any interview like this ive been in its been fine to take in notes
good luck

INeedSomeHelp Tue 17-Nov-15 12:35:06

I've always been able to take notes in.
I wouldn't ask the question about elaborating. If they want you to do that they should ask further questions at the time.

daisychain01 Tue 17-Nov-15 18:01:48

Hi shakey, are you able to do enough prep beforehand that you only take the bullet points in as a "safety net" but try to rely on your memory and your actual experience?

You stand a greater chance of securing the job if you can be fluent in your answers and I find that relying on notes make it look like you don't have the facts at your finger tips. It will give you confidence, once you get into a flow in the interview.

I would suggest focusing on maybe 3-4 main work scenarios that you rehearse in advance so you know the facts and detail. Think in advance how you can repurpose the same examples in different ways, to highlight different competencies.

daisychain01 Tue 17-Nov-15 18:03:24

Do enough prep so you don't feel rusty IOW smile

caroldecker Tue 17-Nov-15 18:18:02

I would avoid notes if possible

Your questions to them should be about company, role, your team/boss, WFH flexibility - use it as an opportunity to show you know something about the company.

Ie, I note from your website that you promote flexible working, how does that work in practice within the area i am to join?

Shakey15000 Tue 17-Nov-15 20:46:29

Thanks all. I have till Monday which is enough time to prep and just use the bullet points if I freeze.

Yes, I see about the questions, that they really should be about the company etc. And they do mention flexible working and I do need to find out about that.

Sigh. My confidence has been knocked quite a bit lately and I'm unusually nervous about this one. I think most interviews would fare better in a wine bar tbh smile

knaffedoff Tue 17-Nov-15 20:51:57

If you do take notes make them really brief. I tried it once year's ago on the basis of other people's experiences. I often was successful at interviews but the time I took notes, I didn't get the job confused

caroldecker Wed 18-Nov-15 00:52:36

TBH, as an occasional interviewer, I would be slightly concerned about notes.
If I have asked a question, such as 'explain when you worked as a team and how you achieved a difficult goal' and you needed notes, I may suspect you had not done any of this but copied from a friend. If it were real, you would not need notes to remember.

Unfortunately interviewers are not automatons and do think of things they should not, many are not as good as me in dismissing these things in our considerations grin

Shakey15000 Wed 18-Nov-15 12:03:36

Thanks carol that's what I was wondering. So long out of the game it's difficult to know what's considered ok or not. I think, on balance, I'll go without and revise like mad beforehand.

Thanks to everyone

Crinkle77 Sat 21-Nov-15 18:49:35

I have taken notes in to interviews in the past and they have been fine with it. For me they are like a security blanket. I get very nervous in interviews and despite doing my homework I find that the nerves make my mind blank. I find it useful to have them there just as a prompt in case my mind goes blank.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 21-Nov-15 19:14:21

You shouldn't really need notes for a competency based interview. You might need notes if you have been asked to prepare a presentation or similar in advance but otherwise as an interviewer I would expect you to be able to answer a competency based question just based on your personal experiences.

I have interviewed people who have rehearsed questions before. Unfortunately they don't always answer the question I have asked and instead answer the one they wanted me to ask. That doesn't tend to go well.

If you use the STAR model to structure your answers (you can Google it), listen to the question asked and answer it and you won't go far wrong. The STAR model is basically this:

S = Situation. Briefly outline the circumstances to give context. (eg I was working at X firm managing a team of five mortgage advisers and we were going through a redundancy process due to the economic down turn and reduced numbers of mortgage application)
T = Task or Target (ie what you had to do)
A = Actions (ie what you did). Sounds obvious but some people always forget this bit or the next bit!
R = Result. This should be a tangible, positive result or something you learnt related to your self development, although the latter is mostly only appropriate for trainees.

Don't put too much store on it being a competency based interview. It's just a label for questions that will be about your experience and workplace behaviours which is what most interviews want to know about even if they structure it differently and call it something else.

Shakey15000 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:40:54

Thanks Moving that's ever so useful smile

And thanks again for all replies. Fair to say I'm bricking it. And to top it all, DH has now been signed off work (unpaid) until he has the surgery he has been waiting for so I really need this job!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Nov-15 00:14:58

You're welcome. Please don't stress about it. Remind yourself how you are qualified and competent to do the job and think of all the reasons they would be lucky to have you - even if they are not officially on the job spec. Things like "I'm really good at getting things done"; "I'm calm in a crisis"; "I'm the person people come to to fix things" or whatever is personal to you. That will give you a little boost.

Good luck flowers

Shakey15000 Mon 23-Nov-15 16:32:16

Well, it's done and now down to fate.

I didn't take in notes but sheesh, it was intense! Could be 4wks till I find out. <bites nails>

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