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Friday Article : CB Interviews - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

Friday Article : CB Interviews

5 October 2007 | Articles | 2 Responses by Paul Mullan.

Here is the 7th part in the series from Paul Mullan of Measurability offers career coaching to individuals looking to change careers as well as companies looking to train their staff for better things. If you have a question you can either leave it here or send Paul an email at The other articles can be found here in our articles section.

Should jobseekers fear Competency Based Interviews?

Competency based interviews (CBI) are an increasingly popular interview tool replacing the traditional CV based interview. They are based on the belief that the best indication of future behaviour is by examining past behaviour. These interviews will focus on a number of key competencies relevant for the role and the interviewee will have to demonstrate evidence through previous work examples. Generally speaking jobseekers fear interviews but particularly competency based interviews as they are perceived to be more challenging interview. Yes they are more challenging but I their advantages mean that they should be embraced by the jobseeker.

more interview tips

Preparation by the client

(on the most part) shows that the employer has put some thought into their selection process. They have analysed their open vacancy and identified the key skills and behaviours required for success in the role. This indicated that they know what they are looking for and therefore it should reduce the risk that jobseekers getting hired for a job that doesn’t suit. CBI also indicates that the interview is objective, focusing on essential components thus reducing subjectivity in the selection process. Due to the fact that these interviews are structured and the interviewers normally trained scoring and candidate comparisons are more scientific.

How can you prepare for competency based interviews?

Preparation can make CBI less daunting. Some employers may provide a list of competencies to be assessed at interview but others will not. Make sure you ask and if the answer is no then you must try and work this out for yourself. CBI requires you to provide previous work examples where you can highlight evidence of the competency. Try and have a few examples for each competency and use the STAR approach to explain it. Firstly identify the Situation/Task, then the Action and finally the Result.


Traditional interviews are normally a glorified chat where the interviewer is untrained and probably does not have a clear idea of what they are looking. There is no direction and no concrete comparison criteria each interview talking a different path. With this in mind I know what type of interview situation I would prefer.


Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions.

Measurability is running a CV & Interview Workshop on 20th October in Dublin City Centre. Email now for more details and to book a place !

2 Responses

  1. Nora O'Callaghan said on 30 Jul 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Please send details on workshop.

  2. Interview Coach - Paul said on 4 Aug 2008 at 9:03 am


    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately this workshop was successfully run in Oct 2007. I have no plans to run a workshop over the next few months but do offer 1-1 CV writing and interview coaching … visit

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