A Manager’s Guide to Competency-Based Interview Answers and Questions

Every workplace in the real estate and the placemaking sector needs to be run by a competent manager. When it comes to recruiting the next top managerial talent, competency-based interview questions are a great way for employers to get to know the interviewee, their skills and abilities as well as their suitability for the job at hand.

To help identify leadership qualities during your interview process, our manager’s guide provides some of the most common competency-based interview questions and reveals what you can learn from the answers.

What Are Competency-Based Interview Questions?

These types of questions do what the name suggests: they give you valuable insight into a candidate’s competency for a certain role. These are usually pre-determined questions that give you a clear idea of a candidate’s skills and abilities and whether they are a suitable candidate for the role.

Why Should I Use Competency-Based Interview Questions?

A competency-based interview is one of the most popular interview methods for employers and recruiters as it gives you a clear image of a person’s abilities. Through competency-based interview questions, you can gauge the interviewee’s critical thinking, decision making, stress management, leadership, and problem-solving skills. When hiring someone for a managerial role, you have to expect them to lead your team to greatness, and a competency-based interview is a great way to learn valuable things about the different candidates.

Top 3 Competency-Based Interview Questions for Managers and Leadership Roles

Here are a few examples of the most common competency-based interview questions that you can ask your interviewee.

1. What is your leadership style?

This question instantly gives you an idea of how a candidate can handle a team. Every workplace has a different environment, and you have to make sure the leadership style fits the vision of your company. A good manager can inspire the team and bring the best out of every individual member, and one of the best ways to gauge their ability is to learn more about their leadership style.

2. Give an example of how you deal with an unproductive team member

Not every situation is going to be positive in the workplace, and not every team member will be as productive as possible. Managers should be able to bring the best out of the team member, so understanding how they deal with unproductive team members is very important in determining a candidate’s managerial ability.

3. What’s the toughest situation you’ve ever faced?

Another important thing to ask is how they handle especially tough situations. These aren’t the average workplace speed bumps we’re talking about. This question refers to special situations, where standard approaches won’t work and the candidate had to use their own problem-solving skills. This gives you a fair idea of a candidate’s problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

Tips for Conducting a Competency-Based Interview

When vetting different candidates for a managerial position, it’s important to keep interviews consistent. That way, you can easily compare the different traits and abilities to find the best fit for your workplace. Here are some tips for leading a competency-based interview:

1. Create a Set Structure

One of the best ways to conduct clear and productive interviews is to create a structure. The structure should be followed strictly for all the candidates to assure consistency. Structured interviews are key in developing a clear picture of a candidate’s skills and abilities.

Ideally, you should start the interview by asking all candidates the same set of questions. Later on, you can compare the different answers and see which one fits the company best. We also recommend giving candidates enough time to clearly formulate their answers.

When conducting a structured interview, it’s also very important to listen intently and take notes. You cannot remember every single thing said in the interview, so it’s important to keep track of important observations so you won’t have a hard time revisiting the interviews later.

2. Set a Definite Criteria

Before you even start conducting interviews, you need to know the kind of manager you want. It’s best to lay out a clear list of skills, abilities, and attributes that you need from the professionals before inviting them forward for an interview. You can start off by listing down all of the responsibilities in the workplace that the manager should be able to handle. From there, you can match the different skills and attributes to the different responsibilities within the workplace. And after that, you’ll have a definitive list of the type of skills needed for the position.

A competency-based interview is one of the most popular interview methods for employers as it gives you a clear image of a person’s abilities. Through competency-based interview questions, you can gauge a client’s critical thinking, decision making, stress management, leadership, and problem-solving skills. When hiring someone for a managerial role, you have to expect them to lead your team to greatness, and a competency-based interview is a great way to ensure just that.

When observing candidates, stick to your criteria as much as possible. Remember, you are taking on the tough task of objectively comparing different candidates, and it’s easier to keep an objective view when there are clear criteria.

3. Prepare Questions Beforehand

Lastly, you don’t want to head out to the interview not knowing what to say or ask. Job interviews are not improvisational, they need to be clearly laid out beforehand. Before conducting interviews, list down all the questions you plan on asking the candidate. These questions should be competency-based and geared to give you insight into the candidate’s skills and abilities and whether they fit the responsibilities that need to be taken care of at the workplace that you’re hiring for.

A great way to formulate questions is using the STAR approach. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and results. You can ask the interviewee about a past situation, what they did to resolve the issue, what actions they took to do it, and what the end results were.

This is just an example and you have the freedom to formulate the questions in any way you may see fit. However, just keep in mind that you need to ask questions that show you what skills and abilities a certain candidate possesses.

Conclusion

So, there you have it; our quick but comprehensive guide to competency-based interviews. In this day and age, workplaces within the real estate and the placemaking sector need competent individuals with a specific set of skills and abilities, especially when looking for someone to take on a managerial role.

One of the best ways to gauge a candidate’s skill is through competency-based questions. When conducting these interviews, it’s very important to listen closely and take notes. That way, you’ll find it much easier to compare different candidates and find the perfect fit for the company.

If you’re not sure how to proceed with hiring the best manager for your roles, speak to one of our consultants today.

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