Transition Toolkit: A guide to Competency Based Interviewing
Competency-Based Interviewing (CBI) is a style of questioning developed to help interviewers decipher if the candidate has practical experience of the skills that they require. The questions will always ask you to refer to a real-life example where you were able to use a particular skill and in order to assess your answer, the interviewer will be looking for a structured response.
Interviewers will often warn you that the next question or section of the interview will be ‘competency-based’ but if they don’t, look out for questions which start with phrases like; ‘tell me about a time when…’, ‘describe an event where…’ or ‘give an example of when…’ as indicators, they may well be looking for a structured answer.
It’s important to remember that the interviewer is trying to get an idea of how you work and your thought processes when faced with a task or challenge. You can prepare yourself for most CBI questions by having a bank of 3-4 examples of times (preferably in the workplace) where you have faced a significant challenge, period of change or task which required skill/effort beyond your job description. Practise explaining these scenarios in around two minutes using the STAR technique below to prevent ‘waffling’ on the day.
The STAR Technique
Any interviewer asking a CBI question will be looking for a response which roughly follows the below structure (or the very similar CAR technique of Context/Action/Result). This allows them to understand the role you played at every stage:
Situation: Provide context to the example you’re about to give. This should include what role you held at the time, where it took place (geographically and in terms of the company/unit) and any other challenging factors outside of the task you are focussing on (manpower issues, morale, politics etc)
Task at Hand: What task was specifically required of you/the team you managed?
Action: Describe the action you personally took to resolve the task. It’s easy to slip into explaining what the team as a whole did, or what you were asked to do, but try to focus on your own steps towards a resolution. Be sure to explain your thinking behind any decisions you made.
Result: What was the result of the action you took to resolve the task? Where possible, try to include actual figures in your conclusion, whether it’s in money/time saved, income earned or an increase in productivity. Particularly when translating your military experience for a civilian employer, this will give them something to relate to.
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Cakes for Commandos
Celebrate the Royal Marines birthday with Cakes for Commandos.
The official date for Cakes for Commando is the 28th October, but you can bake for Bootnecks whenever, wherever and however you like. Small or big, tea or coffee, socially distanced or virtual - Cakes for Commandos is what you make it.
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