Competency based interview questions are now fairly common in many job interviews. Most managers like to throw in a couple of questions which can be tricky to answer especially if you are unprepared.
The key to getting this right is preparation. For accounting professionals it is actually reasonably easy to predict and prepare for these questions:
1) Preselect the roles that you are going to use as examples in your answers: Most people find they can cover everything they are likely to be asked by relating to two roles (ideally you’re most recent).
2) Predict the questions: You are almost certainly going to be asked to demonstrate core skills. Apply a particular lifecycle against month / year end, for example, that will demonstrate your experience. You are also likely to be asked about your organisational and/or stakeholder management skills so cover these off too.
3) Choose examples that are to the point: Don’t select long complex situations that require extensive scene setting. Remember it’s your ability to articulate the answer that counts and it’s often better to choose a simpler situation to make your point than try to describe a highly complex scenario even if it’s very relevant to the question.
4) Use the STAR method to prepare the examples: Describe the Situation, Task, Action and Result (STAR). This will help you to structure your answers.
5) Prepare thouroghly: Ensure you have covered everything off on the job spec and run through it so there’s no surprises on the day
If you require any further advice, please don’t hesitate to call.