Marymount University Hospital & Hospice use a competency based approach to Recruitment & Selection. This initiative aims to guarantee the application of a fair and transparent selection process across all positions within the organisation, aligning with Equality Legislation.

Competency Based Interviews – FAQ for Applicants

What is a competency?

A competency is defined as the underlying knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics required to be successful in a job role. Competencies are described in terms of concrete behaviours that have happened in the past.

How is a competency relevant to me applying for a job?

Every stage of the recruitment process, including the Role Profile, Application, and Interview, will be centered around competencies. The Role Profile will outline the competencies being evaluated and the corresponding levels. Each competency has four levels, which vary based on the grade. It’s crucial to prepare for these specific competencies outlined in the Role Profile rather than attempting to cover all competencies within the framework.

How do I know how to answer using competencies?

Knowing how to answer using competencies involves understanding the specific skills, behaviours, and attributes sought for the role you’re applying for. Start by reviewing the job description carefully to identify the key competencies required. These are often listed under “required skills” or “qualifications.” Next, think about your past experiences where you demonstrated these competencies, whether from work, education, volunteering, or extracurricular activities. When answering competency-based questions, structure your response using the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Describe the context or situation you were in, explain the specific task or challenge you faced, detail the actions you took to address the situation, and share the outcome of your actions and any lessons learned. Provide concrete examples and quantify your achievements whenever possible, focusing on your own actions and contributions. Ensure your answers are relevant to the competencies required for the role and tailor your responses accordingly.

What is a competency based interview?

During a competency-based interview, you’ll be prompted to recount a specific instance or situation where your behavior exemplified a particular competency. For instance, if the competency is “Teamwork,” you’ll be asked to narrate an experience of working within a team, following the STARK process outlined above. Typically, you’ll draw upon examples from past roles. However, the interviewer might request alternative examples during the interview.

Why are competencies being used?

Competencies are employed during recruitment and selection processes for several reasons. Firstly, they provide a standardised framework for evaluating candidates’ suitability for a role. By defining the specific skills, behaviours, and attributes required for success in a particular position, competencies offer a clear benchmark against which candidates can be assessed.

Moreover, competency-based approaches help ensure alignment between the individual’s capabilities and the organisation’s needs. By identifying key competencies relevant to the job role and organisational culture, recruiters can effectively match candidates who possess the necessary skills and qualities.

Additionally, using competencies in recruitment and selection enhances objectivity and fairness. Instead of relying solely on subjective judgements or personal biases, recruiters can evaluate candidates based on their demonstrated competencies and performance in relevant situations. This promotes transparency and reduces the risk of discrimination or favouritism in the selection process.

Furthermore, competencies enable recruiters to predict future job performance more accurately. By assessing candidates’ past experiences and behaviours related to specific competencies, recruiters can gauge their potential to succeed in the role and contribute to the organisation’s objectives.

Overall, incorporating competencies into recruitment and selection processes helps organisations identify and select candidates who not only possess the requisite skills and qualifications but also align with the organisation’s values and goals, ultimately contributing to better hiring decisions and long-term success.