Competency based questions are frequently used within financialservices, they show the hirer how you tackle various challenges at work and canhelp to gauge whether you will be an appropriate fit for the role and the team.

They are usually structured based on the job specifications and requirements and can be a random selection of open-ended questions. Making a note of skills and attitudes from the job spec, you can practice structured questions that are likely to be asked and prepare and learn these before your interview.

One of the most recommended means of answering thesequestions is to use the STAR method, which is an acronym for Situation, Task,Action, Result. This technique is helpful in breaking down the question,creating a coherent response and ensuring your reply is brief, concise andrelative.  

Using specific examples of previous situations will help you recall the information and highlight your capabilities to the hirer. (See our Infographic below)

SITUATION – What was the event that happened?

TASK – Explain your role in the situation, was there a problem or challenge that you needed to solve?

ACTION – Explain what action you used to overcome the situation or challenge?

RESULTS – What were the results? Use this factor to show your reflection and development and how your actions helped the company and those involved.

In the interview:

Think before answering the question, take your time to beconcise and consider your answer. Calming your nerves and clearly understandingwhat is being asked of you should hopefully ease any jitters and avoid unnecessaryrambling that misses the point.

We’ve listed belowcommon behavioural interview questions relative to financial services;

  • Tell usabout a time when you had to work as part of a team?
  • Tell usabout a time you had to lead a team/take on a leadership role?
  • Tell usabout a situation when you had to deal with an uncooperative member of a team?
  • Tell usabout a time when you led a team efficiently?
  • Tell us abouta time when you used logic to solve a problem?
  • Tell usabout a time when you had to work under pressure and how you managed it?
  • Describea time when you had to convince other staff and senior members of a new idea?
  • Describea time that you’ve gone above and beyond your duty and how you did so?
  • Describea time that you had to change your work schedule and how you effectivelyprioritised tasks?
  • How doyou handle disagreements with colleagues?
  • Tell usabout a time you’ve handled a difficult situation with a supervisor or seniorstaff?
  • Have youever had to handle a difficult or challenging situation with a client or stakeholder?
  • Have youever had a disagreement with your boss? How did you handle it?

Finally, be positive, let the answer flow and aim to avoid a mechanic reply, show you’re engaged and not reciting word for word and Good Luck!

If you do require extra information or help, contacting your recruitment consultant can be helpful in providing you with specific information!