Maximising Human Potential: How Organisational Psychology Can Elevate HR and Your Organisation

Hiring the right people is crucial for the success of any organization. Not only do the skills and experience of your employees directly contribute to your business's performance, but the culture and values of your team also play a significant role in your company's overall success. It's essential to take the time to identify and attract individuals who will not only excel in their roles but also align with your organization's values and mission.

Traditionally, interviews have focused on asking candidates about their past experiences and qualifications and assessing their fit based on their responses. However, this approach has several limitations. For one, it can be difficult to determine a candidate's true potential and fit for a role based solely on their past experiences. Additionally, traditional interviews are often unstructured and subjective, leaving room for bias and inconsistency in the hiring process.

Competency-based interviewing and selection techniques aim to overcome these limitations by focusing on specific competencies or skills that are required for success in a particular role. By assessing candidates on their demonstrated abilities in these areas, it becomes easier to predict their potential and fit for the role and the organization. Additionally, competency-based techniques are structured and objective, helping to reduce bias and improve the consistency of the hiring process.

What is Competency-Based Interviewing?

Competency-based interviewing is a structured approach to evaluating candidates for a job based on their demonstrated skills, knowledge, and behaviours. It involves asking targeted questions that probe a candidate's past experiences and capabilities in specific areas that are relevant to the role they are being considered for.

Competencies are the specific skills, knowledge, and behaviours that are required for success in a particular role. These can include technical skills, such as proficiency in a particular software or language, as well as more general skills, such as problem-solving or communication. By identifying the competencies that are essential for a given role, it becomes easier to assess whether a candidate has the necessary skills and abilities to succeed in the position.

Before conducting a competency-based interview, it's essential to identify the specific competencies that are required for success in the role being filled. This can be done by performing a job analysis, which involves examining the job duties and responsibilities and determining the skills and abilities that are necessary to perform them effectively. Once the relevant competencies have been identified, it's important to create a list of targeted questions that will assess candidates on these competencies during the interview process.

How to Conduct a Competency-Based Interview

Preparing for the interview:

Before conducting a competency-based interview, it's essential to prepare by developing a list of competencies that you will be assessing and creating targeted questions to probe a candidate's skills and experiences in these areas. It's also a good idea to establish a rating system for each competency, which will allow you to objectively compare candidates based on their demonstrated abilities.

Conducting the interview:

During the interview, it's important to follow a structured approach and ask the same questions to all candidates. This will help ensure fairness and consistency in the process. As you ask each question, pay close attention to the candidate's responses and rate their skills and abilities based on your predetermined rating system. Be sure to probe for specific examples and experiences to support your ratings.

Following up after the interview:

After all the interviews have been conducted, it's important to review the ratings and examples provided by each candidate and compare them based on the relevant competencies. This will help you determine which candidate is the best fit for the role. It's also a good idea to seek input from other team members or stakeholders who may have interacted with the candidates during the interview process. Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can make a final hiring decision.

Tips for Success

Several of these best practices can help you effectively implement competency-based interviewing in your organization:

  • Clearly define the competencies that are required for success in each role
  • Create a list of targeted questions that will assess candidates on these competencies
  • Use a structured approach and ask the same questions to all candidates
  • Use a rating system to objectively compare candidates
  • Gather input from other team members or stakeholders who have interacted with the candidates

Overcoming common challenges and pitfalls:

As with any interviewing technique, there are potential challenges and pitfalls to be aware of when implementing competency-based interviewing. Some common challenges include:

  • Ensuring that the competencies being assessed are relevant to the role
  • Allowing for sufficient time to thoroughly assess all candidates
  • Avoiding bias and subjectivity in the evaluation process
  • Providing clear feedback to candidates who are not selected for the role

To overcome these challenges, it's important to carefully plan and prepare for the interview process, establish clear guidelines and rating criteria, and seek input and feedback from other team members as needed.


Competency-based interviewing and selection is a valuable approach to evaluating job candidates and identifying the best fit for a particular role. Some of the key benefits of competency-based interviews and selection include:

  1. Objectivity: Competency-based interviews focus on specific skills and abilities that are relevant to the job, rather than subjective factors such as appearance or demeanour. This can help to reduce bias and increase the fairness of the selection process.
  2. Holistic view: By focusing on specific competencies, competency-based interviews provide a more comprehensive view of a candidate's skills and abilities. This can help to identify candidates who are well-suited to the position, even if they don't have traditional education or work experience.
  3. Strong teams: By identifying candidates who have the skills and abilities that are most important for the role, competency-based interviews can help organizations build strong and successful teams.

If you are interested in learning more about competency-based interviewing and selection techniques, you may want to consider attending a workshop or training program offered by SHRI Academy. These workshops can provide in-depth guidance on how to use competency-based interviews and selection to identify the best candidates for your organization.