Example (E) : What is the example of behaviour or experience that the candidate
was faced with?
What did you do when…………….
Action (A) : What did the candidate do and how was it done?
Walk me through the steps you took…….
Exactly what did you do…..?
Result (R) : What were the effects of candidate’s action?
What was the outcome?
What was the result?
Competency Based Interviewing
“Give us an example when you….”
“What did you do?”
“How did you make a difference?”
“How did you bring others along with you?”
In other words….you, you and you!!
“ Competencies are underlying personal characteristics that influence individual
Competencies comprise of skills, knowledge, values and attitude
Culture Fit and Close
Competency 2 Competency 4
Competency 5 Competency 2
Competency 3 Competency 6 Competency 1
Competency 1 Competency 2 Competency 5
How to Drive a Competency Based Discussion
From Julian Treasure’s TED talk ‘5 ways to listen better’
Ask open questions – don’t lead
Were you trying to do A or B?
What were you trying to do?
How to keep people talking
Help me understand better
Can you tell me the
story about that?
Tell me more…
What else can you tell me
What do you mean by…
Echoing and rephrasing
This is confusing...
Yes, confusing. I wasn't sure whether...
Echoing and rephrasing
…and so I decided to click on that link to go to the next page.
Okay, so let me get this straight: first, you saw the link, and...what, again?
I saw the link, and I thought to myself....(paraphrases self)
I wanted to download that application, but the instructions
were so confusing… (trails off and stops talking)
The instructions were confusing?
And you expected…
So then you…
The quiet one
• So, tell me what you're trying to do here
• What are you trying to get done right now?
• How does this (part/page) compare with what you were expecting?
• If the user falls quiet repeatedly: And by the way, if you could just let me
know what's going through your head as you’re doing this...
The bored one
• I noticed that you just hesitated a bit before clicking on that button. Can
you tell me why?
• Why don't we back up a bit? I was curious about what drew your attention
to the tab you just clicked on?
• Before we move on from here, I wanted to ask you about this part a bit
more. What do you think about the range of choices they give you here? Is
• That's really interesting, thanks for telling me about that. To come back
• Can I interrupt you? Sorry, I was actually curious if you could...
The chatty one
Power of documentation
Make a sales pitch but do not miss-sell!!!
Indicate closure time lines
Capture Feedback ( Objectivity )
The objective must be to hire the candidate who is BEST
QUALIFIED to perform successfully on the job, not necessarily
the candidate who does the best during the interviews
Going with the flow
Asking predicable questions
Whitewashing the job
Ignoring the question of ‘fit’
Letting a candidate's one major positive blind you to
all other negatives
“She is very good with excel. I didn’t feel the need to check other skills.”
“We would prefer people only from life insurance. Banks and non life will not work.”
“His father is the Chief Justice. I’m sure he will also be intelligent.”
“The industry feedback on her is not very good.”
Influence of misleading signs
“His personality was not very impressive.”
Similar to me
“We happen to be from the same B school. I’m sure she’ll be a good.”
“All candidates from IIMs leave within one year.”
Be the learner, not the expert
Ask naïve questions
Ask for specific stories
Allow people time to think
Take notes or record
Take photos or collect artefacts
Be an interrogator
Ask questions that sound like blame, or argumentative
Ask for solutions
Try to solve problems during the interview
Ask what features people want
Ask people to imagine theoretical situations