Competency based interviewing skills

They say only right questions get right answers. It holds true in an organisation where hiring of the Right talent is an outcome more of right interviewing skills than a good candidate. Competence learning has delivered to its client several sessions on Competence based hiring for an effective marriage between right candidate and the job in the rolls.



There is nothing like a bad talent. It just doesn’t match the spot requirements. But if still hired it may not add as much revenue to an organization as cost towards attrition, bad customer loyalty, negative brand equity, data theft and low employee morale.


There are study galore including from leading consultancy firms like Accenture that puts the cost of a bad hire to one to five times of their annual cost to company. The same studies have also identified inadequate interview skills and screening techniques as the single most important reason to trigger the chain reaction of bad hiring ending into attrition.


Realizing this recently a leading retail chain of India identified its high attrition with lack of interviewing skills of the hiring manager.


Therefore it further identified need for streamlining the entire interviewing process both in terms of soft and technical skills with following objectives :


1. Enhance probability of a good resource hire with skills matching to the job in terms of requisite competency;

2. Develop SOP’s to harmonize interviewing process across organization; develop a competency framework relevant to different functions including building of soft skills.


Based on these objectives Competence Learning designed content and training process to :


1. Conduct 2-days workshops for managers from operational heads/ vertical heads and zonal heads to store managers;

2. Design soft skills learning program on basics like conducting an effective interview; Interview format; Preparation required; Requisite etiquette; Importance of conducting an effective interview;

3. Inculcate fundamentals of effective probing, listening, note keeping; breaking ice and facilitating dialogue; building rapport and handling of difficult participants;

4. Technical aspects of competency based interview including behavioral aspects of competencies; identifying competencies for a job position; defining measurable competencies;


An effective process to increase probability of a good hire is a multi-stage program and is evolutionary in nature. While a good start can be made by identifying need for soft skill development the process further evolves into specific domain and functional expertise.

Therefore HR of an organization should help map exact need to develop a detailed structure of the program. In this case study the HR provided with existing format for interview based on which the consultant developed SOP’s in terms of the stages of the interview process and communicated to all the participants.


The training session included training aids/tools such as audio- visuals, case study discussion, Role Plays for practical skill demonstration and practice, besides a PPT and participant manuals.


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