Introduction to Competencies and Strength

Firms generally emphasise the skills that they most value during campus presentations and office visits and on their websites. Although many firms stress similar skills, some firms may place greater emphasis on one or two particular skills or values. Different firms (and even different interviewers within the same firm) take very different approaches to competency interviews.

Some may ask ethical questions (e.g. ‘would you ever pay a ransom?’ or ‘have you ever done anything ethically questionable?’). Others may focus more on strengths-based questions (e.g. ‘what motivates you?’ or ‘what are your weaknesses?’). Organisations may alternatively assess your skill development through evaluating your contribution/reaction in different scenarios (e.g. ‘when have you successfully led a team through a difficult situation?’).

Make sure you do your research beforehand to deduce which skills and strengths you are likely to be required to address during your interviews and think about which of your experiences would be best to draw upon as examples.

It is good to use a range of different examples in your applications and interviews, both academic and non-academic. This can help to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded individual. Try to demonstrate how your interests, experiences, competencies and strengths are relevant to the role for which you are applying and why they make you an ideal candidate. 

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By Jake Schogger - City Career Series