At Oil Recruitment we pride ourselves on finding the right
person for the right role. So once we have helped you organise an interview,
how can you best prepare for your first face-to-face meeting? The Oil
Recruitment team offers some tips on different interview styles and what you
Competency or situational questions are now commonplace in interviews. They are not specific to individual roles but help to build a picture of you and your thought processes. For this type of interview, the STAR technique (situation, task, action, result) will enable you to answer tough questions in a subtle yet compelling manner. Prepare your STAR stories in advance so you can enter the interview armed with examples of situations that can demonstrate core competencies like leadership, professionalism, and the ability to learn from your experiences.
The interviewer might also probe you to demonstrate behavioural competencies. Questions can range from those that invite a positive story “Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to convince someone to see things your way” to the trickier “Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.”
Non-competency based questions can be deceptively simple: “Tell me about yourself” is your chance to impress, and provides the opportunity for the interviewer to gauge your fit in terms of culture. If you are asked “Why do you want this job?” or “What sort of company attracts you and why?” the interviewer may be looking for commercial awareness and career aspirations.
How to prepare
So what type of interview can you expect? Whilst it varies from company to company: Larger organisations with a bigger HR team are more likely to have trained their interviewers in competency based interviewing, whereas smaller companies looking for niche skills are usually more technical interviews.
Some larger organisations also ask candidates to complete online assessments and psychometric tests. Either way, we know our clients and their processes well so the best way to prepare is to talk to the recruiter and ask for help with interview preparation.
To prepare for interview, here are our tips:
Identify the competencies for the role either from the job description or the recruiter dealing with the role
Prepare a STAR story for each competency
Learn factual company information so you’re free to focus on answering more important questions
Use the interview as an opportunity to make your points, rather than provide a ‘right’ answer
Discuss interview preparation with the recruiter as they will know the company culture and processes