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A resume may tell a thousand words, but it doesn’t really reveal how competent you are to do the job or how you will act in the real-life setting of the job. Most interviews host staged interview processes which provide greater opportunity to show the interviewers why you are the best person for the job.

As part of this process, they generally provide an outline of important points that will be covered in the interview including a sample of competency questions which may be asked in the interview. This helps with creating fairness and provides a greater feeling of confidence on the day of your interview.

Job interview questions can be difficult to answer on the day. However, using a structured approach will help you stay on track. The acronym SBO (Situation, Behaviour and Outcome) is a great technique to use to develop your answers.

SBO Technique to Answer Competency Questions at Interviews

  • Situation – Begin with describing in detail a situation that you were involved in or give a description on the task that you completed
  • Behaviour – Describe actions undertaken, the process and steps you followed and completed
  • Outcome – This part of your answer is where you highlight actions that resulted in a successful outcome. Provide detail on what was accomplished, the benefits that were achieved and what was learned during the process. This is the most important part of the answer

For example, customer service is an area that is common in most workplaces. The interviewer may ask; “Tell us about a time in your previous role when you delivered excellent customer service?” Empathy, clear communication skills and patience can form part of this answer. Remember to keep your answers brief and stay on point.

While having the preparatory questions in advance is often positive, it can also lead to rigidity in answers at the interview. Remember to ‘be yourself’, outline important points and allow the conversation to flow naturally. Finish well and end on a positive note – give a confident handshake at the end of the interview and thank the interviewers.     

Need help on your job interview with us? Call us today, on 01 8783335 or email – to chat with a member of our friendly team, to explore your options and receive valuable advice.

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