Competency Based Recruitment (CBR)

Posted by admin - 4th Nov 2014

Competency-based recruitment (CBR) also called behavioural/situational recruitment, is an interviewing methodology used to evaluate candidates’ competencies.

The interviewer will ask questions that require candidates to demonstrate they have a particular skill or competency the client is looking for. Candidates are asked to give situational / real-life examples from their Professional or Private experiences, to describe their personality, skills and competencies.

I like to use this approach to explore deeper key competencies asked by a client. I see it as a very effective complement to classical questions related to candidate’s experience. This gives insights on personality, drivers and fit with company’s values.

Lists of competencies that can be assessed with Competency Based Questions ( non exhaustive)


  • Compliance
  • Team work
  • Conflict Management
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Delegation


  • Adaptability
  • Autonomy
  • Influencing skills
  • Leadership
  • Impact and Convince

Organisational Skills

  • Tenacity / Courage
  • Risk taking

Examples of Questions to assess Key Competencies

Key Competency : Innovative Thinking

Questions :

- Tell us about the most Innovative thing you have done in your life ?
- Describe a situation which called for your creative and original input ?

Key Competency : Leadership

Questions :

- Tell us about a situation where you had to get a team to improve its performance. What were the problems and how did you address them?
- Describe a change where you had to drive a team through change. How did you achieve this?
-Describe a situation where you needed to inspire a team. What challenges did you meet and how did you achieve your objectives?

Key Competency : Teamwork

Questions :

- Describe a situation in which you were a member of team. What did you do to positively contribute to it?
- Tell us about a situation where you played an important role in a project as a member of the team
- Give us an example where you worked in a dysfunctional team. Why was it dysfunctional and how did you attempt to change things?

Tips to answer Competency-Based questions:

You can use the STAR approach, always appreciated:

- Task : explain what you have to achieve
- Action: tell the interviewer what your did to achieve the objective
- Result: what was the outcome of your actions and your evaluation of the actions.