Competency Based Interviews

If you are successful at the previous stages of the selection process, you will be invited to attend a Competency Based Interview.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service use this style of interviewing as research has shown that an effective indicator of future performance is to assess past performance.

The interview process seeks to match the candidate’s potential skills, abilities and knowledge with those stated in the Firefighter role map and the personal qualities and attributes, which are detailed within the job description contained in this information pack.

An example of the type of questions asked is ‘Give an example of a time when you have worked as part of a team.’

When you are choosing an example you are encouraged to think about situations at work, college, in your home life, in your hobbies, or in any other clubs or organisations you may be a member of.

It is important that you choose an example that is clear in your memory, so that you will be able to confidently talk your interviewers through what you did and why.

Ensure that your responses are well structured, clear and concise.  You may find it useful to consider the STAR technique, to help structure your answer;

  • Situation – outline the context and background to the situation
  • Task – explain what you were tasked with
  • Action – explain your role, detailing actions taken and why
  • Result – outline the outcome and any lessons learnt

The Interview panel will review YOUR contribution in situations, in terms of actions taken and behaviours demonstrated and will gather evidence and indicators of how you would react in similar activities within the Firefighter role.

Specifically, the interview panel will be looking for examples of what you have actually said, done or decided. You will not be given credit for hypothetical examples of what you would or might do in a particular situation.

For tips on how to prepare you may wish to conduct an internet search e.g. “preparing for a competency based interview”.