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  1. Career Guidance Tools - Competency Based Interviews Alfie Hamid Regional Lead Sub-Saharan Africa (except East Africa) Cisco Networking Academy

  2. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  3. Interview Structure • Introduce yourself, establish rapport • Let your interviewer tell you what the agenda for the discussion will be • Listen to the interviewer, they will give you their expectations of the interview Open the interview 5% Gathering Data 70% • Behavioral Questions • Technical Screen • General CV Information confirmation • Ask the questions you prepared • Try to obtain more specific details about the job description • Ask the interviewer what the next steps are and when you can expect to hear back from them Close the Interview 15%

  4. Body Language • Defensive • Cross arms or legs, gesture with arm, hand or finger • Insecure • Biting fingernails, thumb rubbing • Nervous • Sighs, ear tugging, sweating... • Frustration • Wringing hands, sharp exhales, rubbing back of neck.. • Suspicion • Stroke the nose, rub the eyes, diagonal stance • Openness • Opened hands, unbuttoned jacket, uncrossed legs • Reflectiveness • Rubbing chin, touching cheek, pinching bridge of nose It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s How You Say It…

  5. Be Prepared • A good interviewer will prepare prior to every interview with specific questions for each candidate…we expect the same from you!!! • What does my company do? • Have you checked out our website? • Do you know who our competitors are? • Do you understand the job your applying for? • Why did you apply to this position? • Where do you see your career developing? This can make the difference between getting the job or not!

  6. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  7. What is a Competency? • The word competency is widely used in business environments and refers to the skills that are necessary to achieve an effective performance level in the job. Every job will have a set of key competencies, some of which are essential and others desired and all are required to do the job properly.

  8. For Example… • Examples of core competencies required in many jobs are: - Communication skills- Delivering Results- Use of Initiative- Planning and Organizing- Analytical and/or Strategic Thinking- Building relationships- Team Work

  9. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  10. Why do they do it? • Competency based interview questions are used in an effort to make the interview process as standard and as fair as possible. It is a technique which is being used increasingly in large organizations where many managers may be interviewing for the same type of position.

  11. What does it look like? • In general a competency based interview is one in which the interviewer: • Focuses on the behaviors and traits that are critical to success on the job and • Focuses on how the candidate has demonstrated these skills in the past • The foundation of this focus is the behavioral question. The behavioral question requires you, the candidate, to recall and describe a specific situation or event in which you demonstrated (or failed to demonstrate) a skill critical for success in the position for which you are applying.

  12. Behavioral Questions • A behavioral question is looking for information about: • The details of a specific situation or event • Your specific action or behavior and • The outcome of the situation • A behavioral question is not looking for: • Your opinion • What what you “think” you would do in a situation • Your assessment of your own strenghts, weakness’ or performance

  13. So Why Use this Approach… • Advantages of seeking past behavior • Reduces misunderstandings about a your past experiences • Reduces your effort to “make a good impression” • Reduces emphasis on the “hypothetical” • Prevents personal impressions from affecting evaluation • Provides actual examples of your knowledge, skills and attributes • Promotes consistency in interviews and assures all key areas for success are covered in the conversation Past Behavior is the Best Predictor of Future Behavior

  14. Behavorial Questions • A behavorial question is looking for information about: • Situation or Task: details of a specific time or event • Action: the actions you took • Result: the outcome of the situation • We call this the STAR response. Easy to remember; not so easy to do. • A behavorial question is not looking for: • Your opinion • What you “think” you would do in a situation • Your assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses

  15. STAR response – Why? • Organize your answer (STAR) • Situation / Task: Here is the problem/issue; • Action: Here are the steps I took; • Result: These were the results. • Get in and Get out • One story can show several skills! • Be ready with several stories demonstrating each success factor. Think about your background, and what you have on your CV.

  16. STAR response – How? • Be specific; use an actual Situation and not an imagined one. • What was your Action? what did you do? how did you handle the situation or project? In describing your actions you should tell your interviewer: • What (specifically and in detail) you did (not the team, but you) • Who you spoke with, what you had to learn or manage • How you arrived at a solution • Make sure you focus on what you did. You should say the word “ I ” a lot. • Describe the Result of the event. Although it is good to use a successful example, you can use failed examples as well – but make sure you demonstrate what you learned !

  17. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  18. Core Competencies • Examples of core competencies required in many jobs are: - Communication skills- Delivering Results- Use of Initiative- Planning and Organizing- Analytical and/or Strategic Thinking- Building relationships- Team Work In preparation for a Competency Based Interview the experienced interviewer will draw up a list of questions relating to each competency and all directed towards discovering if you have those skills necessary for the job.

  19. Cisco’s Core Competencies – Sales Role • Effective Communication • Good listening and presentation skills • Able to explain complex issues in a simplified manner • Resiliency • Able to deal with change • Able to take constructive feedback • Team Skills • A good team player and leader • People-oriented • Sales Personality • Driven to be in sales • Achievement Oriented • Not risk-averse, uses initiative • Determined to succeed

  20. Innovation Continuous improvement Quality team Giving Back/Trust/Fair/Integrity Fun Empowerment Profit contribution No Technology Religion Market Transitions Open Communication Teamwork Drive change We Choose these Competencies to Measure if Candidates will Fit into Cisco’s Culture

  21. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  22. Preparing for a Competency Based Interview • The most common type are Behavioral Based Interview Questions. These are also called Situational and are used as a tool to discover how your behavior in a previous role or situation can contribute to your performance in the job being recruited for. • Examples of Behavior Based Interview Questions are: • Tell me about a time.. Give an example of a <Stressful, Successful, Important> situation you found yourself in and what did you do?Describe a situation which caused you a problem and tell me how you resolved it. • Something to be aware of; even if your interview is not described as such, it is very likely in today's recruitment market that you will be asked Competency Based Interview Questions. Your best preparation is to know your own background and know the job description of the job you are applying for

  23. Agenda • Introduction & some interview basics • What is a competency? • Why use competency or behavioral interview approach? • Examples of core competencies • Preparing for the competency interview • Sample questions • Q&A

  24. Let’s Review – Cisco’s Core Competencies • Effective Communication • Good listening and presentation skills • Able to explain complex issues in a simplified manner • Resiliency • Able to deal with change • Able to take constructive feedback • Team Skills • A good team player and leader • People-oriented • Sales Personality • Driven to be in sales • Customer orientation • Achievement Oriented • Not risk-averse, uses initiative • Determined to succeed

  25. For Example... • Competency: Customer Orientation • Definition: A willingness to help and serve others and meet their needs whether they are internal or external customers. Understands urgency. • Question: Tell me about a time when you felt effective in dealing with a customer (internal or external). What was the outcome? How and when did you communicate your findings to the customer? Response: I recently completed my thesis and presented my findings to the academic review board. I asked my advisor for the background of the board members and saw that two had a specialization in the topic of my thesis so I knew to expect a lot of challenging questions. I made sure that I had double checked all of my data and knew my sources before the review meeting so I was able to answer even the most obsecure questions. Also my advisor had mentioned that there was one member of the board who had problems with his sight so I made sure that all of my documents were printed in a larger font to make them easier to read.

  26. Now its your turn… • Effective Communication • Good listening and presentation skills • Able to explain complex issues in a simplified manner • Resiliency • Able to deal with change • Able to take constructive feedback • Team Skills • A good team player and leader • People-oriented • Sales Personality • Driven to be in sales • Customer orientation • Achievement Oriented • Not risk-averse, uses initiative • Determined to succeed

  27. Q and A