This article will give you all the information you will need for sealing the deal at your next skills-based interview for a job. Therefore, if you thought you wouldn’t need to deal with the challenges of a job interview because you work from home, think again!
Whether you are running your own business or looking to complete freelance work for a company, chances are, you may need to attend an interview to land a highly coveted contract.
As noted in one recent study, a skills-based interview for a job (also called a competency-based interview) has been found to have a high level of validity and reliability. That is, research has shown a strong correlation between a successful skills-based interview and the achievement of business goals.
What is a Skills-Based Interview?
A skills-based or competency-based interview uses behavioral questions. This helps the interviewer assess whether or not you have the critical competencies required for a specific position.
Corporate governance recruitment firm Barclay Simpson conveniently describes the content of a typical skills-based interview. It is one that contains STAR: S for a situation that a worker might have encountered, T for task (a task that the interviewee needed to undertake to solve the problem), A for Action (what actions did they take to solve a problem) and Results (what results did they achieve?).
Thus, you may be asked how you solved something like being late for a deadline. You have had a provider or team member let you down last-minute, and how you went about solving it. If you work from home, it can be especially important for recruiters to know that they can count on you to deliver quality work on time.
How to Prepare for a Skills-Based Interview from Home
A skills-based interview focuses on key competencies. This includes communication, leadership, teamwork, trustworthiness, and technical skills. You can help out interviewers by providing them with a thorough resume that states your skills. It should describe key situations you used them in.
For instance, say more than you have leadership skills. List down a statistic or sales figure that you achieved as leader of a team. This will steer your interviewers to projects you feel comfortable about talking about or elaborating on.
Don’t merely say you are responsible. State the number of jobs you complete as a freelance worker per week. Even state how long you have provided specific companies with your products or services. The Internet contains vital information on example questions you can expect to find. Also, take advantage of the time you have at home to watch videos on this interview in action.
Research is Key
You can get a good idea of the competencies your interviewer will focus on. This can be accomplished by exploring the type of skills and competencies required by the role. A role you would like to fulfill from home. For instance, the role you are after is in Public Relations. With that, you will most likely be asked about how you have handled difficult clients in the past.
You may be applying for a job in which production is fast (such as a newspaper). Think of a specific instance in which you shined and brought something positive to an otherwise difficult situation. Then, think of situations in which you were willing to work overtime. Even beyond what was expected to achieve a desired result.
Building a good network in the industry you are trying to get into is key. Try to contact current employers on LinkedIn or other professional networks. Once you have built up rapport, ask about core competencies for the type of job you are applying to.
A skills-based interview for competency often centers on ways in which you have already proven key competencies. As such, it continues to hold sway both for office and freelance job posts. The key to shining at one of these interviews is to do prior research.
Granted, it is also important to keep your cool. That being said, in a skills-based interview, you are asked about a competency you may not have foreseen. Then, you can have the mental clarity you need to come up with an example that will demonstrate the skills they are trying to find in you.
Author: Jane Edwards – Freelance Writer