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A Skills-Based Interview: What Is It? (With Tips for Preparation)


A Skills-Based Interview: What Is It? (With Tips for Preparation)

In order to ascertain whether a candidate’s skill set aligns with the requirements of an open position, many companies ask candidates about their abilities and competencies. Employers might evaluate a candidate’s skills during skills-based interviews to assess how they would react in various scenarios if they were hired for the position. Knowing what to expect from this type of interview and how to prepare for it will help you present yourself professionally while showcasing your abilities to companies.

In this post, we define a skills-based interview, discuss when employers utilise it, and offer advice on how to get ready for one.

A skills-based interview: What is it?

In a formal interview setting for a job, an applicant may be asked questions about their skill set to determine whether it best satisfies the requirements or preferences of the firm. It determines whether an applicant has the necessary abilities for the job and uses those skills to gauge how challenging the prospect could find certain tasks. Professionals may also refer to competency- or situation-based interviews as skills-based interviews. In most cases, the interviewer creates a list of the competencies or talents they’re seeking before the interview and may use the job description or advertisement as guidance.


In the interview, the candidate is questioned about their talents, and the interviewer evaluates their responses in light of preset standards. Candidates are frequently questioned about their employment experiences and their responses to various scenarios. These questions help to expose a candidate’s talents because the responses relate to the candidate’s actual experiences in their past roles. The interviewer can then decide if they possess the necessary abilities to succeed in the position. An interview focused on abilities has a tendency to be more structured and specialised than other interview kinds.

Why are skill-based interviews popular with employers?

Because they can better predict how a candidate will use their talents to perform in the position, employers evaluate applicants through skills-based interviews. Additionally, it might help them get a sense of a candidate’s skill set and how they respond in practical work circumstances. Employers can evaluate a candidate’s mental processes and critical abilities, such as communication, problem-solving, and time management, by using skills-based interview questions. This kind of interview enables businesses to give candidates, including those with little job experience, an opportunity to stand out.

common traits and abilities that employers look for in candidates

During the interview process, employers will look for a few key abilities regardless of the position you’re applying for. The following are some of the most in-demand abilities and skills that businesses look for when hiring people for a variety of positions:


The ability to respond to shifting circumstances or obligations at work is known as adaptability. Since situations are frequently unpredictable, being adaptive is highly beneficial in a variety of occupations. Additionally, being adaptive makes it simpler to adjust to evolving standards, duties, and procedures.


Your ability to communicate with others and appropriately respond to information depends on your communication abilities. Professionals in virtually every area need to be able to communicate successfully in the workplace. In addition to listening skills, communication skills frequently combine written, spoken, and nonverbal communication.


You can efficiently prioritise your work, fulfil crucial deadlines, and reduce stress by being organised. This skill is crucial since it shows potential employers that you can effectively manage your time and complete your tasks. While it may vary slightly based on your specific function, it usually entails managing your deadlines, effectively interacting with your coworkers, and maintaining an organised workspace.


Your capacity for problem-solving can aid you in developing workable solutions to a range of workplace problems. Regardless of the industry, a number of challenges are sure to come up at some point in the workplace. Assessing situations and creating the best solutions to challenges require the ability to solve difficulties.


Working well in a team means being able to do important tasks while collaborating with clients, coworkers, bosses, and other people. Having a team can show an employer that you can work well with people during projects, meetings, and a range of other collaborative tasks. Many sectors demand professionals to operate in teams. Teamwork frequently rely on your capacity for clear communication, efficient task delegation, and attentive listening.


Leadership enables you to take the initiative in the job and inspire others, whether they are team members or subordinates you manage. Leadership can show a potential employer that you’re eager to take on new tasks and inspire others to work toward a common objective. Other abilities like communication, listening, and team-building must frequently be incorporated in order to effectively lead others.

examples of interview questions based on skills

You may improve your preparation for a skills-based interview and develop strong responses by going over some of the topics you can anticipate being asked. If the job description mentions any specific talents, it’s crucial to think about the interviewer’s possible questions and how to respond to them. You’ll probably be asked about real instances from your prior work experience in the majority of inquiries. You can anticipate being asked the following questions during the interview:


  • Describe a situation in which you had to decide quickly and under pressure.
  • Give an instance where you used critical thinking to solve a challenge.
  • Tell about a time when you had to adjust to a brand-new environment.
  • Give an instance where you used your organisational skills.
  • Have there ever been instances at work where you have to manage competing deadlines?
  • Has it ever been necessary for you to resolve a dispute at work?
  • Tell us about a time when your boss assigned you a new task to do and how you handled it.
  • Tell us about a time when you were able to show off your leadership skills.
  • Give an instance from your professional career where you utilised communication skills.
  • Give an example of a time when you had team leadership responsibilities.

Advice on how to be ready for a skills-based interview

You may feel more assured before speaking with your interviewer if you are aware of a few preparation strategies for a skills-based interview. You can perform effectively in the interview and confidently showcase your skills by heeding these recommendations. While many of these pointers are applicable to many other kinds of interviews, they’re particularly helpful for skill-based interviews. Think about the following advice:

Examine the job description

It’s crucial to study the job advertising or description as you get ready for your interview to understand what the employer is looking for in a perfect applicant and what the position is likely to involve. A section that details the precise abilities and competencies required for the role is typically included in job advertising. Even if the job advertisement doesn’t specifically state what abilities applicants must possess prior to applying, you might be able to determine the requisite talents by reading the job description. For instance, communication skills are probably crucial if resolving customer complaints is mentioned.

Determine possible inquiries and illustrations

After determining the abilities a potential employer is likely seeking, be sure to carefully evaluate your CV to see if you can demonstrate them using your prior work experience or academic background. Prepare a few sample responses for each of the questions that an employer is likely to ask and keep in mind the questions they are most likely to ask. It’s critical to think of instances that clearly convey your abilities, successes, and the value you were able to deliver to your prior employers. Although it’s crucial that your responses are thorough, make an effort to keep them brief.

Think about the STAR approach

You can use the STAR approach to organise your responses as you’re writing them so that they make sense and accurately respond to the interviewer’s question. The STAR approach entails outlining the background of a given event, outlining the task you were charged with finishing, outlining the precise measures you choose to take to handle it, and finally outlining the outcome of those efforts. The technique is a helpful way to highlight some of your most significant achievements while also showcasing your skill set.

investigate the business

Before an interview, it’s critical to prepare your responses to inquiries regarding your qualifications. It’s also useful to investigate the organisation. Employers frequently prioritise candidates who already know a few key things about them, regardless of the interview format. You can gain insight into the company’s mission and the kinds of workers it favours by learning more about it. Knowing anything about the business can show a potential employer that you are prepared and really interested in the job.

Prepare for the interview several times.

Make sure to in advance so you can feel more at ease discussing your prior employment. You can either practise answering the questions aloud on your own or ask a family member, friend, or coworker to be your interviewer. You can improve the clarity of your answers and ensure that you’re fully prepared before the interview by practising it a few times.

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