Competency-based Interviews

At the BBC you will meet with 2 or 3 members of BBC staff at your interview.

Our interviews are competency-based. This means that the interviewers will be looking for evidence of the key skills and behaviours (competencies) required in the role. You can provide this evidence by quoting examples of when, why and how you have shown these skills in the past. This indicates to the interviewers that you have the potential to apply them in a new job in the future.


  • Prepare, prepare, prepare!
  • Remind yourself of the competencies required in the role
  • Create a list of your achievements. These might come from your work experience, home life, social life, or if you're a recent graduate, your experiences in education
  • Consider how the achievements you listed might be related to the competencies and create links on your mind map. For example does your work on a volunteer project in South Africa provide good evidence of team-working?

Structuring your answers

Now that you have an idea of which examples you might use as evidence, think about how you would structure an answer to a competency-based question. These types of questions usually begin "Give us an example of..." or "Tell us about a time when..."

The STAR approach provides useful guidance on structuring your answers so that they are clear and easy for the interviewer to follow.

Situation: (when, where, with whom?) Quickly set the scene by providing a brief background to the situation

Task: (what?) Describe your task / what you had to achieve.

Action: (how?) Describe in detail what you did to complete the task. What skills did you use? What was difficult? How did you solve this? Focus on your role, use 'I' not 'we'.

Result: Describe the outcome. What results did you achieve/conclusions did you reach? What did you learn and what would you do differently?

Practice your examples out loud. Check that your answers are clear and comprehensive by trying them out on your family, friends and anyone who'll listen!

Try and anticipate the interviewers' follow-up questions and be ready with your responses. The interviewer might follow up a main question with probes like: what difficulties did you experience, what resistance did you encounter, what might you do differently?

At interview

Listen carefully to the question. If you don't understand the question don't be afraid to ask us to repeat or rephrase it.

If you find it useful, make a note of the question before responding; this can help ensure you avoid wild tangents.

Remember the interview is your opportunity to get information from us so come prepared with your questions for the panel but avoid salary or logistical issues.