How do you answer competency questions?
Trainee Solicitor Sibel Vurdu shares an example of how to successfully answer competency questions in applications and at interviews.
Sibel tells us: “Using the STAR technique will provide structure to your answers. I have provided an example of an answer that I have used successfully at interview level. The key takeaways include providing a structure to your answer, actually answering the question being asked and sounding ‘commercial’ in your approach, for example, the answer below includes commercial terms such as ‘price elasticity’, ‘proprietor’, ‘profits’, ‘consumer demand’, ‘market’, and ‘competitor’.
Provide an example of a time that you used initiative.
Situation: I influenced the proprietor of a small business to make a commercial decision to increase the selling price of a particular service. I took the initiative to propose various options to the proprietor of what could be done to raise profits as raising supplier costs over time had eroded at business profits.
Task: I proposed to review the outdated pricing list and suggested to raise pricing based on the findings of our research. I conducted research into market/competitor rates and researched the mean income of the local area.
Action: I subsequently designed and updated the pricing list based on these findings.
Result: My decision proved a success, as a price elasticity of demand of -0.4 meant that consumer demand was not adversely affected and business revenue increased marginally by 3.8% per 486 units.