Hiring for Competencies at MIT
Why Hire for Competencies?
Matching people with jobs based on both behavioral and technical
competencies results in a better job-person "fit". This leads
to greater satisfaction on the part of both the employer and the
Competency-based interviewing has already been practiced widely
at MIT with positive results. It has been used in diverse areas
(e.g. Information Systems, Dept. of Facilities, Technology Review,
Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate
Education, School of Engineering) for a wide range of positions
(from support staff to the Executive Vice President). See Competencies
in Human Resource Practices at MIT: The Human Resources Practices
Development Team (HRPD) Recommendations in this guide
for more information.
The basic principle of interviewing for competencies is this:
Past behavior is the best predictor of
In competency-based interviewing, you ask the candidate to tell
you about specific, actual past events in which he or she played
an active role. You listen for evidence that the person demonstrated
behaviors in those situations that are identical to or similar
to the competencies you are looking for. For example, if you hear
about a candidate trying to persuade a supervisor to change a
decision, that would constitute evidence of the Ability to
Getting this type of information can greatly increase the power
and precision of the interview process. Specifically, this approach
is more reliable and effective than asking people to say what
they would do in a hypothetical situation.
What CompQuick Can
Do For You
CompQuick can help you
focus your questions. The structure of competency
interviewing helps you be clear about what qualities you are
looking for in a candidate.
tap an additional source of data. Listening to
and assessing the stories that candidates tell in response to
competency questions provides rich information you probably
would not get otherwise.
begin thinking in terms of competency requirements
for the positions you hire for. Using the technique of competency
interviewing can help you deepen your understanding of what
will lead to successful performance in the job for which you
are hiring, and how to look for it when interviewing.
Should You Use CompQuick?
- CompQuick is just a simple introduction to competency-based
interviewing and selection. If you want develop your interviewing
skills beyond CompQuick, the course
Competency Modeling and Competency-Based Interviewing and Selection
is offered on a regular basis. The course offers more in-depth
information and practice in probing for competencies, assessing
different levels of competency, and selecting appropriate competencies
for a job or group of jobs (competency modeling).