When you are applying for jobs interviewers will most likely ask you about your residency abroad – this is your chance to highlight the skills and attributes you gained and how they make you the ideal candidate for the role.

Many recruiters would perform a DBS check on shortlisted applicants to check their background. Then, they use competency-based questions, which require candidates to use real-life examples as the basis of their answers. Competency-based interviews are designed to make the process as objective as possible as all of the candidates are asked the same questions. This style of interview is very common, particularly in large organizations and within the public sector.

Competency-based questions are specific and require the candidate to answer using previous experience, they usually start with a variation of “Tell me about a time when…”. Candidates should explain why they made certain decisions, how these decisions were implemented and why certain outcomes took place. The STAR method can be useful to articulate instances when you displayed a certain skill, as it ensures that you describe the situation and detail the task, explain what action you took and the result of it.

S – explain the situation/context, e.g. while on my year abroad…

T – what did you have to do or resolve?

A – tell them what YOU did to achieve the desired result

R – what was the outcome? What skills did you build?