Enhance Crewing Decisions With Competency-Based Interviews for Seafarers - Safebridge
Enhance Crewing Decisions With Competency-Based Interviews for Seafarers
Cognitive Skills, Psychometric Assessments, Resources, Safemetrix, Soft Skills

Enhance Crewing Decisions With Competency-Based Interviews for Seafarers

SafeMetrix Competency-Based Interviews Guidelines for Seafarers are an extension of the SafeMetrix psychometric assessments (MET-3S & MET-CSS). They should be used in conjunction to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. The guidelines help crew and HR managers working in the maritime industry make data-driven decisions when it comes to the crew selection, development and promotion.

Interviewing is an integral approach to identifying and selecting seafarers whose skills, behaviour and attitudes ensure optimal performance on board. Although there are many approaches to choose, develop, and promote, they all vary in their level of accuracy significantly.

Interviewing offers several benefits to companies, including:

  • Opportunity to meet with the officers and assess both their technical and non-technical skills.
  • Real-time interaction with individuals to gain a clear understanding of their experiences, behaviours, and knowledge.
  • Determine if the candidate’s skills, attitude, and behaviour are aligned with information acquired from other sources.

Research has shown that structured competency-based interviewing is considered the most effective method of interviewing. It relies on a good understanding of the job description and the skills required, outperforming less structured interviewing in predictive power.  

What is a competency-based interview?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) defines competencies as “the behaviours employees must input into a situation in order to achieve high levels of performance”. Competency-based interviews, also known as behavioural or structured interviewing, is a defined process. It allows companies to carry objective, fair and legally defensible interviews. 


Competency-based questions help understand the candidates’ skills set and characteristics, required for the position, by analysing their previous experience. Past candidates’ behaviour (for example, how seafarers responded to particular situations on board, dealt with other crew members and their tasks) can predict their future performance and ability to handle similar situations. 

Competency-based interviews eliminate the possibility of a subjective or biased assessment and enable to compare individuals objectively. They are standardised, to ensure that everyone receives similar or identical questions, in this way – ensuring reliability. Moreover, when used in combination, competency-based interviews can compliment psychometric assessments. The blended assessment could increase the overall validity of the selection process or help the post-assessment (follow-up) process by verifying its findings.

Competency-Based Interviews Guidelines for the maritime industry

Competency-based interviews for seafarers can play a significant role in identifying, retaining, and promoting the top candidates for a job. Therefore, it is important to follow some steps to ensure the success and efficiency of such an interview. Moreover, a more structured procedure would help gain a deeper understanding of seafarer’s skills, behaviour, and previous experience.


The SafeMetrix Competency-Based Interview Guidelines consist of 16 soft and 5 cognitive skills. These skills are based on our Job Analysis* and are recognised to be the most critical for optimal performance onboard. Further, we constructed leading questions and identified behavioural indicators to address each skill in line with the challenges of the maritime industry.

The SafeMetrix Competency-based Interview Guidelines will:
Explain the benefits of competency-based interviewing
Assist interviewers in conducting interviews in a structured way
Help assess the most important non-technical skills of a seafarer
Help identify the key elements deriving from seafarer's responses

*The SafeMetrix Competency-Based Interview Guidelines are based on an extensive job analysis. We used robust methodology to analyse the specific job requirements for the various ranks onboard. Considering that there are more than 50,000 professional skill sets in the world, we conducted this analysis to identify the most important ones for the seafarers.