Tips and tricks for a headstart in your application
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For each vacancy there will be a job description and person specification that you can download. Read these closely when applying as these two documents will describe the demands of the job and what kind of person we are looking for.
The person specification section also shows at which stage of the recruitment process we will be assessing these criteria - this could include application form, interview, ability test, occupational personality questionnaire or presentation.
During shortlisting applications are scored based on what evidence you provide to show you meet the essential criteria. We recommend the STAR approach to write your application wherever possible.
The STAR approach can help you structure information in your application (and during the interview). The model allows you to build relevant examples of your abilities and is particularly useful when writing your supporting statement.
For example, tell me about a time you had to complete a task under a tight deadline. Describe the situation, and explain how you handled it.
Example Answer: While I typically like to plan my work out in stages and complete it piece by piece, I can also achieve strong work under a tight deadline. Once at a former company, an employee left days before a big project of his was due. I was asked to take it over, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project. I created a task force, delegated work, and we all completed the assignment with a day to spare. I think I tend to thrive under tight deadlines.
Because these values are important to us we assess them during our recruitment and selection process by using competency based interviews. This means you will be asked questions relating to your behaviour in specific circumstances which you will then need to back up with examples.
More information can be found by downloading our guidance notes here
The following notes are designed to help you with the application process and provide you with an outline of what you can expect during our selection process; including tips that may increase your chance of success.
To apply for a job with us you must complete the standard application form which can be found here . This ensures all applicants present information in a standard format and allows us to assess every applicant fairly. Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) will not be considered on their own but may be submitted with a fully completed application form.
Once completed please return your application form and any associated documents to Human Resources, Riverbank House, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QG or e-mail email@example.com.
If you have any difficulties in completing the form please contact the HR Department on 01237 428790 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well as a panel interview you may be asked to undertake other forms of assessment. This will be confirmed to you in writing prior to interview, if you are shortlisted.
Competency based interviews
These are sometimes referred to as behavioural interviews with a set of questions designed to address a specific skill or competency. You will be asked questions relating to your behaviour in specific circumstances which you will then need to back up with concrete examples. As above, a helpful approach to these questions is to use the STAR approach.
You may be asked to give a presentation on a particular topic. In your 'invite to interview' letter you will be advised of the topic, length of presentation and who your audience will be. There may however be occasions where you are advised of the presentation topic on the day and given time to prepare for it in advance of presenting to a panel.
Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQs)
We sometimes use Occupational Personality Questionnaires which are designed to give us an indication of your preferred way of working. The OPQ assesses 32 aspects of your personality but we will primarily look at those we determine are relevant to successful performance in the aspects of the particular post you are applying for.
We sometimes use ability tests which give us an indication of your ability in a particular area. Your scores on the tests are compared to a large group of people who have undertaken the test in the past and you are given a percentile score.
• Original qualifications relevant to the post
• Proof of eligibility to work in the UK (further guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas.)
• Two address verifications
• Driving licence if relevant for the post
All offers of employment are made subject to pre employment checks which could include:
• Receipt of at least two satisfactory references which must cover the last three years of employment
• Verification of employment history through references provided and supporting explanation for gaps in employment
• Academic qualification identified as essential for the post
• Verification of professional qualifications and memberships
• Verification of identity/nationality and immigration status/right to work in the UK
• Satisfactory medical clearance through Occupational Health
• Disclosure & Barring Service check (if applicable)