What do I need to do?
Bath and North East Somerset Council wants the most suitable person for the job
and will be looking for evidence of:
- Competencies within the role
- Education and training if appropriate for the job
- Any other particular requirements that will be needed for the job
The way in which the interviewers will find this out is by asking you questions
based on these.
The person specification lists qualities such as experience and qualifications etc
which are essential in order to do the job (needed immediately) and those which
are 'desirable' ie those which will help somebody to perform the complete range
of tasks in the job more readily and which can sometimes be learnt while doing the
job or developed through training.
It is important therefore, that you complete the application form bearing in mind
the job requirements as shown in the job description, person specification and competencies.
What is evidence?
Proof of your competency for the job eg behaviour, attitude, professional and technical
skills, experience and knowledge.
The interviewers will ask you for examples of things that you have done in the past.
They will also ask questions about your knowledge. This is your opportunity to prove
that you have what is needed to do the job.
So how do I prepare?
On your application form you will have given evidence of your ability to do the
job by giving examples of how you meet the essential and desirable requirements.
At the interview you will be asked questions about all the essential requirements
and some or all of the desirable aspects on the Person Specification. The interviewers
will be comparing your answers against standards. You may be asked more than one
question about each requirement of the job. This will give you the opportunity to
demonstrate as fully as possible your experience, skills and knowledge.
To give yourself as much opportunity as possible to sell yourself, and prove your
- Carefully read the Job Description, Person Specification and Competencies
- For skills and experience based requirements:
Think of situations that you have been in which clearly demonstrate the requirements
of the job listed on the Person Specification.
Think about what you have done - often candidates talk about ‘we’ or what their
team and colleagues have done - the interviewers want to know your
skills. If you have achieved something as part of a team, be prepared to explain
exactly what your role was.
Identify specific examples that demonstrate your skills - the interviewers do not
want to know what you have done in general terms, or what you would do in a situation.
They want to know what you have done.
In addition to the examples you gave on your application form, prepare one or two
more examples for each essential and desirable requirement.
The examples that you use can come from any experience you’ve had. For example voluntary
work, running your own business, running a household, being team leader at Brownies
and so on. As long as your example fully demonstrates what is needed, then it can
- For knowledge based requirements:
Think about what you know about this topic?
Read any information that you may have on the subject. Think about how this knowledge
relates to the job.
Be prepared to talk about the subject to demonstrate your knowledge.
- For all examples:
Remember time is limited at interviews so give as much relevant information as needed
to prove that you meet the requirements. It is important to give evidence that relates
directly to the experience, skills and knowledge required, rather than providing
lots of background information to put your example into context.
Can I take notes into the interview?
To help you remember examples of your skills and experience you can bring brief
notes to refer to during the interview. These are to be used as an aid and cannot
be used to read from.
You will not be able to refer to notes when the questions are about knowledge based
requirements of the job. For example where the questions are about pieces of legislation,
health and safety issues, management theories and so on.
What if I don’t understand the question?
Ask for it to be repeated or rephrased if necessary.
What if I can’t think of an example at the time of question?
If you think of something later on during the interview come back to the question
at the end.
What happens if I don’t get the job?
Feedback is useful to help you identify areas to develop in readiness for future
interviews. If you would like feedback to help you develop your performance at interviews,
contact the person mentioned on the letter you receive after your interview.
To help make the feedback as useful to you as possible, think about any particular
areas that you would like feedback on. For example:
- Were your examples relevant?
- Were your examples strong enough?
- Where do you need to develop - skills/knowledge/experience?
These are some examples. You may have other things you would like feedback about.
When you contact the relevant person for feedback, they will need time to prepare
your feedback and may phone you back, put it in writing or arrange to meet you -
whatever you both agree to.