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Posting for traffic - how to show you meet different criteria in competency-based job application - please help!

(30 Posts)
PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 14:27:58

Hi everyone.

I'm posting for traffic. I'm applying for a job at the moment, and the application is competency-based.

I've been advised to use the 'STAR' technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to answer each of the questions.

There are several criteria that need to be met for each competency, and they're all quite specific. It's mentioned that applicants can use examples from their work history or other aspects of their life to demonstrate how they meet the criteria, however all of the criteria seem really specific. I'm getting really stuck on how to show how I meet the different criteria.

Please help if you can! smile

Thanks so much smile

KindleBueno Tue 16-May-17 14:29:49

Can you tell us any of the criteria?

puddingpen Tue 16-May-17 14:32:59

Is it a Civil Service job? Most of the time I have to slightly fictionalise a situation so that it demonstrates all the criteria - i.e. pretend that things were part of the same situation when they were actually months apart. The really hard part is when it's internal and you feel awkward bending the truth in front of interviewers who may know what really happened!!

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 14:57:42

Thanks for your replies pudding and Kindle!

Yes it's for a Civil Service job pudding.

The competencies are leadership, delivery management and stakeholder engagement.

For leadership, I have to demonstrate 3 criteria:

- supporting achievement of X organisation's objectives by effectively planning and prioritising own work while responding positively to requirements of others.

-taking pride in delivery of high standard of work in a timely manner, within defined processes and with minimal supervision.

-proactively contribute to continuous improvement by helping to identify and develop new ways of working and efficiencies.

For delivery management, the 3 criteria are:
-taking personal accountability for role modelling the values of equality and human rights in your everyday work.

- providing proactive support to projects and/or specialist areas of work in the development of high quality products such as documents, correspondence, slides, reports, spreadsheets, charts/graphs and project plans by researching, organising, editing and proofreading material, and ensuring our people have the information and support they need.

- creating, maintaining and archiving information effectively, ensuring all files are accessible, secure, managed and retrievable in a timely fashion when requested.

For stakeholder engagement, the 4 criteria are:
- organising travel, meetings and hospitality arrangements, ensuring that X organisation's networks can be as effective as possible.

- supporting/representing X organisation by effectively liasing, communicating and building relationships with internal and/or external stakeholders as your own area of work requires.

- providing our stakeholders with a courteous and professional service at all times, including receiving and responding to enquiries effectively and in a timely manner, while also using your own judgement to determine when to pass on and/or to involve others in more complex queries.

-demonstrate an understanding of how your work relates to the success of different stakeholders by developing a network of contacts throughout your own area and knowing who the key individuals are. Sharing contacts and intelligence, and keeping records of interaction up to date and sharing them with others across X organisation.

At the risk of completely outing myself (I'm so desperate I don't really mind!!), I graduated in 2015 with a languages degree from Oxbridge, and worked as a tutor since leaving uni. In summer 2016, I started a teacher training course, which I left just before Christmas 2016 because it led to panic attacks, anxiety and severe depression (wrote about this in another thread). This made me lose my confidence massively. I then was unemployed until March this year, when I worked part time as a tutor (weekday mornings) a couple of weeks ago. I now tutor for an hour or so a week and am pretty desperate for a full time job!!

Thanks everyone - you're brilliant smile

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 14:58:50

Sorry that should say: *worked weekday mornings as a tutor UNTIL a couple of weeks ago.

KindleBueno Tue 16-May-17 15:03:11

I'll reply fully later when I'm home from work

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 16-May-17 15:03:51

I do these backwards, so think of difficult/impressive stuff I've done, then work out which competency it meets. At least then you only have to think hard about the gaps.

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 15:07:27

Ooh thanks Testing thats a great idea smile and thanks so much Kindle!

Oh god the application deadline is midnight tonight - hoping I'll have cobbled something together by then!'

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 15:14:40

For the 'organising travel' one in the 'delivery management' section (sorry I originally put it in 'stakeholder engagement'), I'll write about a time when I organised a trip to Britain for pupils at a school I worked at as an English assistant abroad.

And for 'supporting achievement of X organisation's objectives...' in the 'leadership' section, I'll write about combining doing uni work (eg researching and writing weekly essays, preparation for 'supervisions' at uni) with editing and writing for university newspapers each week, playing for sports teams and helping out at plays and things.

I'm a bit stuck on all of the others for now!!

Straightouttabrompton Tue 16-May-17 15:15:55

You can do it star

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 16-May-17 15:34:28

Good luck! If you have time ask a close friend/colleague for ideas, they'll have a better idea of what your strengths are. and will probably be kinder about you than you are about yourself

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 15:54:03

Thanks Testing smile anyone else with further advice please?

I'm really struggling to show how I fit each of the criteria for each of the competencies because each bit of the criteria seems so specialised. I'm wondering how I can fit my transferable skills to the criteria. Does anyone have any advice about this please?

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 16:18:54

Anyone else? I'm starting to panic a bit!

Straightouttabrompton Tue 16-May-17 16:53:46

Yes I can help - PM me

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 17:14:10

Anyone with experience of working in the Civil Service please? I'd be really grateful for some guidance! smile

puddingpen Tue 16-May-17 17:30:53

Make sure you are definitely using STAR and don't worry about bending the truth. So for the leadership one situation could be you were working on something important. Someone else needed something doing that was even more important and you had to prioritise. You thought of an efficient way to do it that meant everything got done to a high standard and in time. Boom, all three covered. Sounds contrived, but once you are applying your own experience it becomes less so. And if it didn't happen in that exact order/ whatever they are never going to know!

PourquoiPas Tue 16-May-17 17:55:39

I'm not with the civil service, but my company do competancy interviews.

The key thing to do is to cover the competency you have been given really well, not to try and cover all of them poorly in one example. If you can expand your example to include another then all the better, but make sure that your example is really really good for what you have been asked

The other thing to bear in mind, is what they want you to do when you are in the job. So for your organising travel example, you want to show that you used your time efficiently to independently organised travel at the best price for your trip (their goals) while building up contacts at the travel firm and within the organisation for future use (secondary competency) considering and balancing both the needs of both the people on the trip and the business needs, not that every one had an awesome time going to the seaside and you managed to use thetrainline.com.

The secret third thing to consider is that you need to sound like someone who they want to work with and will make their lives easier, so my colleague had prepared two examples for an interview which were when she had a major row with a colleague and had to resolve it, and when she organised everyone to to a charity event in work time. The first made her sound like she had issues with working in a team (which wasn't actually the case, she is lovely!) and the second came over as she spent a lot of work time organising a jolly which then took everyone away from their day job. Neither screamed "hire me"!

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 18:07:00

Thanks pudding and Pourquoi smile

That just made me think of another question (sorry!)

The way that I have written the application form far is that I have thought of an example for each competency in each section. For example, 'Leadership' has three separate competencies, as I outlined upthread, so I've written about 85 words or so on each example, because the total word count for the section is 250 words.

Is what I've done a good way of doing it, or can I actually answer each group of competencies in one go (as Pourquoi suggests?)

Thank you!!! smile

thatstoast Tue 16-May-17 18:11:52

www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-framework

Have you read this? Will be back once DS is in bed

Believeitornot Tue 16-May-17 18:12:12

I usually start off each competency section by saying "I'm an excellent leader with the ability to lead people to deliver. For example, in my time working as X, I did Y...."

I would cover each bit of the competency as a story where they easily hang together. Eg with the leadership one, I would summarise them as:

Planning something
Delivering something
Acting on feedback (continuous improvement)

So an example where you planned, delivered then reflected on the learning and apply it?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 16-May-17 18:18:16

I have been led to believe that phrase such as "I'm an excellent leader with the ability to lead people to deliver" count for very little. It feels strange to write without giving context, but if you've got a word limit, you want to use your wise man efficiently.

jayho Tue 16-May-17 18:24:31

What grade are tough applying for?

I'm a CS btw

jayho Tue 16-May-17 18:24:50

You even

PamplemousseRouge Tue 16-May-17 18:42:43

Hi jayho - it's an Associate role, so I think it's entry level, but it doesn't say which grade it is. Thanks for your help smile and thanks toast!

KindleBueno Tue 16-May-17 19:01:53

Have to be honest I started writing a big long answer but any advice I'd give you wouldn't be any better than Pp.

Good luck though flowers

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