Writing up a competancy framework, help please! STAR method.

(10 Posts)
HarryPottersMagicWand Mon 20-Feb-17 14:23:38

Its an interview for the civil service. First interview in years. Last time I turned up, they asked questions, I left. This seems very detailed!

I started writing bits out earlier. There are 4 headings and about 4/5 bullet points under each heading. I've been writing for each individual bullet point, of which there are 17! But is this right? It's taking forever and I'm pissed off with it now as I can't even think some something relevent for some. Or should I focussing on the heading and incorporating the bullet points? Which will be hard because I can't think of an example which covers them all as there just aren't any. Does it matter if some are missed? I've been using the STAR method, am I suppose to lay it out like situation: blah blah, task: blah blah, action blah blah, result blah blah or just as a paragraph?

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InfinityPlusOne Mon 20-Feb-17 14:28:48

The bullet points are examples of what the competency encompasses. You aren't expected to have an example that will hit all but try for as many as you can. That said they should be blended into one example under each competency not 17 inidivual points!

Also for a STAR based response the most important are the final two, with the action point being be key. What you did, how you did it, how you decided what option to take and what not to take etc. The first two are just brief background and can be dealt with in a sentence or two, the meat is the action part and then the result can again just be a few lines - project completed successfully, noted as well implanted by senior management, resulted in cost savings of or efficiencies in etc whatever is relevant.

InfinityPlusOne Mon 20-Feb-17 14:29:47

*implemented not implanted grin

HarryPottersMagicWand Mon 20-Feb-17 14:56:03


Bugger, I started and have done examples of each bullet point so far, up to about 8! Idiot that I am. I'll have to try and adapt the examples to incorporate the other bullet points, how I don't know as I thought of it whilst I was writing and couldn't fit it.

I did note there was 1 example I used that actually crossed over morw than 1 competency, would I need a separate example as well?

And with the STAR, do I set it out

Situation: this happened, 2 lines
Task: this was the task, couple of lines
Action: this is what I did and how I did it, large paragraph
Result: this was the outcome

Or just write a normal paragraph and making sure I am mindful of describing the situation, followed by the task, then what i did and concluding with what the result was?

Also, does this need to be handed in to them or will they just talk to me about it? If I don't hand it in then I'm confused as to why I need to write all this and have a word limit. Or is this to make sure you don't waffle on grin?

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InfinityPlusOne Mon 20-Feb-17 17:05:39

Without knowing the specifics of the job you are going for it's usually a form submitted in advance of the interview. They haven't asked you to send it in then?

I've always structured my written responses like this - for each competency I pick a good example that would show a strong overview of the main features of each competency (but not necessarily all). I then write a couple of paragraphs - the first setting out the background and the task assigned, the next more detailed about the actions taken and then a final line or two about the outcome. If this can all be dealt with in one paragraph that's fine as long as the emphasis is on what you did. Lots of use of 'I', very specific to you and your actions and avoid 'we' while obviously not taking credit for what would clearly be the work of an entire team.

For the interview it's useful to have a second example in your head for each competency in case they ask for another example. Also they might ask what you might do differently in a specific example, don't make out that it was all perfect, usually here they want to hear that you can reflect on your actions and see (minor!) improvements that could possibly be made in the future. It's a fine line because you want them to believe that you are a strong performer but not someone who cannot see any possible different actions that could be taken with the benefit of hindsight.

InfinityPlusOne Mon 20-Feb-17 17:10:32

And don't worry if an example covers more than one competency - that's normal as we wouldn't show just one skill for any task. Do try to pick the strongest example you have for a particular competency and try and avoid using similar/same examples for more than one competency if possible.

jessplussomeonenew Mon 20-Feb-17 17:12:31

Yes, I agree with pp advice to chose one example (at most 2) per competency. It's worth using the job description to see if it gives clues about whether there are particular aspects of each competency that they are interested in - some JD's even say "for this job competency x is about y" but if they don't specify then you have to read between the lines.

HarryPottersMagicWand Mon 20-Feb-17 21:34:33

The job is a court usher so JD is general admin stuff.

It's difficult because I've had another look and I just can't seem to find examples that fit most of the bullet points. I hate that this is so hard, it's honestly making me want to give up. I haven't worked in years due to ill health. Any work related examples will be years out of date and some I just can't think of anything.

They haven't asked me to send anything in. Am going to check again tomorrow and ring and ask. Definitely doesn't seem to be a form. I'd rather submit it in writing than have to say it, at least I'd have enough time to rewrite it.

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IrenetheQuaint Mon 20-Feb-17 21:38:32

Presumably you've already sent in competency examples at application stage and this is for the interview? In that case you will have to go through them orally and they will probably ask follow-up questions.

HarryPottersMagicWand Mon 20-Feb-17 22:12:10

No I didn't. It stated them on the job advert and I assumed I'd have to cover them on the application but there wasn't a place to. It was quite a set application form and no real room for extra information that wasn't answering a specific question. I'm confused. Will phone them tomorrow I think.

I had to do an online test and pass before I could do the application form, then as I fit the essential criteria and fit the disabled category, I was guaranteed an interview.

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