Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap - Find out how it is affecting our services.

Selection process

When a job advert passes its closing date, we begin the process of choosing a suitable person from the applications we have received. 

We start by looking through the applications to see which candidates will be invited for an interview. 


Your application form is assessed by a shortlisting panel to see how your knowledge, skills and experience match up to the requirements for the job. The panel will only use information included on an application form and will not make assumptions about you, even if you already work for us.

We will only shortlist applicants that have demonstrated on their application form that they meet the essential requirements of the job; we will already have decided which parts of the person specification will be used for shortlisting before the application forms come in.

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to attend an interview. You will receive a letter confirming the date, time and location of the interview. If there any other assessments such as a presentation or an aptitude test, then further details will be provided within the letter.

If we don't invite you for an interview we won't normally contact you to let you know that you have been unsuccessful - we receive so many applications that we aren't able to contact everyone that isn't shortlisted. If you have not heard anything by the interview date shown on the job advert you can assume that your application hasn't passed the shortlisting stage.

Reasonable adjustments

If you consider yourself to have a disability and need us to make any adjustments as part of the selection process please let us know; we can give you the opportunity to visit the interview location in advance if you want to review physical access to the building.

The interview

The interview gives us a chance to ask you questions and find out if you will be suitable for the job - so you should take time to prepare. 

Preparing for your interview

  • Read the advert, job description and person specification again - we will test how closely you match the criteria in the person specification so it is useful to think about the questions we might ask you.
  • Try to find out more about the job - are there any current/topical issues affecting that area of work? 
  • Imagine what questions you would you ask if you were conducting the interview, think how you would answer those questions.
  • Know your positive points - what skills, knowledge, experience or expertise do you have that will help you carry out the duties of the job? What can you tell us about yourself that might make us choose you? 
  • Write down any questions you wish to ask us and bring them to the interview.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview. Make sure you know exactly when and where the interview will take place, how to get there and how long it will take. You should aim to arrive at least five minutes early to allow you to relax and compose yourself. 

At the interview

If we are running a bit late, don't worry - there will be a reason but we will not rush your interview as a result.

The interview panel will be made up of at least two people, and here's what you can expect: 

  • Friendly and fair interviewers - the panel will try to put you at ease but will have to ask some searching questions, try to relax.
  • The same questions will be put to each candidate. Further questions may be asked, based on your answers to get you to expand on the information you have given. In addition you may be asked specific questions which relate to areas which are unique to you such as previous work history, or the information you gave on your application form.
  • All the interviewers will be taking notes throughout the interview. Don't be put off by this, it's done so that we can be fair to you and the other candidates. The notes will enable the interviewers to recall which interviewee said what, and determine the best candidate for the job. 
  • Sometimes a test will be set as part of the interview process to find out about your skills, knowledge, and experience in a particular area which will be measured more efficiently by the test than by asking questions at the interview. You will usually be notified in advance if a test is to be included.
  • Whatever form a test takes it will always be job related and will be just one of the many factors taken into consideration when making the final decision
  • Where a qualification has been stated as an essential criteria you will be required to bring copies of your qualification with you.

How to perform at your best

  • Relax, pay attention and look at the interview panel; concentrate on what is being said and don't allow your mind to wander.
  • Listen carefully to the questions, if you're not sure what was asked or don't understand you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question - don't try and guess what was said.
  • Be honest. If you don't know the answer to a question, say so.
  • Speak clearly and answer concisely - do not "waffle", but don't give short answers that won't fully answer the question.
  • Be ready to ask your prepared questions if they have not already been answered. If you have written them down, ask to refer to them. Make sure that you understand the job fully and ask about anything you're not sure of.
  • Gather all the information you need to know to decide whether you will accept the job if it is offered to you.

The panel will let you know how and when you will be notified of the outcome.

After the interview

After the interview, each panel member will look through their notes and score each of the questions that were asked. After all the interviews have been scored the panel will discuss their individual marks and agree an overall panel mark, taking into account the scores from any tests that were carried out as part of the interview.

The interview panel will decide who most closely matches the person specification and choose the successful applicant.

If you are to be offered the job

You will be contacted by a member of the interview panel as soon as possible, usually by telephone, to advise that you have been selected (subject to pre-employment checks).

This provisional offer will be confirmed in a letter which will also provide details of how to complete the necessary checks.

If you are currently employed, you should not give notice to your current employer until all the pre-employment checks have been completed and you have been given a formal offer of appointment.

If you are unsuccessful

A member of the interview panel will contact you as soon as possible to let you know that you have not been selected for the post. You will be offered feedback on the reasons why you were not successful, this can be helpful when thinking about interviews in the future.

Need any help?

If you have any questions about our selection process please get in touch.


Last updated on 09 April 2021