Tuesday 23 February 2010

Why is a job application form used?

The recruiter is in complete control over the information gained - this makes the screening process more manageable and fair. They can make direct comparisons between your responses and everybody else’s.

You may have noticed a trend towards 'competency' based application forms. These include questions about the skills you will need to perform the job and will give a clue as to what areas will also be discussed at interview. These sections require specific examples of situations you have faced at work or in your leisure time.


• Team Working - Please tell us about a time you performed in a team either at work or in leisure time.
• Try to cover: a short description of the team and its goals; your role in the team; how you realised that other team members needed motivating; what exactly you did; what was the result?
• Think about instances when you have demonstrated the skills needed to be successful in these areas. What specifically did you do? What was the result?

Example response:

In undertaking my Queen's Scout award I was part of a small group. I volunteered to be group leader for the planning of a gruelling five-day expedition to the Cairngorms. This involved assessing my team's capabilities and building morale within the group. I did this through arranging fitness and map reading tests, and stressing the benefits of completing the award, and the sense of fulfilment we would all get.

Due to unforeseen weather conditions, we became lost and one of the team became distressed. I comforted the individual, and carried their pack for a while until we found out way again. Whilst on the expedition I built closer relationships with other members of the team by encouraging people to take on tasks together, such as finding wood for the camp fire. The result was the successful completion of our fifty-mile hike.

Other typical competencies could include:

• Customer Focus
• Problem Solving
• Decision Making
• Organising/Planning

For more hits & tips, please see Completing an Application Form

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