Our  application process asks you for examples of situations you have been in before, what you did and what the outcome was. This will allow us to get a better understanding of what capabilities and skills you have.

Don't be daunted by this as your answers will be based on something you know about best – you.

In our job adverts, you will find a list of up to four ‘essential criteria’.

These are the kind of knowledge, skills or qualities that will be important for the job and will be related to the job that you are applying for.

For each essential criteria , you will be asked to provide examples of when you have used or displayed the specified  knowledge, skills or qualities.
These examples could be from any part of your life – work, education, a sports team, hobby or even a personal situation. Please  provide the best example you can , ensuring it  meets and answers the particular essential criteria, and does not exceed the 300 word count.

When starting your application, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. However, if you use this approach, you will be able to structure your examples in an effective way and it will help you to prepare evidence for your skills.

When assessing your application form we are not looking for you just to show how great you are or what skills you have. We are looking for solid evidence of actions or experiences and for you to explain how you showed those skills.

Always bear in mind that this is all about you - avoid words like “we” where possible and focus on what “I” did. Even in an example relating to team work , you are focussing on what you did in the team and the contributions you made that made it such a success. For example, anyone can say “I work well in a team”. What we are looking for is an example of you working in a team and for you to explain what you did in that team and why your actions were so beneficial to the team

We recommend that when constructing your examples you use the STARR approach:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Actions
  • Results
  • Reflection
Situation 10%
Task 10%
Action(s) 60%
Result(s) 10%



Do not spend too much time explaining the situation and task. These are only to provide context. If you spend too much time talking about the situation and task then this could prevent you from showing your talents.

The majority of your answer should be taken up by Actions and Results as this is where you show your abilities and experience.


  • What was the issue/task/project/one off job?
  • How did your task relate to any overall aims/objectives of the Department/Organisation? (including this shows that you are aware of wider policies and your own contribution towards them)


  • What was the expected outcome of your task? Were you given specific targets or objectives to achieve?
  • Who else was involved in the task? Who were you reporting to? Was anyone reporting to you? Were you part of a team?
  • Were you in contact with different departments or people outside of your immediate workplace? (This highlights your awareness of internal and external networks)
  • What was your deadline? (It is important to include this where possible and refer to it where necessary as it shows your awareness of the importance of efficiency)


This is where you detail HOW the desired outcome of your task was achieved.

  • What did YOU do to achieve your objectives/outcome?
  • Give specific actions and activities you undertook and explain how they contributed to success.
  • Be careful not to write this like a process flow: Instead of just explaining what you did you always want to include why this was beneficial and contributed to the overall outcome.


  • What did your actions achieve?
  • Did you succeed in meeting your initial targets or objectives? Did you go beyond these?
  • Refer back to your deadlines – did you achieve your target within this?
  • How did you know it was a success? Where applicable – was there specific numbers/statistics available to show how successful you were?


  • What did you learn in the process of this task? Did you gain new skills?
  • Did you seek feedback? Was it constructive? In what way did it change the way you do things going forward?
  • Is there anything you would have changed with hindsight and do differently next time?
Was this information useful?
Your feedback helps us to improve this website. Do not give any personal information because we cannot reply to you directly.