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How to make your application stand out

Do you want to make sure that your job application gets short listed for assessment and/interview? Then follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way…

Hints and tips about applying to work with us

Please note that the information you provide on your application form will be used by the short-listing panel, to determine whether you will be invited to interview.  As a result, please take time and care when completing your application form to ensure that it properly details your skills, abilities and work experience.

Do you want to make sure that your job application gets short listed for assessment and/interview? Then follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way…    

  • Take time to read the job description, person specification and any guidance notes or background materials.  Do that before you complete the online application form and supporting information.  Sounds sensible, but many people jump straight to filling in the form without really knowing what they’re trying to achieve.
  • Please do not send a CV.  To ensure equality of the information provided all applications are requested to complete an application form.
  • Take the time to complete all sections of the form thoroughly, if a section of the form is not relevant or does not apply to you, then simply state on the form “N/A” (not applicable).
  • Person specification:    we decide who to invite for an interview by comparing what you tell us in your application form with what we have asked for in the person specification.  It is therefore, vital that you clearly explain how you match the requirements outlined in the essential and (if applicable) desirable criteria set out in the person specification.  NB: In the sections regarding current and previous employment and education qualifications, please ensure you are factual and accurate.
  • Those candidates who do not meet the ESSENTIAL criteria will not be short listed or considered under the desirable criteria.  The selection panel may use the desirable criteria to assess and decide which candidates further meet the additional requirements of the role, and should be invited for an interview (or to the next stage of the process).    
  • Where possible provide real-life examples of what you’ve achieved.  The recruiting manager doesn’t want a description of your current job role.  What he or she wants to see is how you’ve used your skills to benefit your customers or your organisation.  Try using the “so what?” test to turn facts into benefits.  For example: “I was responsible for managing the team stationery budget”.  So what?  “By keeping a spreadsheet record I was able to show that we regularly bought more than needed because different people bought the stationery.  I suggested one person took central responsibility.  This saved time and over £120 in the first 3 months.”
  • Make sure the examples you provide on your application form are relevant to the job you’re applying for.  The fact that you’re a skilled piano player may not be of interest to someone recruiting for a data analyst.  However, piano playing probably also demands an ability to concentrate, dedication to improving your performance and willingness to work on your initiative.  These are all skills applicable to this job role.
  • When completed, please read through your application form and ensure that there are no errors or omissions.
  • Please ensure that the completed application form is submitted by the closing date and time. You will not be able to submit your application after this deadline.  
  • All information contained in this application form will be treated confidentially, and only information relevant to the post will be considered for the purpose of selecting the most suitable applicant.
  • If you are unhappy about any section of the recruitment process, you may complain in writing to the HR Department @
  • Always spell-check your application.
  • Follow any instructions given. Keep your application concise.  Submit it on time.  Simply following these rules will put you ahead of many other candidates.


Got to the interview stage? Here’s what to think about now…

  • Confirm you will be attending!  It shows you’re interested and in most cases is required.  It’s also courteous to let them know if you’re no longer interested in the job or not able to attend.
  • Prepare for your interview.  Few people can go in “cold” and do well, regardless of how experienced or knowledgeable they are.  Think about what the recruiter might ask and prepare some things to say in reply.  Remember to keep it concise and relevant, MindWise suggest you prepare for your interview using the STAR model i.e:


  • Situation - set the scene describe the situation or problem
  • Task - Outline the task required to solve the issue or problem
  • Action - Describe what you actually did, how and when you did it, the rationale for the choices you took and the key things that you did to overcome the issue or problem
  • Result - What was the outcome and the difference you made.
  • Do some homework on MindWise and maybe the local area, if applicable to the role.  No-one is expecting you to know everything, but if you’re asked “what do you know about us?” have a couple of lines prepared – again it shows you’re interested and using your initiative.
  • Try and relax.  Remember it is your opportunity to size up our organisation as well as the recruiter’s chance to find out about you.  Have a couple of questions to ask if prompted, it shows you’re interested.
  • Turn up on time and dress appropriately!  If you’re unsure of where you’re going, do a trial run the day before – it’ll take the stress out of the interview day.  Leave extra early just in case the traffic’s bad or the bus doesn’t turn up.  Not sure what the dress code is?  Always play safe and go smart rather than casual.  

Good Luck!

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