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It is not possible to interview everyone who applies for a job. Your application form/CV and supporting statement are the only means we have to judge your capability and potential and the information in it will be used to draw up a shortlist for the next stage of selection.

On the vacancy advert is a job description - this lists the main duties and responsibilities for the post and sets out the experience, skills, abilities and qualifications required to do the job.

These requirements are split into two categories:

  • Essential criteria - are characteristics that are seen as essential to the job. A candidate who does not have these will not be able to carry out the job and will not be shortlisted for an interview.

  • Desirable criteria - these may be used to choose between two or more good candidates.

Your application will be assessed against the criteria listed on the job description, so please use this to help write your supporting statement and complete the application.

A guidance document [PDF, 0.2MB] is available for each section of the application form.

A copy of your completed application form will be emailed to you once you have applied.

What happens next?

Your completed application form will be used to decide whether or not you progress to the next stage of the selection process. No assumptions will be made about your experience. It is vital that you have told us how you meet the selection criteria.

We will let all candidates know the outcome of their application once shortlisting has taken place, whether you have been successful for an interview or unsuccessful at the application stage.

If you are not successful in your application, please do not be discouraged from applying for other jobs with the council. Your skills and experience may be more suitable to another vacancy.

Got to the interview stage?

  • Make sure you tell us that you will be attending! It is courteous to let us know if you are no longer interested in the job or not able to attend the interview.

  • Prepare for your interview. Think about what the recruiter might ask and prepare some things to say in reply. Remember to keep it concise and relevant.

  • Do some homework – find out what we do. 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 - it shows you're interested and using your initiative.

  • Try to relax. This is your opportunity to decide if this role is right for you as well as our chance to find out about you. Try to relax and think about what you're saying, have a couple of questions to ask if prompted.

  • 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.

  • Two-way process. This is a two-way process, don't be afraid to ask us questions and challenge our thinking.

Our interviews are a mixture of in-person and via Microsoft Teams. There is a link to all our interview venues [PDF, 0.1MB] in your interview invite email. If it is in person, we will tell you which location it will be at.

For our virtual interviews, you will receive a Teams link via email to click on at the specified time and date in your interview invite email. Please find some tips that you might find useful for our virtual interviews.

Prepare yourself

  • Get ready as you would for other interviews, and dress appropriately

  • Test your technology!

  • Have you got a quiet space without distractions?

  • Take some time to adjust the height of the camera

  • Ensure the screen and camera is at eye level when you're sitting down.

  • Think about what's behind you

  • Check the lighting, but avoid a 'halo effect'

  • Take time to prepare for the interview

  • Don't put Post-It notes around the screen.

During the interview

  • Check what will happen if you lose connection (usually the originator of the call should re-dial)

  • Don't sit too close to the camera

  • Sit up straight with shoulders back at a desk/table ideally

  • Remember to have direct eye contact

  • Don't get distracted by emails or social media notifications

  • Your body language matters - look relaxed but professional

  • Allow for a time lag when being asked questions

  • Don't worry about interrupting each other by accident, it will happen

  • Be okay with a dog barking or a child in the background and don't be worried about warning the interviewer that this may happen!

  • Have a glass of water close by

  • Ask questions - find out what happens next and anything about the role you still want to know, treat it just like in a normal interview situation.

Even though that interview is happening virtually, it still deserves the same level of respect and professionalism that you would commit to any other job interview.

We aim to let you know the outcome of your interview as soon as possible. If you are successful you should receive a call from the hiring manager to offer you the position and discuss the logistics of starting with HDC. If you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion you should receive an email from Recruitment or the Hiring Manager letting you know you have been unsuccessful and some feedback on your interview will be provided.

If you are not successful in your interview, please do not be discouraged from applying for other jobs with the council. It could be that somebody just had slightly more experience this time round.

We hope that you have a pleasant recruitment experience with Huntingdonshire District Council.