Employers are still interviewing and hiring. I know several people who have started jobs recently and have yet to meet their colleagues face to face. One my clients ran into a behavioural based application – new to them so I’ll delve into it below. 

Large organisations sometimes have frameworks of behaviours (see below) and competencies that they use for recruitment, role assessment and internal promotion. If you haven’t come across these before they can be a shock to the system!

The good news is that this usually points to a well thought out and rigorous recruitment procedure. The bad news (isn’t there always some?) is that you need to understand the framework and write your application accordingly.

Time to get civil

My client was applying to a scientific role in the UK Civil Service. The application form asked for 250-word statements on five different behaviours. The key behaviour they were going to ‘sift’ applications on was “Changing and improving”.  Once I had averted the panic – there was a little!-  we worked on developing a response that was experiential – a case study in miniature of something this person had done before.

In their Success Profiles (take a look – it’s a great way to think about your skills / experience) – the Civil Service describe ‘Changing and Improving’ as:

Seek out opportunities to create effective change and suggest innovative ideas for improvement. Review ways of working, including seeking and providing feedback.

Pretty much a description of all my scientific roles!!! The employer is asking for this as a key behaviour because the role is going to entail trying to make – in this case scientific – processes much better. 

Shine like a STAR

And the best way to structure a mini case study? We used the STAR framework:

Situation – what was going on?
Task – what did you have to achieve?
Actions – what did you do?
Results – all important, what successes happened?

We ended up with some great little 250-word paragraphs that really painted a picture of an excellent scientist. We didn’t make anything up and once we were inside the behaviour mindset my client was generating al sorts of case studies. When you have a variety pick which one matches each descriptor best. Predictably this is where I usually get the post-its out!

The framework is also great for pulling together interview answers. For a nice little video from job site Indeed click here


Need someone to help highlight your excellent behaviour !? Want a professional coach? I can help …



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