Guidance for Young People
Information on application writing and interview preparation.
To make the best application, we recommend the following:
Do your research
Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager; your application needs to show what skills and personal qualities you can bring. Your application should make reference to the University, department and job you are applying for and not just a copy and paste from a generic application you have made! You want your application to stand out from others.
Map out your experiences
Think about your experiences, achievements and the lessons you’ve learned. Your education is not the only area we are interested in. Use any work experience, outside interests, sport or voluntary work to show the breadth of your skills, enthusiasm and energy.
Give yourself time
Make sure you give yourself time to complete the online application form and update your CV. Think about your experiences; matching them to what the hiring manager has asked in the job description. Highlight your strongest points and show how employable you are.
Review your answers
- Have you covered all the job requirements, in particular the essential experience asked for?
- Have you answered the questions fully? Candidates who stand out during the application process are those who make the effort to reference the role, department and University.
- Are you including your unique selling points and motivation without exaggerating your experience?
- Check and re-check your spelling and grammar.
You should always get feedback on your application (typically within 4 - 6 weeks), before and/or after interview, usually this is by email. We apologise if you do not receive feedback and recommend you follow up with the contact person listed on the job description. We suggest you save a copy of the job advert and keep a note of the vacancy reference number for future reference. This will contain all the information you will need after the job has closed on the website.
When invited to an interview, you will receive instructions about what will happen typically by email. It will explain who you will meet and whether you need to prepare anything before. If you are unsure about anything, please contact the hiring manager.
If you need any adjustments, let us know when you confirm your attendance to the interview.
To make the best impression you should:
- Come to the interview smartly dressed.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview and arrive at least 5 minutes early.
- Know the names of the people you are meeting. Google and the University’s website can provide you with lots of information to help with your research.
- Bring your CV and any other information with you e.g. proof of eligibility to work.
- Bring a pen and paper in case you want to take notes.
- Think about any questions you want to ask, it is sometimes useful to write these down and bring with you e.g. what will the job involve? What happens in a typical day? What would be my responsibilities? What training would I get? When will I find out about the outcome of the interview?
Interviews are face-to-face and normally you will have two or three people interviewing you at the same time. Most interviews will involve some competency-based questions, and there may be a short ability test (this will be confirmed in your interview letter/email). If you are not able to attend the interview on the date/time given, please contact the hiring manager and they may be able to reschedule.
You will receive feedback after your interview whether you are successful or not. A job offer is subject to two satisfactory references and pre-employment screening checks.
Please contact the UHRS Resourcing Team if you have any further questions or want to provide feedback: HR.Recruitment@ed.ac.uk