Job Applicant Tips
At Fife Council we want to find out as much about you as possible in terms of your suitability for the post you are applying for – read the following guidance to help you do yourself justice on your application form.
It’s important for you to know that at Fife Council we have a Behaviours Framework for all of our employees called How We Work Matters (HWWM). Essentially this document explains the way that we want our employees to behave in the workplace.
The Framework emphasises that the Council’s reputation and, more importantly, how we deliver services are down to our employees. We have many challenges when delivering good service and we recognise that as employees we need to do it together to achieve more. There are five key behaviours and more detail on each one in the framework document itself:
- Working Together
- Delivering Results
- Taking Ownership
- Customer Focus
- Embracing Technology and Information
In your application form it’s vital that you give examples of how you think you meet each of the types of behaviour in the framework so that we can make an informed judgement of your suitability for the post applied for. And remember, when answering these questions in the application you can relate all or any of them to school, college, university, club, voluntary setting or workplace.
When completing your application form it is strongly recommended that you complete it using a device with a larger screen (not a smartphone).This will ensure that you can look at and review your answers properly and do not overlook any areas of importance within the form.
The Tricky Questions!
There are two types of Application Form on My Job Scotland for Fife Council posts. You will either be required to:
- answer 1 question related to How We Work Matters framework or
- answer 5 How We Work Matters questions
We’ve put together some tips for each of the questions below so that you give comprehensive information on your application.
Remember, answering with one sentence won’t really tell us much.
Please click on the A and B sections below to reveal further information.
A. Single Question on HWWM Application Form
If there is only one HWWM question on your application form it will be:
‘’Please describe the knowledge, skills and experience you have gained in employment, voluntary work or through outside interests which you think are relevant to your application. (To do this you should read through the job description or role profile and think about how your knowledge, skills and experience help you meet the criteria in the Person Specification or essential/desirable criteria on the Role Profile.)’’
This is your chance to sell yourself to Fife Council: we want to hear about the skills you have, what your strengths are, the experience you have and why you think you would be well suited to the role you are applying for.
Look at the essential or desirable criteria that is needed for the job (on the job description or role profile) and see how you think you meet it in terms of the HWWM behaviours.
If you have not had much experience in the working world, when structuring your answers you could give an example of when you have seen someone carrying out these skills/behaviours. For example if you have not had experience in giving customer service you can tell us about a time in which you have received good customer service and tell us what it was that made it good. This will show that you have an understanding of what is required.
You could also think of times you have used these skills/behaviours out with a work environment such as in a sports team or working with your class mates at school/college.
Although on this application form you will not need to directly answer a question on each behaviour, you should still read the next drop-down section for help in completing the single question.
B. Multiple Questions on HWWM Application Form
On this application form you will be asked to answer the following questions:
Working Together – Please give examples of how you have worked well as part of a team
We want to understand how well you work with others and this question gives you the chance to describe the role(s) which you played within a team. This may include organising, leading or communicating within a team.
You might want to give us examples of the tasks involved within the team, the roles you played and the achievements. It may be useful for you to explain what skills you have developed from your team working activities and how you have improved your communication skills.
Delivering Results – Please give examples of when you suggested or developed new ways of working and explain the result
We are trying to understand how well you can plan and deliver high quality work.
You might want to give us examples of when you have had an idea which has been carried out either individually or as part of a team. This question gives you the opportunity to explain what ideas you came up with and how this helped make things better. We want to hear about the skills you used when developing your ideas and explaining them to others.
Taking Ownership – Please give examples of how you have used your initiative to resolve a problem or to make sure a task was well done
We are trying to understand how you take responsibility for your performance, actions and solutions. You might want to consider times when you have been flexible, went the extra mile and responded positively to change.
You may want to give us examples of when you have taken responsibility for your work either individually or as part of a team. You may want to explain the different skills and positive behaviour you used to resolve problems or conflicts so that the task was completed well.
Customer Focus - Please give examples of when you have delivered excellent customer service
We are looking for how you have thought about and provided support to make things easier for customers. We are trying to understand what skills you have in customer care. When discussing a customer, this does not have to be the traditional kind but instead can be anyone you have worked or been in a team with or someone else you have helped.
You may want to give us examples around times when you think you have gone the extra mile for someone or were given good feedback for something that you had done for them.
Embracing Technology and Information – Please give examples of how you used equipment, technology and information effectively
We are looking for examples of how you have tried to make best use of equipment, technology and information to communicate better, share information and express ideas.
You may want to explain a time when you have looked for new, simpler ways of working that gave better results by describing a time when you have used a particular type of technology or information, new or old, to deliver results. This may be as simple as completing a paper-based task and then next time deciding to complete it on a computer.
You may also have used information or technology to bring new ideas to the table.