Interview help

Interviews can be a stressful and unnerving experience for most people.

We want to help make the process as painless as possible, so we’ve come up with some helpful hints and tips to remember.

Are you right for the job?

Before writing your application form you should look carefully at both the job outline and the employee specification to determine:

  • What qualifications are essential for the role (if any)
  • What specific skills and knowledge are required to do the job
  • What qualifications, skills and knowledge you have which are relevant
  • Do you meet all the essential criteria? Read about the importance of this below.
Meeting the 'essential criteria'

Your application form needs to demonstrate how you meet ALL of the ‘essential criteria’ from the ‘employee specification’ section of the job listing.

This essential criteria acts as a checklist that the recruiting manager uses to determine if you can be shortlisted for an interview. You must therefore provide working examples for each essential criteria if you want to be invited for an interview.

For example, imagine one of the essential criteria is ‘Experience of delivering training’. Instead of just writing:

'I have experience in providing training to new team members.'

you could make this better by writing:

'I have actively been involved in training new team members, including the creation of a training guide which is used to assist with practical training. This guide is now regularly referred to by all staff, encouraging and promoting skill and knowledge retention.'

Education and qualifications

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to list every educational achievement and qualification you have obtained dating back to the beginning of your education. You should however, list all of your education and qualifications that are relevant to the specific vacancy for which you are applying, ensuring you detail any qualifications requested in the essential criteria.

Employment History

Employment history often plays an important part in your application form, especially where the vacancy you are applying for asks for previous experience. It can be a gruelling task to list every job you’ve held over the years and trying to remember every task you were responsible for can be difficult. We’ve put together a few helpful tips to try and make the task easier:

  • List your employment history in reverse chronological order (most recent first and work backwards).
  • If you can’t remember the specific date of your previous employment, just giving the month and year is fine.
  • Any gaps in employment should be fully explained. If you had a gap year, make sure to give the details such as where you went, what you did, who organised it, who funded it and what skills you think you learned as a result of the experience.
  • Try to think about how your gap year, or career break, made you more employable in relation to the job you are applying for.
  • When listing what your job responsibilities were in your previous employment, rather than try to list every duty you had, just emphasise a few key and transferable skills that are most relevant for the job you are applying for.
  • If your employment history is limited, include details of any part-time, temporary, voluntary or work experience you’ve had; especially anything relevant to the job you’re applying for.

All new starters to the council are required to have two satisfactory references, one of which should be from your current or most recent employer. To avoid delays later down the line if you are successful, please ensure that you provide accurate referee information in your application form. This should include their:

  • Full name
  • Preferred email address
  • Full postal address, including postcode

Always ensure that you have informed the people you choose as referees to avoid any issues. Although we won’t request your references at the application stage, if you are successful at interview, references will be sought as soon as possible.

Supporting statement - skills, knowledge and experience

When you’re very enthusiastic about applying for a job, it can be easy to get carried away writing a lengthy supporting statement. But it’s important to remember that when shortlisting, managers are only looking for people who can demonstrate the relevant and essential skills needed for the specific job.

So, whilst you may think it a positive thing to write five pages about your wide range of skills and experience, it isn’t an effective use of your time and will not guarantee you an interview.

Here are some hints and tips to help you write the best supporting statement you can:

  • Your supporting statement is the opportunity to sell yourself, so make sure to mention your achievements, knowledge and strengths.
  • Keep the information concise and well structured. Anything you write about needs to be relevant to the job you are applying for so keep it to the point.
  • Give key examples from your previous and current job roles that clearly demonstrate how you meet the criteria for the job.
  • Explain why you want to be considered for the job. This won’t have any bearing on whether or not you are shortlisted but it will demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the role.
  • Explain what you could bring to the role if you were appointed.

Your writing style can help to make your application stand out and demonstrate confidence:

  • The use of positive words and power verbs (in moderation), such as ‘effective, motivated, delivered, achieved, transformed, determined etc.’ will help to improve its quality.
  • Explain your relevant skills, knowledge and experience with concise paragraphs and avoid waffle or vague statements.
  • If it helps, use bullet points and sub-headings to make your statement easier to read.

This goes without saying but always check your application form before submitting it - especially your spelling and grammar.

If it helps, ask someone else to check it for you, sometimes they can pick up on things you don’t see.

Application FAQs

We’ve listed some of the more common questions we get asked about job vacancies. If we haven’t answered your question, please .

I have seen a job I am interested in can you give me more information about the position?

The quickest and best way to get more information about a job is to contact the manager whose details should be stated on the advert.

If there isn’t a name and contact details, please get in touch, and we will find somebody to contact you.

I am looking for a specific job relating to my own skills and experience, can you advise me if there are any vacancies available that you think would be suitable for me?

At this time we do not offer a job/skills matching service and would advise that you use the search facility on the jobs page to look for specific job types. You can search for specific jobs via category or by keywords.

You may also find it useful looking at our careers page, which shows the types of careers available at the council. Please note though that these aren’t current vacancies, and are only to illustrate the varying careers we have at the council.

I’ve been told that a specific job vacancy is coming up but I can’t see it on your website. Do you know when it will be advertised?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide any details of jobs which aren’t yet advertised. In this instance we would advise that you regularly check the jobs page to make sure you see the job as soon as it is advertised.

I’ve forgotten my username. What should I do?

Your username is normally your email address. If this doesn’t work, please and we can help you.

I’ve forgotten my password. What should I do?

Use the ‘forgotten password’ link on the login screen. You should receive an email within 15 minutes containing a reset link. Please do not press the ‘forgotten password’ button multiple times - this will not speed up the delivery of the email.

If you don’t receive it within 15 minutes, please try the link again.

If it still doesn't come, please .

It is the weekend, I am having issues logging in to the job’s website and a vacancy I’m interested in closes on Sunday evening. I am unable to complete my application on time, what can I do?

Closing dates are generally not changeable unless in exceptional circumstances. If you’re unable to access your account to complete and submit your application, please straight away on Monday morning. We may be able to contact the recruiting manager to see if they will accept a late application due to the circumstances.

I’m already an employee of the council and completing an online application but I can’t see the ‘previous employment’ or ‘qualifications’ section. Is something wrong with the form?

If you’ve noticed there isn’t a ‘previous employment’ or ‘qualifications’ section on the application form this means you are logged in using your council ESS (iTrent) login details. Logging in with these details, rather than with an account you’ve set up at home with a non-eastriding email address, means you won’t have to complete a separate employment or qualifications section on the form. However, you should ensure that any qualifications and experience you have that is relevant to the job you are applying for, is stated in your supporting statement, otherwise the vacancy manager will not be made aware of them.

Ready to apply?

A couple of things to note before you fill in your online application:

  • Adverts close at midnight on the closing date.
  • Data such as personal information and employment history will save when you submit an application form and then pre-fill into the next application form you complete.
  • Free text fields such as ‘skills, knowledge and experience’ page will not be saved and you must re-enter these with each application.
  • Symbols and special characters, such as è or &, must not be used as unfortunately, these can corrupt the data in your application form.
  • You must complete all mandatory fields marked with *.
  • If you are likely to complete several application forms for different vacancies, it can save time to prepare your supporting statement in a Word or notepad document. You can then copy and paste the relevant information into the application form when you are ready.
  • Before you begin, it will save you some time if you have the following information to hand:
    • Your National Insurance number
    • Details of your employment history
    • Your qualifications
    • Referee contact details

Executive Director of Children,Families and Schools

If you're an experienced professional seeking a new and rewarding opportunity to lead and shape services to make a real difference to the lives of others, could we be the next step in your career?

Apply now

Working for us

"Be INspired by our modern workforce"

Job details

  • Circa £140k (Director Band 1 & cash allowance)

  • Full time, permanent

  • County Hall, Cross Street, Beverley, HU17 9BA

  • Application deadline: Wednesday 30 August 2023

  • Short-listing date: Friday 8 September 2023

  • Interview assessment date: 18 - 21 September 2023

The role

We're seeking a new Executive Director of Children, Families and Schools following the retirement of our current Executive Director.

We are looking for a leader who has the vision, drive and resilience needed to build on our successes as you shape our services to meet the needs of children, young people and their families. You will have the attributes to lead our dedicated and highly skilled staff and to sustain excellent relationships with our partners in statutory agencies, the voluntary sector, parents and carers and with leaders across the education community.

You will need to be creative and innovative in taking our work forward, in tackling the challenges facing all local authorities in this demanding but rewarding area.

Candidate requirements

We are looking for someone who is ambitious for our children and young people and passionate about service delivery and improvement. You will be an experienced leader in children services, be able to build strong partnerships across the system and play a key role as part of the Corporate Leadership Team of the Council.

For a full list of the role duties and requirements, please check out the Job specification

Benefits at a glance

  • Staff discounts, generous pension and health and wellbeing schemes.
  • A friendly and supportive working environment.
  • Flexible working opportunities.
  • Central location with access to transport links, shops and supermarkets within walking distance.
  • Make a positive and immediate difference to the area and the people living here.
  • Relocation package opportunities.

View all benefits

More about us

About East Riding of Yorkshire Council

If there was one phrase to sum up the true spirit of the East Riding of Yorkshire and its council, it would be continuous ambition. We want to help and sustain our residents throughout their lives and our approach is characterised by the traditional qualities that make this part of the country great, like hard graft, reliability, practical good sense and putting others first.

Children and Young People are at the heart of our Council priorities. Helping children and young people achieve recognises the importance of focusing on supporting and inspiring children to raise their aspirations and reach their potential. Working effectively with partners and schools for the benefit of all children and young people, yet with a particular focus on providing early help to support and protect, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities, children looked after by the council or those eligible for free school meals, to ensure they achieve their full potential. Our planning and actions over the coming year will continue to focus on ensuring that the impact of the pandemic on learning does not blight future prospects.

Are you up for the challenge?

Our Values and how we work together as a team

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has a simple and powerful vision for the East Riding: Your East Riding… where everyone matters

To deliver our Vision, we have five corporate priorities, which include:

  • Growing the economy
  • Helping children and young people achieve
  • Empowering and Supporting Communities
  • Protecting the vulnerable
  • Valuing the environment

To support delivery against these priorities, we have a set of corporate Values, which drive the way we do things and shape our services. It is the responsibility of Members and staff to uphold the values of our organisation, which are:

  • Quality – We work together to provide the best services possible
  • Pride – We are proud of what we do and we embrace positive change
  • Respect – We treat people fairly and are open, honest and lead by example

Where is the East Riding of Yorkshire Council?

The East Riding is a hidden gem - it's a great place to live, work and do business, with lots of potential and opportunities. It has many unique characteristics and a wide range of built and natural assets such as the varied coastline - which includes some of the highest cliffs in England and home to unique seabird colonies, to some of the lowest lying and fastest eroding - together with beautiful countryside, historic parishes and busy market town high streets with quality shops and restaurants. All of which is in close proximity and connected to the two historic cities of York and Hull and the Humber estuary providing huge opportunities to drive further ongoing economic growth in the area, especially in the field of zero net carbon reduction and green energy provision.

Our administrative Headquarters are at County Hall in Beverley, where you will be based, which is a beautiful historic market town which is highly regarded by the thousands of people who come to our area each year. We are one of the largest local authorities by area in the country covering almost 1,000 square miles. Our area reaches out close to York at the northern point and the North Yorkshire Moors when moving North East embracing 75 kilometres of coast from Flamborough in the North East to Spurn Point at the mouth of the Humber Estuary.

We boarder on to Hull and then our area including the iconic Humber Bridge moves West including Goole to our boundary with Pollington running North up the River Derwent towards York. We have many market towns, areas of affluence, some areas of deprivation particularly in parts of Goole, Withernsea and Bridlington as well as the great features of the Yorkshire Wolds which also presents challenges in terms of rural isolation and loneliness. Travel time from York to Beverley is 50 minutes, Leeds to Beverley just over 1 hour. The East Riding has many hidden gems and is a great place to live, work and have fun.

About the area

The East Riding of Yorkshire is arguably one of England's most beautiful counties - and one of its best-kept secrets. It is a landscape of diversity and contrasts with wide-open plains, rolling hills and wild and rugged coastlines combining to create an enviable living environment.

Quality of life in the East Riding is exceptionally high - housing is plentiful and prices are lower than many other parts of the country, yet the region can offer superb urban, rural and coastal locations. Most of our schools perform well above the national SAT and GCSE standards. Because of our commitment to rural schools, we can ensure that education is both accessible and local. Also, we have two universities on our doorstep - Hull and York.

Despite its beautiful rural location, the East Riding is connected to the UK motorway network by the M62 and to Europe by North Sea Ferries and Humberside Airport. Major cities such as Hull, York and Leeds are within easy reach, as is the beautiful historic town of Beverley. The seaside resorts of Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea and the natural beauty spots of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors are also right on our doorstep. The area boasts a racecourse at Beverley, as well as the country's oldest horse race - the Kiplingcotes Derby at South Dalton, and historic sites such as the Beverley Minster and beautiful beaches.

We're sure that if you choose to work and live in the East Riding, your stay will be a happy one!


Our workforce feel valued, listened to and part of the whole service. Our practitioners and managers are positive about working in the East Riding and we have a kind and caring senior leadership team'. We want you to come and join our team - your journey with East Riding of Yorkshire Council starts now'.

Read our report

This is a great time for people to join a modern workforce and make a real difference in the community.

Children,Families and Schools

Children, Families and Schools

With over 5,900 contracted staff, a gross spend budget of £73.3m and a net budget of £67.8m, Children, Families and Schools cover a diverse, high quality range of services to provide positive outcomes for the children living in East Riding. Working with a number of partners and key stake holders, our services cover:

Who are we?

With over 600 services and 12,000+ staff, we deliver a range of quality services to over 360,000 households within East Riding of Yorkshire. Please select the links below for further information:

Our Future

Through our strategic workforce we're committed to the delivery of some key strategies to achieve our ambitions of being a modern workforce in a modern workplace.

Please see links and documents below for further information:

Through the dedicated and valued contribution to provide vital services, we achieve our values of quality, pride and respect.

Apply Now

Discover why the council is a great place to work