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

People Services

With a variety of opportunities across the service, could our modern, progressive and inclusive People Services team be the next step of your HR career?

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Working for us

"Be INspired by our award winning organisation."

The team

With over 100 team members, People Services sits at the heart of our organisation, providing essential resources for over 600 internal services and external clients. Our new Head of People Services joined us in August of 2020 and has since taken the opportunity to review the way in which the service is delivered and to align it to the Council’s new and emerging priorities including the Councils ambition to become a Modern Workforce in a Modern Workplace. For an organisation with a diverse range of jobs from Architect to Zoo Keeper, People Services has interesting career opportunities to suit all levels of experience, with various flexible working arrangements.

Our working culture

As ambassadors for our People Strategy we offer a supportive working environment with opportunities to work on various rewarding and interesting work programmes, to suit your personal career ambitions.

Who are we?

People Services Leadership Team

Delivering strategic direction

The Leadership team are accountable for strategic direction for the service and assume overall accountability for the service delivery and the 3 accountable elements of the People Strategy. Overseeing the strategic professional development of the service and career pathways within the service which enable the effective delivery of People Services into the organisation. This team has ultimate accountability for the statutory elements of the service and will seek assurance in fulfilling these responsibilities from the 3 functional areas. The leadership and strategy function of the service align directly with the organisation's Central Management Team (CMT) and their Heads of Service to ensure a strengthened delivery and business partnering offer.

Types of careers

These are just some of the jobs which contribute to leading our people:

Leadership roles
Head of People Services Business Partner Business Services Lead Specialist Services Lead

HR Consultancy Services

Providing essential HR guidance and support.

Consultancy Services support all corporate and school management with the tools to manage a range of functions from employee relations, policy development, workforce planning and ad-hoc project work. We work closely with a number of key stakeholders including the Councils recognised Trade Unions.

With over 600 services and over 100 maintained schools, no two days are the same for the consultancy team, offering varied career opportunities that are as rewarding as they are diverse.

Types of careers

These are just some of the jobs which contribute to developing our people:

Generalist roles
Trainee HR Officer
Leadership roles
Business Partner
Specialist roles
HR Officer Senior HR Officer

Organisational Development and Inclusion, Policy and Reward, Occupational Health and Safety Services

Developing policy and rewards, whilst ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion and wellbeing through professional services

Specialist Services deliver a range of functions aligned to the ambitions of the People Strategy, ensuring the Council has equitable and inclusive workplaces. The team provide direct delivery into the whole organisation, as well as service specific pieces of work commissioned by the Business Partners. This includes engagement and consultation with employees and Trade Union colleagues.

Organisational Development and Inclusion support the workforce planning process at a strategic and service level. The Policy and Reward team ensure the Council policies are supporting the Council’s ambition of being a modern employer. In addition, the team are supporting the total reward project, which includes a review of the corporate job design and job evaluation scheme.

Our staff are our most valuable asset and the health and wellbeing of our staff is at the forefront of our decisions. Our Occupational Health service is a crucial part of our workforce wellbeing offer. Occupational Health provide advice and guidance to promote and maintain the health and wellbeing of employees, with the aim of ensuring a positive relationship between our employee’s work and health.

Alongside Occupational Health services our Health and Safety Services team are also a crucial part of our workforce wellbeing offer. The team provide advice and support to help meet statutory duties to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, pupils, customers and visitors and help prevent accidents and incidents.

Types of careers

These are just some of the jobs which contribute to shaping our future:

Administrative roles
Occupational Health Administrator
Generalist roles
Occupational Health Technician Assistant Safety Officer
Leadership roles
Specialist Services Lead Health and Safety Manager Organisational Development and Inclusion Manager Policy and Reward Manager Occupational health Manager Principal Safety Officer
Specialist roles
Senior Organisational Development Officer HR Officer Senior HR Officer Occupational Health Advisor Occupational Health Nurse Safety Officer

Business Services

Providing essential transactional services

Consisting of 11 East Riding of Yorkshire Council Payrolls and 20 external clients, our Payroll team deliver payments and pay related processes for over 18,500 employees every month to ensure payments are made accurately and in a timely manner in accordance with legislation. Our Recruitment team manage the recruitment process from the advertisement stage right through to attaching the successful candidate to payroll, managing in excess of 100 vacancies every week.

The Advice Hub handle all first line employment queries from pay to recruitment, including employment terms and conditions, and pay legislation such as pension regulations, tax, National Insurance, statutory sick pay and maternity pay ensuring compliance with employment legislation. The Information Team manage everything from HR system support, development of system guides and contribute to the development of the system modules, HR Business Intelligence, performance reporting and Census and workforce information.

An integral function of the Business Services function, the Corporate Support service provides the essential services required to enable the organisation to operate. With roles that manage everything from our internal and external mail functions, document word processing team, meeting room, equipment and travel bookings, reception roles and many more, we have opportunities available for a range of experience levels.

With such a diverse range of positions, we have opportunities for all from entry level to management roles.

Types of careers

These are just some of the jobs which contribute to building our community:

Administrative roles
Employment Services Assistant (Technician) Support Services Assistant (Despatch) Support Services Assistant (Corporate Support)
Generalist roles
Employment Services Assistant (Payroll) Employment Services Assistant (Recruitment) Employment Services Assistant (Advice Hub) Employment Services Assistant (DBS) Systems Support Assistant Support Services Assistant (Word Processing)
Leadership roles
Business Services Lead Principal Employment Services Officer Senior Administration Officer Senior Employment Services Advisor Systems Support Officer Employment Services Advisor Support Services Officer
Specialist roles
Resourcing Solutions Project Lead Service Development Officer
You'll be joining a team that values and cares about its staff, that listens to your opinion and provides constant support.

Meet the Director of People Services

Zoë Martin

Zoë Martin

Director of People Services

Our ambition is to ensure that we support our most valuable asset, our people

Our People Strategy ensures that workforce equality, diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of our ambitions for a modern workforce in a modern workplace, and that these ambitions extend into everything we do. Our People strategy is designed to ensure that our approach to attracting, recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining our employees is aligned with the Councils key strategies and priorities.

The People Services team are committed to achieving our People Strategy ambitions which will help us achieve our vision to become an employer of choice attracting and retaining the talent needed to deliver great outcomes for our residents. If you are interested in contributing to our ambitions and delivering a quality service please explore our opportunities to find a role that suits you.

Our colleagues are in. Are you?

Don’t just take our word for it, see what our colleagues have to say!

The People Strategy

Our aspiration is to have a Modern Workforce in a Modern Workplace - our strategy seeks to ensure that we support our most valuable asset – our people. We need to reflect upon how people now live their lives to ensure that we can respond to new and emerging requirements, ensuring our workforce have the skills they need to deliver great outcomes for our communities, whilst providing the most appropriate workplaces where our employees can thrive in a healthy environment.

The People Strategy

Benefits at a glance

  • CIPD professional registration membership fees paid.
  • Flexible working arrangements, including opportunities to work at various locations available.
  • Requests for alternative working hours will be considered.
  • Staff discount and health and wellbeing schemes.
  • A friendly and supportive working environment.

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At East Riding of Yorkshire Council we value everyone, find out what we are doing for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

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