Interview tips

If you’ve been invited for interview, you’ll have a better chance of securing the post if you’re fully prepared.

If you’re a disabled person and you meet all the essential criteria for the role, you'll be guaranteed an interview. The only exception to this is where there are internal applicants who are at risk of redundancy who have to be considered first.

Before your interview

  • Find out how long the interview is likely to be. This will give you an idea of how detailed it might be. 
  • Think about the people who may be interviewing you. It might give you an idea about the types of questions they could ask.
  • Visit us before the interview to find how long your journey will take, how far you'll have to walk from the station, or where you can park.
  • Tell us if you need us to make special arrangements for a disability, such as:
    • a car parking space near to the interview location
    • someone to meet you at the entrance
    • a sign language interpreter to be present
    • a friend/support person to be present
    • specialist seating to be available
    • an induction loop 
    • written information provided in an alternative format
    • specialist equipment for any test situations or interview exercises (e.g. screen magnifiers)
  • We’ll tell you if you need to prepare for a test or a presentation.

During the interview

The interview panel will usually consist of two or more people who work in the area that you've applied to join. During the interview, they’ll ask you:

  • a standard set of questions relating to the essential criteria of the role
  • specific questions about your responses on the job application form
  • questions relating to breaks in employment (if relevant)

Depending on the criteria of the role, you may be asked to complete specific tasks as part of the interview process. They're designed to give us a better insight into your abilities and skills, and could include:

  • a presentation
  • written exercises
  • numerical or verbal reasoning aptitude exercises
  • keyboard skills

We’ll tell you in advance of your interview if this is the case.

Tips to help you make a good impression

  • Give as much relevant detail as you can in your answers without straying from the point. Include examples to prove your skills and achievements. Think about how you can use your expertise to fulfil the role and make sure you get this across.
  • If you don't understand any of the questions or need them repeating, just ask.
  • Consider what the job is likely to involve so you can think of questions to ask the panel.
  • If you think it will help, bring a printed copy of your application form to refer to, and include brief notes. Looking at the job description, employee specification and job advert again could help to refresh your memory.
  • If we’ve asked you for identification documents such as qualification certificates or your driving licence, don’t forget to bring them to the interview.

Following the interview

If you’re successful following the selection process, we'll make you a conditional offer of appointment. This will be based on satisfactory clearance of any checks we need to make and receipt of certain documents. These may include:

  • two satisfactory references (one must be from your current or most recent employer). For certain posts, three references may be required.
  • satisfactory medical clearance.
  • a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly CRB check), where applicable.
    There is a confidential checking service for Transgender applicants who don't wish to have details of their previous identity revealed on their DBS report.
    For overseas criminal record checks you'll need to contact the relevant foreign embassy for advice.  
  • original certificates of your qualifications (if you've not already provided these to the panel at your interview).
  • documentation to meet our obligations under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (if you've not already provided these to the panel at your interview).
  • original driving licence (a paper version if you don't have a photo licence) if your job involves driving for work reasons.
  • compliance with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS), including a satisfactory basic check of unspent criminal convictions through Disclosure Scotland.  This is applicable where the post uses the council’s computer network.
  • a satisfactory Disqualification by Association Self Declaration for those posts working with children under the age of eight.

Your conditional offer email will confirm what documentation we need from you. It's vital that you return your documentation straight away so that we can arrange your start date once all checks have been satisfactorily completed.

If you're unsuccessful, we’ll notify you by email and offer you the chance to call for feedback.

Disclosure and Barring Service and Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks

We have a responsibility, under safer recruitment, to make sure that DBS checks are completed for applicants who've lived or worked abroad,where the job they've applied for involves working with children or vulnerable adults. These checks can take some time as they're dependent on a response from the relevant country.

If the post you’ve applied for requires a BPSS check, you have to give a reasonable account of any significant periods (six months or more in the past three years) of time living abroad. 

Learn more about the Disclosure and Barring Service

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