Application tips - Scottish Government Jobs

Application tips

Right evidence at the right time 

To make a successful application, you will need to provide us with the right information at the right time in the recruitment process. Our job adverts include some important information which you should take note of before applying: 

Essential Criteria

The essential criteria list the job-specific knowledge, expertise and skills required to successfully deliver the role.

Provide evidence: in your online application.

Competencies for the role

The competencies are the core skills required for Scottish government roles, these are transferrable skills which are not job specific.

Provide evidence: at interview and assessment.

The application process will review how you meet both the essential criteria and competencies required for the role and it is essential that you provide the right evidence at the right point in the process.


An example of essential criteria is: 

For this criteria, you should provide an example of a past project you worked on which required working with different groups to deliver a shared outcome. It would be useful to include information about who the stakeholders were, what the aim of the project was and the steps you followed to deliver the final outcome. 

An example of a competency is: 

For this competency, you should provide an example of a past project which required working with different sources of data and information. It would be useful to include details of how you interpreted the information and how this impacted decisions made. 

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In the online application –  provide evidence of how you meet the Essential Criteria listed in the job description for the role. 

At assessment / interview –  provide evidence of the competencies required for the role. 

Use the STARR approach

We recommend using the STARR approach to provide evidence in your online application and at interview / assessment. 

The STARR approach is a helpful way of structuring answers to cover all of the relevant information required: 

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  • Situation 
  • Task 
  • Actions 
  • Results 
  • Reflection 

1. Situation

What was the problem, project or background to the example you are providing? 

2. Task

What was the expected outcome or objective? Who was involved and what was the deadline and budget?

3. Actions

Explain the specific actions and activities you undertook, and how they contributed to success of the project. 

4. Results

What did your actions achieve? How did you know it was a success? 

5. Reflection

What did you learn during the delivery of this task? Is there anything you would do differently in future? 

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Application guidance

Find out more about the different stages of our application process.

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Assessment process

Find out about our assessment framework, Skills for Success.