Application & interview advice
We want to help you to show you're perfect for the role by effectively conveying the skills and experience required to help you to get an interview and ultimately a rewarding career with SRUC.
This section provides some useful advice for achieving your goal of a securing a job with SRUC.
Wondering if the position is right for you, or if you're right for the job? Have a look at the article Questions you should ask yourself before applying for a vacancy from People Management for some helpful pointers.
SRUC Online application process
At SRUC we prefer to receive job applications via our online system. Online forms allow us to compare candidates’ key information more easily. They follow a consistent and identical format which lets us view and assess your details more quickly and directly than a CV alone would allow.
Full instructions on how this process works is provided when you apply for a role.
To maximise the opportunity for you to convey your detailed experiences and career goals to us, you will be able to add your personal CV and, if desired, a pre-written covering letter to your application by uploading these documents during the application process.
Completing an online application form
Not all application forms may have the same requirements, therefore it is important that you follow all instructions carefully. Example attributes to be conscious of: how to fill out the form, what to write about in each section, word counts or instructions about attachments. Demonstrate directly how you meet any listed skills by giving examples.
To avoid careless spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in free text fields, it can be useful to type up your narrative in word processing software and spell/grammar-check the content before cutting and pasting into the application form.
Keep your answers concise - even if the word limit on the form is generous. You should provide enough information to demonstrate that you meet at least the basic requirements for the job, and potential for development within the role.
But be as succinct and relevant as possible and provide only the best examples of your experience. Avoid describing your entire career.
Read the job description carefully
It’s important to read the job description very carefully so you have a clear idea of what we are looking for. You should then find out as much as you can about the role and the SRUC department in which the role sits, from our website, publications and other sources. You can use this information to inform the approach you take to answering the questions on the form and during the interview.
Once you understand clearly what the job is and the requirements of the role, look over your own skills and experiences and select those that would make you suitable for the role. Include evidence of success, such as awards or achieved targets. Try to avoid using the same example to cover many questions.
A personal statement should indicate whether you can do the job, why you want the job and whether you can fit into the organisation. Indicate enthusiasm for the job and describe why you are attracted to the role/organisation.
Writing a successful CV
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume should be a concise summary of your academic and professional history, achievements and other interests and skills. Along with the online application form, it should be used to ‘sell’ your experience, skills and attributes to your future employer.
Many job vacancies receive a high number of applications, therefore it is important that your CV is able to be accessed and viewed efficiently to ensure your skills and experience are given full consideration against the attributes required for the role. It is essential that your CV presents all the information in a clear and easy to read way.
The content of your CV should be relevant to and targeted at the job you are applying for. You may have a generic CV template but you should consider amending the content and fine-tuning it to suit each different role you apply for.
Be consistent: A CV looks more professional and is easier to navigate if it has a standardised layout throughout.
Be honest: Ensure that all information is 100% accurate. You may be asked to provide evidence to support the details.
Keep it relevant: Give details that will allow the employer to learn what you can do and how you can be an asset to the organisation.
Check spelling and grammar: Avoid unnecessary errors that do not present you in a good light.
Here is a useful article giving advice about Getting the tone right in your CV, published by People Management.
Your full name and contact details on your CV should be clear so that you are easily contactable by employers. You must include a minimum of your email address and telephone number.
Try to draw the employer’s attention to who you are and what you’ve done. Keep it short and succinct – if you provide too much information, your key points may be lost in the detail. Include your most impressive actions and achievements and keep it work-related.
List your employment history in reverse chronological order with your most recent employment first. Include the name and contact details of the organisation, job title and dates and use bullet points to summarise your key duties and responsibilities there. Be sure to highlight the parts that relate to the job/person specification and use positive language to describe what you did rather than just listing it.
Education and qualifications
If you only have a short employment history or are a student, place this section above the Work Experience section. Use reverse chronological order when listing your academic achievements and include the name of school or university attended with contact information and dates. You also need to list the subjects studied and qualifications obtained, however this need not be in full – be selective about which degree modules are relevant to the job, and summarise your GCSE grades (e.g. 9 GCSEs at grades A – C)
Focus primarily on skills related to the job. This could include computer programs, foreign languages or other technical abilities and remember to indicate your skill level.
Stick to talents or passions outside of work – especially if they can relate to transferrable skills. This section should be brief.
Reference details may go out of date quickly so it may be best to provide a statement such as ‘Can be provided on request’. If asked for referees, they will most likely be work-related.
Showing your motivations with a great cover letter
If you wish to include a cover letter, you will be able to upload this to your application during the application process.
Keep your cover letter brief, while making sure it emphasises your suitability for the job. It can be broken down into the following sections:
The opening statement should set out why you're writing the letter. Begin by stating the position you're applying for, where you saw it advertised and when you are available to start.
Cover why you're suitable for the job, what attracted you to this type of work, why you're interested in working for the company and what you can offer the organisation.
Highlight relevant experience and demonstrate how your skills match the specific requirements of the job description. Summarise any additional strengths and explain how these could benefit the company.
Use the closing paragraph to round up your letter. Reiterate your interest in the role and indicate your desire for a personal interview. Now is the time to mention any dates you won't be available.
Once finished read through the document and cut out any unnecessary words and sentences. Don't fill up space by repeating what's already covered in your CV.
Preparing for an interview
Booking an interview slot
You may be asked to select an interview slot from a range of times available using SRUC’s online booking system. This will confirm your attendance to us. The alternative is that you may be offered a single slot which you should confirm whether suitable or not.
If you are unable to attend or have decided to withdraw your application, please let us know as soon as possible as this may allow other prospective candidates an opportunity to attend.
Make sure you know where to find reception and who to ask for upon arrival.
Let us know if you need any reasonable adjustments, e.g. accessible rooms for wheelchair users; additional time for practical tasks if related to a specific recognised condition; signer for deaf candidates etc.
Opportunity to work flexibly in role
We are open to consider most roles on a flexible basis e.g. part-time. If you are seeking a role on a part-time/flexible basis, please contact the Recruitment Team who will investigate that potential for you in advance of the interview.
Understand the organisation and the role
Find out more about SRUC and the department e.g. by looking at the website (such as the About section) or using a contact in SRUC for further information. It may be possible to speak to someone informally to find out more.
You should review the job description, your application, your CV and supporting statement and think about the key points you want to make that would demonstrate your potential to excel in the role or develop your talents to deliver in the role. Think of specific examples you can use to demonstrate the required skills for each criteria listed.
Check arrangements for the interview
- Check the date, time and exact address
- Check how long the interview process is likely to be
- Check your travel arrangements, including directions
- Check if any additional activities may be required e.g. tests or a presentation and if this needs to be prepared in advance
The day before
- Prepare any documentation you have been asked to bring with you, for example a passport and/or biometric resident permit showing your right to work in the UK
- It may help to take a printed copy of your application (and CV) and a copy of the job description so you can refer to this during the interview
- Check for any last minute travel issues, road closures, events
- Decide what to wear, our normal dress code is smart casual
During the Interview
You are likely to be interviewed by a panel of around three people. For senior academic roles this may be more. The invitation will normally tell you the arrangements in advance but if you are unclear please ask.
During the interview you will be asked questions to give you an opportunity to show how your knowledge, skills, potential, interests and aspirations match the criteria of the role. Questions will be related to the selection criteria listed in the job description and in particular the People Specification.
Take your time to answer carefully. If you are nervous and your mind goes blank, it is perfectly normal to ask the interviewer to repeat the question. Do not be afraid to ask for further explanation if at all unclear. Answer the questions as clearly as you can and stick to the question - avoiding wandering off the point which may waste valuable interview time. Remember to relate your answers so that you demonstrate examples of what you personally did and not just your organisation.
For some roles we may ask all applicants questions about their ability to meet particular selection criteria, such as flexibility to work irregular hours. We need to know that you are able and willing to meet such requirements but we do not need you to give us details of your personal circumstances.
Not a one-way street
It is useful to come prepared with some questions you may wish to ask us. This is a good opportunity to show your interest in the role and SRUC and we'll always be prepared to explain any points about the role or our organisation. If not explained clearly, it may be useful to clarify the next steps of the process at the end of the interview, e.g. will there be further interviews or assessments? When will you hear the outcome?
Find out more about applying with SRUC
List of vacancies
Throughout the year, you will find a range of different roles at SRUC ranging from entry level professional, academic and scientific roles through to complex technical roles.
Learn about our application and selection process, pre-employment checks, eligibility and more.