How to answer job criteria

There are methods and techniques that allow you to:

  1. identify and present how you meet the job criteria in an application form.
  2. highlight your transferable skills in a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or covering letter.
  3. respond to an interview question and use a situational example to evidence your relevant key skills.

What different evidence methods and techniques are there?

Criteria come in different forms, so the criteria will need to use different formats in a response.

The main evidence methods are:

  • STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Outcome).
  • SAO (Situation, Action, Outcome).
  • SAR: (Situation, Action, Result).
  • The three bullet point responses.
  • Three-part response.

What is the most common evidence method used?

The STAR method is the most common.

The STAR method is used to structure your example in the following way:

  • S describes the situation you had to deal with.
  • T describes the task you were given to do.
  • A describes the action you took.
  • R describes what happened as a result of your action and what you learned from the experience.

How should STAR evidence method be used?

Here is a brief example.

The criteria in the job description: good leadership skills.

S for the situation is: in my current role, the organisation senior management team wanted more staff to sign up to benefit scheme, which was not receiving a lot of attention through the internal e-newsletter.

T is for the task: my role in this was that I took the initiative to lead this task, understand the situation, and find a solution to more colleagues signing up.

A is for the action: I organised a virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams with the main people connected to the benefits scheme; which initially involved the benefits scheme supplier and our marketing and communications teams. I led the meeting and ran through what statistics of how many people were signed up already and what the goal was from the senior management team for the percentage of staff they wanted to engage with the scheme. To meet this goal, I gave everyone involved the opportunity in a round-robin meeting to express their thoughts on the situation and provide some ideas. From all those ideas we took the top three we all agreed on, I ask for volunteers to take some of the tasks on and my role was to not only keep a track on their progress, provide support where needed, also carry out my task of leading a social media campaign to generate interest in the benefits scheme.

R is for the result: The result of this was that over the next three months there was a 30% increase in colleagues engaging with the benefits scheme, which rose over the following 6 months to 55% and the approach I took was presented to the senior management team and for other initiatives.