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The Welsh Government use Success Profiles as the basis for our application and assessment process. This is a government wide approach that uses a number of different “elements” (experience, strengths, ability, technical and behaviours) to determine our selection methods. We strongly recommend that you read this information before starting your application.

There will usually be a minimum of two stages; an initial application and first stage followed by an interview or assessment process. However, there could be several different stages to the assessment process, depending on requirements Please refer to the advert for specific details of each stage and what is required. 

The following provides some general information about some of the potential information you may be asked for.

Application form

When completing an application form you will be asked to provide information regarding your eligibility, education and employment history. Step by step guidance to each section of Application Form can be found at Appendix A should you require.

You may also be asked to provide evidence, in the form of real examples, of your skills, experience and ability listed within the job advert. These may fall under any number of elements of Success Profiles  This is the most important part of your application form as it will be assessed by a recruitment panel.

When choosing what examples will best evidence the criteria required, consider the following advice:

  • Base your examples on a previous experience, you may want to think about your achievements from the last few years.
  • You can use examples from as wide a range of experiences as you need. Outside of work, this might be experience from education settings or volunteering.
  • When you have picked your strongest examples, ensure they meet the full requirements of the criteria you are seeking to evidence.   When drafting your examples, allow yourself plenty of time to refine your example/s in line with the criteria you are evidencing.
  • Ensure the evidence is presented as succinctly as possible and does not go over the word count.
  • Remember, a recruitment panel cannot assume what is not included in the example, they can only assess what you have written.
  • Use ‘I’ not ‘we’. Evidence your role and how you affected the outcome.
  • ​Do not get caught up telling a story or setting a scene in your example. Your example should include a brief statement regarding the situation or context of your example, then focus on how you went about the task, what actions you instigated, undertook or lead on. Explain why you undertook these actions, any obstacles you encountered. Finally include results, using short statements to demonstrate why your actions were effective or why they added value. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this
  • Some candidates find it helpful to use the STAR approach when presenting evidence as it provides structure and focus to examples in both the application form and the interview.

Situation: briefly describe the context and your role
Task: the specific challenge, task, or job that you faced
Action: what you did, how and why you did it
Result: the outcomes and what you achieved through your actions.

Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result.


The evidence you provide will be assessed by a recruitment panel. If the panel agree that you have provided sufficient evidence against the criteria, your application will progress to the next stage.

You will be given a minimum of five working days’ notice for any further stages (this can be extended if you are disabled and need a longer timescale to be put in place as a reasonable adjustment).

If you fail at any stage, your application will not progress to any following stages. Notification of the outcomes of each stage will be issued to all candidates by email to their registered email address.

Unsuccessful candidates will only receive brief written feedback on their application.

Technical tests or exercises

For some applications you might be invited to undertake some type of test or exercise. These may be as a standalone stage or form part of an interview.

For some applications, only those who successfully pass the tests will progress to any following stage. Failure to complete any test by any deadline given, will mean that your application will not progress to the next stage.

The advert may state that you need to undertake tests or an exercise. If this is the case, further guidance will be provided at the point you are invited to take the tests. If you need a reasonable adjustment to be made (for example, if your assistive technology is not compatible with the test) you should contact as soon as possible. A member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.


Our interviews are normally online, using Microsoft Teams, but occasionally may be held in one of our offices. Interviews involve a blend of questions based on different elements of Success Profiles. You will be provided with information, in advance, of what the interview will consist of. Either as part of the advert or via further communications at each stage. This might include some of the following types of questions:


Behaviour questions will explore in detail what you are capable of and will be in line with those listed on the job advert. 

The aim is to find out how you have behaved and used your skills in the past to deal with challenges and problems, on the premise that this is likely to be a predictor of how you will perform in the future. 

The questions at interview will be designed to allow you to provide evidence of the required behaviours, by using relevant examples from your experience. 

Please remember, even though the panel will be looking for evidence of a specific behaviour, you need to ensure that you answer the specific question that they ask you at interview.  It is important to remember to listen carefully to the question, and then use the most appropriate example to evidence that question.


Strengths questions will explore what you enjoy and your motivations relevant to the grade requirements. They will also be in line with the strengths listed in the job advert. There is no expectation or requirement for you to prepare for strengths questions in advance of the interview, though you may find it helpful to spend some time reflecting on what you enjoy doing and what you do well.

Technical or experience based questions

These are designed to explore your professional skills, technical knowledge and understanding and experience within a bespoke context. These may include questions relating to specific professional competency frameworks or explore your qualifications or professional knowledge.

Disability Confident

We will guarantee an interview to disabled people who have:

  • selected in their application form that they wish to be given a guaranteed interview under the guaranteed interview scheme and
  • meet the minimum criteria for the grade through the sift stages

Interview panel

At interview, there will be a recruitment panel of two or three people. They will hope to see you at your best at the interview and will do all they can to give you the opportunity to evidence that you can meet the criteria required for the role and grade.

Interviews will follow the structure below:

  • the Chair will introduce the panel and explain the format and timing of the interview. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions about the format and be asked if there may be any extenuating circumstances which may affect your performance at interview such as a recent bereavement or car accident. This is to ensure that there is nothing which may inhibit your performance. If something has occurred, you will be provided with the opportunity to reschedule your interview. However, if you do choose to go ahead with the interview, you will not be able to reschedule for another time if afterwards you feel you did not perform at your best.
  • each member of the panel will then take it in turns to ask questions.
  • at the end of the interview, the Chair will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have

Interview duration

The interview will usually last between 45 to 70 minutes depending on the grade of the role applied for and type of assessment required.

Interview language

We will try to carry out your interview in your preferred language, English or Welsh (based on the preference you indicated in your application form).  If we are unable to offer a full Welsh Speaking panel, simultaneous translation from Welsh to English may need to be provided. In such cases you will be informed of the arrangements prior to the interview.

Purpose of the interview

The purpose of an interview is to:

  • test a candidate’s suitability for the requirements of the role and grade
  • give all candidates an opportunity to present their evidence
  • recommend which candidates should be offered roles and produce an order of merit based on scores achieved

At interview, the panel will be trying to find out how you meet the criteria listed in the job advert. You need to be prepared to give answers demonstrating how you meet them.

Useful tips in preparing for interview:

  • try to arrange a mock interview with a friend, family member or colleague
  • prepare more examples than you provided on your application. The panel may ask you for more details and other examples if it helps you to provide the evidence required to meet the behaviours.
  • think about using the STAR model to structure your responses

After interview

Following the interview, outcomes will be issued at the earliest opportunity using the email you have registered with. Candidates will receive brief written feedback regarding their interview.

Grievance and complaints

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly, or has a grievance or complaint should contact us via our Complaints Unit.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint and feel that the principles of appointment on merit through fair and open competition have not been met, you have the right to pursue your grievance with the Civil Service Commission at 3rd Floor, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ.