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Application guidelines

Application guidelines

How to apply for our vacancies

To help you to complete your application follow these guidelines.

Only completed forms will be used to make selection decisions. Do not attach or send a CV unless it has been specifically requested.

We don’t keep applications on file, so you need to submit separate applications for any future vacancies.

If you require an hard copy or MS Word version of our application form please e-mail our HR team at

The application process

  • After the closing date, applications are shortlisted.
  • We use a blind recruitment process, so your name won't be shared with the recruiting manager until the interview stage. 
  • We contact all candidates in writing to confirm if they’ve been successful or not for interview.
  • Successful candidates attend the first interview or assessment centre.
  • We contact these candidates to confirm if they have been successful or not.
  • Successful candidates may be invited to a second stage interview.
  • The successful candidate will receive a copy of their contract, details of their start date and induction.

The skills and qualities we are looking for

Competency based interviewing

We've developed a set of core competencies expected of Scottish Enterprise employees in all departments.

You should get an idea of whether you're right for a particular role by reading the advert but these skills and qualities are what expect to see in all our people. Candidates for any role at Scottish Enterprise will be asked to assess their skills against these competencies in the application form and during the interview process.

They are as follows:

  1. Customer focus/relationship management: The willingness and ability to give priority to customers, understand their needs and develop relationships with key partners. And to deliver a high quality service that meets their needs within set timeframes/service level agreements. This refers both to internal and external customers.
  2. Teamwork: Working co-operatively with others and organisational boundaries to achieve shared goals. We work across departments, organisations and cultures, so staff must work co-operatively, sharing best practice, breaking down departmental barriers and communicating fully on new initiatives and priorities. Overseas, the ability to build on inter-cultural understanding ensures we understand and meet the needs of our target audiences.
  3. Communication: Ensuring written and oral information is provided to all necessary recipients in the most effective and timely manner. Our success largely depends on the impact we make, in particular with key influencers, businesses we support, external partners, the media and internal customers.
  4. Personal management: Organising the way we work to allow us to achieve our full potential. As our workplace continues to change, becoming more flexible and complex, our ability to ‘self manage’ is vital. New electronic tools and ways of working will help us deliver to our customers; our capacity to acquire knowledge and build relationships supports us in this aim.
  5. Problem solving/project management: Bringing disciplined analysis to data and situations to understand cause and effect, and use this to make effective decisions. Additionally managing inputs and outputs of the project to ensure timescales and deliverables are met.
  6. Technical expertise: Possessing the technical skills, knowledge, experience, abilities and relevant qualifications to undertake tasks successfully. These will vary from role to role and will be identified by people managers for each vacant post.
  7. Leading and developing others: Leading, encouraging, inspiring and supporting others to develop confidence and capability to help them realise their full potential. This is only applicable to roles involving people management.

People managers have a critical role in securing our long-term future and in achieving our strategic objectives. They are responsible for ensuring individuals and teams understand their responsibilities and roles, and they provide appropriate support, challenges, coaching and delegation, so individuals are empowered to take on greater responsibility.


We require two telephone references. Both of these should be from your most recent employer, learning establishment or current line manager. If you don’t have two references that fall into these categories, the hiring manager will contact you to discuss options. Your selected references should be able to give an account of your:

  • Behaviour
  • Performance
  • Experience

Referees will only be contacted once an offer of employment has been made to the successful candidate. Offers of employment will be withdrawn if our reference checks confirm that the candidate has given false information on the application form.

The interview

After the closing date, your application will be considered. If you’re shortlisted, you’ll be invited to participate in a face-to-face or telephone interview. This will be competency-based to measure your technical knowledge and reveal how you actually do things. It also provides an opportunity for you to ask questions about our organisation.

The competency-based interview will focus on the following areas:

  1. Customer focus/relationship management
  2. Teamwork
  3. Communication
  4. Personal management
  5. Problem solving/project management
  6. Technical expertise
  7. Economic development
  8. Leading and developing others (only applicable to roles involving people management)

The interviewers vary but usually include the hiring manager. Others that may be involved in the process include HR, jobholder peers and subject matter experts.

Depending on the role you apply for, you may also be asked to take part in one or more of the following:

  1. Role play
  2. Presentations
  3. Case studies
  4. In tray exercises
  5. Group exercises

The next stages of the process will be confirmed at the end of your first interview. If you’re successful at this stage, you may be invited to attend a second interview.

If you’re unsuccessful, you’ll receive a letter with details of who to contact to obtain feedback. You should arrange a suitable time with the individual giving you the feedback to ensure you gain as much detail as possible. We are only able to give verbal feedback.

Our employer accreditations and awards

Disability confident employer

Disability confident employer

Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion

Stonewall Scotland diversity champion

We're supporting age positive

Age Positive supporter

Young Person's Guarantee Employer logo

Young Person's Guarantee employer

Top 10 Flexible Employer Logo

Top 10 Flexible Employer

Institute of Export & International Trade

Investors in young people - Gold Award

Working families employer member 2020/2021

Working families employer

Carer positive employer in Scotland

Carer positive employer in Scotland

Economic Development Association Scotland