Tips on how to apply

 

We’d love to welcome you to our team

First, take a look at the live vacancies.  Once you’ve found a role you’d like to apply for, click on the Apply button and you’ll be taken to an online form to continue your application.

Before you apply, take a look at our useful tips below. If applying for jobs is new to you, or you’d like to refresh your skills in this area, you can also download our handy top tips crib sheet.

If you meet the job criteria, you may be invited to a selection event or interview at one of our offices. Depending on the role, we may also invite you to complete an online test or telephone interview, before a face-to-face interview.

We don’t always offer telephone interviews for every role, but if you’re invited to one, we’ll tell you when we’re going to call you in advance, so you have time to prepare. The person calling you will have a pre-prepared list of questions and a marking criteria to help them decide who will progress to the next stage of the selection process.

  • Do your research. Find out as much as possible about us and the housing sector. Take a look at our website and social media profiles. Use this information in your personal statement.
  • Make it relevant. Tailor your application to the job description and person specification. When it comes to job applications, one size does not fit all.
  • Make it concise and easy to read. Avoid being vague – give specific examples.
  • You’re an individual. We want to know what makes you different, so make sure you include specific examples of where you’ve used your skills and experience. This includes any relevant voluntary roles, education, club activities, honours or awards to show that you’re a reliable and responsible person.
  • Tell us why you’re interested in this role in particular.
  • Fill the gaps. Tell us about any gaps in your employment history.
  • Check your spelling. Or ask someone else to proofread your application for you before pasting the text into the online form.

Before the interview:

  • Practise your technique with a friend in advance. Remember, you’ll need to be able to express yourself clearly without relying on facial expressions or body language.
  • Keep a copy of your CV and application form to hand. Remember a pen and paper to make notes.
  • Keep it quiet. Find a comfortable, quiet place away from family, pets and noisy appliances.
  • Use a landline if possible so you don’t lose signal or power. If you use a mobile phone, turn off the ‘call waiting’ notification.

During the interview:

  • Remember to smile! You may also feel and sound more energised if you stand up while you’re speaking.
  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, or eat, but do keep a glass of water handy in case your throat gets dry.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Listen to the question and don’t interrupt.
  • Take your time and collect your thoughts.
  • Keep to the point. Try not to ramble.
  • Take notes when possible on what questions came up.
  • Remember that your goal is to be invited to a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, thank the interviewer and ask what the next stage is and when it will take place.

Before the interview:

  • Find out about us. Find out as much as possible about our organisation and the housing sector. Look at our website and our profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Understand the role. Find out as much as you can about the role and the department you are applying to join. Contact the department directly if possible, to learn more about it.
  • Practise. Know your CV inside out. Ask yourself the question: What would I ask if I were the interviewer? Practise giving examples of your skills and experience using the job description and person specification as a guide.
  • Be prepared. Plan what you’re going to wear in advance. If in doubt, dress up, not down. As a multicultural and inclusive organisation we encourage our staff to wear what makes them feel comfortable, but your clothes should always be smart and clean. Make sure your hair (if uncovered), hands and nails are clean and tidy.
  • Arrive early. Traffic and transport delays may not be your fault but if you’re late it makes a bad impression and may mean you have less time in your interview.

During the interview:

  • Use positive body language. Face the interviewers, lean forwards (slightly!) and relax your shoulders.  Remember to make eye contact. (If you’re unable to do this due to a disability, let the interviewer know.)
  • Smile. Let your personality shine through, but be wary of cracking too many jokes. What you think is amusing may not amuse the people on the panel!
  • Be concise. Interviews have a time limit, so keep your answers to the point.
  • Show you’ve done your research. Mention things you know about our organisation.
  • It’s OK to ask questions. Use time at the end of the interview to ask questions and clarify your responses.
  • Take notes. 

The assessment will usually take about half a day and may include specially-designed tests and exercises such as written tasks, role plays and presentations.

These exercises simulate aspects of the job and allow you to show us your skills. You can prepare in advance by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Practise. Whether it’s practising one of the many free psychometric tests online, or planning your presentation, make sure you familiarise yourself with the activity as much as possible beforehand.
  • Be professional. During the assessment stay calm, focused and positive.
  • Take time to think. Follow instructions carefully and ask if there is something you don’t understand.
  • Don’t dwell on things. You don’t have to perform exceptionally in all activities. If you think you did badly in something, concentrate on doing well in the next task instead.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. The assessor will make their decision based on your overall performance across all activities.