/ Job application competencies

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goldmember - on 24 Jan 2013
I'm applying for a job and have filling the form out most of today. But I’ve completely drawn a blank with this question, regarding a solving a complex problem in the workplace. The examples I have tried using the STAR model, are too weak/general or to complex and involved that they would be raised to management and I wouldn’t have to solve them. I just need a push in the right direction to help finish.
Thanks UKC
Dom Whillans on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to goldmember:
Does the question preclude you having the confidence to raise issues with management? without the context of the question and a rough idea of your background / job applied for it's a bit tricky to comment tbh... STAR is a very good way of completing applications though :o)
goldmember - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Dom Whillans: thanks for quick reply. It doesn't mention anything about raising the issues to management, however I think i would bring management in the right example to show, following the correct channels... the job part office based part customer facing. facing potentially difficult customers. I come from office based and formally activity centre backgrounds
Jon Stewart - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to goldmember:

Definitely stick to STAR (although just SAR is fine, separating the task from the action is for the sake of making a neat acronym).

Without knowing what experience you've got to draw on, I would advise: stay away from the general stuff, they're asking for a really specific piece of evidence. If it comes to it, pick something pretty banal that you can make sound more complex or a higher level of responsibility than you might think of it from your angle. If something involves escalating to management, that's fine (but maybe say senior management, if appropriate/not completely a lie) - explain *how* you escalated whatever it was to management - that you did everything you could yourself and knew the exact point at which escalation was appropriate. And you presented the situation, with a suggested solution and justification, very concisely and efficiently in a way which made it incredibly easy for them to make the required decision or whatever.

Dom Whillans on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
agreed... being able to show that you have the skills and experience to come up with a set of options to present to senior manager is a good call. there is a danger of using a banal situation though; it may make the powers that be think that you can't deal regularly with everyday problems and that you'll be running to management with problems far more often than they'd like (assuming that difficult customers are a regular occurrence).
Jon Stewart - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Dom Whillans:

Yeah, I was thinking: pick something that truthfully is banal, but exaggerate so it sounds really complex and high-powered.
argyle_dude - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to goldmember:

On the subject of job applications, someone I once worked for was kind enough to share this gem of a job application she recieved the other day

"Hello my name is ... I am super interest in this position. I don't have a computer so can I bring my resmay in person. Hopefully hear back from someone soon about a interview. My number is..."

If your job application looks anything like that, you don't need to worry about proving competency, the jobs alredy yours ;-p
goldmember - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Dom Whillans)
>
> Yeah, I was thinking: pick something that truthfully is banal, but exaggerate so it sounds really complex and high-powered.

Just struggling a bit. Might use an example where there was aa lack of team work and it wad negativity affecting the business... I arranged team meetings and everyone was happy and customers had a better experience...

Any ideas and examples welcomed with open ears
In reply to goldmember: Of course it's not actually about demonstrating competence, rather spinning your bullshit in the industry (HR industry that is) prescribed manner.
goldmember - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity: any helpful examples ?
In reply to goldmember: No. I expect if I was recruiting to fill the post, I would want someone who could answer the questions themselves.
Martin W on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to goldmember)
>
> Definitely stick to STAR (although just SAR is fine, separating the task from the action is for the sake of making a neat acronym).

Actually, the 'task' is supposed to be what you set out to achieve given the situation, not what you actually did (which is what the 'actions' are). You're right that it's a rather crappy acronym. I've always thought that SOAR is a better acronym: Situation Objective Actions Result. So often the 'task' seems to be conflated with the 'situation'. I think it helps to state explicitly what you set out to achieve, then what you did, and the 'result' is a summary of how those actions achieved that objective - as well as any other beneficial outcomes, of course (which are always nice to have).

But you don't need to get too hung up on it. No-one is going to analyse it and say "Aha, they've left out the 'task' bit!" so long as you give them a clear and concise explanation of what happened which demonstrates your capabilities and skills - with the emphasis on your. Too many times it's not clear who carried out the actions. If the team got together to work out a solution to the problem, what did you do as part of that: organise it, facilitate it, make the key contribution, take notes and present the conclusions to management? All are good things to have done, but they're different competencies.
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Ava Adore - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to goldmember:

My instinctive response to this is to say that maybe you don't have the necessary competence if you are struggling to find an appropriate example. However, you do say that you have complex examples that might suit - can you break the complex example down into its component parts and then look to see if any of those would work?

Good luck - competency questions are a right pain.

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