Guidance for Applicants

Guidance for Applicants


Before you complete the application form

Please read the Job Description and Person Specification for the job that interests you. Do you have all the qualifications, skills, qualities, and experience necessary for the job? You may also want to browse our website to familiarise yourself with UCAN, our service, and our vision and values before you apply.

If you have any questions or if you would prefer to receive a hard copy of our staff recruitment pack, please call our Personnel Team on 01-4488323, or email:

Completing the application form

  • We advise you to type your application, for example in a Word document, and then copy and paste it into the online form when you are ready to do so. This will avoid your application "timing out".
  • Read through each section of the online application form carefully.
  • The Statement of Application section is particularly important. This is your opportunity to state why you think you are suitable for the job. The shortlisting panel will determine which applicants to invite for an interview based on what has been written in this section. Make sure you clearly state how you meet each of the selection criteria outlined in the Person Specification using examples from your recent work experience to demonstrate your suitability for the post. If relevant, you may also include any skills, responsibilities. and experiences gained outside the workplace, e.g. organising community events.
  • When an offer of employment is made, references will be taken up with your current and previous employer. If you have only had one employer, please name somebody of an appropriate status who is able to give an opinion on your suitability for the post. If you have never worked before, please name two people of appropriate status.
  • Read your application through carefully checking for errors and omissions.
  • The information you supply on the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form will be separated from the application form and will not be seen by the selection panel.
  • By submitting the form you are declaring that the information you have provided is correct. If any information is later found to be untrue, it may result in dismissal if you are appointed.
  • Check the closing date and make sure you allow enough time to return your application. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please do not send your CV.

Short listing

The short-listing panel will decide, from the evidence supplied on the application form, which candidates best meet the criteria outlined in the Person Specification. If you have been shortlisted, we will contact you about an interview. Usually no more than 6 candidates are shortlisted for interview. We will shortlist any applicant with a disability if they meet the selection criteria.

If you do not hear from us within two weeks of the closing date, please assume that you have not been shortlisted on this occasion.

Interview preparation

AT UCAN we like to support you. Therefore we strongly advise you to prepare for the interview by:

  • Reading through a copy of your application that you have submitted to us.
  • Reading the Job Description and Person Specification once more to familiarise yourself with the requirements of the job.
  • Preparing for any questions the panel may ask you – often these are derived from the Person Specification or Job Description.
  • Preparing in advance a variety of examples, which demonstrate your experience.
  • Finding out a little more about UCAN (from our website). Ask our Personnel team to send you any additional documents you require.
  • Having questions ready (if you have any) that you’d like to ask the panel.

Tasks and presentations

In addition to the interview, depending on the nature of the post, you may be asked to prepare a short presentation, show a portfolio of your work, or do a pre-interview task relevant to the job. We will let you know in your invitation for interview letter if you are required to do this.

If you are required to do a presentation it will usually take place in the first 10-15 minutes before the interview commences. The decision to appoint will not be made solely on your performance in your task.

The interview

The interview will usually last from twenty minutes to one hour depending on the nature and seniority of the job. The interview panel will consist of two to five people. This will usually include relevant staff such as your prospective line manager and possibly a Personnel representative.

All candidates are asked the same core questions, although the panel may ask each candidate different supplementary questions if necessary. The panel will take notes during the interview, but don’t let this put you off. There will be an opportunity at the end of the interview for you to ask any questions.

Final selection

When the panel have reached a decision as to which candidate they feel is best for the post, either a panel member or a member of the Personnel team will contact the candidate, usually by telephone, to see if he or she wants to accept the position. The offer of employment will then be made in writing, subject to satisfactory references.

The appointment is also subject to a medical clearance, a Police Report check, and proof of your qualifications.

Unsuccessful candidates will be informed of the decision in writing, usually within one week of the interview. We are happy to give you feedback on your interview on request.

Further information

If you would like any further information or you have any questions about the position you wish to apply for, please do not hesitate to call our Personnel Team on 01-4488323, or email:

We wish you the very best of luck with your application.