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Application guidelines

Application guidelines

How to apply for our vacancies

When applying for a role with us, it’s important to follow these guidelines.

Only completed application forms will be used to make selection decisions — don’t attach or send a CV unless we’ve specifically requested one. We don’t keep applications on file, so you need to submit separate applications for any future vacancies.

If you need a hard copy or a version of our application form in a different format, contact our HR team at

What's our approach to assessing candidates?

We start to build a picture of you as a candidate as soon as you submit your initial application. We do this by using a blended assessment model at each stage of the process.

The Scottish Enterprise blended assessment model assesses your skills, experience, traits, and strengths (S.E.T.S.). We also measure how closely your values align to our own.

In the application form and later — if you’re successful — at your interview, you’ll be asked questions to determine the range and depth of your skills and experience. In simple terms, we’re looking to find out what you know and have achieved in your career so far.

Additional questions about traits and strengths give us the opportunity to explore how you have applied your skills and experience. How people perform in a role is generally shaped by their traits (sometimes called characteristics or personal qualities) and is underpinned by their values.

Looking at what you consider to be your strengths helps us build insight into your career actions and behaviours to date. Asking you to provide examples of when you have demonstrated Scottish Enterprise values helps us assess how aligned your application is to the requirements of the role, and to our organisation.

In short, using a blended assessment model allows us to consider all candidates as a whole person and helps us make the right recruitment decision – for us and for you.

Understanding the S.E.T.S model

Our values

Our blended assessment model is underpinned by our organisation’s four core values:

Be brave

We feel empowered to continuously improve so that together we can grow and deliver for our economy. We will trust each other, celebrate our success, and learn together at every opportunity.

Be fair

We will act with respect and empathy towards each other — championing an inclusive environment that cares for everyone, and the planet.

Be the difference

We will connect and collaborate with others to unlock our collective potential and make a real impact.

Be our best

We will own our performance by looking after our wellbeing and investing in our development to ensure we can offer our best to others.

Assessing your S.E.T.S

Using these values as a base, we then assess your skills, experience, strengths, and traits (S.E.T.S.). We look at:

  • Your skills — the specific skills, knowledge, and qualifications (if required) in relation to the role
  • Your experience — the range, depth, and relevance, of what you’ve done in your career so far to the requirements of the new role
  • Your traits — the characteristics that make you who you are, and how they might be relevant to the role
  • Your strengths — the things you love to do, that motivate and energise you, and allow you to be the best you can be

What are the steps in the assessment and selection process?

Our assessment roadmap helps us to build a full picture of your skills, experience, traits, strengths, and values as we move through the application, assessment and selection process. The roadmap follows these steps:

  • Vacancy advertised
  • Application
  • Shortlisting
  • First interview — with psychometric assessment (if appropriate)
  • Second interview — with skills testing exercise (if appropriate)
  • Hiring decision and offer
  • Feedback to candidates
  • Onboarding — can include candidate and hiring manager surveys

About first and second interviews

Some recruitment decisions can be made after a single interview, but others may require a second — this is common when there’s more than one strong candidate at the first interview.

All candidates who are shortlisted for a first interview will be asked the same questions, although the follow-up questions we ask to explore your answers may differ. We take this approach to ensure that all our recruitment decisions are fair.

After the first interview (and any skills test), the recruiting manager may feel able to make a recruitment decision – in which case they will move to make an offer. However, if there are a few candidates who, at this stage, all appear equally suitable for the role, the recruiting manager might like to hear more from each of you before making a final decision. If this happens, you will be invited to a second interview.

At the second interview, we’ll be looking to build on what we already know from your application form and first interview, and we’ll make sure we don’t just ask you to repeat what you have already told us.

What type of skills test should I expect?

Not all roles will have a skills test as part of the assessment and selection process. We’ll make sure that we let you know at the start of the process if you’ll be expected to take a skills test, or if we need you to do a psychometric assessment for the role.

In some cases, we’ll ask you in advance to prepare a presentation. If this is the case, we’ll let you know what the topic is, how long we’d like your presentation to last, and give you options for sharing your presentation with us.

For some roles we might use a skills tests instead of a presentation to assess things like:

  • In-tray prioritisation
  • Numeric reasoning
  • Data analysis
  • Writing case studies

How should I plan for the interview?

You’ll already know the essential and desirable requirements for the role because they’re included in the job advert. In the interview, we’ll ask specific questions relating to these must-haves.

We don’t normally share the specific questions in advance of the interview because we don’t want you to spend time preparing and memorising responses. Instead, we explore your initial answers with you through follow up questions to build our understanding of your experience, skills, traits, and strengths.

The first interview is split into four phases — welcome and introductions, overview of the role, questions, and closing summary.

We’ll let you know if the interview is to be done virtually or in person. It’s likely you’ll be interviewed by more than one person at the same time — we use an interview panel approach to make sure our recruitment decisions are fair.

Will I receive feedback?

It’s important to us that our applicants get something positive from the process – whether you’re successful this time or not. Feedback will be available on request at each stage of the process to unsuccessful candidates.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about a prospective role or about the assessment and selection process, including potential adjustments, our HR team will be happy to help you at or call us on 0300 013 3385.

Our employer accreditations and awards

Disability confident employer

Disability confident employer

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