Recruitment: candidate guide

A detailed guide for applicants interested in applying for a job with the Scottish Government.

Our application process

We use a 3-stage application process:

  • stage 1: online application
  • stage 2: assessment
  • stage 3: offer and pre-employment checks

Further information about each of the stages is included below:

Stage 1: online application

To apply for a job at the Scottish Government, you will need to complete the online application which is accessed through the job advert for the position. Job adverts can be searched and viewed on our careers website.

The online application will vary depending on the requirements of the role. We currently use two main application processes, those being:

  • completion of personal details, upload of your CV and a personal statement

Or, alternatively;

  • completion of personal details, upload of your CV and evidence to be provided in 4 sections

For the CV, we are looking for information such as contact information, qualifications, work history and skills. Read some helpful advice on how to write a CV here.

In both personal statements and evidence sections, we are looking for you to provide information about how you meet the essential criteria for the role. You can find the essential criteria specific to the role listed in the job advert. Online applications will be scored in accordance with evidence provided and the highest-ranking candidates will be invited to the next stage.

It is recommended that you spend some time in advance, considering what evidence to include. You should save the text in an offline version - this will allow you to keep a copy for your records and will also ensure that you do not lose any work if your connection to the system drops during application.

You will be asked to provide some diversity information in the online application. Please note that this has no impact on your application, it is captured for monitoring purposes only and is not shared with Hiring Managers.

Stage 2: assessment

Candidates invited to the next stage will be assessed against the competencies and technical skills required for the job.

You can find the competencies listed in the job advert, along with any specific technical skills or qualifications required.

Further information on the framework we use to assess competencies, can be found in the relevant section of this guide (Our assessment process).

Assessments vary depending on skills required, some commonly used assessment types include:

  • role plays
  • skills tests
  • report exercises
  • presentations

Candidates will also complete a competency-based interview at this stage which will include questions designed to gather evidence of competencies required for the role.

Details of the assessment required, including the assessment types, location, date and time will be provided in advance to candidates.

Competency and technical assessments will be scored on completion and offers will be made to the highest-ranked candidates in accordance with Civil Service recruitment principles.

Stage 3: offer and pre-employment checks

Successful candidates will receive an e-mail with a provisional offer of employment and details of the next steps.

You can find out more about the type of pre-employment checks undertaken in the relevant section of this guide (Pre-employment checks).

On successful completion of pre-employment checks a final offer will be made and a start date will be agreed.


The Scottish Government Recruitment Team:

Back to top