This site is no longer maintained
This website should only be accessed for School Messenger, SIS or planning agents information.

Our Recruitment Process


Please view our information on The Application and Your Supporting Statement.

Our selection process is based on each individual’s own merits and abilities. We compare the information in your application against the criteria required as shown on the Role Profile. We will normally contact you regarding the decision within 2 weeks of the closing date, using the email address that you have used to create your account.

Please also read the information on  The Application and Your Supporting Statement regarding our commitment to the Disability Confident standard; formerly referred to as 'Two Ticks' or 'Guaranteed Interview Scheme'.

You will either have a panel interview or attend a panel interview as part of an assessment centre. You will be advised of which method will be used in your interview booking email.

Panel Interview

This is a structured interview, conducted by a minimum of two people. You will be asked questions relevant to the role, and it is likely that you will be asked competency-based questions; specific examples of work you have undertaken, or situations you have experienced.  For further information on competency-based selection and suggestions for how to prepare for your interview, please visit the your supporting statement page.

Along with a panel interview, an assessment centre usually comprises of a variety of activities designed to assess your suitability for the role.  It can include a presentation, test, role play etc. Below are details of different types of assessments that we may use, but further details will be provided where appropriate.


You may be given the presentation subject in advance and asked to deliver it on the day. Alternatively you may be advised of  the topic on the day and given time to prepare for it in advance of presenting it to the panel.

Occupational Personality Questionnaire

We sometimes use personality questionnaires in our selection process because they provide us with objective information on your preferred and typical ways of behaving, which is relevant to successful performance in aspects of the job. The questionnaire is completed online and will take no more than 45 minutes. You will be asked to select which statement is most and least like you. There is no right or wrong answers. It is concerned with personality style and not abilities. You will be given instructions in the interview invitation and full details about the questionnaire will be provided also.  You will be provided with a feedback report prior to interview.

Ability Tests

We use a range of ability tests such as in tray exercises, typing tests or online numerical and verbal reasoning tests.  You may be required to sit a verification test for the online tests.


You may be asked to complete an exercise on the day either individually or as a group.

Behavioural competencies

Outline the expected standards of how someone performs their role and the behaviours they use to undertake the activities and tasks.

Functional competencies

Role specific, job-related skills and knowledge.

Qualifications, training or other requirements

Details of training / experience required in order to meet the minimum criteria of the role.

Normal interviews

Also called unstructured interviews, this is essentially a conversation where the interviewers ask a few questions that are relevant to what they are looking for but without any specific aim in mind other than getting an overall impression of you as an individual.  Questions are fairly random and can sometimes be quite open.

For example, a question such as "What can you offer our organisation?" is meant to gather general information about you but does not test any specific skill or competency. In an unstructured interview, the candidate is judged on the general impression that he/she leaves; thus the process is likely to be more subjective.

Competency-based interviews

Also called structured or behavioural interviews, this is more systematic, with each question targeting a specific skill or competency.

Candidates are asked questions relating to their behaviour in specific circumstances, which they then need to back up with concrete examples.  The interviewers will then dig further into the examples by asking for specific explanations about the candidates' behaviour or skills.

A helpful approach to preparing yourself for a competency interview is known as the STAR approach.  The STAR model is a particularly good structure on which to bulid your responses and will provide an effective way to structure your thoughts.

  • Situation - what was the context/situation
  • Task - what was required of you in terms of aims, objectives and challenges
  • Action - what did you do (not your colleagues)
  • Result - what happened/what was the outcome of your actions

More information in the help with your supporting statement.

  • All original qualification certificates relevant to this post, including both parts of your driving licence if this is applicable to the post
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the UK (passport showing that the holder is a British citizen or a document showing that the holder is a national of a European Economic Area country (EEA) or Switzerland). A detailed list of documents that can be provided to prove your eligibility can be provided on request.
  • If the role requires a criminal record check, you will also be asked to bring the relevant identification documentation for checking and recording.
  1. evidence should be based on present/previous role(s) within the past two years
  2. evidence from previous paid/voluntary employment and/or experience can be used
  3. you can have aide memoirs/prompting information
  4. you can and should ask for clarification where necessary
  5. be yourself - act naturally!

All offers of employment are made subject to the pre-employment checks stated above.

Cornwall Council is committed to provide equality of opportunity to both our employees and applicants. Please help us to ensure your application is treated fairly and equally by completing the equal opportunities section when filling in your online application.

Read more about equality and diversity.