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The University of Southampton
Psychology graduate leavers pack The application process


The majority of applications for employment and postgraduate courses are now made online but you may sometimes be asked to submit a paper-based application. Care and attention have to be taken when completing any application form because this is usually the first impression that an organisation will have of candidates.

The following steps are useful for completing any application form. Treat online and paper application forms in exactly the same way.

Use Select Simulator to practice completing online application forms:

Competency Based Questions

Behavioural or competency based questions are frequently used by organisations that recruit graduates. These questions are based on the idea that your past performance will be a good predictor of your future behaviour. Application forms for graduate schemes usually have a number of questions that ask you to provide an example of how you used a specific competency in your recent past.

Example competency questions:

You will usually be given a set number of words within which you have to provide your answer. To provide a focused and succinct answer it is worthwhile using the STAR model.


Use STAR to answer competency questions:

S Situation

T Task

A Action

R Result

Remember that the organisation wants to know about your role, the action you took, and the results that you achieved.

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