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How to Excel at Application Forms – Stakeholder Engagement

I didn’t get an interview because they already had someone else lined up for the job.

This is one of the regular excuses we hear from people who are telling us about a time they didn’t get an interview for a job they wanted. This really only serves the purpose of enabling them to avoid accountability and blame a perceived higher authority for their lack of achievement and, I suppose, is a coping mechanism of sorts for many.

You may not  get offered a role because ‘they’ preferred another candidate, but the reason that you don’t get an interview is for one of two reasons;

  1. You are applying for a job that you don’t have the necessary experience for and therefore your application form isn’t good enough, or;
  2. Your application form isn’t good enough as you haven’t articulated your experience clearly.

Fear not however, we continue our look into application form answers with an outline of what a good stakeholder engagement answer looks like.

This question will usually be framed like this; “Please demonstrate your experience in working with a variety of different groups to achieve an agreed outcome” or “outline how you built a consensus with various parties”

The priority here is to use a relevant example where you have different groups involved, ie at least 3 or more, that actually have different points of view or positions on an issue. Using an example where you brought a couple of fellow directors round to your way of thinking is more of an influencing answer and is not as comprehensive as one which involves different groups; ie a leadership team, staff group, service users, funding organisation etc.

Firstly put the example in context, state the issue, the goal and, crucially, the various views or positions of the different groups.

Now simply talk through the HOW you gathered their opinions and identified areas of common ground.  This should include how you conveyed a compelling vision or objective.

You will also need to outline the issues and objections that you faced and HOW you overcame them. This is likely to include some information on how you managed the various relationships within and between the parties involved.

You should be able to reference how you directed the actions and activities toward the goals or objectives and how you measured the performance or eventual outcome as successful.

A top answer will also include how you analysed the various issues to prioritise the different opinions and how you dealt with those who might have felt they lost some ground. If you have the space you can include any learnings that you would or have employed in the future.

Finally, your answer should demonstrate throughout, how you created a focus for others, how you managed the various stakeholders and motivated them all toward achieving the objective.

This will convey your skill at building constructive working relationships and should portray you as a positive example and a role model within your organisation.

Crucially it will, at least in part, go some way to getting you into the interview for that job you want.

The “How to Excel at Application Forms” series will culminate in a webinar on the 16th of December 2020, where we will go through each topic in more detail. If you would like to register your interest in this webinar, please click here.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how to excel at application forms, please click here. A member of our team will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

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How to Excel at Application Forms – Stakeholder Engagement
How to Excel at Application Forms – Stakeholder Engagement
How to Excel at Application Forms – Stakeholder Engagement