Interviews can be a daunting experience for many. This guidance has been developed in order to help shortlisted candidates understand the process and be confident and well prepared when arriving for an interview at Dorset Council.

Before the interview

You should confirm your attendance at interview as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend, or wish to discuss the possibility of securing an alternative time slot, please contact the recruiting manager stated on your invitation.

  • prepare as much as possible for the interview. This will provide you with confidence and ensure your experience will be a more positive one and will assist the panel to make the right employment decision and find the right person for the job
  • the questions you will be asked will be linked directly to the person specification, so please read it once again before you attend the interview. You will be able to access this by referring to the advert details from your Recruit dashboard
  • familiarise yourself with the behaviours framework which you will need to be able to demonstrate through the way you work
  • please make sure you know where and when your interview will be held
  • please make sure you familiarise yourself with the route accounting for traffic allowing time to find a car parking
  • bring your invite to interview letter with your right to work documentation, and any other documents requested in your interview invitation
  • prepare any questions you may want to ask at the interview and, if necessary, write these down  
  • when you arrive, please let the receptionist know

The selection panel

Normally, you will be interviewed by two or three trained panellists. Your invitation to attend an interview will, where possible, give you the names and job titles of those on the interview panel.

Some interviews may include a work-based assessment or a short presentation or case study, details of which will be outlined in your letter of invitation.

Equal opportunities

We are an equal opportunities employer and our recruitment and selection process and practices are based on the principles of providing everyone with the same opportunities. All candidates will be provided with the same information and the same recruitment and selection process.

Reasonable adjustments will be put in place for those candidates who are disabled, upon their request.

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, please advise us when confirming your attendance in order for us to make reasonable adjustments to best accommodate your needs.

The interview

Relax, be confident and enjoy!

If you have been offered an interview, it means that you have already been successful at the first stage of the selection process, and been selected from a number of applicants.

The interview panel will be aware that often candidates will be nervous, this is understandable because interviews are not something people do every day and it is important to do it well. The panel will take this into account, they are trained and experienced and will do all they can to ensure it is not a poor experience.

During your interview

  • if you are nervous, take time to clear your mind and concentrate on your breathing in a quiet place before arriving
  • make yourself comfortable
  • if you are unsure about any aspect of the job, for example, the terms and conditions, take the opportunity given to you at the end of the interview to ask the panel questions
  • listen carefully to the questions being asked, if you do not understand, then do not be afraid to ask them to repeat the question

After the interview

At the conclusion of your interview you will be told when to expect to be informed on the outcome.

If you are the successful candidate you will be contacted, by telephone, and offered the position. The offer of employment will be subject to certain pre-employment clearances, depending on the position you are being appointed to.


We would appreciate any feedback from your experience. If there are any comments or suggestions for improvements that you would like to make following your interview, please send them to us at

Thank you for taking the time to complete your application and for preparing for an interview.

We would like to wish you all the very best and we look forward to meeting you.

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