In this section, you'll find information about our application process, including how to send your application and preparing for an interview.

Applying for a vacancy

Is the closing date flexible?

Applications close at 23:59 on the job advert's closing date. If you experience technical difficulties submitting your application please contact recruitment@sds.co.uk or call 0300 013 5119 (call charges apply).

How do I apply?

All applications are made through our jobs portal.  To apply, search for a vacancy and follow the onscreen instructions to create a profile and complete your application.

I've not attached details of my qualifications or referees. Can I still submit my application?

Yes, you can. We’ll still need copies of your qualifications and referee details if an offer is made following the interview process.

When will I hear if I've been invited to interview?

We will keep you informed at every stage of the process and if there is a considerable delay we will contact you to let you know.

Preparing for your interview

How can I prepare for an SDS competency based interview?

All interviews at SDS follow a competency-based framework, sometimes known as evidence-based interviewing. Before your interview, you’ll be told which competencies are most relevant to the role you have applied for.

During the interview, you will be expected to use examples of past work. You should spend time reflecting on your best work achievements over recent times – you can also use evidence from outside work if you feel it better demonstrates your competency in a particular area. However, it is generally better to use work-based evidence where you can.

The interviewer will score your answers against the competencies of the job you’ve applied for. Interviewers will also take into account your suitability for that specific team and wider organisation. Some interviews may have additional assessment criteria where you’ll need to evidence a technical skill or knowledge needed to do the role.

As all interviewees for the same post are asked the same non-discriminatory questions, it ensures fairness and consistency in the selection process.

To help you prepare, we’ve created some guides:

Can I view the job description after the closing date?

You can review the job description by logging into your account and clicking on application history. You’ll find the job description under ‘documents’.

I'm unable to attend the interview on the date given. Is it possible to request a different interview date?

In exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the recruitment panel, we will try to provide you with an alternative date. Email recruitment@sds.co.uk or call 0300 013 5119 (call charges apply) and ask to speak to the resourcing team.

Do you reimburse interview travel expenses? 

Unfortunately, we are unable to reimburse travel expenses.

Can I ask for reasonable adjustments to be made during my interview (applies to candidates applying under the Disability Confident Initiative)?

Yes, you can email recruitment@sds.co.uk or call 0300 013 5119 (call charges apply) and ask to speak to the resourcing team.

What to expect after your interview

I've had an interview. How long will it be before I hear the outcome?

We’ll try to let you know within one week of the final interview. Sometimes interviews are spread over a period of time and it may take a little longer. If considerable delays are expected we’ll let you know.

Is it possible to have feedback on my application?

We try our best to provide feedback following review of your application. However, if we receive a large number of applicants then this isn't always possible.

If you want to request feedback from your interview please email recruitment@sds.co.uk 

Career Adviser Interview Guidance

Should I apply for every vacancy that is advertised? 

We ask that applicants use good judgement when applying for roles. You need to be able to commit to the geographical location and the development plan we offer Careers Advisers You are welcome to apply for vacancies you believe are suitable and manageable for you in terms of commute, however, we cannot guarantee that you will be offered an interview as the volume of applications varies between regions. 

Is it possible to receive feedback on my application?  

We try our best to provide feedback following review of your application. However, if we receive a large number of applicants then this isn't always possible. We ask that if you receive developmental feedback regarding the quality of your application that you review your application and make necessary improvements before reapplying.  

I’ve had an interview, when will I hear the outcome?  

We’ll try to let you know within one week of the final interview. Sometimes interviews are spread over a period of time and it may take a little longer. If considerable delays are expected, we’ll let you know. 

I have been advised that I met benchmark following my recent interview. What does this mean? 

Meeting benchmark means that you have scored sufficiently well to achieve the required standard for the role of Careers Adviser.  We will retain these scores for a period of three months dating from your last interview. If you apply for a vacancy within this three-month period you will not be required to repeat the initial interview process, you will instead be invited to a second stage interview.  Your scores and interview paperwork will be shared with the interview panel. Once this three-month period has lapsed you will be required to undertake the full interview process. 

What can I expect at second interview stage? 

At second stage interview you’ll be assessed against two competencies (details of which will be provided) and the interview will last approximately 30 minutes. The paperwork and scores from your previous interview will be shared with the interview panel.  

How many times can I interview? 

If we note that you have interviewed on three or more occasions and have not demonstrated improvement between interviews we will advise that you take a period of 3 months to reflect on the feedback provided and work on developing your skill set in the hope that this will enhance the content of your answers.