Application process FAQ's

As you consider working for the University, you may have some questions about the application process

All correspondence regarding recruitment activity is issued through our online recruitment platform- please ensure you regularly check your spam filters/folders when checking for updates.

Please look through the FAQs below and if further help is needed, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.

Registration & login

How do I register for an account with the University of Birmingham?

From the Current Vacancies page use the ‘Register Button’ under the login section. Complete your basic details, including your email address. We recommend that you use a personal email address rather than a work one for job applications.

Why do I have to register to apply for a job?

Registration is important to ensure that potential site users are aware of the Terms Of Use for the Website, how we use your data and our retention policy.

It also provides access to a personalised area of the website, 'My Applications', which enables you to easily manage your applications with the University.

  • Submitted applications are automatically saved and are available for printing
  • You can monitor the progress of your application
  • Once you have submitted your first application, it becomes available to re-use as a basis for future applications, which means that you will not need to re-enter all of your personal information again.

All information is held securely and cannot be viewed by the shortlisting panel or Human Resources staff until you have submitted your application.

I have forgotten my password, what can I do?

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it by using the Reset Password link on the registration page. This will take 24 hrs to reset.

Why is my email address rejected by the registration process?

If your email address is being rejected when you try to register on this website, this is usually because our system has identified that the email address in question already exists.

It could be that you have previously successfully registered on our system but have either forgotten, or did not realise your registration was successful at the time.

If you think this is the case you will simply need to reset your password to gain access to your account.

My login email address/password doesn't work

In order to access your online account you need to supply your email address and password so that the system can authenticate and confirm you are who you say you are and that you have access to the details you will be trying to retrieve.

Therefore your email address and password must exactly match the information we have held in our system.

The most common reasons for not being able to login are because you have either entered your email address, password or both incorrectly. Check to make sure that the information you supplied is correct and remember that the passwords are case sensitive.

If you know that your email address is correct and you simply can't remember your password, you may follow the procedure for resetting your password.

Please note that if you do not login to your account for 12 months then your account will be deleted and you will need to re-create it if you wish to apply for jobs again.

I have a new email address, how do I change my login?

If you have changed your email address and no longer have access to the email address you used to register, please contact workhere@bham.ac.uk with details of your old and new email addresses.

Applications

General information

Why do I have to complete an application form?

All applicants are required to apply for vacancies by completing an application form. A CV may be submitted to supplement the information provided in the application form. 

Using an application form ensures that all applicants provide the information in the same format, which helps the selection panel easily compare the applications that they receive. 

Once you have submitted an application to the University, the information you have input will then be available for you to use for any future applications.

I am applying for more than one job, do I need to fill out a separate application form?

For every post advertised you must ensure that you complete a separate application form and provide us with a CV that is tailored to the skills and experience required for the post.

Can I apply to a vacancy that is for internal applicants only if I work for the University as a temp via an agency?

Individuals employed and paid by 3rd party suppliers are external to the University and should apply as an external candidate when a vacancy is open to all.

I do not meet all of the criteria for a post I am interested in, should I still apply?

The University of Birmingham has a broad range of vacancies and career opportunities, some are more general and some are very specialist.

As an equal opportunity employer we encourage applicants to apply demonstrating as much evidence as possible against the criteria. Where gaps are identified flexibility may be applied by the hiring manager.

It is key to use the application form as an opportunity to really sell your experience, key achievements and outputs.

Can I contact the hiring manager detailed in the advert prior to submitting my application?

To obtain as much information about the vacancy as possible and to assess your suitability, we encourage direct contact with hiring managers. Their preferred method of contact will be detailed in the advert.

I am interested in working for the University, is there a way I can be alerted to job opportunities?

Job opportunities at the University may arise at any time of the year and so you may like to be alerted when we are advertising a particular type of role. Job alerts can be set up at time of registration on the recruitment system.

Can I submit a speculative CV for when appropriate roles become available?

Due to the volume of interest we receive, we are unable to accept directly emailed CVs, we would encourage applicants to complete our online application form for any vacancy of interest.

You may also wish to consider registering for our free job alert emails to notify you when relevant vacancies are available.

Completing the form

When is the cut-off for submitting applications?

All vacancies close at midnight (UK Time) on the closing date stated. To ensure we treat all applicants fairly vacancies cannot be re-opened for late applications.

I have made some mistakes on my application form - how can I correct them?

Unfortunately, once you have submitted your application form online you cannot change your details. If you have submitted an application in error, please contact workhere@bham.ac.uk and we will remove your application from the vacancy, allowing you to re-apply. 

Is it essential to complete the full application form if I have uploaded my CV?

The application form requires details relating to your three most recent roles and therefore a CV is a good way to provide a supplementary overview of your full career history.  

You should detail your most recent employer first within your application form.

We utilise screening and criteria questions as part of the application form process so that we can fully assess your experience fairly and transparently. Please ensure you compete the application form in full and provide evidence against each question stated and give an overview of your experience in relation to the person specification.

I am applying to multiple posts, can I use the same application form and CV?

It is advisable to tailor each application to the post that you are applying for, taking into account the person specification and role requirements.

How long should I spend preparing my application form before submitting it?

Allow plenty of time to complete your application form to ensure you present the best version of your experience. By allowing yourself ample preparation time you will avoid mistakes, grammatical errors and technical challenges.

The recruitment portal allows you to save your content, edit it and re-visit it at a later date.

You may also wish to prepare your evidence in MS Word first and then transfer it into the application form when you are content it is ready for submission. This will also allow you to ensure you are within the permitted word count.

It also advisable to ask a peer to review your application prior to submission.

Who should I provide as my referees?

Your referees must be able to assess your suitability for the post. 

One of the nominated referees should be a manager from your current or most recent employment. If you have just completed full-time education, your course tutor, or other academic staff member familiar with your work, could be selected. Family members or personal friends should not be named as referees. 

Do I have to complete the diversity monitoring as part of the application form?

We encourage you to complete the form as it allows us to review our statistics across our recruitment campaigns and ensure that we are attracting, offering and retaining a diverse range of candidates creating a fair and transparent process.

All monitoring forms are confidential and are not utilised as part of the application.

Next steps

Can you tell me if you have received my application?

Once you submit your application you will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt. 

How long does the shortlisting process take and when will I receive an update regarding my application?

The University aims to update candidates within 4- 6 weeks on the progress of an application. If you have not heard back from us during this time please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

How will I know if I have been shortlisted?

If you are successful in your application you will be shortlisted for assessment/interview and you will be able to see this by logging into your account and reviewing your application status. You will also receive an email advising of next steps.

Can I receive feedback at application stage if I have been unsuccessful?

Due to the volume of applications we receive we are unable to provide feedback at application stage. However anyone who has attended an interview or assessment centre will receive feedback.

Contact us

If I have a query how do I contact the recruitment team?

The recruitment team at the University can be contacted via our email: workhere@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Interviews

I am a new starter/candidate due to join/interview at the University, how will I know if anything has changed?

Candidates currently progressing through a recruitment or new starter process with any questions should contact the appropriate hiring/line manager directly.

How soon after the interview will I know the outcome?

This depends on the panel, how many days the interviews are spread over and how many candidate are being seen.

Outcomes of interviews are made available by email and status updates within the our recruitment system, you are encouraged to log in and check here first.

Virtual Interviews

The University remains committed to recruitment and will explore all alternatives to ensure fair and transparent selection activity can continue whether we are on or off campus.

We know there is a huge amount of advice available on the best way to prepare for a virtual interview and during these unprecedented times we want to ensure you have the best support available to prepare you for yours.

Below is a summary of things to consider:

1. Be present – remember to switch off your phone and silence any notifications to avoid distractions.

2. Connectivity – if joining from home and relying on Wi-Fi you may want to schedule a time when you are the only person in your household using the connection to limit the risk of slow bandwidth.

3. Trial run – call a friend using the software you will use at your interview and assess the camera angle and height to ensure your head and shoulders are framed in view, and the lighting to ensure you can be seen by the panel.

4. Background visuals – consider using the ‘Blur Your Own Background’ function available on some video software. Irrespective of whether your surroundings are immaculate or cluttered, you don’t want that to be a distraction.

5. Look the part – this is a business meeting and business dress appropriate to the role is essential. You may have to stand up to attend to an interruption and will want to be appropriately dressed at all times.

6. Build rapport –  if this is a panel interview, someone will chair the meeting and introduce themselves and each panel member to welcome you. Try to engage with your interviewers just as you would in a face-to-face meeting.

7. Body language – eye contact is important in every interview. Looking your interviewers in the eye and addressing each one individually when responding to questions is critical, just as it is during a face-to-face interview. Looking at the centre of your screen appears to give the best eye contact. Most of the virtual meeting providers offer split screens for separate participants; acknowledge each interviewer with engaging body language.

8. Pause – there is often a delay with virtual meetings, so listen to the questions and discussion and pause rather than trying to answer immediately. It also gives you some thinking time.

9. Technology – sometimes it lets us down. Try to relax and stay calm if something isn’t working quite right. Explain the issue you are experience and explain if you need to turn your device off and then on again.

10. Be yourself – as with face-to-face interviews, potential employers want to see the real you and your personality, so ask those burning questions, explore if the role is right for you and remember to thank your interviewer(s) for their time. 

Independent Panel Members

The University of Birmingham is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and inclusiveness underpins everything we do, and we are proud of the strengths and values our diversity represents.

Our people are critical to our success and our recruitment processes are key to ensuring we hire the very best people to join our teams.

We aim to achieve fair, equal and transparent representation for all, throughout our recruitment process and in particular during the interview stages.

We actively encourage diverse interview panel composition to demonstrate the breadth of career paths, experience and diversity across our campus, and ensure fair consideration of all interviewees.

One of our requirements is that wherever operationally possible, interview panels have at least one independent representative from our BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff network group.

These panel members will:

  • Complete all mandatory recruitment and selection training prior to attending any interview panels;
  • Have access to all available recruitment information (e.g. the application form, job descriptions, results of tests) to ensure they are appropriately prepared;
  • Contribute to the discussion on individual candidates in the context of the person specification and role criteria;
  • Challenge any assertions which cannot be supported by evidence;
  • Score and rank candidates using the agreed procedure.

Our interview panels aim to make you feel at ease and offer you the opportunity to present your skills and experience in the best way possible.

To find out more about our staff networks please click here.

What support is available if I require reasonable adjustments for my interview?

Creating an inclusive environment that welcomes applicants with a disability is key to ensuring we have a diverse and effective workforce.

Should you require reasonable adjustments for an interview you are due to attend, in the first instance please contact the hiring manager detailed on the advertisement.

In the absence of a hiring manager, contact the recruitment team at least 3 days in advance of the interview date at workhere@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

New starters

I am a new starter/candidate due to join/interview at the University, how will I know if anything has changed?

Candidates currently progressing through a recruitment or new starter process with any questions should contact the appropriate hiring/line manager directly.

What support is available if I require reasonable adjustments once I join you?

The University utilises the Access to Work scheme to ensure new joiners are fully supported for their employee journey with us. More information about Access to Work can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Advertising external vacancies

Are you able to advertise our student vacancies on your website?

Vacancies for external parties can be advertised via our Careers Network department.

 

For more information

Contact your Recruitment Team on 0121 415 9000 or email workhere@contacts.bham.ac.uk.  You will be able to speak to your dedicated Recruitment Adviser about all of your specific recruitment needs.