Limerick Institute of Technology
Ensure you understand exactly what you are applying for
Write nothing until you have prepared thoroughly– your application form has to show
an employer that you have thought about how your abilities and interests match the
needs of the particular job you are applying for.
Ask yourself, "What is the company really looking for?" Most companies will describe
what they are looking for in their brochures and advertisements. Use this as a guide
when formulating your answers. When answering a question always ask: Why are they
asking this question? What do they need to know?
Follow all instructions as they are given - failing to follow simple instructions will not
send out a positive message.
Many application forms are designed to test your ability to pick out key points of
information. When you first look at the form, the spaces provided for your answers
may not look big enough. Application forms are designed for this purpose. If you are
given a small space for your work experience then this really is all of the information
that they want.
Don’t write a set of standard answers for every application.
Do use specific examples to demonstrate your skills. A generic response such as. "I am
a self motivated, enthusiastic team player. I work effectively to tight deadline and
possess excellent interpersonal skills." means very little unless backed up with specific
Under ‘Work History’ jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order by job title,
employers’ names and locations - there is no need to give the full addresses.
Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Always keep a copy of your form - to help prepare for the interview.
If applying online expect to have your form screened for key words. Be aware of the
skills and qualities required and use concrete words to describe them to ensure your
application is screened for further consideration
What NOT to write
Do not write anything negative. Keep the tone positive.
Don't lie on your form! Results etc will be checked at offer stage and the offer will be
subject to your application being correct and honest.
Don't exaggerate on the application form as whatever you write about you will be
expected to talk about in an interview.
Application form Questions & Answers:
The best way to answer questions on application forms is to use the three-step STAR process
Situation or Task - Describe the situation you were in or the task you had been assigned
Action -Describe the action YOU took, the suggestions YOU made, the obstacles YOU
Result - Highlight the positive result that was achieved as a result of your actions.
For example, you could explain about a specific time when communication broke down within
your project group (situation). To resolve the problem, you scheduled informal meetings for
people to discuss relevant issues (action). Morale then improved, as did the lines of
communication and you came in the Top 5 in the class (result).
Sample Answers to Application Form Questions
Leadership: 'Describe a position of leadership you have held and what you achieved in the
Sample answer: (Situation/Task )I was elected PR Officer for the Tennis Club in my second
year of College. At that time the tennis Club had 30 members and played once a month. My
objective was to double the number of members and increase the frequency of the matches.
(Action) In order to achieve the membership targets I raised the profile of the club by
designing and displaying posters throughout the College, visiting classes to promote the club,
setting up a stand in the main atrium and promoting the club to students passing by. Within
two months I had increased the membership to 70. Once this had been achieved I set about
increasing the number of matches, I negotiated with the tennis club regarding rates, secured
mini bus slots for transport and set up a weekly email system to ensure all members were
informed of matches. (Result )We now have a membership of 85 almost triple the original
number and are one of the most active clubs in LIT. As a result of this we have been
nominated for “Most improved Club/Society” at LIT’s Clubs and Societies Awards.
Planning & Organising: Describe a situation where you successfully organised an event? '
Sample Answer: (Situation)As a member of the GIVE Initiative in Limerick Institute of
Technology, I was responsible for organising a day activities for children in inner city schools
at the end of the year. My objective was to hold an all day event with a timetable of sporting
activities, lunch and spot prizes. (Action) In order to plan the event I designed an Excel
spreadsheet with key dates and contact details, I also contacted local businesses for
sponsorship, negotiated with LIT suppliers and secured sponsorship for lunch. I designed a
poster and visited the schools, promoting the day to the students highlighting the activities
and prizes. I formulated a timetable of events and put a contingency plan in place in case of
bad weather. (Result) The event was full to capacity and feedback in relation to the
organisation, activities, lunch and prizes was excellent. As a result the society has committed
to running the event annually.
Skills Gained: "What do you do in your spare time? Please highlight any positions of
responsibility held and describe any skills you have developed which would be relevant to your
Sample Answer In 2 year I set up the “XXX” Society. Setting up the society developed my
skills in project management, communication, time management, negotiation, selling and
reaching targets. I set myself specific targets and timeframes in terms of membership
numbers, membership funds, organized events and fundraising targets. I promoted the
society at every opportunity – via posters, stands and class visits. Within a month I had
reached my targeted number of members and within 4 months the membership had doubled.
Once I had sufficient members I organised an “xxx” fundraising event. This involved
negotiating with venues regarding hiring charges, selling tickets and approaching and
persuading local businesses to donate. The “XXX” Society is now one of the most active
societies in the College and we were nominated for and won “Best New Society” in the Clubs
& Societies Awards 2006.
What are your interests outside work or study? Include any positions of responsibility you
Questions relating to your interests and activities help distinguish you from other candidates.
When answering the question try to demonstrate how you have shown initiative or
competence in clubs/societies/sporting activities etc. Rather than just listing your interests sell
them by highlighting any special effort you have put in or achievements.
Sample Application Form Questions
BDO Simpson Xavier
• Do you anticipate achieving a 2.1 or above for your degree (or have you already
achieved this result)?
• Please explain circumstances surrounding any fail or pass results you have achieved
during your time at college
• Choosing from any vacation/part time/full time employment describe a problem
(scenario) that you encountered, how you overcame it and what you learned from the
• Please describe what influenced your decision to apply to the accountancy profession.
What other careers have you considered?
• Explain how your personal qualities and abilities could help you to become a successful
• Why would you choose a career with BDO Simpson Xavier above other business &
• Please list any positions of responsibility (eg, class prefect, team captain, etc).
• Please give any additional information which you consider relevant (e.g. achievements,
• Please give details of
- Hobbies & Interests
- Club/Society membership
- Brief details of recent travel abroad that lasted for 4 weeks or longer
• Please list all subjects taken in each year including final year, indicating any subjects
repeated and the results for each attempt. Official confirmation of examination results
will be required at a later date.
• Please describe interests and leisure pursuits including positions of responsibility
• Please indicate any full-time, part-time or voluntary positions held.
• Why are you choosing accountancy/taxation/consulting as a career?
• Tell us about a time you worked within a group. Describe your role within that group
and outline the end result
• When considering an application we like to gain a broad appreciation of your abilities
and achievements. Please provide us with any further information about yourself that you
feel will help us with our assessment
• What has prompted you to apply for a position with KPMG? Include in your answer
experiences or people who have influenced you in making this decision.
• Describe a position of responsibility you have held, the challenges you faced and what
You learned from the experience.
• Using a company of your choice, explain why you believe it has been successful or
• Describe any personal interests you have pursued. Which has given you the greatest
sense of achievement?
Briefly describe a situation where you set out to achieve something and reached your
goal. (max 250 words)
Briefly describe a situation in which you had to influence people and overcome
objections to your viewpoint. (max 250 words)
Why do you think you are suited to the career you have chosen? (max 250 words)
How do you see your career developing over the next five years? (max 250 words)
Please list your main extra-curricular interests and activities. Outline, where
appropriate, your personal contribution to them and any relevant achievements
obtained. (max 250 words)
If there were any special circumstances during your secondary or third level education
which resulted in you obtaining lower grades than expected, please indicate them
(max 250 words)
• Interests and Leisure Activities: Include hobbies, sports, travel, membership of clubs,
societes. Provide examples of any positions of responsibility you have held at
school/college/university, etc (max 150 words)*
• Please summarise your career aspirations and your reasons for applying for a position
within the Food Industry. What research have you done for your application? What else do
you want to know and why?
• Describe a time when you were proactive in seeking responsibility for a task or activity.
What were you trying to achieve? How did you know you were doing the right thing?
• Describe a time when you simply had too much to do and you needed help. What did you
do? How did you feel at the time?
• What else would you like to us to know about you in support of your application? (Max 100
• Please give details of your employment history including dates, employer and
responsibilities. (100 words or less)
• Please give information on any 'gap' years you have taken and what you did during this
(100 words or less)
• Please write a short paragraph on your career aspirations together with your strengths and
development needs in relation to these aspirations.
• Please outline your non-academic achievements, giving an indication of your level of
involvement, including any positions of responsibility. For example: hobbies, interests, sports,
• Please state why the career choice you have selected is appropriate for you and why you
have selected Musgrave.
• Please state what are you doing now
• What is it, we at Musgrave will like about you?
Website Links to Sample Questions & Answers:
Edinburgh University – Sample Application form questions and answers- Examples of Weak
and Strong Answers
Abrams & Smith Publishing- Problem Solving/Customer Service Good and Bad Answer}
University of Kent: Using the Star Approach to Answer Situational Questions
University of Ulster: Sample Questions and Answers
University of Teeside: Questions and Guideline Answers