Helpful Tips

Regardless of the office to which you are applying, here are some helpful tips to bear in mind when completing the self assessment part of your application form or preparing for interview.

1) Tips on how to complete the Self Assessment section of your Application Form
We recommend that you thoroughly research the office for which you are applying.
  • Speak to others about their experience of the office you are interested in.
  • Read the relevant Judicial Profile on our website.
  • Take time to seriously consider your own knowledge and experience and about how it is relevant to the judicial office.
Having considered the best examples/evidence to demonstrate your suitability for the judicial office, begin to refine them against the Judicial Qualities required for the office to which you are applying. Aim for a clear structure for each of your examples
The following structure may assist:
S - T - A - R
Situation Briefly outline the situation – to give context.
Task  State what you were trying to achieve.
Action  What action did you take?Explain what you did, how you did it, andwhy you did it. What did you actually do? What was your contribution and role?
Result  Describe the result. What happened and what did you learn? Did you achieve what you set out to do? What difficulties and challenges did you face? Did you have to adapt your approach to achieve your goal?

The Examples of Criteria and Answers aims to provide applicants with a better understanding of what is required when completing the self- assessment section of the application form.  It looks at different fictitious applicants’ answers and assesses them to decide whether they encourage the selection panel to invite the applicant to interview.

2) Invited for interview?
This stage of the process provides an opportunity to demonstrate the appropriate level of legal knowledge and competence for the office to which you are applying by completing a case study, followed by a competency based interview. You will find examples of previous Case Studies on our website.
During the interview, Panel members will ask questions directly relating to the Judicial Qualities for appointment, inviting further evidence and specific examples in relation to each.
You should expect the interview to be a mix of both competency based and hypothetical situation questions.
Competency based questions will concentrate on what you have done. These questions are asked because they rely on the premise that past behaviour is an indicator of future performance.
Hypothetical questions will involve asking what you would do in a given situation.
3) Tips to preparing for the Case Study In Advance
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the documentation provided to you in advance.
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant case law and legislation.
4) On the day
  • Managing your time effectively will be very important.
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Allocate an appropriate amount of time to read the documentation provided to you on the day (if applicable).
  • Allocate an appropriate amount of time to prepare your response.
5) Tips to preparing for the interview
  • Read your application.
  • Familiarise yourself with the required Judicial Qualities
  • Identify examples from your past experience which you can use to demonstrate that you possess the qualities that you are being asked to demonstrate.
  • If you lack direct experience, what else can you tell the panel that demonstrates your potential to fulfil the office?
  • Anticipate questions the panel may ask.
  • Practice your responses using the STAR technique.
  • Consider what follow-up or probing questions the panel may ask in response to your answers.
6) Interview questions
Questions are aimed at assessing the Judicial Qualities
Do expect probing questions in follow up to your answers. Questions are often framed to open a topic for further exploration.
Typical sample questions
Personal characteristics 
Tell us about a time when you have had to use moral courage.
Case management skills and efficiency 
What deadlines do you have to deal with most commonly in your present role? How do you successfully achieve them?
Communication skills  
How does the judge use her/his communication skills to demonstrate that s/he is ‘in charge’ in the Court?
The Law Society offers a free 'competency based selection process' CPD event, available for members and non-members; for information on the event and instructions on how to register, please click here.
Associated downloadable documents: