Outcomes and selection process


  • Understand the elements of the Sask Polytech employee selection process.
  • Clarification of evaluation at each stage in the process.
  • Provide tools to prepare for evaluation.
  • Provide answers to your outstanding questions.

Selection process:

  1. Posting
    • Evaluate bona fide qualification
  2. Interview
    • Evaluate bona fide qualification
  3. Reference check
    • Validation of facts (*For external applicants)

Benefits of effective selection

Effective selection helps ensure effective fit of employees and roles.


  • Enters the role with skills to succeed.
  • Given a realistic job preview.
  • Encourages best use of skills.
  • Encourages commitment to role.


  • Sets up candidates for success in their role.
  • Reduces turnover and employee stress.
  • Enhances productivity.
  • Ensures candidate hired meets role requirements.

Selection process

Stage one: Application

Possible application methods

  • chronological resume (and cover letter), or
  • online application

Category of “desired qualifications” is removed.

  • Deleted entirely, or, worked into description section, duties, or listed under “helpful to this role is:” (if needed).
  • There will be no screening, testing, or questions regarding desired qualifications.

Qualifications on the posting are the basis of:

  • screening
  • testing
  • all marked interview questions
  • Competition name and number.
  • Complete contact information.
  • Declaration of equity status.
  • Clear description of education (including how your combined education and experience qualifies you).
  • Clear description of work experiences and relevance to posting.
  • Clear demonstration of meeting listed qualifications of the posting.
  • Keep resume to two pages.
  • List employment with clearly defined dates (month/year), title, type of role (term, full-time), list duties, use bullet points.
  • Link volunteer activities to requirements when possible.
  • Include three references, at least two professional and state their relationship to you (co-worker, supervisor, etc.).
  • Review tools online (How to Apply) to help you prepare.
Applications will be screened into the interview process based on:
  • Education (or equivalency per posting).
  • Recent and relevant experience.
  • Technical competencies.
    • For example:
      • Membership with a professional body.
      • Minimum technical function tested prior to interview (e.g., typing, computer applications).
      • A human resources consultant (HRC) may call to verify certain qualifications.

Stage two: Interview

  • Human resource consultant/hiring supervisor sets a time for any pre-interview testing, or will proceed directly to the interview appointment.
  • At a minimum, a hiring supervisor, union representative, and human resource consultant will be present.
  • Duration 60 - 90 minutes.
  • Can involve testing, presentations or require demonstration of skills.
  • Rapport building questions (unmarked).
  • Marked questions based on the listed qualification of the posting.
  • Dialogue: an explanation of the role by the hiring manager and an opportunity for candidates to ask questions to ensure realistic job preview.

Unmarked questions

  • Rapport building questions.
  • Break the ice, calm nerves, should be expected and generally easy to answer. The goal is to relax the candidate.
  • Clarification questions on resume or application information.
  • The human resource consultant will lead the development of the interview guide through a collaborative process involving significant input from the hiring manager.
  • All unmarked questions will be clearly and significantly related to qualifications on the current posting. Some qualifications listed will require more than one question to determine competency.
    • An example of a listed qualification that will require more than one question to determine competency:
      • Effective interpersonal, communication (oral and written), organizational and planning skills.
      • There may be three or four questions on this qualification as it is complex and compound.

Marked questions

For any qualification on the posting, any of the these types of questions may be asked during the interview.

  • Knowledge or expertise on subject: what do you know?
  • Behavioural based questions: what have you done?
  • Situational based questions: what would you do?

Knowledge or expertise questions

Response is learned through education or experience, can be studied, can be learned without doing.


  • Describe the stages of an apprenticeship program?
  • What are the basic principles and practices of adult education?

Pre-interview preparation:

  • Study the job posting to see what knowledge questions might be posed.
  • Brush up on the theory behind the practice (e.g., adult education principles).
  • Review the rationale behind what you do on a daily basis (e.g. why do you make a marketing plan a certain way?).

Format of response:

  • Outline what you know about the topic in an organized response.


  • Give yourself time to think during the interview, take notes, prepare a list before responding if necessary.

Behavioural descriptive interviewing questions

  • Is used to solicit examples from candidates that describe past events and behaviour.
  • Examples provide evidence for or against a skill.
  • Is based on the premise that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.

Response learned through work and everyday life experience, cannot study, cannot learn without doing.


  • Tell me about a time when you were challenged to communicate a difficult concept to a student.
  • Describe a time when you were busy and had to meet a tight deadline.

Pre-interview preparation:

  • Study the posting to see the required competencies of the role (e.g., instructional ability, communication skills, interpersonal skills).
  • Review your resume, volunteer activities and personal life for examples of when you have best demonstrated the skill or required behaviour. Work examples are best but other examples may fit and can be used.

Format of response:

A response is the details of a specific incident or project (one point in time).

  • Describe the Situation.
  • Describe your Task (note your role).
  • Describe your Actions.
  • Describe the Results.

If you miss an element of STAR you will be asked for more information.

Follow up questions to ensure complete response (asked by HRC):

  • S - What was the specific situation?
  • T - What was your task, your role?
  • A - What specific actions did you take?
  • R - What was the result?

Example of a behavioural descriptive question:

  • Required qualification/competency:
    • Ability to demonstrate a high level of focus on client service.
  • Question
    • Tell us about a time when you improved a process to enhance customer service.
  • Form your answer using STAR.

Follow up questions and why are they used:

1. What was the specific situation?

  • Sometime people answer in generalities, your answer needs to focus on a specific situation that occurred at one moment in time.
    • Poor response:
      • “At the bank we always treated customers well.”
    • Good response:
      • “Last year during RSP season we had a very upset client who missed the contribution deadline. I was the lead service representative. To resolve the issue I…(did/said/actions …).”

2. What was your task, your role?

  • Sometimes people describe a specific situation but it is unclear what they were personally responsible for or controlled during the example. Answers often include “we” and are general. Were you following directions or leading the team? Did you come up with the idea or was the task assigned to you?
    • Poor response:
      • “We worked on a project in 2008 to improve customer service.”
    • Good response:
      • “Last year I was in charge of our customer service process. I led a project team to develop a new process. I also outlined the process and my team was involved in developing the process details..."

3. What actions did you take?

  • Sometimes people describe a specific situation but do not clearly spell out what they did, what they said, what step-by-step actions they took, and what work they produced over the course of the example. This is the most commonly missed step of STAR, you must spell out exactly what you did, be specific, be detailed, break apart your general descriptions and describe exactly what you did.
    • Poor response:
      • “I led the team to develop a new process.”
    • Good response:
      • “During a staff meeting I presented a new process, based on a model I researched. I led a team discussion where each team member dedicated themselves to one task. followed up with one-on-one meetings to ensure they were on track. When conflict arose I...."

4. What was the result?

  • Sometimes people do not complete their response. Describing the outcome allows for more information to be shared. Was it a success? Were there road blocks or challenges you faced? If it was not a success, what happened? What would you do to ensure success next time.
    • Good response:
      • “We launched the new process in fall of 2008, each of the team members was a contact for their process area and acted as a resource for the branch. Customer feedback was very positive. One thing I learned was to let the team take credit for the new process, even though the idea was mine, it allowed them each to be champions for the project.”
    • Another good response:
      • “We launched the new process in fall of 2008. The launch did not go very smoothly because I had not thought of putting supports in place for the branch staff to ensure they understood the new expectations. To fix this I assigned my team members to be resources for the areas they had developed. After this glitch the launch was successful."


  • During your preparation for the interview, note experiences you have had that are related to each qualification stated on the job posting, take these notes into the interview with you. Notes will look like examples of times you want to mention, not detailed written examples.
  • Remember examples can come from employment, community or personal experience.
  • Note times of significant success or significant learning, these often make the best examples.
  • After each question take time to think before responding. If you cannot recall an appropriate situation or example, ask to come back to the question at the end of the interview.
  • Use “I” instead of “we”.
  • Prepare using the online tools.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Situational questions

  • Response is learned through education, experience, or observation, can be studied, can be learned without doing.


  • What would you do if you had a conflict with a colleague?
  • How would you market a training course to employers?

Pre-interview preparation:

  • Review the posting and brainstorm what situations you will face in the new role, talk to position incumbents to see what challenges they face, evaluate what you would do when faced with these challenges.

Format of response:

  • Outline what actions you would take, what you would say and consider and who you would involve.


  • Give yourself time to think during the interview, if the question is complicated outline your answer on paper before responding, it helps to discuss why you would proceed with your actions.
  • Your response is evaluated against a list of expected responses (marked 0-5).
  • Expected responses are generated from the hiring supervisors, competencies noted in the job description, and from time-to-time other resources.
  • All information provided during the interview will be considered at the time of marking. For example if you provide excellent support for valuing diversity in a questions concerning instructional technique that can be evaluated for the valuing diversity competency.
  • Cross referencing of answers for marking will be done in the presence of the union observer, with opportunity for the whole panel to suggest where cross reference is appropriate. After the marking is completed, there will be no further opportunity to cross reference answers.