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Tips for Finding Employment

Understanding Job-Competency Modeling


What is a Competency?

A competency is an integration of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, attitudes, and personal characteristics that allow an individual to perform successfully on the job.


Picture of Job Competencies graph


The implication of the Iceberg Model is that the lower levels of the pyramid drive the higher levels, implying that the traditional knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are merely a tip of the iceberg in assessing and predicting an individual’s potential for successful performance.


What are Competency Proficiency Levels?

A continuum of proficiency (mastery) exists for every competency. In order to determine the required level of competency proficiency required for any on give job and properly measure one’s proficiency with respect to the competencies required for successful job performance, it is imperative to operationally define the proficiency levels in accordance with the standards set forth in the Uniform Selection Guidelines (1974).


What is a Job-Competency Model?

A job-competency profile is set of competencies generally ranging from 5 to 15 that have been identified by job incumbents and those that supervise the positions to be essential for effective performance on the job in question.


Competency-Based HR Management

Creating job competency profiles provides the organization and its employees with numerous benefits. In order to achieve optimal organizational results, an organization must strive to develop an integrated human resource management system. To do so, competency models serve as a foundation for human resource management functions including recruitment, selection, and performance management, training, and securing highly productive workforce overtime.



Job descriptions are a basic tool in communicating to organizational members the specific duties, responsibilities, and competencies that are required for successful performance on the job both at job-entry and at full-performance level. By being a complete description including competencies, the job description is a more useful tool for communicating job duties to candidates, serving as a tangible guidepost for employees by providing greater role clarity and a well defined level of performance expectation based on competency proficiency levels made visible on the job description.



Using competencies in recruitment can be as simple as including a list and a brief description of the required competencies in the job posting, providing important information to the candidates both in terms of what the organization expects of its employees and for candidates to self-select for jobs that match their set of competencies based on self-assessment.


Selection & Testing

It is important to ensure that those selected for a job meet not just the minimum technical requirements, but also have the essential "soft skills" (e.g. relationship building, teamwork, communication, etc...) that are vital to sustain successful performance on the job overtime. Creating a competency-based interview question bank and developing competency-based validated selection measures will enable an organization to better predict the success of job candidates on the job.


Training & Development

A conceptualization of a competency is that it is observable, measurable, and can be learned to achieve desired performance levels. Hence, an assessment and evaluation of competency proficiency levels either during a selection interview or as part of performance management process can be used to identify appropriate developmental training opportunities necessary to achieve desired competency proficiency levels.


Career & Workforce Planning

Job Competency Profiles are also critical in the workforce planning initiatives for those organizations that anticipate future vacancies and can subsequently strategically identify and train individuals that can successfully fill the vacancies without a noticeable disturbance in the organization's functioning. Also, on the individual level, such profiles can be used to develop career paths by making known the competency requirements and expectations for different positions in the organizational hierarchy.

How to Take a Multiple Choice Test


  • Prepare yourself by understanding the structure of a multiple-choice test and how to approach these types of exams. By carefully reading each question and answer choices offered, you can increase your chances of performing well on any multiple-choice test you take.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the test and eat before arriving for the test. Feeling rested and eating a balanced diet will go a long way in relieving pre-test jitters.
  • Allow plenty of time to travel to the location where you will be taking the test. If you are not sure where the test location is, try to drive there the day before to familiarize yourself with the area. It is important to plan for traffic, accidents, etc. Once the test begins, you will not be allowed to take the examination. It is your responsibility to arrive on time as make-up sessions will likely not be offered.
  • All of the test items are multiple choice. They are designed to have only one answer. If more than one answer seems correct, choose the choice that you believe is the best.
  • Read all of the directions carefully.
  • Read each question completely before answering it.
  • It is in your best interest to answer all of the questions to the best of your ability. Your score will be based on the number of correct answers.
  • For most tests, there is a set time limit for the entire test. You do not need to complete the questions in order. Before beginning the test, look it over and see what order would be best for you to work in. Would it be better to begin with the section you find the most difficult or to begin with the easiest? For some people, answering the easy questions first is a time saver and a confidence builder.
  • Occasionally check to make sure your scantron answer sheet is correct and corresponds to the question you are on. We ask that you do not write on the actual test booklets and no responses marked on the test booklets will be scored.
  • Occasionally check the clock. Typically, all questions are scored the same regardless of difficulty; do not spend too much time on any one question.
  • Plan your time so that you may complete the examination within the time allowed. You will be told how long you have to complete the test before you begin. You will also be instructed when to start and stop.
  • Interpret words according to their generally accepted meanings.
  • If you get stuck on a question, don’t get worried and frustrated. Re-read the question to make sure you understand it, and answer it to the best of your ability.
  • Remember that the process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer on a multiple-choice test. Start by ruling out answers that can’t be correct or are obviously wrong. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices and choose from those.
  • When you are finished and have extra time, don’t stop and turn in your test! Go back and make sure you have answered every question and review your answers to make sure you didn’t make any careless mistakes, such as putting the right answer in the wrong place.
  • Stay relaxed and confident!

How to Interview

  • Use the following tips to effectively prepare for and present yourself during an interview, helping to increase your chances for job opportunities and promotions!
  • Interviewers may be subconsciously influenced by the physical appearance of an applicant during the interview even if they are explicitly instructed to disregard attire. Use your best judgment when deciding what to wear for your interview.
  • Collect information about the position for which you are interviewing. Review the job description and the job announcement.
  • The questions will be related to knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the job; therefore, use the above documents to think of potential questions and rehearse answers. Decide which parts of your background and experience are most important for this position.
  • Have friends and family quiz you.
  • If speaking in front of others makes you nervous, practice.
  • When answering the questions, try to be as succinct and clear as possible. Do not use acronyms or slang.
  • Remember that this is an examination and NOT a hiring interview. Everyone will be asked the same questions in the same order. How you answer the questions will determine your score on the interview.
  • In most cases, the interviewers are from outside organizations and school districts and do not know about your qualifications. It may be useful to pretend that you are talking to complete strangers and want to put your best effort into your presentation. Your interview will be scored based only on the information you present during the interview.

(Courtesy of Hacienda La Puente)

How do I find out if a job is open for recruitment?

There are a number of ways to keep informed as to the available job opportunities:

  • Individual job announcements are electronically mailed to BUSD employees who have e-mail when recruitments are opened.
  • As a vacancy opens up, a job is posted electronically on the Personnel Commission’s home page under Job Opportunities and on Ed-Join (Educational Job Opportunities Information Network).
  • Job announcements are also posted on employee bulletin boards at various locations throughout BUSD’s service area and are mailed to surrounding school districts and community colleges.
  • If there is a position that you're interested in, but it is not currently listed under open job opportunities, find that position by browsing our complete list of current job specifications. Once you locate the position of interest, click the link email me when the position opens" to fill out a job interest card. You will be notified by email as soon as we begin recruitment for the position.
  • You may also find job announcements on our facebook (facebook.com/BassettUnifiedSchoolDistrict) and twitter (twitter.com/BassettUSD) pages.



How do I apply for employment with the District?

Please click on the Job Opportunities link under the Job Information menu to view the current job opportunities at Bassett USD.


Unless otherwise specified on a job bulletin/posting, please use the NEOGOV online application process to submit job applications and any supporting materials (e.g. resume).



How do I find out about the job duties, minimum requirements and type of examination?

Job bulletins may be picked up at the Personnel Commission Office at 904 North Willow Avenue, La Puente, CA, 91746. Job bulletins are an excellent source of information that lists the salary, duties of the job, requirements necessary to qualify for the examination, special requirements (such as licenses), and most importantly, the time and date by which applications must be submitted.


The education and experience requirements for a job are listed on the job bulletins. Read the requirements carefully. The job may require college course work, a specified amount of experience, license, certification, or skill, knowledge and ability in specific areas. This should help you determine if you meet the requirements of the job. If in doubt, it is best to submit your application and the Personnel Commission staff will evaluate your experience and determine whether or not you meet the requirements.


Job specifications (descriptions) describing all classified jobs are available by clicking the Job Specifications button on the menu panel (on your left hand side).



If I want to apply for more than one job, do I have to file more than one application?

You may apply for as many positions as you wish, given that you meet the minimum qualifications criteria for these positions. NEOGOV online application system requires that you create a username and password and use it every time you need to submit an application. The benefit of an online application system is that you will only need to enter your general information and employment history only once. Having created an account, the task of applying for a new job opening is much simpler, and you will only be required to provide information that you feel is relevant to the position and answer any supplemental questions pertinent to that job opening.



How often can I re-apply for a job I previously applied for?

If it is open for recruitment, you may file an application anytime; however, you will not be allowed to retest until after a three month period has elapsed since your last application was evaluated or since you last tested for that job.



How does the Personnel Commission determine if I qualify for this job?

The Personnel Commission reviews the application materials submitted. These materials may include a special supplemental experience statement, a list of college and/or training courses and/or a list of specific employment experiences. For your application to get the consideration it deserves, it is very important that you fill out the application materials completely. You may also include a resume. Do not, however, state “see resume” when asked to describe your responsibilities and experience. Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of information you provide on the application. Your resume will be reviewed only for clarification purposes.


Frequently, a Supplemental Experience Statement will be required so that you can more fully explain specific experience or qualifications.


The supplemental statement focuses on the key responsibilities of the position for which you are applying and allows you to elaborate on your previous experience/training in areas of particular relevance to the job. Resumes, letters of reference, certifications, etc., may be included with the application, but only your responses to the areas in the application and supplemental experience statement will be evaluated.


Include not only paid work experience, but all other experience which may apply to the job, i.e., volunteer work experience, licenses, professional affiliations, classes you have taken, training you have received and any other special qualifications. Failure to include all information requested could result in the rejection of your application. With accurate and complete information, we will be able to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the job class.



Since there is usually a large number of applications for each recruitment, the evaluation process can take several days. We realize the wait can be frustrating, but please be patient. We want to give each application the careful consideration it deserves.



Does everyone who applies take an exam?

Generally, if you meet the minimum qualifications for a job, you will be scheduled to take the exam. You will be notified of the date, time and location for most exams. For some exams the application and supplemental experience statement package is the actual test.



What kind of examination will I have to take?

The type of test used to qualify candidates depends mostly on the nature of the job. Depending on the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform these job duties, the examination may consist of one or more of the following: evaluation of your training and experience on the application/supplemental, written tests, oral interviews, performance tests or assessment exercises.


For example, an applicant for a secretarial job may take a performance test in keyboarding skills and a written test on clerical, human relations and mathematical abilities. All applicants will be interviewed as well. The interview process is considered an oral test.


Most of the questions in written tests that school districts give are multiple choice. This means that you will be asked to pick the right answer from a number of answers that are given with the question. Sometimes true-false questions are used.


If a test is too easy, most people will get high scores, and it will look like everyone who took the test is equally qualified to do the job. If a test is too hard, most people will get low scores and it will look as though no one is qualified. A good test allows well-qualified applicants to get a high score. Less well-qualified applicants will get lower scores and the least qualified will score lowest.



How do I prepare for the test? What do I study?

All tests given by BUSD are job-related and designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the functions of the job. Read the job description on the job announcement, then study the material which you feel would directly or indirectly relate to the necessary knowledge, skills or abilities. For example, if two of the requirements for a job are performing mathematical calculations and interpreting regulations, some of the exam questions probably will cover math and reading comprehension. If you feel you need to study or practice, start at a library to look for appropriate materials and books.


Please visit the links page if you're interested in a variety of practice tests in areas of math, English vocabulary and grammar, and typing tutorial.



On the day of the test, leave home early enough so that you will not have to rush. To be admitted to the exam, bring the exam notice with you and a picture ID. Applicants are not admitted late to the exams.


If you may need reasonable accommodation at any phase of the application or testing process, please make your request for reasonable accommodation as described on the job announcement.



What happens after I take the examination?

You will be notified of the examination results. BUSD looks for the highest qualified applicants. Pass/fail determinations and the final score will be based on the distribution of scores resulting from the evaluation/examination. The passing point also will be influenced by several factors, including the number and qualifications of applicants, the amount of turnover, the number of vacancies expected and the total number of positions authorized.


If you pass the evaluation/examination, you will be placed on an eligible list in order of your final score. Qualified candidates may then be referred to BUSD schools and departments as vacancies occur.


If you receive notice that you are not successful in the process, don’t be discouraged. All classified BUSD selection processes are highly competitive. Try again.


The schools and departments review application materials for those candidates certified/referred from the top three ranks plus any employee transfer and reinstatement requests for their vacancy. In most cases, the Personnel Commission will schedule interviews for a specified date for the hiring site. The hiring site can hire any of the certified eligible candidates who they believe is the best qualified for the vacancy.

Q: Why are we conducting a job family classification study?

A: The primary reason for conducting a classification study is to assure our job descriptions are current and accurate. We want to be sure your job description describes the duties you are performing. The study will help us gather information useful for future recruitment, testing, employee training and development. Without an accurate job description, we cannot recruit the right people with the right skills for our jobs. We cannot test applicants on items that are not job related so it is important to make sure the descriptions are updated. The descriptions are also important because it allows us to make reasonable accommodations for people under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Q: Why should I participate in a classification study?

A:  We want to gather accurate information about the job from experts like you in order to write a detailed and updated class description. Information received will allow us to improve our selection tools, which can lead to improvements in the quality of new employees that you will be working with in the future.


Q: Who can participate in a classification study?

A: We want input from various sources, which includes job incumbents and their supervisors/school administrators.


Q: Do I have to participate in a classification study if I do not want to?

A: No, it is not mandatory that you participate in a classification study. If you do not participate, others in your classification will provide input on your behalf.


Q: I am the only person in the District with my job title, do I have to participate?

A: If you are the only person in a classification, we need you to participate because you are the one performing the work and you know the job. We need your participation to help us accurately update the job description.


Q: I am going to retire in the next few years. Why should I participate in the classification study?

A: Your input is important because you are the expert in your job! The information you provide is needed to develop accurate job descriptions to assist us in recruiting for the position in the future.


Q: Who conducts the classification study?

A: Staff from the Personnel Commission Office.


Q: What methods are we using to conduct our classification study?

A: We typically use multiple data collection methods, such as surveys (online & paper format), focus groups, and job observations.


Q: What do I have to do?

A: All employees in the job family will first be invited to participate in a short survey. You can either fill out the survey online or ask for a copy to be mailed to you from the Personnel Commission Office. On the survey, employees will then be asked to participate in a focus group to talk about their jobs and update their job description together. A job observation may be conducted during your work hours if needed. 


Q: What is a focus group?

A: A focus group is a small group of employees that represents all of the employees in a classification. These focus groups meet confidentially with Personnel Commission Staff to offer their input and update their job description.


Q: How long do focus group meetings last and where are they held?

A: Meetings generally last about 60 to 90 minutes and are held at locations throughout the District. The exact dates and locations of the meetings are announced in advance.


Q: I received an invite to a focus group and I did not volunteer for it.

A: Commission Staff may contact you to attend a focus group if not enough employees in a classification volunteer or if you are the only employee in a classification.


Q: Is my union involved in the study?

A: Yes, union leadership will be involved throughout the study and will review the updated job descriptions and study recommendations prior to Personnel Commission approval.


Q: Will my job title change, and if it does will I get a raise?

A: Your job title may change but this does not mean your salary will also change. Often we find that titles have become outdated and simply need updating to align with marketplace trends and titles.


Q: Will I be moved to another site or have my hours reduced because of the classification study?

A: No, you will not be moved to another site or have your hours reduced because of the study.


Q: Will my job be cut?

A: The study is not going to cut jobs. The goal of this study is to make sure job descriptions are current and accurate.


Q: Will I have to do more work because I have a new job description?

A: No, the new job description will list duties you are performing now.


Q: Will Personnel Commission Staff give me a performance evaluation?

A: No, Personnel Commission Staff only wants to know what work you are performing and will not evaluate your performance. Your individual performance is not a factor in the study.


Q: I think I am working outside of my classification and have been for several years. What do I need to do?

A: If you believe you are working outside of your classification you will need to complete a Classification Questionnaire, which is a form you fill out to describe your job and the work assigned to you. You can request a questionnaire by calling the Personnel Commission Office at (626) 931-7984.


Q: How long will the classification study take?

A: A study can take several months to complete. The timeline and exact length of the study are subject to change.


Q: Who do I need to contact at the Personnel Commission if I have questions about the study?

A: You may contact the Personnel Commission Office at (626) 931-7984 or email Jode Howard at [email protected]


(Courtesy of Hacienda La Puente)