Behind the Scenes, Castle staff

3 February 2017

Become part of the castle family

Our colleagues Kirsty & Shaun are on hand with lots of helpful advice on what to expect at our recruitment open days.

Kirsty Sneddon, Visitor Operations Officer, Stirling Castle

It’s my job to oversee that all the recruitment for Stirling Castle goes as smoothly as possible and that our newest recruits get a warm welcome to the castle family.

The recruitment process, although only publicly visible for a few weeks each year, actually accounts for a huge part of my work and lasts for months. There’s so much preparation to consider that people don’t even realise from advertising the vacancies and responding to enquiries to managing the open days and overseeing the interview processes, but the best part of my job is as first point of contact for successful candidates.

Kirsty Sneddon

This year the team at Stirling Castle have decided to take a fresh and exciting approach on its recruitment process by holding recruitment open days.

This has proven to be very successful at some of our other sites like Edinburgh Castle and has helped reduce timescales for candidates. We currently have full and part-time seasonal roles available in our guiding, retail and admissions teams.

The open days take place on 7 and 8 February from 10am until 4pm. Candidates are required to bring along to the castle, a completed application form and three forms of ID to be considered for interview as detailed in the job description. If we are satisfied that they meet the criteria, they will be booked in for interview the following week. At this stage they will be asked if they have a preference for a particular team, and if so, they will be interviewed by the relevant board on the day that suits them best.

Interviews will take place from 14 to 16 February and are fairly informal, lasting a maximum of twenty minutes. Following the interview, candidates are handed a “What Happens Next” form and are advised that only successful candidates will be contacted.

Candidates can download an application pack from (just search for the job that you are interested in) which should be completed before attending the open days. Applicants also need to bring the required documentation (as outlined below) otherwise they may be excluded them from the recruitment process.

  • Completed application form
  • VISA documents if applicable
  • Three forms of identification – photographic & non-photographic as detailed in job description.
  • Disclosure Scotland certificate (dated within 12 months) – not essential at this stage however would be beneficial if brought to registration day

Having worked on recruitment at Historic Environment Scotland (HES)  for the last 3 years I’ve seen many great applicants lose out because they have failed to prepare so my advice to them would be three-fold:

  • Read the applicant guidance on how to complete the competency based application form along with all required documentation.
  • Compare you skills and experience to the person specification
  • Use the STAR technique for breaking down each competency by describing:-
    • Situation
    • Task
    • Action
    • Result

On a more personal note just try to stay relaxed and be yourself. The interviewers want you to succeed too. Dress smartly and maintain eye contact but above all do your homework, research the castle and show enthusiasm.

Speaking from experience the castle is an amazing place to work. You get to meet people from all over the world, take part in great events and work at a wonderful historic landmark. Good luck to all of you and I look forward to meeting you in person very soon.

Shaun Docherty, Stirling Castle Guide

I have worked at Stirling Castle for almost a year now. I became a tour guide because I’m interested in Scottish history and more importantly, I enjoy talking to the public about it. That’s my top tip for anyone interested in joining the team: whatever role you perform in the castle, whether in retail, admissions or guiding; if you feel comfortable talking to the public then you will enjoy working here. What I enjoy most about my job is meeting different people from around the world on a daily basis.

Shaun Docherty

A typical day for me involves opening and checking different areas of the castle, delivering guided tours, patrolling designated areas offering direction and information to visitors, then finally closing all the buildings at night.

Most visitors arrive at the castle on holiday and eager to enjoy their experience, so if you think you can share a few jokes with interesting people from around the world you should definitely complete your application form and hopefully we’ll see you up here in the spring.

Our Recruitment open days take place on 7 and 8 February from 10am – 4pm. You can find out more about them and download an application pack at