Successful BIBAs applicants have been invited to interview in the next stage of this year’s competition

The judges have scored this year’s applications, with those making the grade now notified that they’ve been shortlisted for the interview round taking place in June and July.

The nearly 300 applications received in the 2022 Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, have now been individually evaluated and independently scored by the competition’s volunteer judges.

Studying every application in detail, the judges score the response to each question using measures such as the level of detail provided, how fully the question is answered and the supporting evidence that is offered.

It marks a significant milestone in the process, with only the highest scoring entries in each category proceeding to the next stage of the competition.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce which organises and hosts the BIBAs, explained what happens next: “Now that the judges have reviewed the applications in their category, those entrants that have scored most highly all go through to the interview round.

“This year, the interviews will all take place online again using Microsoft Teams. Each entrant will be invited to make a short presentation first, after which they’ll be cross-examined and put through their paces by the judges.

“Attendance at the interviews is mandatory for applicants that have made it this far, and will take place between the 6th of June and 4th of July.”

The application is worth 20 per cent of the total marks available, with the presentation and interview together worth 80 per cent.

Babs also had some advice on how to approach the interview.

“It’s really important for entrants to fully prepare for this next stage. The judges will be asking insightful, probing questions while looking for evidence of any stated achievements. Businesses that tend to do well in the interview are the ones that focus on outcomes not just outputs. For instance, if you’ve invested thousands of pounds training your people, don’t just tell the judges that, tell them how that has directly benefited your financial or operational performance.

Likewise, if you’ve put solar panels on your factory roof and are showcasing your ‘green’ credentials, don’t just tell the judges that, explain how it’s reduced your carbon footprint and energy bills and make sure you quantify that with data,” said Babs.

Lancastrian of the Year
Successful BIBAs applicants have been invited to interview in the next stage of this year's competition
Over 200 businesses through to the next round