Civil Service United Kingdom

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Civil Service United Kingdom Interview Questions

Updated Aug 2, 2015
21 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Assistant Economist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    So far I have only done the first interview (the economic assessment centre); I have the FSAC still to go. It involved writing a technical report and policy brief on the electricity and gas industry and then answering short-format economics questions. Then I: presented on my policy brief, answered questions on my technical report, and discussed the economics questions. It was really fun, actually.

    Interview Questions

    • The asked me about the short format exam style questions. I had done a MSc. and found that the stuff I couldn't answer were 'A-level' style questions: what is the difference b/w Keynesian and Neoclassical Long Run Aggregate Supply curves and what are supernatural profits. There was nothing about competency or my experience.   Answer Question
  2.  

    Fast Streamer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    The fast stream assessment centre is a full day event, consisting of a group task, policy revue, interview and presentation. Be warned the major challenge in this assessment is not how good you are at working with others, confidence in presenting or interview skills. For each task you will be presented with a large amount of reading and a very short time limit. Therefore you will not be able to read it all cover to cover. Skim read everything and pay attention to the executive summaries. That is the best advice i can give. Of all the test on the day the interview is perhaps the easiest. You can prepare easily in advance by looking at the core competencies for your chosen stream. Think of examples prior to the day that will demonstrate these competencies and try to bring them out in the interview. Whether you pass or fail, the civil service will provide you with constructive feedback after the event.

    Interview Questions

    • Why did you apply for the civil service / this particular stream. What do you understand about the nature of the role? Give me an example of a time you; lead a team, over a major challenge etc   Answer Question
  3.  

    Finance Summer Student Placement Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Newport, Newport, Wales (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (Newport, Newport, Wales (UK)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    Hi Everyone, I am posting my interview experience with GES here because I think its a great opportunity for students that are applying at GES in the future. I got offered place in Office of National Statistics though it was my 5th option when I submitted my summer placement application. The process started with a short numeracy test which had 10 questions and lasted 15 minutes. It was fairly easy as long as you practised the sample numerical test on the GES website. So don't rush if anything went wrong you still have the interview !! Tips: Practise, practise and practise. Thats all!! Hope I could help and best of luck!! P.S remember Keep it SIMPLE guys and do not panic they will help you.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) Give an instance where you had to work in a team and what responsibility you had? 1b) If you had to do the same project today what different would you do? 2) Give a time where someone influenced you or changed your opinion about something.   1 Answer
    • Some of the Economics based Question Include Interest rate - How it affects firms? Should they Invest or hold cash? Real or Nominal? Deflation- What is it? Is it worrying? Externalities- Definition? What types positive and negative? What should the govt do in case of externalities- regulate-tax-property rights etc?   1 Answer
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  5.  

    Fast Streamer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)) in February 2015.

    Interview

    GES applicant. Didn't have to take the initial screening test due to special educational needs. There was an economics-based assessment centre which involved the writing of two pre-prepared essays on the same topic, one in economics jargon and one in plain english. A brief presentation had to be given on the plain english essay, which was then followed by technical questions. My interviewers were very friendly and did a good job of putting me at ease. There were a few instances where they knew I knew the answer to their questions, but wasn't phrasing it in the manner listed on the mark scheme, and were happy to coax me into saying the right thing. The assessment centre also involved a set of short answer questions. My main tip would be to more or less memorise your two essays and your presentation before you go in, as there is virtually no time to think when you are writing. It is best thought of as a pre-prepared piece of work which you bring in with you. My second big tip would be to make sure you go to the EAC preparation day (even if it means a long journey), as they talk you through the essay question and offer very helpful advice. Overall they are not expecting you to know much advanced economics at all, but want you to have a very solid grasp of the basics (first year university level). They also place a very strong emphasis on your ability to communicate your ideas both to economists and non-economists. The next step was the e-tray, which you take at home and involves a simulated email inbox and tests your ability to make decisions, respond appropriately to requests, process large documents, and deal with the politics of working life. Do the practice one they offer, and have a look at some of the practices offered on assessment centre coaching websites and those of other employers. The e-tray is a brilliant representation of what your day-to-day work will be like in the civil service (although the scenarios they tend to present you with are significantly more dramatic!). Having done the summer internship, or worked in another large office environment will help significantly. On one of my practice tests I spent far too long reading the documents I was provided with. There's no way you can read everything you're given within the time limit, so skim at the beginning so you know what the document is about, then come back to it when it becomes relevant. The fast stream assessment centre was a long and tiring day involving essay writing, a group exercise, a 'leadership' exercise, and an interview. Read the documentation they give you in preparation to get a feel for what each of these are. My tips would be as follows. In the group exercise, don't act like you're on The Apprentice. It's designed to see how you deal with people in a state of conflict while still maintaining your position. This is just my opinion, but I highly doubt the 'winning' policy has any effect on people's scores. Make your case, back up your 'ally' when they come under fire, and try to be proactive by proposing an itinerary etc. In the policy exercise, don't spend too much time deciding which policy to back, and don't spend too much time reading. Skim the documents, pick out the key information and make your case. There are easy marks to be picked up by presenting your case clearly, so don't panic and try to get everything down at the expense of a decent structure. The interview is a typical "tell me about a time you did x" type of thing. Go through each of the competencies, and come up with at least two examples each of when you demonstrated that competency. My interviewer was stern but not hostile, and this stage was probably the easiest for me. I did an absolutely awful job of the leadership exercise so I can't really provide many tips.

    Interview Questions

    • Each question is very closely related to one of the competencies they give you in the briefing document. If you've written essays at university you'll have a lot of experience of fitting what you already know to a question, so just make sure you have a good list of examples to draw on.   Answer Question
  6.  

    Fast Stream Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)) in February 2015.

    Interview

    The assessment centre was very demanding, the day was split into four sections. A one-to-one competency based interview, a computer based assessment where we were asked to come up with new policies, a group exercise where we had to argue for the policies/ viewpoint we were assigned and an individual assessment where we looked over a booklet of info and then were asked questions face to face on how we would tackle it. The day was very tiring and intimidating. Most applicants were over 23 and one was over 40. I was 20 and another individual even expressed her surprise that I bothered to apply being so young. Most have excessive and highly relevant work experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a time when you displayed adaptability   1 Answer
    • Tell me about a time when you had to plan/make a schedule   1 Answer
  7.  

    Assistant Economist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom.

    Interview

    1. Self-Assessed Reasoning Tests - Verbal: 40 questions, 20 minutes. Numeric: 18 questions, 22 minutes. 2. Practice for the On-line Selection Tests - Verbal: 32 questions, 16 minutes. Numeric: 15 questions, 19 minutes. 3. On-line Selection Tests These are the tests that we use to decide whether you are a candidate for the Fast Stream. There are three tests to do: Verbal Reasoning Test: 40 questions. 20 minutes. Numerical Reasoning Test: 20 questions, 25 minutes Fast Stream Competency Questionnaire: 31 pages of 4 questions each, not timed but allow 40 minutes. 4. The e-Tray Exercise. 5. Fast Stream Assessment Centre. Short-listed candidates will be invited to this event. It is a one-day assessment centre consisting of a series of written and group exercises and interviews held in London. A briefing document which explains the day and provides example exercises, will be made available from the Download Forms section of Maps and Forms. 6. Final Selection. There is a further stage, a Final Selection Board or Assessment (Sift), but only for the Diplomatic Service, Houses of Parliament and Science & Engineering options along with the Technology in Business and European Fast Stream schemes.

    Interview Questions

    • Give me an example of a situation in which you dealt with ethnic minorities   Answer Question
  8.  

    Assistant Government Communicator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 7+ weeks. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)) in October 2014.

    Interview

    The whole process was very well organised, recruiters were friendly and approachable. Make sure you do your research (all the information can be located on the relevant department's website). Focus on the competencies. Ensure you know your story, have examples ready to show the recruiters that you have the skills for the position. Remember that you're not being ranked against the other participants but in relation to the competency framework. Take time to talk to other participants and find out their reasons for applying and their backgrounds. At the end of the interview you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Take this opportunity to see why the person sat in front of you joined the Civil Service - what was their career path? What do they enjoy about their job? These answers could well help you in the panel or 1:1 interview. It also allows you an opportunity to see if you are a good fit for the organisation. Do the employees that you meet share your values? Did they join for similar reasons to you? These are all things that can help you in choosing the best position for you.

    Interview Questions

    • Why should the government have campaigns to help people get their tax affairs in order?   Answer Question
  9.  

    Fast Streamer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    1. Online Application 2. Online tests - Practice practice practice! Don't close the window more than twice otherwise they will block you from taking it again. However, I emailed them as my laptop was playing up and they allowed me to retake the test one more time - but no more. 3. Invited to EAC (Economist Assessment Centre) Had to prepare 2 30mins report - in economics language and basic English. Question was given roughly two months in advance. 4. Attended EAC Open day - where they explain the day and go through some sample questions (Bring pen and paper.. something that completely slipped my mind) During the assessment centre - write the 2 reports - then another 30mins answering 10 short answer questions - break - interview with a 2 economists - had to present my report in plain English for 20mins; answer questions on the SAQ that you did not answer correctly/did wrong; last 20mins talk about your strongest topic in Economics. (They will tell you that the 2 interviews do not know who you are or have read your application form. This is not true.) Last task of the day - 1h30mins writing a report - this is extremely difficult. My only advice is do not spend too much time trying to read all the material given. Focus on the question and skim read.

  10.  

    Administrative Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    Having filled in an application form I was asked to attend for an interview in London, expenses paid. I was extremely nervous but I attended in good time. I was made very welcome by the secretary detailed to look after candidates, though the timing was so particular that I did not meet any other candidates. The interview itself was very different to anything I had encountered before as the several people on the panel looked very severe. I came out convinced that I had not been successful. A few days later I received a letter offering me the post. I accepted and was employed for a number of years in this capacity.

    Interview Questions

    • What were my views on foxhunting.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    None.

  11.  

    Administrative Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Swansea, Wales (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Civil Service United Kingdom (Swansea, Wales (UK)) in February 2014.

    Interview

    Online test followed by competency based interview

    Interview Questions

    • Competency based are fine as long as you understand what a competency is.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, basic salary offered to new starters

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