Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore Foreign Service Officer Interview Questions

Updated Jun 18, 2015
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Foreign Service Officer () Interview

Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
Declined Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore (Singapore (Singapore)) in March 2015.

Interview

The whole process started off with a presentation about MFA's operations and functions, followed by a round-table discussion, a spelling-and-grammar editing test and finally, an analysis test. The editing test was a bit tricky as candidates were told to correct about 80 errors in total and the time given was only an hour. The analysis test was moderately tough and it required candidates to possess strong analytic and reasoning skills to tackle 40 true-or-false questions.

Other Interview Reviews for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

  1.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore (Singapore (Singapore)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    First round of assessment lasted from morning to afternoon.

    The assessment started with a test where we were required to list out all kinds of grammatical errors in the given document. Marks will be deducted if you spotted an incorrect error hence I would recommend to only make corrections only when you are sure of the answer. Otherwise just leave it alone if you are unsure for no marks will be penalised if you didn't make any corrections.

    There were a series of psychometric tests and an essay assessment. The group discussion took place during the end of the assessment, where we were to discuss one current issue taking place in Singapore and oversea each. My group however only managed to discuss on one global issue due to time limitations.

    There is also an information session where a foreign service officer will brief you on the details of the job. If you do have any questions regarding the nature of the job, its salary, overseas posting and the various responsibilities while being based in Singapore HQ or overseas, this will be a good time to solve your queries.

    Interview Questions

    • Group Discussion Topic: AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investement Bank)   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (6)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    The entire process will take about 2-3 months. Not for those looking to secure a job quickly. My first round was on 25 Nov 2014 and my second round will be on 8 Jan 2015. Notice the huge time lapse? The first round occurs only after your online application has been successful, so put in effort doing it up. Like many others who have pointed out, the path to the building is long and uphill, especially if you're not driving, so give yourselves some buffer time to commute. However, once you are employed, you get to use the employees' (sheltered) footpath connecting from Botanic Gardens or the bus shuttle service from a few other SMRT stations so it becomes more convenient that way.

    Round 1: An introductory video on the career as an FSO with MFA, a series of psychometric tests, and a round-table discussion on a recent internal and/or international conflict with a HR personnel. The entire process took about 7 hours (9.45am - 5pm) for my group, inclusive of a 40 min lunch break and a few short breaks in between. I personally found it to be really taxing on the mind and body. The tests require you to work really fast, think on your feet, and be completely focused - time is not on your side. Those who have the tendency to over-analyse (like myself) will not be able to finish on time; sometimes the best answer is the one that you arrive at first. Every test is different from the last one, testing your abilities to analyse and make sound conclusions in different ways. Can be very tricky and 'twisty' with the wording, so be careful. Dwell too long on any one question and you become 'trapped,' which was what happened to me and I even missed out an entire section of 20 questions due to such poor time management. By the way, you keep your own time; there are no cues or a clock to help you. Everything is written in pencil. Here is what I can recall:

    1) Written skill (editing) test - For those who think you have your grammar, punctuation and vocabulary down pat, have your reservations about this one. This deceptively simple test consists of a 3-4 page long article requiring your editing. There are about 80 errors hidden in there for you to try and sieve out and provide corrections/suggestions for, which I found to be, surprisingly, quite tough and hence could not finish on time. Calling out on 'errors' that are actually correct or providing wrong corrections will reduce points, so "attack" only when you are certain.

    2) Essay test - 30 min. 'Evaluate social media as a tool for government outreach in today's context.'

    3) Comprehension test - An article will be given and you are asked to answer a series of True/False questions. The second section requires you to answer them with application to the Singapore context based on the opinions of the author. Note: Every question IS definitely either true or false, however, if you are unsure there is a third option which I think is 'Don't wish to answer.' This is to safeguard your score, as any wrong answer will reduce points. Said option will not make you gain or lose points.

    4) Verbal reasoning (analysis) test - 40 min. Perhaps the hardest one of all. A series of statements will be made for you to deduce whether a logical conclusion is possible. They are permutations of 'If a = b, and b = c, that means a = c' but much, much harder, with some even requiring you to read a short passage first. The tricky part comes with the wording and how statements are made in a roundabout manner to confuse you. You need to work really fast here. I remember only 1 person in my group of 6 managed to complete on time. 80 questions in total.

    5) Personal values test - No time limit. 'Please share with us your values and how they are observed through your work.' You can use the gaps and breaks in between tests to finish this, as I did.

    6) Situational judgement test - No time limit. A few scenarios will be presented for you to judge on a scale of 1 - 6 how appropriate the actions taken are. About 20 questions in total.

    7) Round-table discussion session - One round of introductions to state your name, where you graduated from, your major, your interest(s) and why you want to be an FSO. After that, the HR personnel present will ask the group to initiate a topic of discussion, be it a local or international affair. Your responses, the way you speak and present yourself will be observed accordingly so be more forthcoming in this session. It would be advantageous to be the one initiating, so you can choose a topic you are familiar with and stand out at the same time. Discussions need not be singular, they should be organic and branch from the main topic to be engaging. For my group, there were 2 main topics raised, one domestic and one foreign.

    Round 2: Yet to attend but from the notice, the duration will be even longer than the first round. Most probably a one-day thing. Assessment Centre (simulation of scenarios) round.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your take on the relatively recent South China Sea dispute?   Answer Question
  3.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore.

    Interview

    Three rounds. 1st round is a full day of psychometric tests, ending with a group discussion on random current affairs topics. Candidates are encouraged to propose topics and to actively contribute. You'll be at an advantage if you propose a topic you're familiar with. 2nd round is an even longer day of situational tests. Be mentally prepared for a long day. 3rd round is the interview. From application to the results of the final interview, the process took 2 months.

    Interview Questions

    • Pick a topic to talk about from three topics proposed by interviewer. Why did you not pick the other two?   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore.

    Interview

    Applied through MFA website, got the interview after 1 week. Only made it through the first stage of interview

    Stage 1 of the FSO selection process encompasses the following:

    (1) Briefing on a career as an FSO in MFA (est. 30 min)
    (2) Roundtable discussion (est. 45 min) - discuss about international and internal politics, HR personal will observe you during the discussion
    (3) A series of psychometric tests (est. 4 hours)- consist of a written skill test, analysis test, written essay, reasoning test, situational judgement test

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    Applied online through MFA website. Got a call from HR within a week to schedule the 1st round selection process.

    10 candidates attended the 1st round selection which consisted of a series of psychometric test and a round table discussion. The whole session was from 9.30am till pm.

    MFA is pretty efficient and will get back to you within a week if you manage to get to the 2nd round.

    Interview Questions

    • None. Typical questions such as why do you want to join MFA.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore (Singapore (Singapore)) in June 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online and only made it to the first day of the 2 day selection tests.

    At the first round there are 6 tests altogether.

    Not in order:
    1) Editing test - Consist of a passage with many errors which you have to identify and provide suggestions for
    2) Essay test - 30mins. My question: Evaluate social media as a tool for government outreach.
    3) Comprehension test - A passage will be given for you to read and answer a series of true/false questions based on what you think is the author's opinion. The second part of this test needs you to assess Singapore's situation and answer true/false questions, based on the opinions of the author.
    4) Verbal reasoning test - Personally I think this is the hardest of them all. There are 80 questions to be done in 30-40mins. Some questions are like 'If all days are rainy. Some rainy days are boring. Are all days boring?' Something like that. Some parts involve reading short passages for you to determine whether the statements proposed there after can be logically deduced.
    5) Situational judgement test (No time limit) - Presented with a few scenarios where you will need to judge on a scale of 1-6 how appropriate were the character's actions.
    6) Values essay (No time limit) - Question: Please share with us your values and how they are observed through your work
    7) Discussion session - One round of introduction to state where you graduated from and what you studied in university. Then, HR asked any of us to bring up any current international affairs to discuss. HR will observe you during this time.

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore in June 2014.

    Interview

    At the first round there are 6 tests altogether.

    Not in order:
    1) Editing test - Consist of a passage with many errors which you have to identify and provide suggestions for
    2) Essay test - 30mins. My question: Evaluate social media as a tool for government outreach.
    3) Comprehension test - A passage will be given for you to read and answer a series of true/false questions based on what you think is the author's opinion. The second part of this test needs you to assess Singapore's situation and answer true/false questions, based on the opinions of the author.
    4) Verbal reasoning test - Personally I think this is the hardest of them all. There are 80 questions to be done in 30-40mins. Some questions are like 'If all days are rainy. Some rainy days are boring. Are all days boring?' Something like that. Some parts involve reading short passages for you to determine whether the statements proposed there after can be logically deduced.
    5) Situational judgement test (No time limit) - Presented with a few scenarios where you will need to judge on a scale of 1-6 how appropriate were the character's actions.
    6) Values essay (No time limit) - Question: Please share with us your values and how they are observed through your work
    7) Discussion session - One round of introduction to state where you graduated from and what you studied in university. Then, HR asked any of us to bring up any current international affairs to discuss. HR will observe you during this time.

    The session took the whole day and was very exhausting. Between each test, there was only a 5mins break. There is quite a distance from the nearest bus stop to the location and it is an upward slope, so be prepared to include enough buffer time for arrival.

    Interview Questions

    • The verbal reasoning test is the most difficult. The format changes every 10 questions, so the time limit includes reading multiple sets of instructions and examples. The need to work fast is imperative.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (3)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Singapore (Singapore)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore (Singapore (Singapore)) in March 2012.

    Interview

    After submitting my online application, it took around 2 weeks for them to get back to me for the first round of assessments. The first round was a group assessment of around 15 participants which included some writing and analysis tests, and a roundtable discussion. Subsequently, I was shortlisted for an assessment centre 2 weeks later. 6 people were involved in the assessment centre which was a full day exercise comprising a series of tasks such as negotiations, writing a paper and some scheduling work. Finally, there was an interview with 2 Directors and another officer.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    I was actually offered another job prior to MFA. As described, MFA has quite a lengthy selection process, but they tried to expedite the process for me as I had a deadline to meet.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore in January 2010.

    Interview

    The first round of interview consists of a group discussion and a written test. Second round is a full day of interview where you have to go through 4 "stations". 1) Analysis- given a stack of material on a fake country and have to write a foreign policy paper 2) Planning- plan the schedule of a major meetingl 3) negotiation- given a clear objective and have to negotiate with someone who is adamant 4) group debate

    Tough interview and there is really no way to prepare for it except a good night sleep and a clear mind.

    Third round is a fit interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Are you willing to be relocated? How will you balance the demand of the job?   Answer Question

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