Home Office Interview Questions in United Kingdom | Glassdoor

Home Office Interview Questions in United Kingdom

Updated Nov 29, 2017
22 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    EO Decision Maker Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at Home Office.

    Interview

    Intense and took a long time. Many different stages, online testing, telephone interviews then face to face panel interviews. Then comes the security vetting process! It’s a fairly unique process however it’s very testing but fair


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Caseworker Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Liverpool, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8+ months. I interviewed at Home Office (Liverpool, England (UK)) in November 2017.

    Interview

    After initially applying for this position 8 months earlier and being told that my application had been unsuccessful, I received an email out of the blue informing me that my application had been reconsidered and I was invited to attend an interview (quoted from their email).

    The interview turned out to be an assessment day consisting of a Case Study and then, if successful, a panel interview. After eventually finding the location of the assessment centre (the address given in the email was wrong) I had to prove my identity (passport) and then sit with another 30-40 applicants. At a given time, we were then herded to another waiting table until we were once again herded into a very small room, which was extremely warm and humid, in preparation for the Case Study exercise which was supposed to be testing our abilities at Making Effective Decisions & Managing a Quality Service.

    Before starting the case study, we were given a strict 5 minutes to read through the criteria for what the case study was to be about and following that, we were given another, very strict, 30 minutes to complete the case study. After completion of the case study, we were then once again herded back to the waiting tables, being able to grab a hot or cold drink which was on offer. Not long after we sat down, a lady came into the room and shouted out various names, asking them to come to the front. These people were then taken back to the “sweat box” just to be told that they had failed and given directions as to how to leave the premises. (no individual feedback at all)

    From entering the convention centre to being told that you had failed took less than 50 minutes and the whole experience was completely impersonal bordering on inhuman. During this whole 7 month window there was no human interaction at all.

    As for the Case Study itself, this consisted of 14 visa applications which you have to marry up against an approval matrix, deciding on whether or not a visa should be approved. If an application was rejected, it had to be rejected at the earliest possible opportunity during the approval process and a written reason as to how you arrived at each decision.. The approval process was ranked in the following order :

    1) Application Form Submitted
    2) Proof of residency in a Green country
    3) Proof of 5 years consistent residency in the UK
    4) Proof of 5 years activity in the UK

    Sounds pretty easy however, proof of UK residency and activity each have a their own approval matrix, financial records, employer Letter, Medical Insurance etc, and each had dates that either overlap or are not with the scope of the approval matrix. Of course, this is what you would expect to be doing in a job handling Visa applications however, as there was no indication AT ALL as to what to expect and only 5 minutes to digest the approval matrix then it was understandable that some felt like rabbits in the headlights when the initial 5 minutes were over and the test commenced.

    On reflection, I can honestly say that there is no way anyone can/could prepare for the Case Study. Only previous experience, a 'heads up' (or inside knowledge) could anyone be prepared in any capacity.

    Interview Questions

    • 5 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to complete   1 Answer
  3.  

    CSO Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    None as I was a Temp through an agency, and met all of the criteria. The agency was able to assess my competencies and I was able to pass the security clearance on my own merit


  4.  

    Policy Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Home Office (London, England (UK)) in September 2017.

    Interview

    After passing through a timed written test I was offered a video interview. It was a very strange experience as the questions were pre-recorded and then you recorded yourself answering them. You answers are timed (either 2 or 4 minutes) and you only get one chance to answer each question. I had some problems with the platform - the audio wasn't working. In the end I switched browsers and updated my adobe flash playing and it worked.

    It was an extremely weird and impersonal format!

    Interview Questions

    • The questions are the competencies as asked in the original application. They first ask you to describe the situation, then ask about the task and action together, and finally the result.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (1)  

    Secretariat SO Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Home Office in August 2017.

    Interview

    The application form asks you to write scenarios that describe how you have demonstrated several key competencies for the role. For mine there were 6, and you can look at the competency framework to see the points you should cover in your examples.

    I got to interview stage having scored 7 out of 7 for each competency- "outstanding demonstration" so I obviously I safely assumed I'd managed to pick good examples for each.

    At interview I was given a surprise test (which wasn't supposed to be a surprise - just nobody had told me about it beforehand), which I think went okay in the circumstances.

    For the interview itself I was asked to describe scenarios that demonstrated the same competencies asked about on the application form, which is exactly what I expected. The interviewers had not seen my application form. Before my interview I spent a lot of time adding relevant details to my examples and essentially learning to articulate them verbally, whilst memorising the important points. I really wanted the job so didn't want to leave things to chance or mess it up.

    They ask you to "explain a time when...." then let you talk. When you've finished explaining they move on to the next question. I didn't get much prompting, nor was I asked anything else.

    Although I was a little nervous at the interview I was reasonably happy with how it went, I remembered the important points and structured my answers the same way I had in my application.

    I got an email a week after interview to say I'd been unsuccessful, which in itself is fair enough.
    I didn't understand why feedback statements talked of things such as "not answering the question" and "giving a confusing answer", since I'd used the same high- scoring examples as in my application and essentially repeated them ad verbatim with some extra details. I will certainly try to implement this feedback for my next application but I'm really not sure how.. Looking back at my preparation notes and memory of how it went and what I said, I'm really not sure how my answers were so unclear, or what more I could have done.

    I realise that this may just sound like sour grapes, and I guess to a certain extent it might be. What I cannot fathom is what they wanted, if it wasn't an example of something I've done using the STAR format and including the competencies they ask for.

    I consider myself to be reasonably humble and pragmatic, but I'm floored.

    I'll try again though, hasn't put me off completely.
    Next time I'll use totally different examples to see if it helps.

    Interview Questions

    • Give me an example of when you changed and improved something   Answer Question

  6.  

    Senior Executive Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Home Office (London, England (UK)) in August 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online via the Civil Service Jobs website.
    Within two weeks I received a follow-up phone interview to go through my previous experience and CV, as well as to discuss the role and requirements in further detail.
    I then went through a further CV/application sift, and was informed roughly two weeks later that I had been invited to a final interview at the Home Office.

    The final interview is as easy or difficult as you want it to be.

    It takes place in front of a panel of three people (Hiring Manager, HR Representative, and an Independent Observer). The interview is almost entirely competency based, where your answers are expected to follow the STAR or CAR format. You will be provided with the exact competencies (from the Civil Service Framework) that they are looking for beforehand in order to prepare for the interview. My interview also included some questions on the specialism I had applied for, as it was a skilled/niche role.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time where you have had to make an effective decision in the interests of the business, despite it potentially being unpopular at first?   1 Answer

  7.  

    Executive Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    It was a competency based interview based on the 7 competencies you were provided on application. They ask you to describe examples of each and how you took action in each case

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Border Force Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hull, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Home Office (Hull, England (UK)) in July 2017.

    Interview

    The interview was about the 4 competencies. One example for each. Average interview..... Make sure you answer each question carefully and provide the full answer.

    1. Making Effective Decision
    2. Leading and Communicating
    3. Delivering at Pace
    4. Collaborating and patterning

    Have one example ready for the above competencies.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Senior Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    The interviewer went through set of questions from question bank and expected all keywords from the answer sheet he had. He wouldn't move on unless he got all the keywords.

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (1)  

    Decision Maker Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bootle, Merseyside, North West England, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Home Office (Bootle, Merseyside, North West England, England (UK)) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Long winded application process and gruelling interview carried out by two people. They seemed nice as pie initially, then became quite intimidating and very pressing during the interview. I felt like I was being interrogated at certain points - not a nice feeling.

    Interview Questions


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