I have been working at Foreign and Commonwealth Office full-time (Less than a year)
Great work life balance and great for entry level positions.
The pay is not relative to the job market in the metro area.
Advice to Management
Update pay scale so that it is competitive with the job market in the area.
I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Foreign and Commonwealth Office (San Francisco, CA) in April 2017.
External candidates come in for one 30-45 minute interview with a panel of 3 people. Asked about background, motivation for pursuing the opportunity and then competency based questions (tell about a time when you challenged your boss, lead a team, solved a problem creatively, etc).
There is no phone screen or second stage interview -- so it may be the case that only interview external candidates to tick the policy boxes when they have already have an internal candidate lined up to fill the role. However, in my experience, the panelists seemed to be considering all candidates equally.