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Applying to the Civil Service

Step by Step Guide To Applying To The Civil Service

If you are thinking of applying to work in the Civil Service, here are some key steps which will help to guide you through the process.

Step 1. Researching Grade Structures of the Civil Service

The Civil Service offers a very wide range of career and role opportunities across 18 main departments such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Defence, or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. If you are new to applying to the Civil Service you’ll find Civil Service Interviews a useful resource as we offer specialist application and interview coaching.  When applying to the Civil Service it is important that you select a grade which is commensurate with your skills and experience, whilst also satisfying your ambitions.

Step 2. Searching for Civil Service Roles and Creating an Account

Civil Service jobs are advertised by many mainstream recruitment agencies, but it is best to apply directly though … read more…

Civil Service Interview Questions

Success Profiles

If you want to work in the Civil Service, it’s important to know that you will be assessed against the Success Profile Framework. This means that Civil Service interviews take a blended approach which will impact on the style of questions you might get asked in an interview. Our Civil Service Interview coaching is focused specifically on ensure that you have the right examples, with sufficient depth and complexity for the role and grade your are applying for, together with practising strength based questions. Depending on the role, you could be assessed on five areas:

1: Behaviours. These are very similar to competencies. A Behaviour is the knowledge, actions, and skills that it takes to deliver a successful project or objective. The Civil Service has defined 9 Behaviours. Some commonly assessed Behaviours are Delivering at Pace, Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leadership, and Working Together. Less frequently asked are Developing Self and Others, Managing a Quality Service, and Changing and Improving. Behaviour competency questions are always looking for a specific example which can substantiate the Behaviour. You can easily identify a Behaviour question as the question often starts with the phrase: … read more…

Leadership Question: How To Keep Team and Priorities On Track

Often some of the most challenging questions at interview relate to team leadership. This can seem like a difficult question to answer if you haven’t had many people to line manager. However, leading matrix teams can give you all the transferable skills you need. Matt Eastlake, an Interview Coach at Interview Skills Clinic discusses on video how to answer a common question on team leadership … read more…

How to recover from a devastating interview

How to recover from a devastating interview

Clients often come to us feeling really frustrated when they failed an interview and anxious about future interview. Confidence can take a knock when you’ve previously done well in interviews and have what’s often described as a ‘car-crash’ of an interview. In the video below, Elizabeth Conley a professional Interview Coach talks through some basic interview preparation steps which will restore your confidence … read more…

How To Ace A Civil Service Interview

Civil Service Interviews

You will have spent many hours crafting and agonising over your application to work in the Civil Service, following which a real sense of relief and achievement comes over you on clicking the ‘Submit’ button. You will have prepared your competency examples, either setting them out in a 250-word STAR format, or  embedding the essence of each within an application statement of up to 1,500 words. If you have scored high enough marks in the ‘sift’ you will receive an invitation for a Civil Service Interview, if not, you have missed out – it’s black and white.

Applications are increasingly being sifted on the … read more…

Looking for graduate job opportunities – the Civil Service is worth considering 

Looking for graduate job opportunities – the Civil Service is worth considering 

Civil Service For Graduates

As graduates finish their final term at University it can be very daunting looking for and applying for job opportunities. We work closely with clients who are applying for civil service jobs and have need coaching and support for Civil Service Interview.  There are many different entry paths from the Fast Stream to the Fast Track, together with applying directly for the plethora of roles advertised on the GOV.UK website. Whilst the application process looks complicated once you understand their assessment process it is relatively easy to achieve success and get a job you want.

‘Phew!’, The end of term approaches for many graduates leaving University but ‘What now?’… read more…

Why Should We Hire You?

Why Should We Hire You?

Opening Interview Questions

An interview panel will typically open the discussion by wanting to learn more about you, or rather giving you an immediate opportunity to sell yourself. The opening question can take numerous forms such as, ‘What relevant skills and qualities can you bring to the role and our organisation? Or simply ‘tell us about yourself?’ or ‘Talk us through your CV?’ but ultimately all the questions however they’re phrased are asking, ‘Tell us why we should hire you?’  How you answer this initial question …

10 Communication Questions To Practise

10 Communication Questions To Practise

In almost all jobs today it is vital to have communication skills and you will almost certainly be asked questions in an interview which are intended to determine just how good you are at communicating.

There is a focus on three main behaviours within the competency Communications:

  1. Your ability to explain complex information simply and clearly.
  2. Your ability to adapt your communication to the audience and situation.
  3. Your ability to influence and persuade.

For more senior positions it is essential for candidates to show that they can communicate with and influence others.  A great way to practise is to answer aloud in front of a mirror. You can read the questions below or watch the video…

Video Interviews -10 Key Video Interview Tips

Video Interviews -10 Key Video Interview Tips

Video Interview Tips

Video interviews are now commonly used as the initial part of the selection process for students and graduates applying for an internship, placement and graduate job. Video interviews, commonly referred to as online or virtual interviews, are increasingly replacing the initial telephone interview. They allow an organisation to record some interview questions and then send these out to candidates they want to screen. Most candidates find it a daunting first interview – after all, most of us would prefer to meet the interviewer and have a conversation rather then record an answer to a set time. However, despite the impersonal nature of video interviews it is possible to stand out from the competition. Here are 10 tips to give you greater confidence… read more…

What To Wear To An Interview

What To Wear To An Interview

For all of us, regardless of how great or little interest we take in fashion and the clothes we wear there is certainly one occasion when we should actually stop and think about it, he Interview! So, the first rule is that you must be smart,  first impressions count and more so in an interview than at any other time. The adage, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ sadly doesn’t really apply here… read more…

Why do you want to work for us?

Common interview question -- Why do you want to work for us?

Why do you want to work for us? This one of the most common interview questions a candidate can be asked. It will often be asked across all types of interview, private sector and public sector interviews and at all levels from an entry level role to the most senior executive position.  However, too often candidates do not demonstrate sufficient motivational alignment in their answers. Elizabeth Conley, a professional Interview Coach at Interview Skills Clinic talks through some client feedback from The Royal Bank of Scotland on this question. This demonstrates why in-depth research is so important in order to demonstrate how your career aspirations match the organisation.

Why Do You Want To Work For Us?

How to structure your answer
  1. Are you demonstrating your motivation for joining the organisation?
  2. How relevant are your skills and experience to the job specification?
  3. Are you clear about how your strengths will add value to the role and the team?
  4. How aligned are your values are to those of the organisation?
Preparing For A Competency Based Interview

Preparing For A Competency Based Interview

What are Competency Interviews?

It is widely known that today most interviews are ‘competency based’  – but what does this really mean? Essentially the interview is based on the idea that your past behaviours and experiences are the best indicators of your future performance. Competency Interview Coaching helps you draw out the best examples to substantiate competency interview questions based on your employment history, college and university, volunteer work and personal interests. This will help you achieve the highest assessment and be the strongest candidate. Normally the job specification will indicate the competencies or behaviours required and these can often be found in the person specification. Importantly as behaviour interview is the same as a competency interview. The interview questions will be trying to assess your experience against each competency or behaviour required. Competency interview questions can often start with read more…