Civil Service Interview Tips
1 year ago

Please note: Civil Service interview experiences differ from person to person.

The final step in the Civil Service recruitment process is usually a face to face or a virtual interview.

Being interviewed can feel very daunting but I’m here to put your nerves at ease and provide you with a few tips which I’ve found useful during the interview stage.

Overview of the interview

The Civil Service recruit by using the Success Profiles framework.

Success Profiles have been introduced to attract and retain people of talent and experience from a range of sectors and from all walks of life.

Additionally, Success Profiles have been brought in to make the interviews more conversational.

Success Profiles test 5 key elements:

  • Ability - the aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard
  • Technical - the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications
  • Behaviours - the things people do that result in an effective performance
  • Strengths - the things people do regularly, do well and that they’re motivated by
  • Experience - the knowledge or mastery of a subject gained by doing it

After the Civil Service interview, you are either unsuccessful (this is when you have failed to meet the minimum criteria), placed on the reserve list for a year (this is when you have passed the interview and met the minimum criteria) or successful (this is when you have passed the interview and exceeded the criteria).

Tip 1 – Study the job description

Preparation is key in a Civil Service interview! Make sure you spend lots of time preparing your responses for the assessed criteria and ensure that you cover the criteria in lots of detail.

I personally find it useful to write succinct, bullet pointed notes on cue cards which I can then practice with or refer to in the interview (if needed).

Remember, the job description is there to help you, so use it wisely!

Tip 2 – Structure your answers with the STAR Method

STAR stands for: Situation, Task, Action and Result.

The action and the result are the most important parts of the STAR method so you must ensure that you really emphasise on those parts of your responses.

My advice for employees when referring to the result is to talk about the lessons that you have learnt. This is very useful as it shows the employer that you are resilient and willing to learn from your mistakes or your ways of working.

Tip 3 – Ask for feedback

If you have been unsuccessful in an interview or you have been placed on the reserve list. I would highly recommend that you ask the panel for feedback.

This allows yourself and the panel to identify what went well in your interview and what needs improvement. It also shows that you are resilient and that you want to improve your interview skills for future interviews.

I hope that you have found this blog useful and if you are being interviewed soon, I wish you the very best of luck!

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