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    Hi Mr I,

    Have just stumbled upon this site (nothing like a boring Sunday evening...) and seen your thread. I'm actually an Assistant Statistician at DCSF so good to see your interested in joining us and congratulations on making it through to interview

    I'll try and keep an eye on this thread so if you have any specific questions then give me a try (I'm not involved with the recruitment so can't tell you what the questions will be.... and obviously I wouldn't tell you even if I could!!) but hopefully the notes you've been given and the application form should give a good indication of the kind of areas you're likely to be asked about.
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    Hey Stats Monkey,

    Good to hear from someone 'on the inside'. I do have a couple of questions, I'm not sure you'll be able to answer as the AS recruitment process is different...

    Firstly, I've applied for DCSF and DIUS, do you think I'll have to choose on say what my preference is at the interview? I've read quite a bit of material on both of the departments websites and I think I'd be able to make the choice.

    Secondly, will all of the stats test questions be at the same sort of level as those on the past paper. On the past paper I've got 5 multiple choices questions, that all seem to be about 1st year stats level. I've put down on the application form that I have knowledge of a lot more complicated areas, so should I revise these or stick to the more basic stuff?


    BTW, do you work in the Darlington office or a different office?

    Thanks

    Mr I.
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    Not sure that you'll be expected to make a decision about the Department you join at the interview since it will depend what particular posts are available but obviously it can't hurt to know the background of what each Department does just in case.

    But even if you make a decision now it's not set in stone for ever, one of the great things about the Civil Service (and in particular amongst specialists - statisticians, operational researchers etc) is that moving between Departments is relatively easy and encouraged. I'm not a great example of it as I joined DfES (the Department that became DCSF and DIUS) five and half years ago and apart from a secondment to Ofsted have been there ever since, but have worked in a variety of areas. Within my team there is someone who has worked in Department of Health and DEFRA, someone else who started at ODPM (what is now Communities and Local Government). So if in 18 months you decided that you wanted to go elsewhere you could - obviously location is important to you, London gives you the greatest flexibility (I'm in London) but off the top of my head you've got DCSF/DIUS in Darlington, DWP in Newcastle, Health in Leeds, DEFRA in York.

    Moving between DIUS and DCSF is even easier since we used to be within the same Department so there are very strong links and movement between the two (and in Darlington and Sheffield they're still in the same building!)

    You're right to say that the statistical tests tend to lean towards the simpler stuff - drawing information from tables, averages, percentage changes, maybe interpreting some output from regressions / ANOVA etc. If your degree has a high stats content then you should be okay on those.

    However if you've put that you can do particular techniques on the application then it's probably fair game to be asked about them at interview. Beyond just the mechanics of doing stats do think about things like dissemination e.g. presenting analysis for non specialists and data collection.

    One last tip on the stats side - if you get asked something like give an example of a statistical technique you've used don't get caught in the trap of thinking you have to come up with some flash complicated method to impress the panel. It's more about being able to justify what you used, being able to explain it clearly and what the end result was.

    Don't whatever you do focus purely on the stats and neglect the wider skills that the application covers (things like teamwork, working effectively etc) as these are also very important. So do have a think about those. And remember in any application/interview it's important to say what you did (not we, the panel are interested in what you can do) and how your actions lead to a particular outcome. Easier said than done though - once went a bit wrong at an interview myself by using we all the time.

    But I think the most important thing to say regarding your interview is not to be intimidated by it, that's incredibly easy for me to say I know, but it is true that interview panels do want you to do well (makes their lives so much easier!) and all of them would have been on the other side of the desk, some of them very recently. And I do really mean it when I say that they're are nice, friendly people... we all are!

    Really I'm just trying to convince myself now. Found out today that I have an interview within the next week so am going through the same thing!
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    Hey good luck with the interview, and thanks for the advice really helpful!

    Oh, and can I ask about something else. Do you use Excel or SPSS more? At my uni we use R, which is completely different. On the application form I said I had a little knowledge of both SPSS and Excel, which is true, but I'm going to try to learn a bit more before I go incase I get asked anything. So which would be more important? I can just about load some data and do a linear regression on both:yep:
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    Personally probably use them in equal measure - though Excel is useless for a lot of our datasets. Wouldn't worry about them too much though, I didn't have any experience of SPSS before I started, nor did the StO I'm managing - who was on an SPSS course today actually. If you've loaded some data in and done a regression you're a few steps ahead of a lot of people.

    Anyway, good luck with it all and come back here to let me know how you get on. And hopefully we'll be working together in the future
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    SPSS is really user friendly and straight forward I found. I don't use it in my job now, but we did work with it at Uni
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    Had it yesterday. Thought the test went well, although I'm not sure I was on the right track with the data analysis question. Other than that think I nailed it. Interview was less good, and I think I messed it up. One question I went completely to hell, was rambling on about something then couldn't even remember the question . Another one, one of the interviewers just didn't understand what I was going on about at all . I think I have an outside chance of getting through, a couple of the interview questions I feel I answered really well and had some good examples. Don't think I prepared in quite the right way for it though.

    Does anyone know, if I get rejected can I apply to a different department? I was told DWP were advertising in August for Newcastle which would have been great for me but missed that.
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    It's not an interview unless you have at least one question where you go rambling on and forget the question As I said, I had an interview myself last week, the same thing happened to me. Eventually just stopped and said "er, I've got a bit lost there, can we start that question again". Got to see a copy of the test during the week, looked er fun.

    So do you know when you'll find out? Sounds like you've got some things to be positive about anyway which is good. Keep us posted and fingers crossed.

    If it's any re-assurance, this time last week I was very depressed at completely mucking up my interview and giving what I thought were some quite pathetic answers.... on Monday I was offered the job (dependent on passing a god awful one to one assessment which we now all have to go through to get the Grade 7, such joys). So you never know until they tell you the result.
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    Nice one on your interview!

    They said I'd find out by the end of next week, which is alright. Would have been a bit quicker but one of the interviewers is away on Monday and Tuesday.

    I'm positive about the test, if I got any of the multiple choice questions wrong I'd be gutted
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    (Original post by Mr Intensity)

    They said I'd find out by the end of next week, which is alright. Would have been a bit quicker but one of the interviewers is away on Monday and Tuesday.
    Haven't heard anything yet which I'll assume is bad:mad:
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    I wouldn't assume anything, the wheels of bureaucracy can turn very slowly. Is a bit rubbish that you haven't heard anything yet though.
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    I got in - worth the wait
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    Fantastic! I'm really pleased for you - and for us, we need good people :-) You should be rightly proud of your achievement as from what I've heard the success rate wasn't that high (well that was the case for the London interviews). Don't suppose you know which team you'll be joining yet?

    Anyway, welcome to the Civil Service and if you end up in London for any meetings pop by to say hello (obviously I'm not listed on the staff directory as Stats Monkey, I tend to be called Jon in a professional capacity!)
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    Hey, no I don't know which team I'll be in yet. Won't know until I can confirm my degree result in the summer.
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    Hey all i see that some people have been accepted for the scheme im applying for. I have a final interview a week tuesday in London for an assistant statistician position can any one shed some light on what questions il be asked to help me prepare etc


    Kind Regards Ras
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    Good luck mate.
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    Hi!

    I have applied for one position within the ONS and have been called for a first interview. I guess it must be a test and something else. Does any one have recently had an interview with the ONS and would like to share some details?

    The ONS seems a very interesting place to work for someone a bit nerdy and interested into data so would like to miss this chance.

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by her0n)
    I work for ONS but i'm not in an AS or SO role.

    I'm at the Titchfield office. Ask me anything about what it's like here.
    Hello Her0n,
    I have applied for a job in the Titchfield office and I was just invited for my first interview for a written test. I have been searching google all day on how to prepare for this test but came up with next to nothing. Have you got any suggestions.
    Thank you very much for your help in advance
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    (Original post by Suziebrooke)
    Hello Her0n,
    I have applied for a job in the Titchfield office and I was just invited for my first interview for a written test. I have been searching google all day on how to prepare for this test but came up with next to nothing. Have you got any suggestions.
    Thank you very much for your help in advance
    Hi Suziebrooke, I was wondering if you managed to find out anything in regard to the test? Or whether you've taken it yet? I've been invited to take the written test (next week - not much notice, ahhh!) and am also struggling to find out what material to prepare! Although I get the feeling it's the kind of test you can't really prepare and just have to do your best! Any help you could offer would be hugely appreciated
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    Hi ive applied for a job in the newport office. . Apparently I have a written test a competency test and a technical presentation. . Are you able to give me a heads up on what to revise etc?

    Becky
 
 
 
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