UK Border Force Watch

leoleigh
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Has anyone applied for the border force positions? What has your experience been so far?
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Llamageddon
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(Original post by leoleigh)
Has anyone applied for the border force positions? What has your experience been so far?
Yes. I took a selection test. It was fairly easy but I've not hear anything since. Admittedly I took the test 2 days ago.
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leoleigh
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(Original post by Llamageddon)
Yes. I took a selection test. It was fairly easy but I've not hear anything since. Admittedly I took the test 2 days ago.
I too took the tests last week but have not heard. Do you know whether they sifted through the applications before the online tests?
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Llamageddon
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(Original post by leoleigh)
I too took the tests last week but have not heard. Do you know whether they sifted through the applications before the online tests?
Same info you got. I imagine so though. Test is done externally so they're probably paying per test and it's usually done with the application when used pre-sift.
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cool pilot dude
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(Original post by leoleigh)
Has anyone applied for the border force positions? What has your experience been so far?

(Original post by Llamageddon)
Yes. I took a selection test. It was fairly easy but I've not hear anything since. Admittedly I took the test 2 days ago.

How do you apply? my loca airport is Birmingham-BHX. Will they have vacancies there? does the UK border force have part-time, seasonal or summer opportunities? Will just having GCSEs and A-levels be good enough?
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K42
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As I work for Border Force I can answer a few questions here.

The online test are marked and then if you are successful, then they will sift you application. This is because it is more costly to sift the application than to mark the online test. I think I waited a week or so for a result when I first joined six years ago.

Current entry requirements are a 2:2 degree in any discipline and 2 A levels at grade C or above (they often change the requirements though so check any job adverts you see).

For Assistant Immigration Officers you need 5 GCSE's at grade A-C including English.

As a new Immigration Officer you can expect to earn around £30000 before tax as you will be paid a premium (known as AHW) on top of your basic pay in order to compensate you for our awful working hours (shift work ranging from very early morning starts to night shifts).
At many locations Immigration Officer are now also expected to dual train as Customs Officers, so ensure you are ready and willing to do both jobs before you apply.

For anyone who is a current civil servant at grade AO or EO, there is a current recruitment campaign for 400 Immigration Officers on the Civil Service Recruitment Gateway . To the best of my knowledge there is no current external campaign due to the freeze on civil servant recruitment as imposed by the government.
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leoleigh
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(Original post by cool pilot dude)
How do you apply? my loca airport is Birmingham-BHX. Will they have vacancies there? does the UK border force have part-time, seasonal or summer opportunities? Will just having GCSEs and A-levels be good enough?
There was a recruitment campaign in June for assistant border officers and border officers in London. You may wish to keep an eye on the civil service website for future openings.
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K42
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(Original post by leoleigh)
There was a recruitment campaign in June for assistant border officers and border officers in London. You may wish to keep an eye on the civil service website for future openings.
The current internal campaign for 400 people to be posted across the UK (Birmingham airport included) closes on 3 August and when non-civil servant try to apply it says:

"This recruitment campaign is for serving Civil Servants ONLY. You have stated you are not and therefore this means you are not eligible to apply. However there will be further opportunies for Border Force recruitment coming soon and will be open to non Civil Servants. If you are interested in future roles, please visit www.capitaras.co.uk/borderforce (link opens in a new window) in early August for further details and to apply."

I'm not saying there will be jobs but it sounds hopeful. It would be odd for them to do two campaigns so close together though.
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leoleigh
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K42 thank you for the information it has been very insightful. I am not currently a civil servant and applied when the 70 roles for external candidates were advertised in June. I am still waiting for the results of the online tests but I know the next stage is the assessment centre, can you please give any insight on the structure of these?
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K42
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If my memory serves me correctly, the assesment center consists of:

+Psychometric exam (Multiple choice)
+Written Exercise
+Competency based interview (based upon you initial application form)
+Role play

Do you have the details of the original job advert? On it you should have been asked to six or so examples within certain areas (e.g. work effectively, team working, speaks effectively). If I know what these are I can help with the interview.

I will go over the role play and written exam later. I've got a 5 day old baby so I can only get on the internet in short bursts at the moment! You should have plenty of time before the assessment though so don't worry.
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K42
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For the role play I was asked to imagine that I was a ticket conductor for a train company. I was checking tickets as passenger disembarked form a train and was told that the checking of tickets was a newly introduced procedure. In my case I was told that there were two conductors and that my imaginary college had taken someone aside to speak to another passenger as they did not hold a ticket.

I was told that I had found a passenger with a ticket and was asked to get the ticket from them or their personal details to impose a fine.
In my case the passenger said that his friends had run of with his wallet for a joke. I asked him to point out his friends and he said he couldn’t as they had gone too far but that he would go get the ticket and then come back to me. I offered to escort him to his friends to collect the ticket (apparently if you let him go alone the role player just left and never came back) but he refused to be escorted saying they may have gone too far away from the station.

I asked the passenger to turn his pockets inside out but they were empty.

The person then claimed I was victimising him and so I pointed out to my imaginary colleague was questioning another passenger under the exact same circumstances, I explained that it was a new company policy and that we treat everyone equally.

The person apologised and insisted that he had a ticket. I told him that I would let him go and collect it if he gave me a piece of personal identification such as a driving licence so that I could take down his details. The passenger claimed he had nothing on him and so I asked for his home phone number. He said no one would be home and so I asked for his parent’s number.

I said that if he gave me a number, I would take him to an imaginary public phone in the train station so that he could call his parents to verify his address and details. He said he had no money and so I said I would pay for the call (I didn’t offer to use my mobile as I figured it wouldn’t be good to have his personal details in any way saved on a personal non-work device).

The passenger refused to give a number claiming he didn’t know it and so I told him I would go and get a policeman if he could not provide any identification. The person continued to plead with me and I said that on this single occasion I would let him travel without his ticket as I was giving him the benefit of the doubt because we as a company value our customers.

I said to him that I work the same route each week and that next time I would accept no excuses, the police would have to be involved.

At debriefing I told the assessor that I had made this decision as the procedure of checking tickets was new and so it is credible that some people may not have them as they would not be used to showing them. I admitted that he could likely be trying to avoid the fare however I had to consider that if I got the police involved and that he did have a ticket which had been taken by his friends then it would have adversely affected the company image and I did not want to deter a potentially loyal customer from using the service. I considered that the potential loss of one faire was outweighed by the fact that if I acted reasonably on one occasion and one occasion only this is a small price to pay for customer satisfaction. I also said being in a role play makes it harder. If my colleague had forced someone to pay a fine then I would likely have involved the police and done the same as consistency would be important as it would not be acceptable to discriminate against any single individual. Therefore my decision in real life would have been made in co-operation with my colleague.

In the grand scheme of things I made a judgement call. The longer I spent talking to the passenger the more people were proceeding unchecked and that if this person was fully prepared to evade a fair then perhaps my efforts on this occasion would be better spent catching the unprepared passengers. The passenger had empty pockets and so this added some credibility to his friends running off with his tickets for a joke. I said I would have seen his friends run off and that if I had seen nothing to support his story then perhaps I would have considered getting the police involved.

I later heard that some people found the persons driving licence in their sock however when they explained their method to retrieving it, I considered that many of these people had overstepped their right as a ticket conductor. It did make me think that if I had insisted on getting the police involved that I could have could have got the required details but I guess by considering the wider context I passed anyway.

My main points would be:

+Always be polite, show respect and be fair but not too lenient.
+Even though it’s a role play, you can use anything that would exist in a real world setting even if it’s not really there.
+You can say you would interact with other imaginary people.
+Think of how you actions will reflect upon your employer in the long run.

Note: Your role play will likely be very different so don’t expect to get the same scenario.
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Llamageddon
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(Original post by K42)
I later heard that some people found the persons driving licence in their sock however when they explained their method to retrieving it, I considered that many of these people had overstepped their right as a ticket conductor. It did make me think that if I had insisted on getting the police involved that I could have could have got the required details but I guess by considering the wider context I passed anyway.
If they had to remove the shoes to get to the socks then it technically constitutes a strip search. That would be beyond what a police officer could (again technically) do in public on a stop search.

It's really not the sort of complaint you'd want to get for dealing with the lack of a sodding ticket. I guess some people just try to be a bit overzealous in proving their assertiveness on role plays. I've done a few now and some people are just plain aggressive, uncooperative and irritating in their attempts to show "team leadership" skills.
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leoleigh
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Thank you very much K42 for your input. This will be my first assessment centre if I do make it to the next stage and the information you have provided in such detail is greatly appreciated.
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K42
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When you do the written exam you will be given a scenario.

You will be given multiple pieces of information from different sources. You will then need to analyse all of the information and make a decision and will then have to write to one or more people explaining your decision.

In my case I was told that I worked for a recruitment agency and that an employer needed a worker. They had already received some poor quality staff from us and so there was pressure on me to ensure that we did not send someone unsuitable again.

The information offered to me consisted of the job requirements, a few CV's form applications, previous employer references and a letter from my manager. I think there was another information pack thrown in as a red herring.

From what I remember all the applicants were poor and the one that did appear suitable had discrepancies between his CV and his previous employment reference. His CV also contained a few grammatical and spelling mistakes and so I concluded on the basis that he claimed to have a good grade in GCSE English that he had probably submitted false information.

I concluded that none of the applicants were suitable and that to provide someone sub-par would damage the recruitment firm’s reputation even further. I therefore recommended that we say that we had no suitable candidates and also recommended that we call in the person suspect of lying on his CV in, telling him that we wanted to have a chat to discuss his options with him, this would allow is to ascertain the truth about his qualifications and suitability as we had received bad feedback about him in the past.

The written exam is timed, it is usually designed so you run out of time and you should take you own highlighters in case they don’t provide any.

When you work write notes or comments on the side of the main papers as the assessors to look at these when marking your paper when trying to see how you analysed the situation.

Remember, you won't get the same scenario this is just for information to give you an idea of what to expect.


As for the interview you will be asked to expand upon the examples you gave on your initial application form. You may be asked for alternate examples and the interview may ask you questions around the scenario or 'what if' questions in order to better assess your skills.

For the interview it is important to stay on topic. Everything you say should be based around the skill you are trying to demonstrate. You should also be saying what YOU did and not what other people did. Explain what you did, why you did it and how you ensured it was effective. Explain any quality control measures you used, explain how you encouraged and used feedback from others.

To really help with the interview I would need to see the job advert so if anyone applied and gets invited to an assessment centre, PM me and I may be able to help.

Looking at the news, we may be recruiting a few hundred people very soon.
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jellybean55
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Hi, I've just come across this thread - I've also applied and am waiting to hear if I've made it to the assessment centre.

Thanks for all the information - it's really helpful as I've never been to an assessment centre before.
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leoleigh
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Thank you so much for all the information. Still waiting for the online test results but I will definitely be in touch if I make it to the next stage
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Llamageddon
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Did anybody else find the online test a bit odd? I gave my e-mail and such but it was a generic login pass as opposed to a unique one. Basically, how are they linking the test result to the candidate?
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jellybean55
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I guess because you're logged in with your email and password when you put the campaign code in it automatically assigns the result to you.
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leoleigh
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Yes, I'd assume that's how it works too. Hope to hear soon because according to the timescales on the advert assessment centres should be starting at the end of July
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Guvnor
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I have heard that the whole recruitment process takes 3-5 months.


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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