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Is an 'allocation meeting' a second interview? (Civil Service/ ONS) Watch

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    (Original post by markswinburne)
    Hi Hiral,

    The interview was divided in three stages with each stage lasting approximately 20 minutes.

    The first stage involved answering competency based questions, reflecting the competency themes from the online application (Collaborating and Partnering; Delivering at Pace; Making Effective Decisions as well as Dissemination). Personally, I used the exact same examples I had used in my online application form and they made more specific questions on these. For example, I was asked for instances where I faced conflicting decisions within the context of one of my examples and how I dealt with it - that sort of thing.

    My suggestion here is to not get too caught up in an essay-type answer in your preparation, especially if the example comes from specialist work. Be really concise in introducing your example and explaining your role within the example, and let them dig in the details. I felt that my answers were unnecessarily long and perplexing - what they want is simple, straightforward, common sense answers pertaining to how you behave as opposed to how adept you were in a specific project.

    This part is easy to intimidate. Generic themes do not equal generic questions, and what is most important at this stage is thinking on your feet - tackling unexpected, specific questions regarding your example - so make sure you remember your role clearly and take it from there.

    It's also worth noting that they are very clear on which theme they are examining each time and they choose the order in which they examine them, so make sure that your examples are not too interdependent.

    The second stage was the presentation followed by Q&A. I was given two tables with frequencies and confidence intervals and was vaguely asked to 'present the data'. I focused on describing trends in the data while highlighting statistically significant points (max/min/ significant changes/differences based on time/regions etc.), which they seemed to appreciate. What I think was also important here is giving a clear description of what each statistic meant before describing the respective trends. The questions were quite theoretical. For example, I was asked about the pros and cons of survey recorded crime from the first table vs. police recorded crime on the second table and potential explanations for the trends (e.g. what could have caused a decrease in crime etc).

    So, the presentation itself is straightforward, as long as you are a confident presenter and don't miss out on any obviously important data point and show that you understand what the numbers mean you will be fine. As for the Q&A, it would be good to have some background knowledge on the dynamics of the statistics you are presenting. Do go and check the original Surveys out of which the data was taken and read the analysis for potential explanations to have up your sleeve.

    On a side note, I noticed you are asking about the 'ppt'. In my case they made it clear that Power Point will not be available so all I had was a couple of A4 sheets of notes, so be prepared to memorise your presentation and rely more on notes as opposed to slides.

    The last stage involved the Data Collection and Statistical Analysis competencies. These involve both examining the examples you provide (i.e. from the online application) as well as technical questions. In the case of Data Collection you will be asked for the pros and cons of different research and sampling methods (e.g. surveys vs interviews; census vs survey; stratified vs cluster) focusing on both methodological and practical issues (e.g. time, resources etc.) Of course you will also be asked why you used a specific method in your practical examples and so forth.

    As for the stats, after asking specific questions on the analytical method used in your example (both example-specific -i.e. why you used this particular one- and generic), they present you with the outputs of a Regression or an ANOVA or a Hypothesis Test (largely depending on your analytical skills statement).

    The questions were quite fundamental - for each method I was asked why the method is used and what it could help me understand and then some basic technical questions followed (e.g. when do you reject a hypothesis etc.) At some point my answers seemed to baffle them so they moved to quite simple questions such as describing what means/modes/medians are and when is their use preferable etc. Not sure if it's questions they normally ask or whether they resort to them when performance is low.

    Either way I would recommend not ignoring revision of basic statistics and not focusing on the analytical methods exclusively.

    As for the allocation meeting I believe it's not done as of yet as I haven't go a response. I did get two separate e-mails about it with one stating it will take place 'early April' and the other saying 'mid April' so I suppose it could take a couple of weeks more. They did ask me at the end of the interview about which department I would like to work in, so I think that is your chance to affect your allocation. I'd recommend to find two or three departments you like so that you don't end up somewhere you are not that comfortable with.

    Best of luck
    Thank you so much! That was a really detailed description of the interview. I now have a better idea of what to expect. Just waiting for the post to re open..
    Good luck with your allocation!
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    Seeing as we're into April now I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything more specific about when these allocation meetings will be/when we'll hear the outcome?
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    (Original post by KevDP4L)
    Seeing as we're into April now I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything more specific about when these allocation meetings will be/when we'll hear the outcome?
    I know my manager is attending the allocation meeting for my division next week (so the meeting I will be allocated in). I'm not entirely sure how they work in terms of separate meetings for each division within ONS, but I assume that means they will all be within the next few weeks.

    I really feel for everyone waiting...these things take a long time and then there's security clearance as well!
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    (Original post by Daniellecorni5h)
    Any questions/advice feel free to message me on here or privately. No promises I can answer though!
    Hi Danielle,

    Was just wondering if you have heard anything about the re advertisement of the post?

    I had contacted the recruitment team and they said they were aiming for the end of April. However, I cannot see any adverts as yet.

    I understand you might not be aware of this..was just trying to get an idea😃

    Thank you😃
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    (Original post by Hiralmehta)
    Hi Danielle,

    Was just wondering if you have heard anything about the re advertisement of the post?

    I had contacted the recruitment team and they said they were aiming for the end of April. However, I cannot see any adverts as yet.

    I understand you might not be aware of this..was just trying to get an idea😃

    Thank you😃

    I haven't heard anything specially but they are currently recruiting the SEO level and last time they started HEO level after that, so I would take a guess that it'll be at least a few weeks
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    (Original post by Daniellecorni5h)
    I haven't heard anything specially but they are currently recruiting the SEO level and last time they started HEO level after that, so I would take a guess that it'll be at least a few weeks
    Thanks for the reply Danielle😃
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    (Original post by Daniellecorni5h)
    Allocations isn't anything like an interview. It is where people (like you) who have definitely got a job get placed with a certain team. Senior staff will looks at all the new recruits and 'bid' for who they want for their teams... so you don't need to do anything just wait and wait... But you def have a job so congrats!


    I'm already at ONS so am also waiting for the allocation meeting to tell me where my new role will be with my promotion to HEO level (stats analyst), but as I'm already here it's more of a formality as I know my team want to keep me.

    Happy to answer any other questions, civil service is almost impossible to understand, especially from the outside Out of interest, are you applying for Newport or Titchfield?
    Hi

    New to this just wanted advise please help as I don't know what this exactly means


    I'm writing to confirm that you have successfully reached the required standard in regards to your application, but unfortunately we are unable to offer you a job immediately.
    As a result of this you will now be placed on the reserve list and considered for any future appointments within your location choices. Please note the reserve list will expire on Friday 2nd May 2017, and there will be no guarantee that you will receive a job offer within this period of time.

    I applied for AO and got 14 marks in total

    Acceptable Demonstration

    Regards
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    (Original post by Sebastian_Morris)
    Hi

    New to this just wanted advise please help as I don't know what this exactly means


    I'm writing to confirm that you have successfully reached the required standard in regards to your application, but unfortunately we are unable to offer you a job immediately.
    As a result of this you will now be placed on the reserve list and considered for any future appointments within your location choices. Please note the reserve list will expire on Friday 2nd May 2017, and there will be no guarantee that you will receive a job offer within this period of time.

    I applied for AO and got 14 marks in total

    Acceptable Demonstration

    Regards
    Hi,

    Basically this means that you passed the interview with sufficient marks for them to be happy to offer you a job. However, because the application process means that (in theory) every person they interview could pass, even if you pass you might not get offered a job (it depends how many jobs there are available). So if more jobs come up by May you'll get offered one.
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    👍🏼
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    Received this yesterday afternoon

    Re: CSR/2272/16 - Administrative Officer and Apprentice.

    Initially in the advert under vacancy ref. CSR/2272/16 we stated that there would be a variety of roles available including Administration Officer Roles within Enforcement and Compliance, but unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances we are not currently in a position to offer any roles within this business area. However this does not impact Administration Officer Roles on offer within Customer Service, and where applicable candidates will be appointed into these roles as originally planned. Please note any roles offered will be offered in strict order of merit. If you are currently on a reserve list, this will be revisited in merit order should further positions become available within the next few months. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance for any concern or inconvenience this update may have caused you.
 
 
 
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