FCO Graduate Intern Scheme 2019 Watch

pie-inator
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#21
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Yeah, I got one too! I was really confused since I haven't even done the online tests yet... has anyone been invited to them yet?? I had submitted my application and only got confirmation that they got application and that survey
(Original post by OSH996)
Did everyone here get an email about the 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' from Civil Service recruiting? Seems weird that this would be sent out before the application process is complete?
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al.duf
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#22
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Hey guys,

Does anyone know what the next steps are for this application process? Is it just video interviews or do we have an actual assessment day? The application process wasn't 100% clear but I assume its just video interview.

Cheers
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fairplaytoyou
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(Original post by al.duf)
Hey guys,

Does anyone know what the next steps are for this application process? Is it just video interviews or do we have an actual assessment day? The application process wasn't 100% clear but I assume its just video interview.

Cheers
Video interview
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27Alex27
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#24
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#24
I applied and I am fairly happy with my answers to the questions. However, I imagine the FCO is very competitive to get in and lots of people apply. Does anyone know when we will find out whether we have got a place or not and will they let us know via email?
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aubreywannabe
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#25
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In the applicant information document it says that they sift the applications from the 11th-31st of March, and then the Video Interviews take place between the 2nd and the 9th. Given that it's usually a weeks notice before you have to submit the VI, I think we'll probably all hear on the 1st or 2nd whether we've made it through the Sift, and probably by early May whether we've got a place on the scheme.

Interestingly it also looks like they initially sift just by the first question (delivering at pace) and the last one (motivations), then cut numbers down further by assessing the others. Hope I made those two strong enough to pass the initial cull haha
(Original post by 27Alex27)
I applied and I am fairly happy with my answers to the questions. However, I imagine the FCO is very competitive to get in and lots of people apply. Does anyone know when we will find out whether we have got a place or not and will they let us know via email?
Last edited by aubreywannabe; 3 months ago
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27Alex27
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How do you know they sift by the first question and the last one?
(Original post by aubreywannabe)
In the applicant information document it says that they sift the applications from the 11th-31st of March, and then the Video Interviews take place between the 2nd and the 9th. Given that it's usually a weeks notice before you have to submit the VI, I think we'll probably all hear on the 1st or 2nd whether we've made it through the Sift, and probably by early May whether we've got a place on the scheme.

Interestingly it also looks like they initially sift just by the first question (delivering at pace) and the last one (motivations), then cut numbers down further by assessing the others. Hope I made those two strong enough to pass the initial cull haha
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aubreywannabe
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#27
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It's all in the candidate pack, in the application process section.
(Original post by 27Alex27)
How do you know they sift by the first question and the last one?
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27Alex27
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A right, thanks. I'm fairly confident in my answers but to be honest so many people apply and so few roles are there it's going to be tough. Good luck to you.
(Original post by aubreywannabe)
It's all in the candidate pack, in the application process section.
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aubreywannabe
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Cheers, good luck to you too!
(Original post by 27Alex27)
A right, thanks. I'm fairly confident in my answers but to be honest so many people apply and so few roles are there it's going to be tough. Good luck to you.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by fairplaytoyou)
most people seemed to be from the most obvious sort of background!
In my induction group for the internship, 3 out of 21 of us had languages as a background. I didn't make notes on how many had International Relations... seem to remember a few along the lines of Politics, Economics, Business, Law... but September seems a long time ago now! And I was one of 3 induction groups (around 69 total interns) so can't comment on the split in other groups!

Good luck everyone
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OSH996
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#31
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Are you doing the FCO internship now? So many questions! What’s it like working at the FCO? What department are you in? What sort of experience are you getting? Would you recommend it?
Thanks in advance!
(Original post by sophia5892)
(Original post by fairplaytoyou)

In my induction group for the internship, 3 out of 21 of us had languages as a background. I didn't make notes on how many had International Relations... seem to remember a few along the lines of Politics, Economics, Business, Law... but September seems a long time ago now! And I was one of 3 induction groups (around 69 total interns) so can't comment on the split in other groups!

Good luck everyone
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sophia5892
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Yup I started in September and finish at the end of May.

My experience is probably a little different to most interns as I work in a different building where there's only 3 departments so it's quite a small, friendly, "community". And I'm the only intern there. Whereas the main building is huge!

I'm working in Protocol in one of the departments that organises events... so certainly not what I envisaged but pretty perfect for me so I've been really happy with my placement. Other interns in my induction had all kinds of placements - Private Office, Consular, Geographic desks, HR, Sanctions, Arms Control, Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Diversity & Inclusion etc. So lots of variation!

My team have been great. I've been made to feel like a "proper" member of staff and given the responsibility of a full role even though I'm "just an intern". But at the start I got plenty of mentoring so I was never made to feel like I'd been thrown in the deep end not knowing how to swim! My Line Manager has also been really supportive of me getting L&D, so I've worked on projects and events with the other departments in my building, and signed up for additional training (there's loads of stuff going on in the main building). I've also volunteered for a few events that needed extra staff.

The interns are also great as a group - we have a whatsapp chat and one intern is organising weekly "conferences" where he tries to get an FCO staff member in to discuss their role or what their department is doing and other interns can talk about their jobs too. There's also an internal Intern mailing list so I quite frequently get emails from other interns about events their department are hosting or volunteer opportunities etc. Being disabled I don't get to be as involved as I'd like and I don't get to socialise outside of work - but the opportunities are there! (Incidentally - as someone disabled I've found the FCO very supportive!)

I'd definitely recommend it and I'm hoping to stay in the FCO after my internship. It definitely gives you a lot of opportunities, and I think whatever department you end up in you'll be learning transferable skills that will help in any Civil Service job. "Organising events" certainly wasn't what I expected to be doing this year, and it might not seem like I'm getting the most useful experience compared to someone who's perhaps writing Ministerial briefings or dealing with policy... but in the Civil Service, as you'll have gathered from your application, it's all about competencies (now changing to Success Profiles with behaviours and skills which are essentially the same thing)... so I'm definitely covering Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Partnering and Collaborating with Others etc etc. so I've plenty to talk about in future job applications.
And of course you get the benefit of the Fast Pass for the Fast Stream (assuming they offer that again!).
(Original post by OSH996)
Are you doing the FCO internship now? So many questions! What’s it like working at the FCO? What department are you in? What sort of experience are you getting? Would you recommend it?
Thanks in advance!
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CC1617
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#33
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#33
Sorry for all the questions but could I ask a few more to fill in the gaps from the application pack?

Does every intern get the full 5k location allowance and, if so, how is that paid to you?

If we are accepted and then fail the fast stream (with or without the fast pass) what systems are in place to help you stay on with the FCO post-internship, or is it simply using the internal CS system to apply for jobs?

Finally, it was earlier stated that the process seems to focus on motivation and delivering at pace in stage 1, while stage 2 (Which I assume to be the video interview) focuses on the remaining competencies; therefore, can we use the same written competencies in our VI or would you recommend using new examples based on your own experience and perhaps those of others you may have discussed it with?

Thanks!
(Original post by sophia5892)
Yup I started in September and finish at the end of May.

My experience is probably a little different to most interns as I work in a different building where there's only 3 departments so it's quite a small, friendly, "community". And I'm the only intern there. Whereas the main building is huge!

I'm working in Protocol in one of the departments that organises events... so certainly not what I envisaged but pretty perfect for me so I've been really happy with my placement. Other interns in my induction had all kinds of placements - Private Office, Consular, Geographic desks, HR, Sanctions, Arms Control, Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Diversity & Inclusion etc. So lots of variation!

My team have been great. I've been made to feel like a "proper" member of staff and given the responsibility of a full role even though I'm "just an intern". But at the start I got plenty of mentoring so I was never made to feel like I'd been thrown in the deep end not knowing how to swim! My Line Manager has also been really supportive of me getting L&D, so I've worked on projects and events with the other departments in my building, and signed up for additional training (there's loads of stuff going on in the main building). I've also volunteered for a few events that needed extra staff.

The interns are also great as a group - we have a whatsapp chat and one intern is organising weekly "conferences" where he tries to get an FCO staff member in to discuss their role or what their department is doing and other interns can talk about their jobs too. There's also an internal Intern mailing list so I quite frequently get emails from other interns about events their department are hosting or volunteer opportunities etc. Being disabled I don't get to be as involved as I'd like and I don't get to socialise outside of work - but the opportunities are there! (Incidentally - as someone disabled I've found the FCO very supportive!)

I'd definitely recommend it and I'm hoping to stay in the FCO after my internship. It definitely gives you a lot of opportunities, and I think whatever department you end up in you'll be learning transferable skills that will help in any Civil Service job. "Organising events" certainly wasn't what I expected to be doing this year, and it might not seem like I'm getting the most useful experience compared to someone who's perhaps writing Ministerial briefings or dealing with policy... but in the Civil Service, as you'll have gathered from your application, it's all about competencies (now changing to Success Profiles with behaviours and skills which are essentially the same thing)... so I'm definitely covering Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Partnering and Collaborating with Others etc etc. so I've plenty to talk about in future job applications.
And of course you get the benefit of the Fast Pass for the Fast Stream (assuming they offer that again!).
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sophia5892
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#34
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Questions always welcome, although I can't promise answers will be accurate as HR review things each year so there may be differences!

London Location Allowance - as far as I know all interns are based in London in the Main Building (except me but I'm still in London!), and so all get the full LLA. This is paid as a monthly amount with your salary, so bear in mind that it's 5k per year, and your internship with be 9 months, so you'll get a pro-rata'd amount (should be £416.67 per month for 9 months). The same goes for your salary - you'll get 9 months worth of the 12 month annual salary.

Also note that depending on your start date you might not get the full amount in your first month - I started on Monday 3rd September and so got paid slightly less for September (£150 ish less). Given I'd worked every working day in September this was a bit of a shock and not one I needed after the expense of paying deposit and rent for my flat upfront in August! But it's just to do with how the salary system works. It works on full months, rather than working days, and so, technically, I wasn't employed for the full month of September as my employment didn't start until the 3rd.

As an intern you can't use the internal system to apply for jobs - at least as far as I know! It asks if you're a civil servant and from my understanding, being on a temporary internship doesn't qualify us. However, there is the external jobs board and I'd certainly say the internship gives you an advantage as you're more familiar with the competencies/success profiles. This year they've also offered the opportunity for interns to apply for a fixed-term contract - I believe this was offered last year for the first time, and it wasn't confirmed that it'd be offered to us until last month. So I wouldn't pin your hopes on this as there's no guarantee it'll be an option next year. I've also no clue how competitive it is or what the chances are of being accepted. And if you apply you'll be allocated to a job - so similar to the internship, you don't get a choice. I'm hoping to apply through this route as I failed the Fast Stream (10.78 at FSAC and only applied for Dip!). There's also the Direct Appointment Scheme if you narrowly fail at FSAC so I'm waiting on that. They've just started to send Expressions of Interest out and the FCO is taking part, but again, there's no guarantee the FCO will take part next year, nor that you'll get an FCO role as any department could contact you!

As for the video interview - honestly, I couldn't say. I used different examples as I was worried using the same ones might go against me - and I made it clear I was using different examples in my answers too. But someone in my induction group used the same examples and was obviously successful. So I really wouldn't like to judge if one is better than the other!

(Original post by CC1617)
Sorry for all the questions but could I ask a few more to fill in the gaps from the application pack?

Does every intern get the full 5k location allowance and, if so, how is that paid to you?

If we are accepted and then fail the fast stream (with or without the fast pass) what systems are in place to help you stay on with the FCO post-internship, or is it simply using the internal CS system to apply for jobs?

Finally, it was earlier stated that the process seems to focus on motivation and delivering at pace in stage 1, while stage 2 (Which I assume to be the video interview) focuses on the remaining competencies; therefore, can we use the same written competencies in our VI or would you recommend using new examples based on your own experience and perhaps those of others you may have discussed it with?

Thanks!
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27Alex27
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#35
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It all sounds really interesting what you've been doing. What sort of examples did you use in your competencies test/success profiles as they are now? Also how soon after being offered the job did you start looking for accomodation?
(Original post by sophia5892)
Questions always welcome, although I can't promise answers will be accurate as HR review things each year so there may be differences!

London Location Allowance - as far as I know all interns are based in London in the Main Building (except me but I'm still in London!), and so all get the full LLA. This is paid as a monthly amount with your salary, so bear in mind that it's 5k per year, and your internship with be 9 months, so you'll get a pro-rata'd amount (should be £416.67 per month for 9 months). The same goes for your salary - you'll get 9 months worth of the 12 month annual salary.

Also note that depending on your start date you might not get the full amount in your first month - I started on Monday 3rd September and so got paid slightly less for September (£150 ish less). Given I'd worked every working day in September this was a bit of a shock and not one I needed after the expense of paying deposit and rent for my flat upfront in August! But it's just to do with how the salary system works. It works on full months, rather than working days, and so, technically, I wasn't employed for the full month of September as my employment didn't start until the 3rd.

As an intern you can't use the internal system to apply for jobs - at least as far as I know! It asks if you're a civil servant and from my understanding, being on a temporary internship doesn't qualify us. However, there is the external jobs board and I'd certainly say the internship gives you an advantage as you're more familiar with the competencies/success profiles. This year they've also offered the opportunity for interns to apply for a fixed-term contract - I believe this was offered last year for the first time, and it wasn't confirmed that it'd be offered to us until last month. So I wouldn't pin your hopes on this as there's no guarantee it'll be an option next year. I've also no clue how competitive it is or what the chances are of being accepted. And if you apply you'll be allocated to a job - so similar to the internship, you don't get a choice. I'm hoping to apply through this route as I failed the Fast Stream (10.78 at FSAC and only applied for Dip!). There's also the Direct Appointment Scheme if you narrowly fail at FSAC so I'm waiting on that. They've just started to send Expressions of Interest out and the FCO is taking part, but again, there's no guarantee the FCO will take part next year, nor that you'll get an FCO role as any department could contact you!

As for the video interview - honestly, I couldn't say. I used different examples as I was worried using the same ones might go against me - and I made it clear I was using different examples in my answers too. But someone in my induction group used the same examples and was obviously successful. So I really wouldn't like to judge if one is better than the other!
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sophia5892
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#36
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I can't really remember now but I think most of my examples came from working in my university's International Office, or from volunteering at the Rio Olympics. I might have used some stuff from teaching English abroad too.

Pretty much straight away - they'll tell you not to resign from any jobs or make any financial commitments until after your SC clearance comes through as your internship isn't confirmed until you have clearance. My clearance came through on August 10th so I didn't have that long to organise moving before starting on September 3rd. Luckily the rental market in London seems to work very last minute and it seems places don't even get advertised here until shortly before the tenancy starts!
(Original post by 27Alex27)
It all sounds really interesting what you've been doing. What sort of examples did you use in your competencies test/success profiles as they are now? Also how soon after being offered the job did you start looking for accomodation?
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Uncle_Fester
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#37
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(Original post by pie-inator)
Yeah, I got one too! I was really confused since I haven't even done the online tests yet... has anyone been invited to them yet?? I had submitted my application and only got confirmation that they got application and that survey
Don't worry about it, it's part of all jobs placed through CivilServiceJobs. It's automated.
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OSH996
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#38
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Hey everyone - I got a rejection notice from the FCO today... I’m quite surprised as I thought I had a strong application... could be because I’m a dual national? Oh well... Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back! xx
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liebemanc
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#39
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In the exact same boat as you - also rejected and I’m also a dual national and I felt like my application was really strong, I really felt a ticked off all the compentencies, ah well.I must say I’m surprised to have heard back so quickly when they’re still sifting until 31st March - I’m guessing this means we didn’t make it past the initial first stage? Quite gutted because I really want to work for the FCO but I feel I’ll never make it with this competency type of approach haha
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OSH996
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The fact we heard back so quickly makes me think that we didn’t meet initial eligibility requirements... but there was nothing about dual nationals not being eligible was there?
(Original post by liebemanc)
In the exact same boat as you - also rejected and I’m also a dual national and I felt like my application was really strong, I really felt a ticked off all the compentencies, ah well.I must say I’m surprised to have heard back so quickly when they’re still sifting until 31st March - I’m guessing this means we didn’t make it past the initial first stage? Quite gutted because I really want to work for the FCO but I feel I’ll never make it with this competency type of approach haha
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