Civil Service Interview advice

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mikejc1094
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#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
I have an interview next week on Monday for an AO grade role in the Cabinet Office. I have had a few interviews at both the CS (EO grade) and other organisations, no luck so far though so I really want to nail this interview.

I am not a very charismatic person at all, and I believe my Dyspraxia makes it harder for me to form speech, which all makes selling myself harder in interviews. For those who have successfully got hired at the civil service what advice can you provide? It would be greatly appreciated.
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Marfyy2
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#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
Just so you (both) know, you are allowed to take and refer to notes in any civil service interview regardless of any reasonable adjustments. That said civil service prides itself on its disability confident employer badge, and they will always try to meet anything you need to support you, especially at interview where they are trying to make as good an impression on you as you are on them.

(Original post by Vexper)
Just wondering - did you declare that you had Dyspraxia? They might have let you have a reasonable adjustment for the interview - for example you could take your notes in with you if that might help.

Are you making sure to study the success profiles? You are in a good position to prepare as they essentially advertise exactly what they want you to display in the interview. I'd imagine the vacancy is assessing; working together, managing a quality service, delivering at pace and potentially developing self and others? Ensure you have a nice story to tell that fits each behaviour, and take your time. Speak slowly. There is no rush, you are not on the clock. If you feel really nervous going into your interview and it might make you more comfortable - just briefly let them know you have Dyspraxia and will take a little more time with your answers. They'll be fine with it.
A big part of the "new" civil service interview is about letting your personality show as well as your workplace competency. They will likely ask you questions not just about the key behaviours, but about your strengths and fit questions - how well do you fit the role, why are you interested in the position, so it's important to have at least thought about this.
If you have a passion for a specific part of role talk about that. If you are using them as a stepping stone talk about it (I mean maybe don't say it so blantantly) but the civil service is so keen to recruit talent and ambition at the moment. They want bright sparks who want to achieve success and make changes for the better, both publically or internally. They want to see who their candidates are and whether they are going to be a good part of the team, not just whether you can write out and rehearse a statement about a time when you demonstrated 'x' behaviour
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Marfyy2
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#3
Report 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by Vexper)
1. Actually that's not true whatsoever. Some departments look upon that practice as the norm, as my current department does, not all though. I've been asked to leave my material outside of interviews, especially for the security-related departments. I would never advise someone to rely on material in any interview.

2. Absolutely don't do that. Like, public sector or private sector. Going into an interview and musing on your NEXT job instead of the one you're applying for is doesn't score points and gives off a bad impression. If they ask the relevant question - where do you see yourself in 5 years etc, then it's appropriate. But showing up to an interview and saying yeah I want X job but really it's just because I want Y job isn't good in any interview. They want you keen to do that job and learn and develop, not use it as a stepping stone. That's so nomething you start exploring with your line manager once you are in the role.
1. Fair enough I'll take that, my current department also allows notes and having had loads of interviews and never been not allowed to take notes in I was unaware of this.

2. I think I've been misunderstood. I totally agree with what you're saying so maybe what I said didn't come across right. What I mean to explain is that talking about what you're passionate about is important to the point of saying you're interested in this job because it can help you build and develop your skills for your long-term career! For example mention that you're passionate about public education (if true) and if the job you're going for doesn't explicitly quite meet that true passion explain to the interviewer how it does? So they know you have your own passions and those passions make that job suitable for you, rather than talking about what you're passionate about and them sitting there musing: "Well you won't get any of that in this job so why are you here..." I hope that makes more sense? Sorry for any confusion OP.
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Airportis
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#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
I have had 2 civil service interviews and managed to get both jobs. I think the key is practice practice practice. For both interviews they let me bring in notes. What I tend to do is bullet point each competency and when writing an example I make sure I hit each point and expand on that point as much as possible. I "rehearsed" my examples as much as I could and then bullet pointed the key points of my examples. I took these bullet points into the interview with me so if I lost my train of thought I could easily have a look at my notes and pick up where I left off. For the strength based questions I would Google some example questions and have answers. prepared. This is what I did for my most recent interview and scored 677. Good luck!
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Marcus133
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#5
Report 8 months ago
#5
For Civil Service Success I'd say it's all about having the best behavioural examples and winning competencies. A quick Google search for "civil service success" should provide plenty of resources to assist or a specific civil service competency such as "delivering at pace" should help lots. Good luck everyone!
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