Completely missed the mark Civil Service

(14 Posts)
Stressmess Thu 21-Feb-19 07:48:06

I went for an internal civil service interview a few months back and didn't get it which I was gutted about. I got the feedback yesterday and I didn't just miss out, I seem to have completely missed the mark.

The thing is I spent weeks preparing, read over the competencies time and time again and felt that I had good examples. I felt the interview went reasonably well. I have lots of experience and do higher level work than my grade. I knew the star principle and talking about what I did.

I just feel so stupid now. I have seen colleagues go through who were younger and less experienced which was pretty gutting. I just feel so foolish feeling that the interview went well when they were sitting there thinking what on earth are you taking about. I expected to maybe score less in one of the competencies but don't seem to have shone brightly in any of them "Ineffective presentation of required skills and experience" was a recurring comment.

These opportunities don't come up this often and I had my chance and blew it!

OP’s posts: |
ForOldLandsEye Thu 21-Feb-19 07:52:29

Maybe they were just going through the motions and had already identified another (internal) candidate.

Do you have anyone who works in the CS who could advise you?

Stressmess Thu 21-Feb-19 08:16:51

These are internal promotion boards which are rare to happen. They are for candidates across all CS departments who are the grade below to apply for promotion. Two rounds of aptitude tests and then a competency based interview. So its not like they just want one candidate, all candidates from all Departments who are deemed suitable will get through.

I met with my line manager before the interview, who said I was much more prepared than he was when he had his interview. I put the work in and still didn't get it. The panel have made their final decision. Gutted!

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Thu 21-Feb-19 12:25:12

Was it one of those where lots of different panels were sitting for the same recruitment exercise? I think those can be hard because another panel may have passed you and the panel you had might have been really harsh by comparison.

Did you get advice from anyone except your manager before the interview? If not, does your manager regularly participate in recruitment? I think getting advice from someone who does is really important.

DisrespectfulAdultFemale Thu 21-Feb-19 12:29:27

No advice for you, OP, but you have my sympathy. I hope your next interview goes much better and you get the job.

daisychain01 Thu 21-Feb-19 22:13:47

OP, if I've interpreted your situation correctly, the type of interview you took part in is complex and problematic in organisations, both public sector and industry. Offering an employee a promotion comes at a high price to the organisation if the candidates remain 'in role' but gets paid more. The bar is always set really high, because they have to justify the additional expenditure.

I'd put the experience behind you, dust yourself off and wait for the next recruitment campaign. You'll be more likely to be successful if you apply for a proper vacancy, because you're then competing for a genuine role, at the pay grade set for that role, and will be able to compete on a level playing field. Promotion boards are a can of worms in my experience

Politicalacuityisathing Thu 21-Feb-19 22:26:28

Is it written feedback or face to face feedback from one of the panel? I have sat on an internal promotion board exercise and was able to offer face to face feedback where required. You shouldn't really be left in a situation where you don't really know what went wrong.

The comment you mention sounds like not meeting the required aspects of the competency. I have seen that happen where the example given either isn't specific enough of your contribution, is pitched at the wrong level or just misses the point of the competency (perhaps using an example that would be better suited to a different competency).

Either way though, I would see it as the job of the panel to help you understand where you can develop in your role or articulate your skills better. It should be a helpful process even f you don't get through.


Levithecat Sun 24-Feb-19 20:41:58

I’m sorry, it’s so tough isn’t it. Our team are doing practice interviews - is there any way you can find colleagues to do that for you? It’s odd at the moment with the change to success profiles...

Levithecat Sun 24-Feb-19 20:43:13

Ps that feedback isn’t particularly helpful - it should be more specific/help you understand where to improve. Not sure what, if anything, you can do about that.

Stressmess Mon 25-Feb-19 13:02:32

ISLEEPINAHEDGE yes you are right that is exactly the type of interview that it was. Before the interview I put in loads of prep work myself and went to my line manager with my prep work. I also had a brief meeting with a colleague who already had been through the process and was successful. It's interesting what you say about your manager regularly participating in recruitment because no they don't. Now I think about it, in my work there are two separate teams who would be under the same Director but who are separate but would do similar work. In the other team three of them have had recent promotions and on our side zero. I think that on our side they are all steady but with no great motivation due to being older, settled, families etc. I would be youngest in team and do want to progress.

POLITICAL. The feedback was written. I think your middle paragraph is spot on, not showing enough my contribution enough was my downfall. It was hard to read though the feedback, It felt harsh.

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Mon 25-Feb-19 21:58:31

I think there is a lot to learn from your experience, despite the disappointment.

Until about a year ago I was a perfect example of the settled, family etc team member that you describe, although for me it was more of “on hold” until the early child years were out of the way. If I had been asked for interview/job app advice, it wouldn’t have been worth the paper it was written on as I hadn’t been involved in recruitment as an applicant or a recruiter for the previous 10 years or more.

Since then, I have been involved in a few recruitment campaigns sifting and interviewing, and was recently promoted, so I have lots of recent experience in recruitment from all sides. I would be good to come to for advice!

My point is that if you want to progress, you’ll need to find the appropriate people to help you. Seek out the people who have the recent, current experience. Find and associate with the people who want to progress, and network with them.

I’d recommend getting a coach (first choice) or a mentor, you can acces both through Civil Service Learning, or your department might have a coaching network (mine does, I am part of it!)

Feel free to PM if I can be of any help - we might be able to set something up coaching-wise.

Stressmess Wed 27-Feb-19 07:32:08

ISSLEEPINAHEDGE. Thank you for taking the time to come back again and reply to me. Your comments are very helpful and make a lot of sense.

I know now if I get the opportunity again in the future, I definitely would go for coaching and although the feedback was difficult to hear I guess I will be able to learn from it in the future. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
wishingforalotterywin Wed 27-Feb-19 07:42:04

I don't work in your field btw

But just wondering does the comment mean you didnt have the skills required yet or that you didn't big yourself up enough

Artesia Wed 27-Feb-19 07:49:53

on our side they are all steady but with no great motivation due to being older, settled, families etc. I would be youngest in team and do want to progress.

Yeah- those settled family types clearly won’t have any ambition or want to progress hmm

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