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Civil Service - DWP Interview

(86 Posts)
lmcintyre8676 Mon 03-Sep-18 15:25:30

I may potentially have an interview coming up with the civil service within the DWP and i'm trying to come up with answers for the 2 other competencies that i might be asked on. These are 'making effective desicions' and 'collaborating and partnering'.

I've got a few situations in my mind that i could use from previous jobs but the dificulty is trying to fit these answers around their framework and how relevant my answers are.

For the making effective decisions one i have one along the lines of recognising that the way work was allocated across the team wasn't fair or equal leaving others with substantially more work than others, advising the team leader of this and taking suggestions on board from the rest of the team as to how this can be improved. Weighing up pros and cons of what was suggested and putting forward what i felt was the best solution to the team leader.

I'm struggling a bit with the collaborating and partnering, nearly every job i've had i've worked as part of a team sometimes small and sometimes larger also built good professional relationships with external clients/contractors etc

Any advice would be great!

OP’s posts: |
lmcintyre8676 Mon 03-Sep-18 20:11:05

Ive managed to get through the application stage, it's currently 'under review'. However, with a potential mock interview towards the end of this week im trying to work on the other 2 competencies i may be asked on which are 'making effective decisions' and 'collaborating and partnering'.

For making effective decisions i have an example from a previous job where i went out of my way to help a customer and stayed at work late (by my own choice) until i had resolved the situation.

The collab and partnering i have working together as a team to create a more fair and manageable workload for the team.

My struggle is trying to tailor my answers to the framework.

OP’s posts: |
Pebblesandfriends Mon 03-Sep-18 20:18:26

It depends very much on what grade you're going for. If you don't already have a copy of the civil service competency framework Google it and download it. Then look at the breakdown of the competency under your grade and try and address each point with your answer.

Pebblesandfriends Mon 03-Sep-18 20:20:08

Your examples sound along the right lines, I would draft it and give it somebe to read to see if you have addressed each competency point. Good luck!

lmcintyre8676 Mon 03-Sep-18 21:42:54

Thanks very much for your advice, it's for a work coach (Executive Officer - grade 2 i think).

If my application is successful then they will be holding mock interviews before the real thing which will definitely help.

Ive got the framework and trying to use the STAR technique too, it's just a case now of wording it all right and incorpating the positive behaviours!

OP’s posts: |
minniecat2406 Tue 04-Sep-18 20:23:57

Use the framework but definitely don't just copy and paste the language into your application! As a hiring manager it's a big no no on application forms.

Top tip, in case Delivering At Pace is another competency, don't make the (very common) mistake of thinking this means doing something quickly. It doesn't. It means thinking through and planning your course of action in a timely way. Good luck

lmcintyre8676 Tue 04-Sep-18 21:12:23

Thanks for your advice. The 4 they are using are Managing a quality service, leading & communicating (which were both on the initial application) then the other 2 i may be asked on partnering and collaborating and making effective decisions. I have a few ideas written down but i'm just stressing about them covering all the effective behaviours

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ScabbyBabby Sat 08-Sep-18 08:49:28

Hi Imcintyre,

I'm currently applying for various civil service roles too and wondered how you are getting on?

I've got 2 interviews booked so I'm relatively confident about my ability to structure answers for the application form stage but I am so nervous for the interview.

lmcintyre8676 Sat 08-Sep-18 12:14:14

I only scored 1 and 2 on my competencies so didn't even get an interview! Slightly annoying as when i applied lady at dwp told me answers were really strong and didn't see why i shouldn't at least get an interview!

Hope you're interviews go well, im trying to apply for other cs jobs as well.

OP’s posts: |
Pebblesandfriends Sat 08-Sep-18 12:20:15

I have woked in CS in the past, they will try and help you as much as possible at interview so listen to their steers.

ScabbyBabby Sat 08-Sep-18 22:19:53

Thank you Pebbles, keeping everything crossed.

I can help with the competencies for the application Imcintyre.

I think it’s more how you word them once you’ve got a good example. Using lots of ‘I initiated’ ‘I organised’ ‘I discussed the issues senstively’ including all the language in the competency descriptors.

Use the STAR format and focus on the action part.

Give them back what they’ve described to you but in your own words.

2BorNot2Bvocal Tue 11-Sep-18 12:37:20

The recruitment process is quite opaque. Not gone for the same role as OP. For the role I've gone for CS said they would sift against four competencies. I've gone forward for interview but seem to have only been successful against one of the competencies (automated feedback on website).

Assuming they had a reasonable number of applicants as a lot of interview time slots offered. Wish me luck !

2BorNot2Bvocal Tue 11-Sep-18 12:45:29

Scabby thanks for the pointer towards STAR. I recognise the type of question but may have been known to ramble. grin
Good luck with your interviews.

ScabbyBabby Tue 11-Sep-18 16:29:13

Thank you Bvocal.

Is it a customer service role you’re applying for? That’s what I’ve applied for if so.

Interviewed today in Birmingham. They were friendly but I think nerves got the better of me and I waffled far too much!

They asked me about delivering at pace and then more general questions about me and why I wanted the job, what I could bring to the role etc etc.

So my advice is yes prepare competency answers but also good answers to the more general questions.

I have no idea if I’ve done well or not. I’ve a feeling not but I have another 2 civil service interviews coming up and it’s helped my nerves for just having gotten through one.

ScabbyBabby Tue 11-Sep-18 16:30:11

And wishing everyone lots of luck!

2BorNot2Bvocal Tue 11-Sep-18 16:44:04

Fingers crossed for you Scabby. Interviews can be like exams and you do better than you think you did.

No, not customer services. Could be outing as a bit specialised so will say no more.

ScabbyBabby Tue 11-Sep-18 17:54:03

Ok I understand.

Let me know how you get on 🤞

OlennasWimple Tue 11-Sep-18 17:55:59

Remember to frame competency based answers around STAR


And focus on what you did, not what the rest of the team did

doris9034 Tue 11-Sep-18 18:01:04

I got through all the online tests earlier this year and had an interview but unfortunately didn't come to anything. Didn't get any feedback as to why I wasn't successful but think a large part may have been because when asked about achievements I tend to use we (As in the team) rather than I - which to be fair the interviewer did advise me not to do at the beginning.... just a tip!!

ScabbyBabby Tue 11-Sep-18 18:59:58

There seems to be lots of vacancies at the moment, so keep applying Doris if you're still interested.

Also I've heard that sometimes it takes months for feedback, and sometimes this is when you're successful!

doris9034 Tue 11-Sep-18 19:53:19

Thanks scabby grin

ScabbyBabby Thu 13-Sep-18 19:37:57

For anyone interested, I had an interview with the DWP today- it was pure competency, unlike what I've been told, I wasn't allowed to use my notes as prompts today so had to try and explain the scenarios from memory. I definitely waffled my way through it all again, I definitely didn't remember all the bits that I wanted to say unfortunately but you never know!

I didn't feel as nervous today so that was good I guess.

The interviewers were very nice and professional.

Have my last interview tomorrow so I'm hoping it's 3rd time lucky.

2BorNot2Bvocal Thu 13-Sep-18 20:00:37

Thanks for sharing.
A bit of waffle makes us seem human. No-one you'd want to work with answers every question in a formulaic structure !
Good luck for tomorrow.

ScabbyBabby Thu 13-Sep-18 21:35:48

Thank you 2Bvocal smile

lmcintyre8676 Sun 16-Sep-18 11:38:31

I ended up only scoring 1 and 2 on my competencies although the lady helping us through the application said they were very strong! However, scabby you may be correct, in my examples i used training a team and improving the 'team' morale whereas if i'd have worded it more about an individual i may well have scores higher but its just a case of keep trying!

The situation judgement test is a tricky one too, however that could help me word my competencies better.

OP’s posts: |

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