Civil service interview (success profiles)

(24 Posts)
folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 12:16:03

The job advert said the three behaviours assessed in the selection process will be leadership, communicating and influencing and working together. I had to fill in examples of each of these in my application.

In the interview will they be asking about these behaviours again? Do I give different examples? And do I need to prepare and look at other behaviours?

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folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 18:16:40

Anyone? 😬

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Margaritatime Tue 06-Apr-21 19:19:28

They should only test the three behaviours mentioned. You can usually use the same examples but it doesn’t hurt to have another option.

folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 19:27:04

Thanks so much, do you know what style of questions the other ones will be, I'm assuming there will be additional questions than just 3, I'm not sure if I need to be thinking of examples for team working etc or not if they're only testing the 3 behaviours...or can there be multiple questions for a behaviour?

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folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 19:27:32

Thanks so much, do you know what style of questions the other ones will be, I'm assuming there will be additional questions than just 3, I'm not sure if I need to be thinking of examples for team working etc or not if they're only testing the 3 behaviours...or can there be multiple questions for a behaviour?

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ThePricklySheep Tue 06-Apr-21 19:29:15

From my one experience, I’d prepare a few examples because the questions can be really specific.

mooonstone Tue 06-Apr-21 19:30:13

What job role is it?

folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 19:33:44

It's a technical (data) operational delivery G7 post (sorry if I'd named changed I'd have been more specific!)

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NinePremium Tue 06-Apr-21 19:41:55

They will only ask you about the 3 behaviours in the job description and you can use the same examples that you included in your written application. I’ve only once come across someone who used different examples. Be prepared for them to not specifically mention the behaviours in the question. For example, for Working Together they might ask “tell us about a time when you had to work in a team to get something important delivered”. However, some interviewers will be more explicit and ask “can you give us an example of working together?”.

They should also ask you some strength based questions which are the questions that you are meant to give an unprepared answer to. For these it’s really important that you demonstrate enthusiasm and talk about how you enjoy doing something and do it regularly. For something to be classed as a strength (and therefore scored highly) it needs to be something that comes as second nature to you and that you really enjoy (as opposed to simply a learned behaviour). The job description should say how many strength based questions you will be asked.

NinePremium Tue 06-Apr-21 19:47:25

Also, only one question per behaviour.

NinePremium Tue 06-Apr-21 19:49:47

And here are the strengths that they may ask about.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717274/CS_Strengths_2018.pdf

In the last interviews I conducted I asked the candidates 3x strength based questions.

But the job description should say if they intend to ask any strength based questions.

HavelockVetinari Tue 06-Apr-21 19:52:52

Be aware that you'll also be asked strength-based questions, e.g. "would your colleagues describe you as someone who is quick to make decisions?". The idea is that you answer quickly and are confident in your response - it's not the kind if question to hesitate over. Keep it short and honest, give VERY short examples to back it up if you can.

folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 20:00:39

Thank you both that is hugely useful, I've been getting bogged down in behaviours so hadn't looked at strengths at all. Really appreciate it!

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mooonstone Tue 06-Apr-21 20:05:51

That’s okay, you’ll be asked multiple questions on each behaviour. I think for each behaviour, you’ll likely get 1 behaviour and 1 strength question. You may also get technical questions if you haven’t already had an assessment.

However each role has its own individual interview structure, it’s possible that yours will be completely different. Try searching the job role on YouTube as there’s plenty of guides!

Definitely read up on the success profiles and use all the key words in your responses. Tailor examples to the success profile. Eg for communicating and influencing, you might be asked specifically how you had resolved conflict or how you helped someone who didn’t understand etc. Having 1 good example won’t help you if you’re caught off guard by a specialised question

folloyourarro Tue 06-Apr-21 20:10:34

Thank you, I had an assessment on judgement I think it was (asking how you'd manage certain situations) haven't had to do a presentation for this one unusually as all the others require presentations (I've applied for a few, this is the first -hopefully not only- interview)

I looked through the success profiles a bit to help with the application but will go through it more detail, especially the strengths bit, I don't remember seeing it in the job advert.

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folloyourarro Wed 07-Apr-21 10:20:52

I'm such a moron, just been talking to my mentor and didn't realise civil service jobs gives you application scoring 🙈 really disappointed in my scores 5, 4, 4, amazed I got an interview. I did better than 99% of comparison group in all behaviours in the judgement assessment so not sure if that saved me. My mentor is going to spend time with me on Friday to mock interview and assess if my examples are strong enough, not feeling very confident though I clearly don't know STAR as well as I thought I did (or my examples aren't strong enough...neither very promising!)

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Margaritatime Wed 07-Apr-21 15:34:27

Without knowing what scoring range was used it’s difficult to comment on your scores. In my experience they would get you an interview.

folloyourarro Wed 07-Apr-21 15:52:19

I haven't sifted candidates with success profiles, I've only been on a couple interview panels and the scores of the best candidates were mostly 6s so I guess I just feel 4s are very low but I know it can be quite subjective by panel. Really struggle with the 250 word count.

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Margaritatime Wed 07-Apr-21 19:54:49

Sifting panels can vary in how hard/generous they mark. Consistency is what ensures a panel is fair. The word count is necessary but does mean you need to spend a lot of time reviewing/revising to achieve maximum impact.

Please don’t worry about your scores, what is important is you are being interviewed. There is no word count at interview so you can include other information.

folloyourarro Fri 09-Apr-21 14:53:39

Just found out I've got 2 more interviews smile they haven't given scores on behaviours annoyingly. Fingers crossed I can get one of them!

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mooonstone Fri 09-Apr-21 17:21:30

Have you received interview feedback? If so, you can figure out your score using this:

m.imgur.com/a/qpwZ58s

mooonstone Fri 09-Apr-21 17:23:55

So if they use the word “adequate”, it’s a 4 etc

folloyourarro Fri 09-Apr-21 17:34:21

Haven't interviewed yet, first one Monday, following two on the Tues and Weds of the next week. REALLY want Monday's though!

Spent some time with my mentor this pm doing mock interviewing, my mind is blown by the strengths questioning 🙈

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folloyourarro Fri 09-Apr-21 18:42:19

Oh god interview on Monday, DH positive with Covid last Tuesday and I'm now coming down with a headache, runny nose and sneezing, I really hope this isn't the start of an illness right before angry

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