Difficulty Rating


Interview experience







  • Forestry Commission - Graduate Development Programme Opportunities

    Difficulty Rating


    Interview process

    The final interview took place at the end of a gruelling four month application process. It began with several online tests, and then moved to an "X-Factor Style Interview". This was a five minute interview, during which we had to present an object that summed up why we wanted to work for the forestry commission. I made and took with me an insect hotel created from wood cut from my own garden. The next stage was a full day at an assessment centre in Stirling. The final stage was an interview in Edinburgh. This was with a panel of three members of senior management and lasted roughly an hour.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a risk you have taken that has not paid off.

    Interview tips

    Be yourself. At the end of the day with a process this long if you are faking it you will be found out. They value honesty and are looking for a certain type of person. If you are a good fit (as I was) then that will ring true and you will be well rewarded.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    There were four parts to the day: Group exercise, presentation, role play and psychoanalytical interview. In the group exercise we were split into four teams and asked to trade blocks in order to make cubes of certain values. This really tested our risk aversion, teamwork and ability to negotiate. The presentation was a ten minute presentation after being handed a document to study. We were given an hour to assimilate the information into a coherent presentation. The role play was very interesting, we were given the role of a member of management who had to deal with the antisocial attitude of a member of the gardening team. The gardener was played by a professional actor and was very convincing. The analysis was simply a read back of an online questionnaire with opportunities to question and reason the assumptions that were made from our answers.

    Interview steps


    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video


    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric


    • Assessment centre
    • Group exercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

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