Civil Service Fast Stream - Civil service Fast Stream - Operational Research Service Interview Questions & Answers

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  • Civil service Fast Stream - Operational Research Service

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: February 2017 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Public Sector

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The video interview took place after successful online tests. The interview was based around the civil service key competencies asking for evidence of leadership, collaborating and partnering, innovation, diversity and working under pressure. 8 questions asked from a pre recorded video and then was given 2 minutes to answer each immediately after. This process was nerve wracking initially but the interview was set up well to ease you into it and feel as comfortable. This allowed me to give accurate answers detailing my experience to the best of my ability.

    Most difficult question

    To what extent are you effective at adapting to changing circumstances? And what evidence do you have?

    Interview tips

    Take your time and try not to concentrate on what anybody else is doing. You are put in a room with 40 other candidates all typing at the same time and can be quite off putting. Try to zone out and concentrate on what you are doing. Also have strict time management. The day is designed to pressure you so try to not think about the last exercise of it went worse than expected.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centres are held in both London and Newcastle. Mine was held in London and was given expenses for traveling and staying over the night before. The centre itself was a half day event held in parliament street and consisted of 3 separate tasks. The first was an hour and a half report writing test in which I was given detailed proposals for 2 new government schemes. From this information I had to create a report and a data sheet detailing my advice on the pros and cons of each proposal and my concerns and recommendations. The second task was a group task where we were all given information on 6 different schemes and told separe tasks to argue for. After this we attended a 40 minutes meeting with other candidates and had to decide together which 2 would be implimented. The final task was a leadership expercise/ role play where I had to present for ten minutes to my "senior manager" my plans for taking over a new team and project. This was followed by 30 minutes of questioning and a self assessment.

    Interview steps


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


    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric


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

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5

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