DSTL Interview Questions & Answers

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Difficulty rating 7 / 10

Interview experience

  • Positive 1/2
  • Neutral 1/2
  • Negative 0/2

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  • Graduate Scientist

    4.8571/5 | Interview date: December 2015 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 7

    Sectors: Science & Technology

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I was invited to the venue near Fareham to arrive at 8:15am where I was provided with a security badge for the day. After a presentation from the graduate team about working for DSTL we performed a group exercise in which (there were 7 candidates) we had 45 minutes to choose a solution to a worldwide problem, world hunger. We were given a set of solutions and we had to come to an agreement on one of them. Half of us then went off for a break whilst the other half had their interviews. We then switched over (after a security check) and I went for my interview. It lasted just under an hour for which the first ten minutes I was asked to give a short prepared presentation on my final year project. After this I was asked questions on my presentation and then general questions related to the role and my skills and development through university. After the interview was finished I was invited to ask the two interviewers questions that I had and then I was taken back into the main room for sandwiches and refreshments with the other candidates

    Most difficult question

    I was asked simply how I felt if changed as a person throughout university, which was a great question but very difficult to answer.

    Interview tips

    Don't worry too much. The assessment centre only involves a few other candidates and isn't as high pressure as it can be for other places. The interviewers were very friendly and although I was nervous they did put me at ease very quickly. However if you are interviewing at the portsdown west campus do not walk there from the train station! You run out of footpath and before you know it you're walking up a muddy hill on the side of the road wishing you'd booked a taxi.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre was mostly the group excercise as described earlier, although we did have to complete a verbal and numerical reasoning test before the interview was held

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • 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? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • 
  • Research Scientist

    1.7143/5 | Interview date: September 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 7

    Sectors: Science & Technology

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My initial telephone interview was with a member of the graduate recruitment team, and it lasted 45minutes. After having a brief chat about what the interview would involve, he started asking questions. It was standard competency based interview asking me to describe a moment in my life that applied to the question and how I dealt with the situation. I was also asked about my CV and relevant qualifications as well as why I felt I was suited to a job within the MOD and DSTL.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a situation where you were working with a group of people from a variety of different backgrounds, and got into difficulty having to use the different skill sets of each person to solve the situation.

    Interview tips

    Make sure you chase up the company if you feel it has been an unusually long time since you last heard anything, it doesn't hurt to be overly enthusiastic.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    I passed the telephone interview stage and was told I would be contacted shortly regarding an assessment centre date. However I didn't hear anything until over a month later when I got an email saying that all the assessment centre dates at the moment were full and I'd get an email soon notifying me of an alternate date. I then didn't hear anything back until 6MONTHS LATER, with a short email essentially saying that they'd forgotten about me and there was no longer a vacancy but they'd keep my CV on file.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • 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? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 1/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 1/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 1/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 1/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5
  • 

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