Are there any initiatives local to where you live at home that could provide some examples. Any local policies that relate in some way to national ones? A hospital closure, for example, a new road being built or army barracks being relocated!
You should demonstrate your awareness of a wide range of issues. You should also show your consideration of the difficulties involved in making some decisions.
Working alongside ministers
Being involved in contemporary issues (often featured in the news)
Being at the heart of policy formulation
Working in the context of a not-for-profit organization (bearing in mind that this does not mean there are no financial considerations!)
Having a positive role and being relied upon to work to a high level
Team working where your "team" is the rest of the Civil Service and hence a very large and significant organization
Making a contribution to a service that really matters to people and has an impact upon them
Doing a job that really matters
Having a positive input in to current issues
Taking responsibility early
Seeing the practical impact of your work take effect
The satisfaction of having an impact on the way people live, hopefully for the better
Whatever the disadvantages are they must obviously not dissuade you from the job! They might include:
Decisions you make could have repercussions which you had not intended.
The work entails a good deal of pressure and stress.
You may have to work long hours
Many people are counting on you to do a good job
One becomes very job-focused (could also be an advantage!)
Do not forget to mention the importance of the staff to the department's success. The minister is only as good as his/her staff's abilities and experience. Then go on to show how your experience and skills would be useful in the job.
Much press attention is often taken up by so-called whistle-blowers. These are individuals who declare to the general public via the press the activities of a particular organization, especially if these activities are deemed in some way inappropriate or deceitful. They have obviously decided that their principal responsibilities have changed. This would be a dangerous argument if you supported the whistle-blowing stance. A better approach would be to demonstrate your ability to help originate, establish and apply policy on behalf of government and the state.