CIVIL Services Interview Preparation Guide
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CIVIL Services Interview questions and answers will make you able to ANALYZE vast amounts of information to prepare briefs for ministers and have excellent communication skills to WRITE drafts of government White Papers They work in teams and therefore need to CO-OPERATE with many other people They have to make difficult DECISIONS such as which route a new road should take, they may have to PERSUADE others to their point of view and PLAN meetings for government ministers.

16 CIVIL Services Questions and Answers:

1 :: How did you find the Qualifying Test? Any particularly tough sections?

There are bound to have been some challenging aspects about the Qualifying Test. This question, however, gives you the chance to start the ball rolling by talking yourself up a little. You may admit to it being tough, for example, but state that you were well prepared and that this made the task much more manageable.

Concentrate on your strengths. If a section was hard, try and show how you dealt with it. In other words, how you worked out a logical and intelligent answer to the most difficult section. Alternatively you can treat this question as the ice-breaker it really is and say you are just pleased to have got the test over with and are now concentrating on the challenge at hand.
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2 :: Tell me something interesting about yourself?

Don’t be embarrassed or mention that you collect beer mats. Take this opportunity to make some positive statements. In particular your relevant strengths, qualities, achievements and recent experience could all be described. Equally, if you possess a particular distinction it should be mentioned here. An example could be a sporting achievement of significance, a local honor for helpfulness or bravery or anything else that will help the interviewer single you out in their mind: as long as it is positive and commendable of course.

You may be asked about something you have mentioned in your application. In which case you will be expected to be reasonably knowledgeable and interested in the topic. Be prepared!
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3 :: Why are you interested in your first choice department?

You must have your reasons. This is your opportunity to declare them.
Consider the following when formulating your answer:

What the department in question does
What it has been noted for in the recent past
Relevant government initiatives
The name of the minister responsible
Other departments/agencies with which it works
How you first became interested
Relevant skills/qualities etc, you would bring to it
How clear a first choice is it?
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4 :: Why are you also considering the ____ department as your second choice?

The same considerations as for the previous question on your first choice apply. In addition you may want to consider the following:

Why it is your second rather than your first choice
Differences from first choice option
Similarities with your first choice option
Your response to being asked by the panel or an individual interviewer to focus more on your second choice rather than your first choice.
Any apparent inconsistencies between your first and second choice departments (for example, the difference between Clerkship and the Security Service).
How close a second choice is it really?
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5 :: You say in your notes (provided at the selection board) that you firmly believe in, for example, the concept of open government. Tell me more about this.

Whatever issue you declare you have a particular belief or interest in it is likely to come up as a discussion topic. Make certain you have researched it fully.

You are likely to be asked a relatively open question such as this to begin with. You may then also be asked some quite probing and specific questions. You may be challenged on an opinion or asked to clarify a point you make. For example, you state that a policy of open government is good for encouraging public confidence, how can you be sure of this? Or, can you give any recent examples of voters being influenced in their voting habits by the issue of open government (or any other issue)?
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