Congratulations to Angus for securing a role with Civil Service Fast stream. Here he gives us his take on the recruitment process and offrs some good tips for future applicants.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
The Civil Service Fast Stream appealed to me as it has consistently been ranked as one of the best graduate employers in the UK, currently placed second. Moreover, the focus on personal development that forms a core principle of the scheme. This includes monthly meetings with your ‘talent manager’ in order to track your process and enrolment in suitable courses or programs to build skills. Compared to other roles I considered there is a fantastic balance between your working and personal life; including flexible working when possible.
I choose the finance specialism within the fast stream due to the opportunity to be put through an accountancy qualification, with the ICAEW, whilst working.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The toughest part had to be my assessment centre. It was similar to most I’d had in some respects but had marked differences which made it more difficult to prepare for. There was no personal aspect and instead every section was treated as a ‘role-play’ to demonstrate how you’d act in various scenarios, whilst being marked against a set of competencies.
My favourite part was the e-tray. It was a ‘decision making’ test placing you in control of resource allocation for an government financed humanitarian project in a fictional country. Whilst there was significant information to digest, the issues thrown up were both realistic and interesting, a change from most psychometric tests I’ve done.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was surprised that during the assessment centre there was no place for a personal interview. There were no questions surrounding your previous work experience, extra-curriculars or personal qualities. Given there was no formal application, only psychometric tests, the only scope to demonstrate these was in a recorded video interview. This limited focus surprised me as is far from the norm for most graduate schemes.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
- Fully understand the different format of the assessment centre.
- Don’t view the psychometric tests as a given pass and prepare fully.
- Pre-prepare topics to discuss during the video interview, but ensure it’s not rehearsed.
What was the toughest question you faced at interview?
Video interview: How have you approached working with people from a different background?
This was a tough question as I’d never approached working with people from different backgrounds in a different manner, yet was expected to talk for 5+ minutes on how I’d dealt with this situation.
How has Bright Network helped you?
The bright network helped me by giving me a platform to see the possible avenues I could take which weren’t necessarily the obvious choice given my degree subject (LLB Law).