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Application Advice

We want to make sure that you can make the best first impression possible at every stage of your application process. This page is designed to help you understand what we’re looking for and how to prepare for each step.

Written Questions

The next stage after the Verbal Reasoning Test will be our online Written Questions.

We’re proud to be working with upReach to support candidates from underrepresented groups to apply to our graduate programme, including those from a lower socioeconomic background. If you feel they could support you at this stage of the application process please visit their website for more information.

There are two questions you’ll need to answer. Both answers will be assessed based on Civil Service behaviours, and we will inform candidates which behaviours are being assessed closer to this stage of assessment.

  • Think about how you structure your response. You may want to think about the STAR technique, covering the situation, task, action and result. Make sure that you talk in detail about what you specifically did in that situation i.e. the ‘actions’ you took.
  • Ensure that you have answered the question fully.
  • Try to keep your answers concise, using simple language that is clear. Part of the Policy Adviser role is to simplify complex thoughts and processes, so we will be looking for this skill in your response.
  • Make sure you spend time proof checking what you have written before you submit. We will be looking overall at your written communication to both responses, so try to make this as accurate as possible.

You can find more information on Civil Service behaviours in the Civil Service Success Profile Behaviours, Level 3. The ‘positive indicators’ for these competencies will tell you a lot about what we’re looking for.