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I can ensure value for public money

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.

There are two questions you’ll need to answer: the first is based on the behaviour Working Together, the second asks you to respond to a scenario you may face as a Policy Adviser. For this you will be asked to read a previously unseen document, and write a summary of the relevant points.

  • For the behavioural question, 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.
  • With the job simulation question, we will be assessing your analytical skills. We want to see whether you can pick out the key information from the text and summarise this clearly.
  • 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.

We’ll assess your answers to the written questions against the following behaviours of the Civil Service Success Profiles:

Working Together – forming effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds.

Communication – communicating in a straight-forward manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact.

You can find more information on these 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.