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and interviews

What to expect next

The recruitment process, and what evidence is asked for, varies depending on the job you are applying for. 

Typical stages of recruitment include:

  1. a basic application for the job – registering your application and details
  2. an application form – you may be asked to provide a CV, statement of suitability, and behaviours evidence
  3. an interview – the final stage, where you meet the hiring manager and are asked a range of questions
Image of a circle reading 'Success profiles' enclosed within a multicolored ring of the separate success profile titles.
The image background matches the colour associated with 'Strengths'

You may be asked to complete further stages

Online Tests

When you apply for a job in the Civil Service, we may want to assess you using a psychometric test. Tests are an effective way of assessing people fairly, consistently and transparently. You may be asked to complete one or more of these – we’ll say whether this is the case on the job advert. No specialist knowledge or experience is needed for our tests. You can find out more about online tests including practice tests and guidance videos on GOV.UK

Video Interview

Some recruitment campaigns include a video interview, rather than over the phone or in person. There are two types of video interview: a regular face-to-face interview in real-time via a video feed, or a pre-recorded interview where you will be asked to pre-record answers in response to interview questions presented to you via an online platform.

Final Interview

Part of the assessment process will usually involve an interview. Generally, this will be face-to-face in person or via video.
The purpose of all interviews is the same: to assess your suitability for the job. An interview will usually last 45-60 minutes and you may be asked to describe specific occasions when you have demonstrated a certain skill or behaviour. Before you attend an interview, look carefully at the job description and think about examples you can give of times when you have previously demonstrated the behaviours outlined. You may also wish to consider how you would handle similar situations in the future.
You may also be asked questions about what interests you and what you enjoy doing. These questions will help the interview panel assess your strengths and preferred style of working. Strengths are one of the Success Profiles elements.
The Civil Service Strengths Dictionary will give you an idea of the strengths we look for in the Civil Service, although you will never be expected to demonstrate all of these for one job. Before the interview, it would be helpful to reflect on what you feel are your personal strengths and preferred ways of working.

Assessment Centre

An assessment centre will usually consist of a combination of different selection methods, such as an interview, a presentation, a written exercise and/or a role-play exercise. Details of which selection methods will be used and what to expect on the day will usually be given in the letter inviting you to the assessment centre.


Once you have completed the recruitment process, we will then be in touch to let you know the outcome. At this final stage, we encourage you to ask for feedback, regardless of the outcome as this can help you in the future.

How we recruit

We assess a combination of behaviours, strengths, experience, ability and technical skills. Find out more about how this helps us to find the right person for each role.
A man writing on a pad of paper, whilst looking at his laptop

How to write your CV

For some jobs, you will be asked to provide a CV (curriculum vitae) as part of your application. Here you can find information on how to write the best CV.

A woman being interviewed via video call. The woman is a wheelchair user and has a journal beside her.

How to write your personal statement

For some jobs you’ll be asked to provide a personal statement or statement of suitability. Find out how to stand out.

A group of women in conversation

Demonstrating behaviours

Behaviours are the things that people do that result in effective performance. Read more about the behaviours we use to assess you.

Two women sitting by a desk talking and laughing

Civil Service Success Profiles

The Civil Service recruits using Success Profiles. This means that for every role, we consider what you’ll need to demonstrate to be successful.