Career Planning & Employability

Want to work in the Civil Service?

The Civil Service has a mystique about it, and in some ways rightly so. The service recruits thousands of people every year and gets far more applicants than it has positions available. The work is interesting and varied, they have a dedicated graduate scheme (called the Fast Stream) and the progression opportunities are excellent. Because of all of this, it’s extremely competitive and can be difficult to land a role. They also have quite a complicated recruitment process. Today, I’m going to go through that and give you some tips on how you can maximise your chances.

The thing to research, first of all, is the Fast Stream; their graduate programme is comprehensive in that it exposes you to various different parts of the service, helping you find your place. As a graduate, you’ll need a 2:1 in any degree scheme – that’s your starting point. You can find all sorts of information on the roles and requirements here:

The recruitment process isn’t just interviews and assessment centres, though they are part of it. If you’d like help with those aspects of the process, please feel free to come and see the careers service, as we can help you with any of this. They also have a detailed application form and a behavioural and situational judgment test, where they see what sort of a person you are. This is often the trickiest part, as it can be difficult to know what they’re looking for. They’re matching you to the Civil Service Behaviour Framework which you can find here: If you are keen on the Civil Service as a career path, this needs to be your Bible. Thankfully it is very detailed and shows you exactly what they are looking for, so when you are answering their questions, keep these behaviours in mind and you should have a good chance of getting through to the next stage.

To find out more about the Civil Service Fast Stream, visit their website, found here: And remember, it’s all about practice! Study the behaviours, book mock interviews, write draft applications and get them checked by a Careers Adviser – we’re more than happy to help.

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