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Civil Service Fast Stream's application window for the 15 schemes programme will open on September 24th. The online tests are only the first step in many. We have created a 2020 updated version of the Fast Stream prep. Don't start the hiring proccess unprepared! 

The Fast Stream Selection Process

The Fast Steam selection process consists of several stages in the application process.

Fast Stream Civil Service Tests

Civil Service Fast Stream Online Tests

After registering with the Civil Service and selecting a Fast Stream Scheme, you will need to take the Civil Service Online tests.

The Civil Service gives you up to five days to complete these tests, providing you with practice material. We highly recommend that you use this time to practise as much as possible. 

The tests consist of Work Style Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Questionnaires, which are both multiple-choice. 

The Work Style Questionnaire

In this assessment, you will be presented with statements regarding yourself, and are required to mark on a scale the point that best reflects the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement. There are four statements per page.

Subsequently, you will be shown the same statements again, but this time you will be asked to select one that most represents you and one that less so.

The Situational Judgement Questionnaires (SJQ)

There are two SJQ tests you’ll need to complete. The first addresses interpersonal skills whereas the second aims to assess thinking skills.

The interpersonal skills SJQ examines how well you make judgments and decisions involving other individuals in real work scenarios. It consists of 12 video scenarios, each followed by 4 possible courses of action, that you will have to rate according to how effective you believe them to be:

  1. Counterproductive - an unacceptable action that would make the situation worse.
  2. Ineffective - poor action that will not help the situation.
  3. Partially effective - useful and would be of some help to the situation.
  4. Effective - a good action that will help resolve the situation

The second SJQ assesses your thinking skills, in particular how well you can make judgments in a work context, involving limited information that is given in the form of tables, charts, and graphs.
This test also consists of 12 questions followed by 4 actions, as such, you will need to rate them according to their effectiveness, in the same manner as above.

Should you pass successfully the online tests, you will have an additional 5 days to complete the next stage.

Civil Service Online Application

Once you have successfully completed your online tests, you can now move on to a more comprehensive version of the Civil Service Fast Stream application form.

In this application form, you are given the opportunity to input your scholastic qualifications as well as answer some competency questions.

These questions centre on the key values of the Civil Service. In order to answer the questions correctly, you need to incorporate the key values of the Civil Service into your answers.

Learning how to incorporate these values into your answers is an art form of sorts.

Work-Based Scenarios 

After you have completed the previous Civil Service online psychometric tests, you are asked to take an e-tray exercise and a video interview. In the e-tray exercise, you are given a list of e-mails, tasks, and data to organise and prioritise in the manner you would in the role for which you have applied.

There are three different stages in the Civil Service e-tray exercise: understanding and comprehending e-mails; responding in the correct manner; and writing a response to a particular e-mail.

In the response to the e-mail, you need to create a well-written report complete with an introduction, main section outlining your ideas, and a conclusion summing up what you have written along with a proposal or recommendation as to the best course of action. You will have 80 minutes to complete this exercise.

When do civil service fast stream applications open?

Civil Service Fast Stream's application window for the 15 schemes programme will open on September 24th.

The online tests are only the first step in many. We have created a 2020 updated version of the Fast Stream prep. Don't start the hiring proccess unprepared! 

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Start Preparing With The Complete Fast Stream Preparation Pack

Get instant access to hundreds of practice questions and exercises with full solutions, tips, study guides, and more.

 

Civil Service Video Interview - Info and Tips

Potential employers will interview you via Skype or send you a link to an interview platform that contains pre-determined interview questions.

Here, you will have a chance to briefly view the question before you record and submit your answer. Although seemingly easier, this method of interviewing means you do not have a chance to expound upon your answers or explain yourself further.

Tips for the Video Interview

Before you start the video interview, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a full hour set aside that is free from distractions?
  • Is my environment quite enough for me to focus?
  • Have I dressed appropriately?
  • Is the room in which I am sitting adequately lit?

Make sure you are able to answer 'yes' to all of them and then get started.

The Video Interview

The interview includes questions about your experience, what you enjoy, and what motivates you. The interview focuses on the following Civil Service competencies:
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Managing a quality service
  • Delivering at pace

⦿ The interview lasts for about 20 minutes and consists of 20 questions. 

⦿ Your responses are recorded on a video platform. You can use a PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

⦿ There are short introductory guidance videos on the platform.

⦿ A practice question is included and you can record your response to this question as often as you wish.

⦿ You can only record your responses to the actual questions once, and you should not expect follow-up questions.

 Fast Stream Assessment Centre - FSAC [2020]

Once you have passed the online assessments you will be invited to a half-day assessment centre consisting of the following assessments:

  • A group exercise
  • A leadership exercise
  • A written analysis exercise

Candidates will be assessed against the following behaviours:

Seeing the Big Picture
Understand how your role fits with and supports organizational objectives. Recognize the wider organizational priorities and ensure work is in the national interest.

Changing and Improving
Seek out opportunities to create effective change and suggest innovative ideas for improvement. Review ways of working, including seeking and providing feedback.

Making Effective Decisions
Use evidence and knowledge to support accurate, expert decisions, and advice. Carefully consider alternative options, implications, and risks of decisions.

Communicating and Influencing
Communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity, and enthusiasm. Respect the needs, responses, and opinions of others.

Working Together
Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources, and support.

Developing Self and Others
Focus on continuous learning and development for self, others, and the organization as a whole.

The Fast Stream Assessment Centre Group Exercise

The assessor will be evaluating performance against three of the Civil Service behaviours:

  1. Making Effective Decisions
  2. Working Together
  3. Communicating and Influencing

In this part of the assessment, candidates are expected to engage in a group discussion. Candidates are given a fictitious scenario and are asked to advise on a government objective or commitment. Candidates are provided detailed information on the main issues and on the position, they are representing.

All group members are given the same information regarding the scenario and an overview of the options. Each candidate will also have further information on two of the options; one option requires candidates to promote to the group, and the other to oppose.

The group has up to 40 minutes to come to an agreement on the best recommendation. The candidate's goal is to obtain the best outcome for the position they are representing as well as for the whole group.

Our group exercise guide and exercises will help you learn the skills you need to do well on this type of task. Though our exercises differs from the real test in content and format, they will enable you to practice the main skills and behaviors needed to successfully pass this part of the recruitment process.

The Fast Stream Assessment Centre Written Analysis Exercise

Assessor will be evaluating performance against four of the Civil Service behaviours:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing 

This is a written exercise. Candidates are given various pieces of information from different sources relating to a number of fictitious scenarios.

Candidate need to analyse the issues at hand, answer a series of questions, and make a recommendation on which scenario to select.

Candidates will compare and contrast the features of each scenario, using given criteria, and explain convincingly the reasons for their recommendation.

The important thing here is that candidates demonstrate how they support their decisions, using facts and figures, along with how they express this in writing.

Candidate have 90 minutes to complete this task whereby it is suggested they look through the materials for 30 minutes and then spend 60 minutes carrying their analysis and producing their written response.

Our case study analysis exercises and guides will teach you strategies to help you take on this assessment. Though different from the real test, it offers guidance and practice that will enable candidates to demonstrate the behaviors necessary for passing this part of the recruitment process.

The case study exercise offers practice on the extraction of relevant information and data analysis of data presented in the form of charts and texts.

It also offers practice in deduction of accurate conclusions, creative solutions formation, and the coherent and fluent presentation of ideas- which are all crucial elements for passing the analysis exercise.

The Fast Stream Assessment Centre Leadership Exercise

Assessor will be evaluating performance against five of the Civil Service behaviours:

  • Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Working Together
  • Developing Self & Others
  • Communicating and Influencing

The exercise is designed to test the candidate's ability to take on a leadership role. Candidates partake in a one-to-one role-play exercise in which they play the part of a Fast Streamer in a UK government department. In this role, candidates are given the responsibility for leading on an important initiative, task, or project.

Candidates have 30 minutes to review related information on the initiative in a variety of formats such as emails, videos, and articles.

Each candidate then has a 30-minute long meeting with an assessor, who plays the role of someone with a particular interest in the success of the initiative.

Our role-play and case-study exercises teach and reinforce the important skills you need for their successful completion.

Tips for the Fast Stream Assessment Centre

All it takes to sail through the assessment centre is some preparation.

  • Start getting ready for it early on, so you can alleviate the stress that comes from procrastinating. JobTestPrep expert at assessment centre preparation.
    With our numerous resources—exercises, guides, and tutorials—you are sure to feel confident for assessment day.
  • Figure out beforehand your route to the centre because you don't want to be late.
  • Get a good night's sleep so you are refreshed and ready to impress.
  • Keep the Civil Service competencies in mind so you can perform at your best.

Practise for the Civil Service Fast Stream Assessments

The Civil Service Fast Stream is your fast track to a top position in the Civil Service.

As we have seen, there are many different stages to the Civil Service recruitment process, each assessing you against a specific set of skills, and in a variety of ways. Preparation is key to progressing through the stages, and with our help at JobTestPrep, you can be assured that you are performing at your best.

Civil Service Fast Stream Schemes

Fast Stream offers 15 schemes, each for a different profession, and the opportunity to contribute to the whole of society. They are all open to final year undergraduates, existing graduates, or degree apprentices. 

When you apply to the Fast Stream you will be able to select up to 4 schemes in preference order and they will be considered throughout the hiring process. 

Here is the list of all 15 schemes:
  • Commercial
  • Digital, Data & Technology
  • Diplomatic Service
  • Diplomatic Service Economics
  • Finance
  • Generalist
  • Government Communication Service
  • Government Economics Service
  • Government Operational Research
  • Government Social Research
  • Government Statistical Service
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Human Resources
  • Project Delivery
  • Science & Engineering

Visit the official Fast Stream website to take a deeper look into each of the schemes:

 

Fast Stream and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.
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