Civil Service Fast Stream Hiring Process Practice - JobTestPrep
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Below you will find online test and assessment centre practice exercises, video interview tips, information about the Civil Service competencies, e-tray, and more. Let JobTestPrep help get you through the hiring process.

Note: Purchasing this product will set you with our Fast Stream Online Test Preparation as well!

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 you can. 

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 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 of them that is most like you and one that that is least 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 judgements 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 judgements in a work context, involving limited information that is given in the form of tables, charts and graphs.
This test consists of 12 questions followed by 4 actions as wellAgain, 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 complete comprehensive 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.

Civil Service E-Tray Exercise

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 same way 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 the 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.

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 quiet enough for me to focus?
  • Am 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 following is information about the video interview:
  • The following is information about 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 that consists 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

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 option to recommend. 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 recommendation on which scenario to select.

Candidates will compare and contrast the features of each scenario, using a 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 guide will teach you strategies with which to face this assessment. Though different to 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.

Candidates are expected to show their ability to deal with various issues including handling unexpected problems and identifying any other actions that need to be carried out to ensure delivery against the strategic objectives.

While not an exact match to the leadership exercises, both our role-play and case-study exercisesteach 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 is 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 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.

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