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About the Civil Service Recruitment Process

Recruitment for the Irish Civil Service is done through the Public Appointments Service (PAS). The recruitment process involves taking selection tests, as well as participating in an assessment centre day, which includes an interview, a presentation and group exercises. This article reviews the selection tests and how you can prepare for them.

The Irish Civil Service offers individuals with the opportunity to work in a variety of departments, acquiring roles such as; principal officer, police officer, clerical officer, and executive officer.
The duties of Civil Service employees at a basic level are to assist in the formation of government policies and to implement government decisions in a public and efficient manner. While different skill sets are necessary for each position, all candidates are expected to be conscientious, resilient, communicative, analytical and good decision-makers.

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The Irish Civil Service Hiring Process

Throughout the Civil Service recruitment process, you will be required to go through one or more of the 4 assessment stages listed below:

    1. Application Forms & Self Assessment Questionnaires
    2. Tests:
      Screening/ Biodata Questionnaires
      Aptitude Tests, e.g. verbal, numerical, abstract reasoning
      Situational Judgement Exercises
      Work Sample Exercises/Presentation Exercises/ Role Plays
      Group Exercises
    3. Interviews:
      Semi-Structured – Blended competency / situational
      Structured – traditional competency approach
      Video Interviews
    4. “Staged” Assessment Centres

What Is the Personality Assessment? 

A personality assessment is an overall profile of candidates’ personality traits and attributes, which may be presented during a job interview as an additional source of information used by potential employers. Below are examples of different methods used to conclude and present a personality assessment: 

  • Presented in a report format to the board 
  • Presented verbally to the board 
  • Generated and given to the board 

What Do Group Exercises Entail?  


Group exercises are often performed as part of the assessment test stage, in which candidates' interpersonal and leadership skills are evaluated. Additionally, other skills, such as the ability to negotiate, manage relationships and be assertive, are measured.  

There are two types of group exercises:  

  1. Non-assigned role: This type of group exercise is assigned to a group of candidates who are not applying for specific job positions.   
  2. Assigned role: This type of group exercise is conducted with a group of candidates who are all applying to the same job position. In this assessment, an element of competitiveness for the role is introduced.  

Prepare for the Irish Civil Service Application Process

Get ready for the different assessments your hiring process entails with JobTestPrep. The packs are designed to help you succeed and earn your placement. Start practising today.


For which Irish Civil Service job is this Preparation Useful?

JobTestPrep's preparation packs will help prepare you for the Administrative and Principal Officer positions in the Irish Civil Service with our aptitude test and interview practice resources. 

The various points of entry for the Irish Civil Service each have a different series of aptitude tests during the application process. You are required to sit a verbal reasoning test and a numerical reasoning test at the appropriate level and might be invited to sit for further tests as well, such as critical analysis and job simulation exercises.

Candidates for junior and middle management positions, such as Administrative Officers, face a series of four tests, which consists of a personal assessment questionnaire, a verbal reasoning test, a numerical reasoning test, and a job simulation test. Those candidates applying to the Irish Civil Service senior management, such as Principal Officers, encounter a critical analysis test and a job simulation test. With the help of our Irish Civil Service preparation pack, you’ll find yourself able to work through the tests with ease.


Looking for other Civil Service tests? Check out more of our practices:


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