Prepare for the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) PST and Interview

Are you applying as an OR Analyst with the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) main stream recruitment? The mainstream recruitment process covers recruitment from entry level to experienced hires. The process is heavily influenced by the GORS Operational Research competencies. Learn more about this process, and some resources available to help you prepare on this page. The Operational Research service works as a network across Government departments, in all areas of policy, operations and corporate functions. They recruit twice a year on the Mainstream Recruitment track, and are looking for only the best candidates across a range of levels. Prepare for each stage with JobTestPrep.

GORS Main Stream Recruitment process:

Throughout the GORS application process you are tested against the GORS Operational Research competencies. The headline competencies are listed below, although each one has several sub-competencies.

  • Knowledge and application of OR skills and techniques
  • Achieving impact with analysis
  • Sustaining and developing operational research
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Delivering a quality service
  • Seeing the big picture

GORS Application Form

The GORS application form is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to the recruitment team, so it is important you make the right impression. The application form is a competency based application, meaning that the GORS recruitment team are looking for applicants who use the application form to provide evidence of the relevant skills and competencies required by the service. When completing your application form don’t forget to use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Response) in order to help you organise your answer fully.

GORS Problem Structuring Test (PST)

If your application is taken past the application form stage you will be invited to take a short problem structuring test, alongside your interview. The questions in this test are set by GORS analysts themselves, and focus on real life situations that you may come across in your day to day work. You are asked to answer one question from a choice of three. The information in this test is given in one or two paragraphs per question. The aim of this test is to examine how you approach an unstructured problem by breaking it down and creating suggested structures to solve a typical OR problem, and important skill when working with GORS.


Your interview will take place in either London or Manchester. The interview is a competency interview, based on the GORS Operational Research competencies. You are expected to provide evidence of how your skills meet these competencies in each answer you give. This is done by using examples from your past experience. Prepare your answers in advance, and rehearse them using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). As further preparation read through the GORS website, and think about what the service are looking for from you. Learn more about how to impress in all types of interview with the JobTestPrep online interview preparation pack. The final stage of your preparation should be a rehearsal interview which allows you to give over your answers in interview conditions. Our Skype based interviews are provided by trained assessors who are able to give you the interview and then advise you on areas of improvement at the end of the session.

In Summary

The Government Operational Research Service Main Stream Recruitment is a challenging process, as the service are only looking for applicants with proven skills in the areas they consider important. If you have impressed at each stage, you may earn a place with GORS, and the opportunity to work in any department across government. Learn more about how to provide this proof at each stage with JobTestPrep. We hope you have found this page useful, and good luck.

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