GSR (Government Social Research) Assessment Centre



I’ve recently applied for a GSR Research Officer position, I have completed a knowledge test that I am reasonably confident I will have passed (touch wood). The next stage is an assessment centre consisting of a competency interview, a written excercise and a presentation. Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to prepare for these assessments and what they might involve?

Thanks in advance


Hi Robin

I’m also applying for the same position. Have my AC day next Friday. Haven’t received any info from them yet, just a phone call, but apparently they send out the info a week before your interview day so that everyone has the same time to prepare for the presentation. I imagine the compentency interview questions will be based on the competency framework that they sent as part of the application process (delivering results/ communicating with impact etc…) so I am going to prepare some answers around these areas until I hear otherwise.

When’s your interview? Happy to pass on some tips if it’s after mine

Likewise, would really appreciate any tips!



Thanks Sarah,

I’ll study the framework and make sure i’ve got all the indicators covered. My assessment day is in just under two weeks on a tuesday. Do you think them sending info a week before means they will be setting presentation topics in advance or that we will be set one on the day? The bit I am most worried about is the written test, I just have no idea what it would be seeing as we have already done a knowledge test. Good luck!


I have an assessment day as well. Are you going to Titchfield or Newport?

I would be very afraid if I were you. It sounds very tough to get in


anyone here?


Well I’m going to stay optimistic, it will be tough but I think compared to most job applications the odds are good. In normal interviews you can be perfectly qualified and experienced to do the job but still not get it due there only being one position, where as with these mass recruitments at assessment centres I think so long as you demonstrate you meet all the competency requirements then there is a very good chance you will get an offer. I’ve heard rumours that they usually end up with less people than they aimed for (can’t be certain if this is true), although that may sound daunting to me it is reassuring because it means if you make the grade and pass the tests then you’ll succed rather than having to worry about competing with others who may be even better, and making the grade can be achieved with proper preperation.


Check out the WikiJob articles on [[assessment centre]] and [[competency based interview]]. You’re right, generally speaking if you can demonstrate you meet the competencies the company are looking for you’ll get an offer. You already meet their academic/experience/personality profile (you must do to have scored a place at the [[assessment centre]]).

It is true that often less people will be at [[assessment centre]]s than are invited - although in the current economic climate/job market where everyone is desperate for a job I’m not sure that this will be the case.

Good luck - do let us know how it goes!!!


I work for the GSS and can honestly say its the most bollocks job i have ever had so much so i have quit to do something i actually wantes to do in th first place. For me the Civil service you either fit into or you dont wasnt for me. Mainly due to the role i do in IT development bearing no relation to the role i applied for and am called on my contract “Statistician”. As for the AC its a piece of pie if you have ever been to big 4 or trading ones IMO.


ps forgot to add look at the competencies and base your answer around them as the GSS is pretty much based on that rubbish all the way through and you will be just fine…


Hi all
Has anyone been successful? Have they found you a placement yet? Wonder how long they leave people on the waiting list…


Does anyone know any website I can practise for the Assessment Centre test - I have less than a week… :frowning: