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NGDP Assessment Centre, Aptitude Tests, SJT, Recruitment Process & Interviews Online Preparation – 2024

Aptitude Employment Tests Prep

What Is the NGDP?

The National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) is a two-year program for graduates wanting to make a difference in the UK government. There are several tracks within the programme that graduates can focus on, such as:

  • Environmental protection
  • Homelessness Reduction
  • Helping regenerate areas that suffer from poverty and crime
  • Caring for vulnerable children

Graduates will typically work in three or four placements during their programme, which range from front-line projects to office work. There are over 50 local councils that work with the NGDP, and graduates who complete the program will receive a fully funded level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management.


Online Application

The first step in the NGDP recruitment process is the online application. The form will ask for your contact details, educational background, and employment history, as well as several questions related to the specific role you are applying for.

Before submitting your application, it is essential to read back through the form to ensure that all the information is correct and that everything is clear.


NGDP Assessments

Candidates who successfully complete an application and who meet the role requirements will be asked to take online aptitude or psychometric assessments. These tests are provided by SHL and include three main testing topics common in pre-employment assessments: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and situational judgment.

NGDP will compare your scores to those of other candidates to create a short list of applicants that will continue in the hiring process. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare for these tests ahead of time and do as well as possible on the exams.


Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test will assess your knowledge of basic mathematical concepts and your ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently. The test will cover maths topics at GCSE level, and the questions will all be multiple-choice. There will likely be some equations and word problems to solve, as well as data in charts, tables, and graphs that you will need to analyse and interpret.

It is also important to note that this exam will be timed; you will have approximately one minute to answer each question. Some applicants find the fast-paced nature of the exam challenging. To prepare for this, be sure to study using full-length practice tests so you can practice answering questions within the allotted time limit.


Verbal Reasoning Test

Another exam you will encounter is the verbal reasoning test. This exam will assess your ability to read, comprehend, and apply learned information. This test will also be timed and multiple-choice, so be sure that you work quickly and efficiently through each question.

The test will provide several dense passages that you must read through, followed by conclusion statements that you must declare either true, false or cannot tell based on the information you read.

Being able to quickly absorb and summarise information is a valuable skill at the NGDP, so you’ll want to be sure to do as well as possible on this test to showcase that skill to the hiring team.


Situational Judgement Test

The last assessment you will encounter is the situational judgement test (SJT). The SJT is a unique exam because it allows the hiring team to assess how they would likely behave within the workplace.

The exam will present several simulated workplace scenarios similar to the position that you are applying for and will give some type of conflict or issue that you must respond to. There will be multiple response options presented, and you will need to choose which of the options is the best, or how you would most likely respond, and which one is the worst, or how you would be least likely to respond.

While there may not be distinct right and wrong answers on this test, the hiring team will be looking for candidates who respond in a way that aligns with the organisation’s values. They will use this exam to see who in their candidate pool would be a good fit with their current team and organisation structure. Be sure to research the organisation and what they are looking for in an employee beforehand to help guide your responses on this exam.


Video Interview

Candidates who do well on the assessment portion will be invited to complete a screening video interview. These are different from typical interviews in that you will record your responses to pre-selected questions for the hiring team to review.

The purpose of this interview is to better understand your motivations behind wanting to join the public sector and your qualifications for the position. Because these will be behaviour-type questions, you should format your responses using the STAR method whenever possible:

  • Describe the situation to give the interviewer enough background information to understand your contribution or position.
  • Detail the task that you needed to complete to solve the issue that was at hand.
  • Talk about the action that you specifically took towards accomplishing that task.
  • Describe the result of your efforts and how that compared to the desired outcome.

The hiring team will be grading your responses based on critical factors that they are looking for in your response. The questions you need to answer may be similar to:

  • What is one current issue that local communities are facing, and what can be done to address this issue?
  • Why do you want to join the NDGP?
  • Describe a time when you saw a problem and implemented a positive change.

Be sure to research common interview questions and record yourself answering them. This way, you can see if you have any weaknesses in your responses and try to correct those before the actual interview.


Assessment Centre

Job seekers who are shortlisted after the video interview will be invited to participate in the virtual assessment centre. This will include a series of exercises that you will complete individually and with other candidates. The purpose of this stage is to show the hiring team how you work with others, how well you work under pressure, and how you prioritise information.

  • Group Exercise: During the group exercise, you will be grouped with other applicants to debate an issue. You will receive an agenda to review together, and you must debate the issue until you come to a consensus. During this task, you’ll want to showcase both your leadership and listening skills.
  • Written Analysis: The written analysis is an individual task where you will be given a lot of information on a given issue, and you will need to quickly review and prioritise the information to create a written report. This task is timed, so you will need to work well under pressure to complete it successfully.
  • Individual Exercise: You will also complete an individual assignment where you will present a topic or specific case study. This will assess your communication and presentation skills as well as your attention to detail and ability to work under pressure. Be prepared to answer questions on the topic from the hiring team after your presentation!


In-Person Interviews with Councils

The last stage of the hiring process for the NGDP is in-person interviews with the various councils. You will speak with the different councils that are offering placements to see where you would best fit. It is essential to make a good impression during these discussions, so be sure to research the different councils and the interviewers beforehand and look up some helpful interview tips during your preparation.

Similar to the video interview, these questions will be competency-based and will ask about your motivations for joining the NGDP. However, these questions will be more tailored to the specific council you are interviewing with at the time.


How to Prepare for the NGDP Assessment?

The NGDP is looking for like-minded individuals with skills that will contribute to the missions of the various NGDP councils to join their team. If you want to work in civil service and do good in the local community, a placement at the NGDP would be an excellent option for you.

The best way to show the NGDP hiring team that you are the best candidate for the position is to come into the hiring process prepared. Doing well in the assessment section is particularly important because you must do well here to graduate to the rest of the recruitment process. Free online resources such as practice tests can give you the advantage you need during this stage. Practice tests will provide sample questions and full explanations for the various tests you will encounter, which will help you better understand how to approach these questions on the exam. They can also help you practice your timing to ensure that you will be able to complete the exam within the allocated time limit.

Applicants who prepare for the pre-employment process, particularly the exams, tend to do better than those who do not. Therefore, be sure to give yourself adequate time to study and prepare so you can be successful in the NGDP hiring process.