This is my first government role and I found the recruitment process different, to say the least!
One of the main differences was an open evening that I attended before I had even submitted my CV. This was a first for me and (as I later found out) for the MOJ team. This post is a reflection of my experience and helpful (I hope) for anyone considering applying for a job here.
What I thought I knew
When I first came across the job description I wasn’t sure if I’d apply for the role.
My assumptions around what government departments and civil servants did was limited. I’d seen ‘The Thick of It’ and expected it to be sprawling, complex and (in all honesty) a bit of a mess.
However, I knew of the Government Digital Service (GDS) and the great work they had done through their Transformation Programme. Back in 2012, the Digital by Default standards seemed to ignite a fire under the product community. So, with this in mind I was keen to find out more about MoJ who describe themselves as “GDS-flavoured: cast in the mould of the Government Digital Service, yet with its own distinct identity (creating justice services for all)”.
At the bottom of the job posting there was an invitation to attend an open evening to find out more about the team and the role, and I promptly signed up.
Seeing behind the scenes
I’ve since described the opening evening as like viewing a house while the owners were out.
That evening, with Head of Product, Scott Colfer, and Recruitment Manager, Cate McTominay, as our guides 15 of us got to have a nose around 102 Petty France.
It was great to see where MOJ Digital and Technology ‘live’, their team set-ups and (of course) their whiteboards. The technology and collaborative tools they use on a daily basis exceeded my expectations. I found it all reassuringly familiar and not ‘government’ at all.
Scott gave us more information on the role, the Product profession and the team. This was really insightful and it was helpful to be able to ask and hear other’s questions. Cate also told us more about what to expect from the application and onboarding process.
How the open evening helped
Because of what I’d seen and heard at the open evening, I applied for the job. The evening had cleared up some of my misconceptions about what it’s like to work in government and convinced me that I wouldn’t be out of place in the Digital team.
What I heard at the open evening also really helped after I had been offered the job. Being told about the recruitment process helped reassure me of what to expect and the next steps.
Since starting I’ve shared my feedback of this experience with Scott and the Product team and we’re planning ways to improve it for our next round of recruitment.
I’m so pleased I had the opportunity to go along to an open evening since I probably wouldn’t have applied for the job otherwise. I’m loving working with such a passionate and talented team and having such meaningful services to work on.
Watch this space for more future job openings!
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