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Communications Specialists in the civil service interviews (HEO level)

  • 20-08-2019 3:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ twentysomething


    Hi All,
    I've been called for a stage 3 interview for the Communications Specialists panel at HEO level.
    Does anyone know what to expect?
    It's my first time interviewing for a role like this.
    Thanks


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    Hi twentysomething,

    This thread is a couple of years old but I'm wondering if you got through the competition? I'm thinking of applying to the new one they have open at the moment but I'm not sure they pay and grade is enough. These roles surely should be AP at least.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 252 ✭✭ Wallet Inspector


    I got just first interview. Tough. Panel of three.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ ranable1995


    Hi all, first time poster here on boards.

    I applied for the 2021 competition which closed today. I expect there to be a lot of interest so I’m not holding out too much hope.

    Lucat, I agree they should be AP, especially if placed in a Government Department. I work in an 'agency' of a Department (as the information booklet refers to) and the most senior comms person is a HEO but has the pressure/workload of an AP. However, it's my experience that a lot of senior management positions in agency bodies are at AP, but Communications isn't considered a senior management function and instead sits under an AP at HEO.

    Wallet Inspector, have you heard anything back from the interview? Was it the standard competency based format?

    twentysomething, I hope you ended up getting the job after the stage 3 interview.


  • Registered Users Posts: 388 ✭✭ Nekro Man


    Same, fingers crossed tbh


  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    Hi all, first time poster here on boards.

    I applied for the 2021 competition which closed today. I expect there to be a lot of interest so I’m not holding out too much hope.

    Lucat, I agree they should be AP, especially if placed in a Government Department. I work in an 'agency' of a Department (as the information booklet refers to) and the most senior comms person is a HEO but has the pressure/workload of an AP. However, it's my experience that a lot of senior management positions in agency bodies are at AP, but Communications isn't considered a senior management function and instead sits under an AP at HEO.

    Wallet Inspector, have you heard anything back from the interview? Was it the standard competency based format?

    twentysomething, I hope you ended up getting the job after the stage 3 interview.

    I think there will be a lot of interest too, but in large part because of the economic climate at the moment. Normally a comms job with that level of responsibility and without the corresponding pay wouldn't attract huge interest, in my opinion.

    Also I noticed they're running this competition only 2.5 years after they ran the last one. I thought that would be the norm more for generalist roles than specialist ones like this, although I could be wrong about that. But if I'm right, it means there might be high turnover from the role. Which is not surprising considering the level of skill you need for it and the fact you're not paid a lot or given the appropriate level of authority.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ ranable1995


    Fair points there, especially about the economic climate. I wonder are a lot of people in PR agencies etc. thinking that the civil service might be a good move given what has gone on over the past year.

    In terms of the level of interest, and as a comparison, I was told that the Comms EO general campaign from 2020 had around 650 or so applicants but only 40 or so were called for interview. I don't know how many positions were available. I would be interested to see what the numbers were for the Comms HEO campaign from 2019 (which I did not apply for) and also for this one.

    I stumbled across a PQ when looking for stats on turnover. I can't post the link as I'm a new user unfortunately:

    805. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Health the number of new staff that started in the press and communications unit of his Department between 1 October and 31 December 2020; and the number of those new staff that still work in the unit. [4219/21]

    806. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Health the number of new staff that started in the press and communications unit of his Department between 1 October and 31 December 2020 that came from panels; and the number recruited outside of panels. [4220/21]

    "I propose to take Questions Nos. 805 and 806 together. Between the period 1st October and 31st December 2020 three new staff started working in the Press and Communications Unit who were assigned from various PAS panels. One of the three remains within that Unit. Separately, the Department intended to appoint a person to a temporary position on secondment from another organisation. For particular reasons it was not possible to proceed with this secondment and the individual remains with their parent organisation."

    DOH might not be the best guide re turnover though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    I wonder if we'll hear anything this week, considering they're screening the applications now (at least I think they are)?


  • Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ twentysomething


    lucat wrote: »
    Hi twentysomething,

    This thread is a couple of years old but I'm wondering if you got through the competition? I'm thinking of applying to the new one they have open at the moment but I'm not sure they pay and grade is enough. These roles surely should be AP at least.

    Hi, sorry, only seeing this now. Yes, I got through and got placed in a govt agency rather than one of the depts and it's been great so far. I'm in a team with one direct report. It was basically a lateral move pay wise and is quieter than I was used to in my previous role with the benefits of flexitime. It would probably be busier if we weren't working remotely, but it's interesting and diverse, although there are certainly some quirks to working in the civil service which take a bit of getting used to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    Hi, sorry, only seeing this now. Yes, I got through and got placed in a govt agency rather than one of the depts and it's been great so far. I'm in a team with one direct report. It was basically a lateral move pay wise and is quieter than I was used to in my previous role with the benefits of flexitime. It would probably be busier if we weren't working remotely, but it's interesting and diverse, although there are certainly some quirks to working in the civil service which take a bit of getting used to.

    I worked in an extremely busy Press Office for a couple of years and I'm having serious reservations about this competition in case I'm placed in the same or an equally busy one. I just don't have it in me. It's good to hear there are quieter ones though! How long were you on the panel for, if you don't mind me asking?


  • Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ twentysomething


    Sorry, only here sporadically! I was on the panel for about a year, I think? I was 32nd or something along those lines, I think?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    A month just to get to stage 1...

    Anyone heard anything yet?


  • Registered Users Posts: 388 ✭✭ Nekro Man


    Has anyone heard anything?


  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    I haven't anyway


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ ranable1995


    Hi all, I haven't heard anything back yet either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 MarkBluer


    So slow!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ ranable1995


    Just received the below via email:

    "I regret to inform you that you are not among those candidates being invited to the next stage of the selection process."

    I hope you all have better luck with it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 LD23


    Just a heads up I heard back today, got shortlisted but I'm place 206 and they're interviewing up to place 17 so I'm not holding out hope haha!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ ranable1995


    Congrats on making the shortlist at least! Who knows what could happen now that you're on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 LD23


    Thanks! Sorry to hear about yours, so many people must've applied for it. The panel life span is 12-18 months so maybe waaaaay down the line I'll hear something. Since it's a specialised role I doubt there will be too many opportunities in it but I guess it's hard to know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ lucat


    I'm #85, which equates to about the 5th batch I'd they're calling them in groups of 17 or thereabouts. It's unlikely I'll get called but still, I'm happy all the same!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 LD23


    That's a great number, well done! Fingers crossed you do hear eventually!


  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    Finished 21st just 4 outside the first 17 to be interviewed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 whynot16


    Anyone know the level of experience of those called in batch 1?

    Also does anyone know what the last competitions interviews were like?


  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    I’m curious too, does it just go straight to interview or are there tests, e-trays, presentations etc ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    Hi, sorry, only seeing this now. Yes, I got through and got placed in a govt agency rather than one of the depts and it's been great so far. I'm in a team with one direct report. It was basically a lateral move pay wise and is quieter than I was used to in my previous role with the benefits of flexitime. It would probably be busier if we weren't working remotely, but it's interesting and diverse, although there are certainly some quirks to working in the civil service which take a bit of getting used to.

    Hi, could you let us know the process after the shortlisting phase ? Was it just an interview or tests -etray , presentations etc ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    Anyone interviewed yet ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 14 parisee88


    after the shortlisting I did a Zoom interview with a four person panel. None of whom appeared to have any direct experience in the field. I got an offer almost a month ago - the process has been quite drawn out. Haven’t seem many people being placed yet.



  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    @parisee88 thanks for the update. Would you mind my asking what place you were on the panel ? I'm 21st place, and hoping I get called. I was also hoping the panel would be experienced comms people. Were they asking general competency questions or comms related questions ? Thanks



  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Angieph


    Hi parisee88, What was the Zoom interview like, may I ask? I have one next week and I don't have any idea really what to expect... I'd appreciate your insights.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 90 ✭✭ Belparkgarden


    @Angieph can you let me know how it went ? I’ve one next week too ! Thanks



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