I went for an interview the other day, in fact it was for one of those “top secret govt departments” and involved a whole day assessment (actually it was the Foreign Office, and I can say that as there was no NDA signed). I knew the assessment included a group exercise and having just completed a year of experiential group work at therapy college, I was keen to see how that experience may help when applied in the ‘real’ world. That was enough incentive for me to give up a whole day.
A 5 year contract was on offer due to the investment in security vetting required. But equally, it meant that details of the role and duties were very vague. In the same light, I felt the assessment process was quite abstract and lacked clarification when queried. How well did it allow me to demonstrate my skills at planning and delivering tangible change? I’m not sure.
It’s fair to say I was disappointed not to receive an offer. However, I’m 100% more disappointed that no feedback was offered or given when asked as to the reasons why and more importantly how I could improve next time. My lecturer asked what I thought the whole experience may suggest about the working practices of said government department…
Update – I followed up several times but didn’t get any response, or even an offer of a quick phone call to provide some feedback (should they be shy about putting pen to paper).
Ask any project manager about the key to their success, and they will say that delivering a project is often more like a "dark art" or by chance, than a predictable science.