Our training helps individuals seeking a career with the federal government, and government employees seeking to move laterally or to more senior levels of responsibility. Described below are how public service competitions work, the services we offer to assist you, and our client success rate.
Public Service Competitions: Recruitment, Lateral and Promotion Exercises
Thousands of applicants apply every year for the many officer-level positions available in the federal government. Some of the competitions are for individual jobs, others establish candidate pools at entry level or in lateral and promotion exercises. There is also an annual national Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign each fall that encompasses many types of entry-level positions in different departments and agencies.
Examples of the many types of government classifications in which we have helped people are:
Administrative Officers (AS)
Biological Sciences Officers (BI)
Border Service Officers (FB)
Commerce Officers (CO)
Computer Services (CS)
Financial Officers (FI)
Foreign Service Officers (FS)
Information Officers (IS)
Legal Officers (LA)
Management Group (MG)
Personnel Administration (PE)
Policy Officers (EC)
Program Managers (PM)
Physical Sciences Officers (PC)
Purchasing Officers (PG)
Online tests for entry-level positions in the Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign are:
Public Service Entrance Exam (PSEE) Sub-test 1 (Reasoning) – a multiple-choice problem-solving and reasoning-ability test with four types of questions
Public Service Entrance Exam (PSEE) Sub-test 2 (Judgement) – a multiple-choice situational test with options in graduated scales of effectiveness or ineffectiveness
External candidates must pass the online PSEE tests before advancing in competitions.
Supervised Post-Secondary Recruitment tests written "in-person" a few weeks later in the Post-Secondary Recruitment process—or which are the initial multiple-choice tests for some internal promotions—are:
PSEE Reasoning test, the same as the online Sub-test 1, but with more questions
PSEE Judgement test, the same as the online Sub-test 2, but with fewer questions
Candidates must pass the PSEE before advancing in the Post-Secondary competition or in selected internal promotion competitions for which the PSEE is now used, on occasion.
Other written tests used primarily in government promotion exercises for internal candidates, but occasionally in entry-level screening, can include one or more of the following standardized exercises:
Written Communication Proficiency Test (WCPT) – a multiple-choice language usage exercise
Written Communication Test (WCT) – a summary writing exercise used infrequently at the entry level and most often in promotion competitions
General Competency Test: Level 2 (GCT2) – a multiple-choice cognitive test with five different types of questions
Situational Judgment Test (SJT) – a multiple-choice, behaviour-based competency test using generic workplace scenarios with most and least effective options*
* Situational Judgement Tests have various options: for the Public Service at large, for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Government interviews of all types—occasional preliminary telephone interviews or typical longer personal interviews—probe your ability to think on your feet, and evaluate your skills and personal suitabilities, or “competencies”, for specific positions.
A typicalgovernment interview involves:
Hypothetical situations which are generic, and explore how you would handle on-the-job challenges that could be faced
Questions about your past experiences related to selected behavioural competencies
Possible role-playing in a situation acted out with a member of the interview board
Your reasons for wanting to join or advance in the public service and your suitability for the type(s) of work involved
Interview boards evaluate overall potential based on various intellectual, verbal and interpersonal skills demonstrated, and on the judgement and values shown in responding to questions and role-play scenarios, when used.
Other Public Service Promotion Processes
Each year thousands of individuals employed in government apply for lateral transfers or promotions in different competitions. Some are initiated to fill either single or multiple positions advertised in one-off job postings, others to fill pools in campaigns related to particular career groups and levels for which there is a staffing demand within a single department/agency or across the government.
Competitions vary in their testing requirements, but may include any combination of multiple-choice tests, writing exercises, simulations, in-baskets, assessment centres, SELEX testing, interviews and behaviour-based reference checks. No matter what methods are used, all test specific “competencies” as selected and defined in the competition job poster/statement of merit for the position level.
The key to your success in any competition is knowing what to expect on tests that may be used, and how to approach behavioural-based interview and/or other exercises effectively.
Our various Study Materials as noted above for online and supervised tests provide current, comprehensive information to help you focus your preparation, save time, and perform efficiently and effectively.
For candidates doing Interviews or other Exercises shown on this website, one-on-one coaching and materials are accessible to those across Canada and to individuals living abroad.
Our Clientele and Success Rate
Our clients include:
highly trained and experienced individuals already in the work force in government or elsewhere who are seeking lateral opportunities or promotions with new challenges
government officers and executives developing their learning plan to include selected programs we provide to enhance their credentials, or to use our services in existing competitions
undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in all disciplines
The success rate of our clients in obtaining jobs in government external recruitment and internal competitions is more than triple that of the general test-taking group.
Why Trust our Services?
We are the only career coaching firm that specializes in helping candidates understand and advance in government, multilateral organization and international NGO competitions—from entry level to executive level.
No service offered by government, universities or the private sector—past or present, in North America or abroad—matches our expertise or coaching record over the past 25 years. The success rate of our clients in institutional hiring and advancement processes attests to the high quality preparation we provide. Please take the time to read the testimonials sent to us by clients and supporters displayed under Client & Supporter Comments [click here].