All of the below information comes directly from job reviews written by National Graduate Development Programme employees based on 86 reviews.
 
 
Responsibility:
3.5/5
 
Work Life Balance:
4/5
 
Environmental Awareness:
3.7/5
 
Compensation & Benefits:
2.8/5
 
Company Culture:
3.3/5
 
Career Progression:
3.4/5
 
Colleagues:
3.6/5
 
Training:
3.7/5
 
Enjoyment:
3.6/5
 
Overall Rating:
3.5/5
 

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National Graduate Development Programme

Average start time: 9:00

Average end time: 17:00

Average number of working hours: 8

Based on 86 reviews


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Please use the below to filter the reviews by career sector:

Application Advice:

Be sure to read around the role.

Interview Advice:

Learn about the company. NG has a range of different areas that it operates in, be sure to know about them.

IT Graduate, IT at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Do your research!

Interview Advice:

The questions aren't there to trick you.

Commercial Analyst, System Operator at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be yourself.

Interview Advice:

Don't worry about anyone else other than yourself and your own performance.

Business & Customer Development Analyst, Non Regulated Business at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Learn about the core competencies National Grid expects from its graduates.
Research the roles before you apply as you are expected to go back to your first placement role once you have completed the Graduate Programme.

Interview Advice:

Typical competency based interview.
Learn how to answer competency based questions.

Graduate Design Assurance Engineer, Gas Transmission at National Graduate Development Programme
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Take your time, sell yourself as much as you can, but ensure it is direct and to the point, understand what it is that the organisation wants and fill out the application accordingly.
Ensure that what you put in the application makes sense and reads easily, maybe even enjoyable to read. Make them remember your application out of the hundreds or thousands that they will go through.

Interview Advice:

Be confident, ensure punctuality and politeness throughout. But make them remember you, make them think you're better than the rest, that your a team member and would be great within their organisation. Do your research on the organisation and the interviewers if possible, some background or in depth knowledge into what is going on within the organisation can put you in a strong position.

National Management Trainee, Implementation Team at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Can't remember as did this years ago. Good CV?

Interview Advice:

You don’t need to 'know it all' and be all technical. It is how you come across and can get on individually and more importantly as part of a team. Those that are good communicators (not necessarily gobby/loud) are the ones that are more likely to stand out.

Technical Graduate Engineer, GrainLNG/ Assurance at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be yourself. The company is looking for the right people with the right attributes and skills not only the technical skills. The idea is to employ the right people and the skills required for the job can be developed.

Interview Advice:

The only real preparation is for the interview. Have examples following the STAR methodology. Be yourself and it will be appreciated.

Graduate Rotation, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Take your time and make sure you put the best of you down on the application as lots of people apply. Try to have a key reason why you want to join the company.

Interview Advice:

Research the company quite a lot, they do so much more than you think (even if you presume you know what they do already!).

They are very likley to ask what you know about the American side of the business in an interview.

Instrumentation Graduate, Maintenance at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Consider what sort of position would suit you and choose the councils that would work well with your preferences.

It is about 'best fit' at the end stages. It's not 'who is a better candidate' but 'who suits our style of running the scheme and our aims as a Council'.

Interview Advice:

Be enthusiastic. People want you to want the job. It's not a case of nodding vigorously or smiling, it's about demonstrating you are knowledgeable about the field and understand that a Council does more than just give out benefits and collect bins.

National Management Trainee, Varied at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Try to understand the differences between local and central government, as well as the ways the different types of local authority works (i.e. metropolitan, district, county level).

Choose councils based on their styles of working e.g. are they rated as an innovative council, and use these as points in your interview.

Understand how to be a good leader within local government - taking a leadership role with your own ideas but also being able to encourage others to contribute (particularly important for the assessment centre).

Interview Advice:

Why did you choose this council?

What draws you to work in local government?

What specific areas are you interested in and why?

In what situations have you worked in a group to achieve an outcome?

How would other people describe you?

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Answer questions honestly and don't try and second guess what you are being tested on.

Interview Advice:

Be enthusiastic and know background about the specific council as well as the wider context for the area of the country that you are talking about.

National Managemen, London council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Use the 'skills and behaviours' page on the ngdp website to help structure your answers.

Interview Advice:

When you interview with Councils know what their key priorities are and how they are working to address they specific issues they as a local authority are facing.+

, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Do your homework! Really understand the priorities of the council you want to work for, and make sure it is a good fit for you.

National Management Trainee, Transformation at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Answer what you feel is write rather than trying to guess what is right. This graduate scheme is not centred on what is right or wrong but the thought process behind decision making, do what comes naturally.

Interview Advice:

Be confident in promoting all the skills you have

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Demonstrate your ability to be innovative and to be able to use your own initiative.

Interview Advice:

Understand the council you are interviewing at and demonstrate how you can communicate and interact with others.

Show enthusiasm for self development.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Ensure you have a good understanding of the challenges facing local government at the moment. Try and get any experience you can.

Interview Advice:

Make sure you know about the organisation and be able to talk about some of the things they do.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Make sure you actually want to work in local government!

Interview Advice:

Again, the focus is why local government so make sure you want to work in that sector

, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Show a genuine passion for improving the lives of others.

Most importantly: research local government, what it is, what it does and the challenges facing it in the coming years.

National Management Trainee, Public Health at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Keep open minded throughout the process and once in the job, local government does more than many expect.

Interview Advice:

Research the council and its issues. Make sure you understand the aims of the council.
Don't be afraid to ask questions.

NAtional Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Prepare for interviews and assessment centres well. For the NGDP assessment centres you should be able to show your leadership and awareness of challenges facing local government today (particularly financial).

Interview Advice:

Make sure you know the councils you have interviews at as well as you can. They will be very impressed if you can show knowledge of some of the issues that that specific council is dealing with (e.g has it recently received significant funding through central government, like a city deal? Have there recently been problems in A and E wards in the area showing a real need to join up health and social care?). You should be able to find this on the council's website, in the council's business plan and in local news .

National Management Trainee, Cambridgeshire County Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Include a diverse range of experiences and examples from question to question - this will make you sound more interesting (and prove that your not a one-trick pony).

Interview Advice:

Do your research. Make sure you know what the Council's core priorites are and use terms that illustrate you've done and understood the research. For example, make reference to 'community strategy', 'Portfolio Plans', etc.

, Winchester / Hampshire at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Have a good grasp of the national context that local government works within; an understanding of the British political system will help.

Interview Advice:

Think about your motivations for wanting to work in local government.

Project Officer, Local Government at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Show your enthusiasm of and knowledge of local government in your application - if you can relate it to work you've done in the past (e.g. volunteering, university work etc) then that is ideal.

Interview Advice:

As above!

National Management Trainee, Greater London at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Understand local government and how it is sructured, ie. the difference between district/county/metro/London.

Programme Officer, Nottinghamshire County Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be flexible, be willing to try different things and make the most of the opportunities you have - even if you have to create them yourself.

Interview Advice:

Be the kind of person people want to work with.

Have examples to back up questions about leadership, change etc - "tell me about a time when you did so and so..." - make sure you're talking about what YOU did not what WE did.

Be enthusiastic.

Internal Communications, Organisational Developmentt at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Focus on the desire to make a difference
Brand yourself as flexible and willing to tackle any challenge, regardless of whether it is in your field of expertise

Interview Advice:

n/a

Systems Officer, Local Government at National Graduate Development Programme
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Interview Advice:

Stay calm and be confident and consistent - much of the assessment is assessing how you stay calm under pressure. If you have an natural affinity with innovation and problem solving, you'll be fine.

Customer Programme Officer, Customer and Transformation at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Don't try to impress too much with 'flowery' words in your application form - try to think what the recruiter is looking for in a successful applicant. This can often be found on the ngdp website! Repeat this back to them in a clear and succinct manner. ...without it sounding like you're repeating the website word-for-word.

Know why you want to apply for a role in local government from the off as your motivations behind applying will get rooted out sooner rather than later (i.e. be passionate about local government, rather than it just being another application to add to the grad scheme pile).

Interview Advice:

Know the differences between all types of councils (unitary, upper-tier, lower-tier, metropolitan, etc.) and the services they provide.

Research the council where you're being interviewed: know their corporate prioirities, key areas of work, working culture, location, etc.

National Management Trainee, Various at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be yourself, be passionate and go somewhere close to heart. I care about the Greater Birmingham region a lot more than I would about other places in the country, so I want to work extra hard to improve it.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself, be passionate and go somewhere close to heart. I care about the Greater Birmingham region a lot more than I would about other places in the country, so I want to work extra hard to improve it.

Graduate Management Trainee, Policy at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Write full answers and make sure you back up every statement - i.e. when exactly did you demonstrate a certain quality, what did you do, how did you do it? Use the job specification to identify what qualities are being looked for and match your answers to this.

Show clear understanding of what local government actually does and the huge range of functions it has - there's more to it than pot holes and bins! Convey your motivation for working within local government and demonstrate your understanding of how it differs to other parts of the public sector.

Interview Advice:

The two assessment centres are largely competency based and can not be prepared for. Familiarise yourself with the competencies required and keep these in mind when undertaking the activities.

The interviews vary greatly depending on the council but are designed to ascertain your motivation for working within local government and your understanding of the council and the wider local government sector. Identify what exactly it is about local government that interests you and your motivation for working within the sector.
Demonstrate your understanding of the current (and future) substantial challenges facing local government and the innovative ways councils are trying to overcome these. Think ahead about where the sector is going and identify particular challenges for the individual council.

Don't be afraid to give some opinions!

National Management Trainee, Surrey County Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be honest, but remain confident. Don't undersell yourself and underestimate the skills that you have, even if you think you might have limited experience. At the same time, don't exaggerate or fabricate evidence of skills. A second opinion can be invaluable and identify issues/assets that you are not aware. Give yourself time for the application and plan answers. Don't be afraid to be creative.

Interview Advice:

Again, be confident. Know yourself and your abilities and understand why you wanted the job in the first place. Get to know your employer and the area before the interview and stay motivated.

National Management Trainee, Schools and Childrens services at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be confident and be yourself as it will shine through. I would say to be successful on this scheme you need to have a genuine need to support communities along with a business outlook so that you can make sound financial decisons whilst ensuring that communities continue to get the support they need.

Interview Advice:

Think about why you want to work in local government and be honest - don't just say the things that you think people want to hear. From my experience, my council liked to employ graduates with different skills and styles to form part of a team that complemented each other.

National Management Trainee, Local Government at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

To understand the perspective of a local authority: its purpose, fundamentally, and the context in which it is operating, and to bear this in mind throughout your application.

Interview Advice:

A focus on saving money/gaining value for money underpins all local authority business and you need to demonstrate that you understand this. Also remember that it is a political organisation.

National Management Trainee, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Take time completing the application form. Make sure you don't run out of time on the first assessment and be confident in the presentation.

Interview Advice:

Show an interest in local government, even if you don't have work experience in local government show how any previous experience will help.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Think carefully about why you want to work in local government, what in particular makes you want to work in local government. Be realistic about the challenges local government faces.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. Think lots about the local authority you are interviewing at - what are there strengths, what are the biggest challenges they are facing? What will you in particular bring to the local authority.

Greenspaces Officer, Streets at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be honest, be yourself, show the things you are passionate about and that you are willing to learn.

Interview Advice:

You need to get a good balance of confidence in speaking and knowing what you are talking about. Do your reserach, make sure you know what is happening in the sector generally and in the specific area where you are applying.

National Management Trainee, Improvement and Efficiency at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Stick with the process, because it does feel like it takes a very long time!

Interview Advice:

When you reach the interview stage, have a very clear idea of why you want to work specifically in local government, and really thoroughly research the council you are applying to, and what it's priorities are.

National Management Trainee, Haringey Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be enthusiastic and positive. Do your research into current issues in local government, including what innovative councils are doing.

Interview Advice:

By the time it gets to the interview stage you've already proved that you're good enough - what matters is your fit with the local Council. So do some research before making your choices.

National Management Trainee, Public Health at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Demonstrate your passion and drive for working in the public sector.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself.

Interim Customer Improvement Manager, Customer Services at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be yourself, be enthusastic. You can be amazing at everything, but it will be you're enthusiasm & willingness to try new things that will get you far.

Interview Advice:

- Know your stuff about the council you're interviewing with, even if its just one or two facts if you can namedrop them it'll look brill.

- Be enthusastic, I cannot express this enough - it will make you stand out from the crowd.

- Want to be in

National Management Trainee, Community Safety at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Apply!

Interview Advice:

Expect it to be tough - all of us who got through the various rounds found the process gruelling and stretching. Hone your writing skills and presentation skills.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Really think about what motivates you to work in this sector.

Interview Advice:

Research individual council thoroughly.

Fast Track Manager, Transformation at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

If you're interested in working in local government, or even the public sector more broadly, then the NGDP is great way to experience working in different areas of local government as well as to build skills and experience that will help you in your future career.

Interview Advice:

At the interview stages, councils are looking for graduates that are the best fit for their council so it's always good to highlight what you can bring to that particular council.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be yourself - the recruitment process is quite long and comprises different stages including a written test and a group interview; it would be difficult to keep up a facade across all of the different stages.

Use the process as a network opportunity, you will begin to encounter the same people along the way and may even be working with them if you are successful.

Interview Advice:

The NGDP website highlights the key chracteristics they are looking for - prepare by thinking about examples of how you have shown those characteristics in the past.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Understand the distinction between Local and Central Government and the relationship between the two.

Understand the issues that the specific Local Authority is facing and how it interprets and implements policies in a way that corresponds to the needs of the community that it serves.

Interview Advice:

Why Local Government?
Why this Local Authority in particular?

Commissioner, Adult Social Care at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Only apply if you are fascinated in government and making a difference.

Be yourself - don't turn in to a suit.

National Management Trainee, Islington Council-Schools Finance at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

When interviewing at individual Councils, do your research: look up their Corporate Plan, the structure of the Council, who their councillors are etc. Look up major difficulties or problems that the Council has faced and overcome in the past, or is currently facing.

Interview Advice:

Why do you want to work in the public sector?

, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

This role is best suited for candidates who are self-motivated and passionate about making differences in local government.

Interview Advice:

There are many stages in the assessment process, each stage requiring a different skill set.

For the Council interviews (right at the end) I'd recommend to do a bit of research about what's going on in the local authority, how residents feel about it, and how it relates to your background. I went on the local Guardian website for a couple of hours and read the 'your say' and comment sections to see what challenges were facing the local authority and what residents were saying about them.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Tell the truth, there is no point pretending to be something that you are not.

Interview Advice:

Be confident and apply all previous situations to how it has provided you with information relevant to this job.

YOS Worker, Youth Offending Service at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Try to see the bigger picture and understand how local government works. Also try to get into the mindset of work rather than the student mindset when applying.

Interview Advice:

Make sure you have done your research on the local authority you're applying too and that you understand the challenges facing the sector and that council in particular. Also make sure you know how local government works and the difference between and officer and a councillor.

National Management Trainee, Transformation at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Take each step at a time and understand the competencies the assessor is looking for at that specific stage. When it comes down to interviews, understand that it is about best fit with the right local authority.

Interview Advice:

The interview is the least taxing part of the application process as your competencies have already been assessed. Stay confident, relaxed and understand that you are also understanding whether the host authority is the right place for you.

National Management Trainee, Economic Policy at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Research the council you are applying for- all councils are different in size, population, services offered etc.

National Management Trainee, Business Change at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Got to be dedicated to a public sector career and particularly local government.

Interview Advice:

Interview is specific to the council you interview at so read up on the area, council priorities, big programmes etc

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Demonstrate why you are interested in Local Government through having knowledge and understanding of the sector (its services, challenges and opportunities in the future) as well as demonstrating the attitudes of a local government officer- team work, spending money wisely, working for a with communities etc. in your application.

Interview Advice:

As the final interview is held at your host authority, it pays to have a good understanding of that council, what challenges it faces and its priorities. Although it is an advances to have visited the council's area before, its not the end of the world if you havent as long as you can sell why you chose that council over all the rest of involved council.

National Management Trainee, General at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Be honest
Care about Local Government

Interview Advice:

Research the local authority you are interviewing for well.

National Management Trainee, Local Authority at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

It is very hard to do, but the most useful thing I could have been told throughout the application process and interview stage is to just relax and be yourself. The assessors are looking for natural competencies and not who shouts the loudest or sounds the smartest.

If you can articulate your points clearly and reasonably and still smile you have gone a long way to being a good candidate!

Interview Advice:

At the interveiw stage you have proved your competency and the council are just looking for the best fit for them. Again, just be yourself. In preparing, it is really important to look at the history of the council, its core values and vision and what you can bring to this direction of travel.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Show why you want to work in local government specifically - rather than central government. Talk about past experiences with public sector or charitable work.

Interview Advice:

The first couple of assessment centres are practical based and you really do need to be yourself. There are group exercises where you need to get the balance right between being heard and being too pushy! For the interview stage with the council, make sure you've researched the area thoroughly, know some facts and be really explicit as to why you specifically want to work in that city/borough. Be passionate about it.

National Management Trainee (Graduate), at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Answer the question!

Interview Advice:

Be clear on why you want to work in Local Government and understand the difference between different types of Authoirty. Working in Local Government is a very different experience and councils will want to know what motivates you to join the sector.

, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Research local government and have a clear understanding of where and why you want to work in this area.

Interview Advice:

If you are working for a local authority it is vital to research who they are and what the local issues are.
At assessment centre stage a broader understanding of Government projects and topics of interest will be useful.

Management Trainee, City Centre Management at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Take some time to learn about the role of local governemnt, the breadth of the services that it offers, and the broader, national political content in which they are working.

Interview Advice:

If you make it to the group exercise, stay calm and read the brief properly - so many people seemed to get the worng end of the stick.

National Management Trainee – currently Neighbourhood Regeneration Officer, Various at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

If you are unsure where you want to head career wise but, like working in a team, are happpy to get stuck in and 'learn by doing' then the National Graduate Development Programme really could offer you an opportuity to find the right path for you.

Interview Advice:

Know lots about the local authority that you are interviewing at
Have ideas about how the local authority could move forwards in the future
Be yourself - the final interview is ultimately where the decision is made and you cant pretend to be someone else for the next 2 years if you are hired!

National Management Trainee, Commissioning Group at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

If you are committed to the idea of working in the public sector and are willing to push yourself completely out of your comfort zone, this will be an amazing experience. If you're just looking for "any job" or are expecting experiences / lessons to land in your lap, don't apply.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. Don't try and tell them what you think they want to hear, but stick to your principles.

National Management Trainee – Local Offer Co-ordinator, Children’s Services at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Should you want to apply for the scheme, and are successful; make the most of every opportunity offered to you. My council is constantly offering me opportunities to diversify my workload with areas of work that I am interested in. Although my time is taken up by the set out work of each placement, there is remaining capacity for me to involve myself in new and exciting areas in the department, and senior staff are keen for me to do this.

Interview Advice:

-Why do you want to work in the public sector/ local government / this particular council.
-Make sure you genuinely have an interest in local government and the kind of work they do.
-Know the difference between the types of local authority - i.e. Unita

Principal Community Safety Officer, Community Safety at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Do your research both for local government and for your individual councils. Check up on latest policies and ways of working to get an idea of what you would be asked to do in real life.

Interview Advice:

Be prepared to justify your answers. the answers you give may not be right but if you show reasoned logic, that plays in your favour.

National Management Trainee, South Norfolk Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Do your research and be passionate and interested in local government and where it is going. If you do so it will stand you in good stead to progress and do well. In the public sector or elsewhere.

Interview Advice:

Be confident, informed and enthusiastic. Also it is important to have specific examples to draw upon to show why you would be suited to the scheme.

National Management Trainee, Transformation of Public Services at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

If you want a fast learning curve which develops you as an individual, then apply for the programme.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself.

SEND Reforms Development Officer, Children and Families at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Don't be afraid to go for this as an older applicant. Don't be afraid to go for it as a disabled applicant. There's a hugely wide range of people on the scheme, with vastly different levels of experience - if you're passionate, well informed and curious it will count for a lot.

Interview Advice:

At the assessment centre: You're going to be talking about making difficult decisions - about savings / cuts, about political neutrality. This is the reality of the job. There are no right or wrong answers, just be confident and clear about why you've made the decisions you have.

At interview: Learn as much as you can about local context. Be honest, it's about best fit.

Nation, Older People’s Directorate at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Find out if you have any friends from university who have been successful and ask them for advice. Do as much research as you possibly can.

Interview Advice:

Be as prepared as you possibly can and be as personable as possible.

National Management Trainee, Children’s Commissioning at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Really think about why you want to work in the public sector and research the various different models of local government which operate across the UK. Try to be aware of what local government actually does and the services it provides, as well as the challenges it faces and the main political discourses concerning its future.

Interview Advice:

It could be useful to have a few examples of councils that are doing innovative work across the country and, of course, if you make it to interview, read up as much as possible about the council you're being interviewed for.

National Management Trainee, Children’s Services at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Keep on top of the news and any policy changes that will directly effective council services. Follow the local politics and what the council is doing in your area and the Council that you plan to apply for.

Try to get some experience of public service, this is easily done through volunteering, I think they like candidates who understand what front line services do and who they work with.

Interview Advice:

Questions will be about the particular council you apply to. They might ask you why you chose them, so make sure you are aware of the key council policies and local issues they face.

It is a management program so they will ask about past experience, or your style of management and give you a scenario, but don't worry they don't expect you to already be a manager.

They will also have some questions about what you think Public Service is and what the council does.

For most of these questions there are no right answers they just want to get to know you to see if you fit with he Council ethos.

Management Trainee, Lewisham Council, Mayor’s Office at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

If you haven't considered a career in local government you should, and the NGDP is most definately the best way to start.

Interview Advice:

The recruitment process is hard. I actually was recruited locally by the Authority that I work for now. There was a group excercise that was very much in line with themes in local goverment, such as 'How do we provide high quality services with less public money?' It's really improtant to know the relationship bewteen national policy and local outcomes.
More importantly its about your attitude, local goverment is open to change and needs strong leadership skills so try and show that you have these qualities.

National Management Trainee, Deputy Chief Execs at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Try to show your committment to communities in your application.

Interview Advice:

Really do your research on local government before the second stage assessment centres!

National Managment Trainee, Cambridgeshire County Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Research local government and understand the challenges faced both current and future. Look at this from both a communities/societal prespective and a organisational prespective. The key to success in getting on to the scheme is demonstrating a passion for working in local government and wanting to make a difference whilst also demonstrating commercial acumen.

Interview Advice:

Again, do your research. Every local authority is different and so they will want to know that you have an understanding of their ethos, values and the way in which they work.

Nationa Management Trainee, Local Government at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Do your research into what local authorities do and how they operate, do not get confused between the differences between central and local government or the responsibilities of county and district councils.

Interview Advice:

Do your research about the councils, what their priorities are and know why you want to work for them, rather than another council.

National Management Trainee, Economy, Transport & Environment at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Research the local government system so that you understand the different types of councils and the nature of council mechanisms, such as the relationship between officers and councillors (or "members" as they are known).
Attend a meeting of your local council.
Get experience with a council or local charity, preferably in the area where you would like to work.
Research the competencies the NGDP demands.

Interview Advice:

Brush up on current social policy issues such as: welfare reform, government austerity policies and how they will affect DCLG. Research devolution policy and how central government interacts with local government. Which central government policies will affect local councils?

Consider how your experiences might address the NGDP competencies.

Consider whether central or local government policies are inherently good or bad policies, regardless of their political motivation. Try and anticipate the positive and negative impacts of policies.

National Management Trainee, Policy and Equality at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Demonstrate interest in local communities, and an awareness of the current financial constraints on local government. Don't approach local government thinking that it will be an easy ride, you need to demonstrate that you are commercially aware, can think on your feet, and can present your ideas well in both formal and group situations.

Interview Advice:

Local government is a very particular area to work in, focussed on the local needs of a population, think about why this is important to you.

Graduate Trainee, Various at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Try and get experience where possible to get a feel for what is involved in local government, contact people for advice (most people enjoy talking about themselves and happy to talk through their experience).

Interview Advice:

Learn about the council you are interviewing for, understand what makes their challenges different to other local authorities.

Appreciate the difference between central and local government, particularly from a political perspective.

Public Health Strategist, Public Health at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Show why you want to work for local government rather than simply the public sector.

Don't overcomplicate the assessments - be concise and to the point.

Once you've got through the assessments don't think you've made it to the end of the road, you still then have to go and interview at councils who will have no knowledge of your performance in the assessments and only your application form to go by!

National Management Trainee, Islington Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Find a part of the sector which interests you and focus on that - but apply it to situations holistically.

Interview Advice:

Bring a fresh perspective. Know the locality.

National Management Trainee, Planning at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Stick to the competencies and be patient- it's a long process!

Interview Advice:

Prepare yourself with knowledge about local government, especially the current budgetary constraints

Project Manager, Business, Employment and Skills at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Clearly convey passion for working in local government- what does it mean to you and why do you want to develop a career in local government.

Interview Advice:

It is a best fit interview for the council. It is a good idea to read up about the council you are applying to so you know all the key priorities/strategic plan.
Make use of speaking to current NMT's employed at the council by using knowledge hub to show interest.
A lot of the day is also made up of speaking to current NMT's and managers from across the council- its good to show enthusiasm and interest for all of their roles.

National Management Trainee, at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Prior work experience within local government.

Interview Advice:

Honesty, integrity and a passion for improving the lives of everyone within your area.

National Management Trainee, Localities at Cheshire West and Chester Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Read the questions properly, give examples of how you fit to the criteria. Try and develop some form of experience in working in Local Government, or for Charities that deliver some similar services or work alongside charities.

Don't let the long application process put you off, if you are really interested in the scheme, don't be deterred. There is an initial application, and then a two assessment sessions. One of which is written, the second involves a presentation and group discussion.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself, don't try to be someone else. Council's are looking for a person that fits to them, by the time you get to the interview stage they know you are qualified for the role. However they may be looking for a certain type of personality, to fit to the service areas that would be having a graduate.

Before attending the interview try and get an understanding of the councils key issues and priorities a key project that they have worked on recently.

Be willing to work anywhere in the country, it is more likely that you will get placed at a council if you are open to work anyway, as there will be greater opportunities for you. Working for a London Borough, doesn't give you any better opportunities then working elsewhere in the country.

Understand the difference between different types of authorities, councils, boroughs and districts, and unitary authorities.

Graduate Management Trainee, Elmbridge Borough Council at National Graduate Development Programme
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Application Advice:

Show passion for public services and interest in/knowledge of current social issues. Willingness to learn is more important than solid experience.

Interview Advice:

As above. Know a bit about the borough you are interviewing with - why would it be interesting to work there?

Policy Officer, Commissioning Group at National Graduate Development Programme
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