Managing a Quality Service is part of the Civil Service ‘Success Profiles’ framework. It is one of 9 core behaviours that can be tested. Most commonly it will be tested within customer or stakeholder facing roles.
As it is a core behaviour it can be assessed in a number of ways and, just as importantly, it can be assessed at any stage of the recruitment process. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Your CV
- Your application answers
- During the interview
- As a standalone exercise
- During a presentation
- At an assessment centre
What I am getting at is that if the job advert says that you will be assessed on your ability to manage a service you need to make sure you convey your abilities whenever the opportunity arises.
That is why in this article I am going to explain exactly what Managing a Quality Service means. I am going to look at what it is your assessor/interviewer is expecting of you in the application and interview stages PLUS what might occur in an assessment centre should you be invited to one. Then finally I will attempt to answer some of the common questions that arise when discussing this particular behaviour. (if you have any questions do not hesitate to leave a comment)
- 1 What is Managing a Quality Service
- 2 How Will Managing a Quality Service Be Assessed
- 3 Managing a Quality Service – FAQ
What is Managing a Quality Service
We can’t show off our abilities if we don’t understand what it is we are being assessed on.
Fundamentally ‘Managing a Quality Service’ is looking at your ability to provide the best service possible given the resources at your disposal. This involves understanding your stakeholders (customers, clients, other departments etc.) needs and satisfying these needs as best as possible. For more senior roles this will also include looking at how you return value for money in your endeavours and how you instill this and other ideals into the teams/departments within your purview.
Managing a quality service in the context of applying for jobs at the Civil Service refers to the ability to ensure that the services provided by the Civil Service are of a consistently high standard and meet the needs of the public.
As a Civil Service employee, you would be responsible for managing a quality service by identifying and analyzing customer needs, developing strategies to improve service delivery, implementing quality control processes, and monitoring performance to ensure that service standards are met.
This may involve working collaboratively with colleagues, stakeholders, and other agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures that promote quality service provision, as well as communicating effectively with customers to understand their needs and provide timely and effective responses.
Overall, managing a quality service is a critical aspect of Civil Service work, as it ensures that the public receives the highest quality services possible, and that the government operates in an effective and efficient manner.
How Will Managing a Quality Service Be Assessed
I said before that the core behaviours can be tested at any stage of the application process. The vast majority of the time you will be made aware of when you are being assessed as you will be told by your interviewers (either on the application or in the assessment centre or interview stage). Let’s look at the occasions where you will most likely be assessed on this behaviour:
On your CV
Submit Your CV For Review
During the Application Process
During the application process you will be asked to spend up to 250 words describing your skills and experience as it pertains to each behaviour that is being tested.
That means you will have 250 words to show the assessor that you:
250 words is not a lot of space when you are trying to get a point across. For reference this entire article is c.1500 words long, and I would say it is one of the shorter pieces I have written.
The recommended strategy for completing these statements is to use the STAR system
S – situation
T – task
A – action
R – result
What was going on?
What was the goal?
What did you specifically do?
How did it all play out?
The best advice for completing these statements is to spend the bulk of your word allowance on A & R. Actions & Results.
No need to get bogged down in world building. Just set the scene quickly, say what was happening and what you’d been asked to do. Then focus on the activities you picked up and why you picked them up. Then round it off by confirming how your actions allowed you to deliver an excellent work output that matches the customer’s expectations (i.e. you successfully managed a quality service!)
Managing a Quality Service 250 Word Statement Example
Here is an example statement for the behavior ‘Managing a Quality Service’. This received a score of 7 during a recent sift.
Notice how the answer flows through the S.T.A.R approach.
How to complete you own Managing a Quality Service 250 word statement
There are many ways you can structure your 250 word statement. The one we find creates the best and most consistent statements is the B-STAR method. If you use the below structure when writing your statement you can be sure that you will hit all the key points that the assessors are looking for.
During the Interview Stage
If you are reading this now because you have scored a Civil Service Interview and are looking to see what you might be asked. First off congrats on getting this far. This means you are on the shortlist for the role. But the hard work doesn’t stop here, you need to hammer home your skills and experience even more so in the interview than at any point in the application process so far.
If the job advert said that you will be assessed on the behaviour “Managing a Quality Service” you can be 90% certain that you will receive a question that will be directly about this behaviour.
It is important when you attend a behavioural interview that you have multiple ‘stories’ to tell for each behaviour. You need to then choose the story that fits the question the best and use that.
Similar to the application process when answering questions in the interview it is recommended to use the STAR system
However unlike the application process you are not limited to 250 words. Generally the interviewers will be expecting you to talk through your answers for at least 5 minutes (most interviewers will tell you how long they expect your answers to be so play off what they tell you).
This additional time gives you the ability to get more in-depth about your experience. It is still advisable to spend most of your time on A – actions & R – results.
But this time when you are describing what it is you did you should drill down into why you did what you did and why you thought that was the best option. Were there other options that you could have gone with? Why were they not chosen? Etc.
These are some of the questions that I have personally seen asked during a competency based interview. How well do you think you can answer them?
Tell me about a time when a customer expressed displeasure in the quality of work they received. How did you handle this and what was the outcome?
How do you identify customer needs when the customer is unsure on what it is they require?
Have you ever had to motivate a team member or colleague to increase the quality of their work? How did you go about this?
In the Assessment Centre
Assessment centre evaluations have fallen out of favour as of late, they are now usually reserved for entry level roles where there are lots of jobs available and lots of applicants to sort. Say for example a new customer service centre is opening and they require 100 colleagues to take inbound calls.
When you go to an assessment centre evaluation you will be put into a team alongside your fellow candidates. Then as a team you will be given a scenario and will be asked to come up with a plan on how best to achieve an objective.
It doesn’t really matter what the scenario is or what the objective is. The tips you need to follow are:
– Highlight the blockers – there will be parts of the scenario designed to slow you down
– Understand the success factors – you will not be able to deliver a 100% perfect solution so ensure you know what the important factors are and ensure you deliver them
– Do not hog all of the work and do not sabotage your teammates – this happens all of the time in these group evaluation sessions. Applicants think if they take on all of the hard work or make their other applicants look bad then they are more likely to get the role. But in fact the opposite is true. The assessors in these places have seen it all before. They are looking for team players. People who can provide value to the customer efficiently and without issue. If you show yourself to be incapable of working with others you will not progress.
– Remember to showcase your results – you’ve put in all the work so make sure you show and highlight to your assessors how your efforts paid off.
Managing a Quality Service – FAQ
Should my statement/answer change based on the job role?
Yes, different job roles will come with different responsibilities. If you are going for a Team or Project Manager level role then you should tailor your answer to say how you instilled a drive for quality and meeting customer expectations within your team. If you are going for an even senior level role (operations manager or a director level role) then you need to talk about how you instil the behaviour of Managing a Quality Service into your department as a whole. I recommend reading the behaviours document linked here for more information.
Do my answers have to be relevant to the job itself?
Strictly speaking, no. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to talk about your experience in the role so don’t worry if your ‘Managing a Quality Service’ example is about something unrelated to the industry. If you are going for a, let’s say, Prison Guard position it might be difficult to come up with a time when you’ve had to manage a service, but maybe you have outside experience that might be relevant. Go with that instead.
Obviously if you have a direct example that mirrors the job description that would be great but don’t sweat it if you don’t just find something that covers the behaviour itself.
Where can I learn more about Managing a Quality Service?
Make sure to read the Civil Service document on behaviours. And don’t be afraid to ask your assessors what it is they are looking for. Worst case scenario they say they can’t give feedback, best case you find out exactly what you need for your next application.
Where Can I Learn More About The Civil Service Behaviours?
We have gone into detail about the Civil Service Behaviours in this post here. If you would like to learn more about any individual behaviour check out the posts below:.
How do I complete the personal statement part of the Civil Service application?
What is the importance of managing a quality service?
Managing a quality service is important because it ensures that services provided by an organization are consistently of high quality and meet the needs of the public. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction, increased trust in the organization, and improved efficiency in delivering services.
What skills are required for managing a quality service?
Some skills required for managing a quality service include strong communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership skills, attention to detail, and a customer-focused approach. It’s also important to be able to analyze data and identify areas for improvement.
What are some common challenges in managing a quality service?
Some common challenges include balancing competing priorities, managing resources effectively, dealing with unexpected changes or crises, and ensuring that staff are adequately trained and motivated to provide high-quality services.
How can organizations ensure that they are providing a quality service?
Organizations can ensure that they are providing a quality service by regularly measuring and monitoring their performance, seeking feedback from customers, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing strategies to address any issues that arise. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of customer needs and to tailor services to meet those needs.
How can employees contribute to managing a quality service?
Employees can contribute to managing a quality service by understanding customer needs, following established procedures, providing feedback on areas for improvement, and taking ownership of their work. It’s also important for employees to be proactive in identifying and addressing issues that may impact service delivery.
How can managing a quality service benefit both customers and organizations?
Managing a quality service can benefit both customers and organizations by improving customer satisfaction, increasing trust in the organization, reducing costs associated with rework or poor quality, and improving efficiency and productivity. This can lead to a positive reputation for the organization and increased customer loyalty.