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Our application process

A step by step guide to what to expect when applying for a role with the ONS.

A young woman sitting in a modern wingback armchair in a living room, she's about to apply for a job on her laptop and is smiling calmly. In the foreground there is a white orchid, in the background a modern white desk lamp.

If you want to apply for a role at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we work hard to make it as easy as possible. Especially if you’ve never applied for a role in the Civil Service before.

Here’s our guide to the application process, from completing the application to accepting an offer and preparing for your first day at the ONS.

  • A woman smiles as she sits on a sofa with a laptop in her living room. She appears to be typing.

    Completing your application

    The applications for roles at the ONS are on the Civil Service Jobs website.

    In the application, we ask you to complete information that will help us to review how well you match the role profile.

    This might include a personal statement, answers to technical questions or information about your education and employment history.

    We will also ask you to give us examples of your skills and experience that match the essential criteria section of the job description.

  • Two women sit opposite each other in a glass walled office, one with her face to the camera the other faces away. They review the civil service success profiles and appear engaged in discussion.

    Choosing the people that we will interview

    When the deadline has passed on the Civil Service Jobs website, we will start to decide who we want to interview. We call this process sifting.

    Depending on the role, we might also use a test or other type of assessment to help us choose. If this is the case, we will always mention the test or assessment in the job description.

    A panel of colleagues at the ONS will review a version of your application that has all your personal information removed.

    They will compare the information in your application with the essential criteria in the job description and decide who we will interview.

  • A view over the shoulder of a person who is engaged in a Teams video call on a laptop at an office desk. A young woman is presenting in full screen and is smiling with three other people on the call.

    The interview

    The interview questions will focus on the information that we included in the role profile. We will ask some questions about your own past experiences and give you examples of situations to see how you would deal with them.

    There may also be a short presentation for you to prepare and deliver as part of the interview.

  • A young woman sitting in a modern wingback chair, in her living room. She's smiling and is engaged in conversation on her mobile phone.

    Offering someone a role at the ONS

    If you’re successful, we will contact you through your Civil Service Jobs account and call you on the phone to discuss your role.

    Your offer will be based on the requirements set out in the job advert.

    Sometimes, when we have more people that we’d like to offer the role to than we have posts to fill, we may put you on a reserve list. This means that if we have a similar role in the future, we may offer it to you without you having to apply and be interviewed again.

  • A ring bound planner with a hand holding a pen writing the words 'ONS DAY ONE!

    Getting ready for your first day at the ONS

    Once you’ve accepted an offer, our onboarding team will guide you through the process. Working with you, they will gather information that allows you to start as quickly as possible.

    This can sometimes take a few months, as we need to organise security clearances, and equipment. You may also have a notice period with a current employer that you need to complete.

    We will keep you informed as things progress, and you will always have someone to contact if you need any help.

    Now, you’re ready to start an exciting career at ONS that truly counts.