#1
Old 07-11-2005, 09:02 PM
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Location: Madison WI
Posts: 22,505
I just took the civil service exam

Saw a job with the state in last week's paper and decided to take the exam. The job is with the Department of Workforce Development, processing unemployment claims and determining benefits.

Most of the test was basic math and reading comprehension. I almost screwed up royally because I misunderstood a process for determining a benefit period and coldn't figure out the answers to about 18 questions because I was using the wrong process, but I finally figured it out after about ten minutes of frustration.

The last section of the test was all these behavioural-based questions, which I was not happy about. Stuff like "you have ten minutes left on your break when a co-worker tells you your supervisor wants to see you. Do you a) say nothing and finish your break; b) tell your co-worker 'no one gets extra work out of me!'; c) tell him to let your supervisor know you'll be there in ten minutes; d) thank your co-worker and call your supervisor from the nearest phone." Buh? I really didn't much care for playing the "what do they want to hear" game; I usually like to save that for the interview.

I should get my score in 2-3 weeks and then I assume if I score high enough I'll be called for an interview or at least to submit a resume.
#2
Old 07-11-2005, 09:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 1,337
You probably did better than you think.

I am sure you will get a good score and hopefully you will be able to get a good job (that you like doing) out of it.
#3
Old 07-11-2005, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,485
Good luck in your job application.

Forgive the hijack, but maybe a visitor to the thread knows: is there any point to taking the civil service exam without having a specific job in view? Like, to put on a résumé and then start looking for jobs? Just curious.
#4
Old 07-12-2005, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 30,637
Please give us (read: "me") an outline of Wisconsin's Civil Service Hiring procedure.

Job by job, or a register system?
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#5
Old 07-12-2005, 10:10 AM
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Location: Madison WI
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It seems to be job-by-job but the test application had a box to check to allow for sharing the score, so apparently some of the tests apply to more than one position. I don't know how the state goes about obtaining those scores for alternate positions or how an applicant would know if a previous test score was applicable to another position. There were multiple tests being administered when I was there. I don't know how different the various tests are but I bet they all have that bullshit behavioural crap on them. The tests for stuff like highway patrol and prison guard had a memory and observation section and mine didn't.

Here's the DWD's page for state employment.
#6
Old 07-12-2005, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 13,461
Hopefully you will get the job you want and disprove the idea that most people in the civil service aren't.
#7
Old 07-12-2005, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,181
Quote:
"you have ten minutes left on your break when a co-worker tells you your supervisor wants to see you. Do you a) say nothing and finish your break; b) tell your co-worker 'no one gets extra work out of me!'; c) tell him to let your supervisor know you'll be there in ten minutes; d) thank your co-worker and call your supervisor from the nearest phone."
Having actually helped write civil service exams, I'd say C's the correct answer. Obviously you're not supposed to be hostile, so B's out. And a lot of people will guess D to try to tell people what they want to hear, but you're entitled to your break so that answer's also wrong. And while you're entitled to your break you also have a duty to maintain open communications, so A's wrong. With C, you've acknowleged the situation and addressed it in compliance with the procedures of your organization.

But watch out, Otto. I thought it was safe taking civil service exams back when I was a kid. Then the next thing I know I had a career.
#8
Old 07-12-2005, 12:43 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 7,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Thorp
Good luck in your job application.

Forgive the hijack, but maybe a visitor to the thread knows: is there any point to taking the civil service exam without having a specific job in view? Like, to put on a résumé and then start looking for jobs? Just curious.
VA has no civil service exam for state employees - you apply and are interviewed for specific jobs. Individual jobs may have certain skills attached to it, but you are tested for those skills by the agency itself (for example, if you applied for a office assistant position that required word processing skills, the agency would give you the test as part of the interview).

When I worked for the Federal gov't I took the Federal Civil Service Exam without having a job in mind; however, the Federal Civil Service works a little differently (or did) in that you take the exam and your name and score are put on a list of candidates. Agencies are then free to review your application and scores and contact you when agencies come up. I took the test and applied for a general administrative position (this was while in college) and ended up working for the Commerce Department. I could just have easily turned down the offer of an interview and waited for the next agency to call, but I needed a job so I took it.
#9
Old 07-12-2005, 01:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Almost Silicon Valley
Posts: 8,882
Heh - Mr. Brown took a civil service exam a couple of years ago for a municipal job. The job involved CAD design, and the exam tested your knowledge of basic algebra and geometry. He brushed up on his math skills and took the test, and found the questions mildly challenging but felt he answered them all correctly.

It took months to get the results back because the city in question could find no one in their ranks knowledgeable enough about basic math to grade the tests! He didn't get the job, BTW.
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