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Interview guidance

Firstly, congratulations on choosing the Gambling Commission as a potential employer. We are excited to be able to tell you all about working with us. This is a guide with hints and tips to support you with your journey through the interview process. 

Will you be required to provide a CV?

  • Yes. In order to ensure our process is fair, equitable and consistent we require that all job applicants upload a current copy of their Curriculum Vitae
  • We do not require the completion of an application form, your CV is sufficient.

Some tips for writing a great CV

  • Your CV will provide us with insight into the skills and experience you have acquired over the course of your career. It will be the primary document that will enable us to benchmark these skills against our requirements for the role.
  • The ideal CV will be 2-3 pages in length and show your employment history with dates of employment for each role. We would prefer that the most recent job is listed first, and the CV works backwards in date order.
  • As well as outlining your experience, ensure that you also showcase any significant achievements you might have had in a particular role. Ensure you demonstrate examples of how you made a difference.
  • Make sure you list your academic qualifications and all relevant vocational qualifications. If you have had any training as part of your previous employment, and it is relevant to the job you are applying for, ensure you add it to your CV.
  • If the job you are applying for involves managing people, outline your leadership credentials to help us understand what type of a leader you are.
  • Spellcheck your final document before sharing it with us! Make sure that the formatting, spelling and grammar is the best it can possibly be.
  • Google it! There are lots of free websites which offer free CV writing templates and advice online. Alternatively try your local Job Centre as they can also provide information and advice on writing a CV.

Key information about your interview

  • Please make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes early.
  • You will be required to bring documents to the interview that verify your eligibility to work in the UK. This can be an EU passport, a passport endorsed with your right to work in the UK, or a full UK birth certificate accompanied by proof of your national insurance number. Full details of documents that provide eligibility to work in the UK are available on the UK Visa and Immigration website.
  • After your identification documents have been checked, you will be taken through to your interview.
  • The interview panel will consist of at least two Gambling Commission staff members.
  • The interview will be partly conversational and partly competency based. There will also be time for you to ask questions at the end.
  • Typically, the interview takes around 45-60 minutes to complete but may be longer if you have been asked to complete a test or give a presentation.

What will your recruitment journey be?

  • Here at the Commission we use competency-based interviews that are structured around both our Ways of Working and other technical competencies relevant to the job you have applied for. What is a competency? Put simply, competencies are the behaviours which are shown to be effective to delivery in a particular role. ​

What sort of questions can I expect in the interview?

  • Initially, the interviewer(s) will usually ask you some questions about yourself and your background to get to know you better.  These will be followed up with competency questions to gain information about the key behaviours, often beginning with phrases such as:​

“Tell me about a time when ...

“Describe an occasion when ...

“When has it been important to ... ?

Can you give an example of when you…”


  • It is important when answering the question to focus on the role you played, to talk about your contribution and to be as specific as possible with your examples.​
  • Remember – the panel interviewing you want you to succeed (we want to fill our vacancies!) so they will ask questions to help you show your strengths. 
  • A competency-based interview is an interview in which each candidate is asked the same questions designed to obtain information about the match between the candidate’s competencies and those required for the job. ​

Why do we use competency-based interviews?

  • Because we have a commitment to ensure that the processes we use within selection are consistent, fair and rigorous.​​
  • Because there is a strong correlation between the demonstration of competence and performance in a particular role, i.e. past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.​
  • It allows you to  assess whether the job matches your competencies and whether you are suited to the role.

How is a competency-based interview different from other interviews?

  • In a competency-based interview, questions are asked that give you the opportunity to give examples of situations when you have demonstrated the behaviours required for the role.  
  • These questions concentrate on the most important parts of your past experience, and will largely be based on our Ways of Working and technical competencies for that role.
  • Your responses will then allow the interviewer to ‘match’ you to the job, based purely on what is necessary to be successful in the role.​

Our Ways of Working

   the titles of our ways of working in 5 coloured circles - all terms are described in accompanying text

Outcome focused

  • We put consumers at the heart of everything we do
  • We take responsibility for an issue and moving it forward
  • We deliver results through working collaboratively 

Reaching for ways to improve

  • We encourage feedback and ideas
  • We are committed to continuous improvement and are open to trying different ways of working
  • We celebrate successes and take responsibility when things go wrong


  • We recognise every colleague’s contribution
  • We give each other timely constructive feedback
  • We all encourage challenge

Communicate well

  • We are clear and concise
  • We listen and check our understanding
  • We explain our reasons and decisions

Making this a great place to work

  • We all help to make the Commission a great place to work
  • We value and support each other
  • We demonstrate a positive attitude

Why do we use Ways of Working?

  • They are five key behavioural traits that have been identified to help us deliver our vision and achieve our organisational goals. They form an important part of the recruitment and performance review process as they describe how we want employees to do things, rather than what we want them to do. It’s therefore vital that we employ people who fit with and are able to adopt our Ways of Working, which is why they are a key criteria in our recruitment and selection criteria.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the Ways of Working and are clear about whether any of them might be more important than others for the role in question.  Make sure you read the full job description (which you can get from the Recruitment Portal) and get thinking of examples in your current role that you know are a good illustration of how you demonstrate our Ways of Working.
  • Getting the right fit for their team and department is just as important to the hiring manager as qualifications and experience. For that reason they will be concentrating on the Ways of Working, as well as asking technical questions to determine your suitability for the role.

STAR Method

  • A good way of ensuring you answer questions well is to follow the STAR method below.  This will ensure that you give answers that are easy for the interviewers to understand both in terms of the situation but also the part that you played.  Remember, if you say “we” rather than “I” it can be difficult to determine what your role was.
  • Situation - Set the scene
  • Task - Describe the purpose
  • Action - Explain what you did
  • Result - Share the outcome

What will happen after the interview?

  • The hiring manager will give you an idea of what will happen next. There may be a second stage to the interview process which might also include an exercise you will need to complete, or a presentation you will need to prepare and present.  The hiring manager will give you a good idea of what is expected and what the timescales for this will be.  ​
  • If there isn’t going to be another stage then the hiring manager will give you a deadline of when you will hear back from us if you are successful or not, and also book some time to give you interview feedback if requested.​


  • As part of the Ways of Working, feedback will be offered to candidates.  Feedback is important for you as part of the candidate experience because it allows you to understand how the recruitment decision has been made. Feedback will help you to understand that the evaluation and decision-making process has been fair and reasonable. It will help you to get useful information about what went well and what didn’t go well, which can help you in the future with other interviews.​
  • Feedback Fact - Did you know that unsuccessful candidates who are given feedback are 3 times more likely to be positive about their experience than unsuccessful candidates who were not given feedback?
  • Feedback Fact – Did you know that candidates who take up the offer of feedback are more likely to find alternative employment more quickly than those who do not take up the offer of feedback?

How do I change or cancel an interview that has already been booked?

  • Where possible please make every effort to attend your scheduled interview. If you need to change your interview, please reply via email to the individual who has sent you the interview confirmation and we will try our best to accommodate your request. However this cannot be guaranteed, and we can only do this if there are still alternative slots available. Please email us as soon as possible to cancel your interview or withdraw your application on our Recruitment Portal.

Can I bring notes into the interview or prepare answers in advance?

  • Yes, you can bring notes to refer to during the interview; this will not affect your scoring, but please do not simply read from these notes during your interview and instead use them to prompt you if required.
  • The questions you will be asked are unique to the role type, but will be consistent with the questions asked of all candidates applying for the same position to ensure consistency and fairness. You will not be able to prepare a ‘scripted’ response as you will not know the questions you will be asked.
  • To practice, for each example write a bullet point for each of the STAR headings (see above for info on STAR) and practice your answers with a friend or member of your family.

What will the panel know about me?

  • The panel will have a copy your CV outlining your career history, skills and experience. They will not be aware of any personal information that may have been provided as part of the application process.

Can I park my car at the Gambling Commission site for the interview?

  • No. Unfortunately there is not parking available, although there is plenty of parking in Central Birmingham.  We are based within a 5 minute walk of Birmingham New Street Station and a 10 minute walk from Snow Hill Station. 

How do I arrange support or assistance (such as to support a disability) at interview?

  • Please ensure that you let us know what support you need via email (such as Sign Language Interpreter or extra time during any written tests) at least 48 hours before your interview so that we can try and accommodate you.

  • If you would prefer to contact the central recruitment team rather than the hiring manager directly for this request, please email us at recruitment@gamblingcommission.gov.uk.

  • We are a disability confident employer.

When will I be told whether I have been successful?

  • This will depend on when the last interview is held. If you are one of the first applicants to attend an interview it can take a couple of weeks before we can let you know the outcome whilst the remaining interviews are completed.  We aim to inform everyone as quickly as possible.


Thanks for choosing the Gambling Commission.  We are looking forward to meeting you for interview.

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