Temporary assistant economist job interview | Government economics service

Job title

Temporary Assistant Economist (graduate position)

Interview round

1 of 1

Notes on the interview

The interview was in Whitehall in front of a panel of three. The panel had two senior economists and one person from the personnel department. Before the interview a list of eight questions were sent by email to be prepared (these are below). In the interview each economist asked from the list of questions and went further into each, finding out how deep your knowledge was. There were no trick questions, but a great level of depth was needed. The non-economist asked questions to find out about team work, i.e. previous experiences and how you dealt with them. She also asked for a couple of economics terms to be explained in layman's terms.

The interview lasted 45 minutes (approx). Personally I would say this is one of the more difficult interview because it is an assessment of academic knowledge rather than an assessment of personality or experience.

Job interview questions

Of all the concepts that you've studied in economics in the course of completing your degree(s) can you think of 3 that you consider will be of particular relevance to the work of economists in government? What are the reasons for your choice?

With any policy proposal there is always a need to justify government intervention. Could you explain the main rationale for government intervention with some examples of what interventions might be appropriate in different situations?

Do minimum wages benefit the poorest in society?

Over the course of the past year or so we have faced a significant rise in oil prices to historically high levels of over $50 a barrel. If you were on the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England what evidence would you want to take into account in considering the implications of this for interest rates?

Should Govt privatise Post Office and introduce full competition for postal services?

Should Govt replace road and fuel taxes with road pricing?

Should the UK join the Euro?

How would you estimate an econometric model for forecasting road fuel duty receipts; and what econometric problems might you have to deal with?


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