About Us
List of Standard Programs & Services
Foreign Service Entry (Canada & US)
PSEE Study Materials
PSEE Test Tutoring
How Tests & Interviews Work
How to Register, Hiring Process, Common Questions
Interview Counselling (Canada)
Foreign Service Entry – U.S.
Personal Narrative Questions (US)
Statement of Interest US
Application: FS Specialist, Commerce Officer, USAID (US)
Oral Assessment: FS Officer, FS Specialist, Commerce Officer, USAID (US)
Foreign Service Promotions - Canada
FS Promotions Overview
Non-EX Level Applications & Interviews for All Classifications
EX-01 Application & Interview
Video Online Interviews
Other International Career Services
Government/International Organization Cover Letter & Resume
Follow-up Services
Reference Selection & Coaching
Debriefing re Test, In-Basket, Simulation, Interview Results
Other Specialized Career Services
In-Baskets, Simulations, RPL, PORP, APAP. Written Exams, Presentation Skills
Client Comments
Group Workshops
Contact Us
Place Order/Remit Payment
Acrobat Reader is required
to view the PDF files on
this site. Please click here
to download your free copy
of Acrobat Reader.

How Tests & Interviews Work

Our entry-level training helps individuals seeking diplomatic or internationally focused careers with the federal government. Described below are how the competition works, the services we offer to assist you, and our client success rate.

The Foreign Service Competition

The Tests

Several thousand applicants will enter the Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign to be hired by Global Affairs Canada (GAC--formerly DFAIT, the Department of foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC--formerly CIC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada). Rotational and non-rotational positions in Global Affairs include Political Economic officers, International Trade officers, Management Consular officers, International Development officers, Commerce officers and Policy officers. IRCC recruits rotational Immigration officers separately for its Foreign Service.

The initial online PSEE tests for these positions, when intake exercises occur, are normally in late October.

  • Public Service Entrance Exam (PSEE) Sub-test 1 (Reasoning) – a multiple-choice problem-solving and reasoning-ability test with four basic types of questions
  • Public Service Entrance Exam (PSEE) Sub-test 2 (Judgment) – a multiple-choice situational test with options in graduated scales of effectiveness or ineffectiveness

    Note: There is no longer--and has not been for years—a separate, knowledge-based
    Foreign Service exam with international affairs questions.

Candidates must pass the online PSEE tests before advancing in the competition.

Note: In the Fall of 2019 the online test system failed so only supervised tests were carried out.

The subsequent supervised in-person PSEE tests typically written a few weeks later are:

  • Another PSEE Reasoning test, the same as the online Sub-test 1, but with more questions
  • Another PSEE Judgment test, the same as the online Sub-test 2, but with fewer questions.

The Interview

Candidates selected from the larger pool of those who pass the in-person tests, and from possible computer-screening for selected attributes, are invited to the personal interview process.

In the personal interview you are given:

  • Hypothetical situations and asked how you would deal with them
  • Past-experience questions in relation to competency-based behavioural criteria
  • A possible role-play exercise in which you interact with an assessor
  • A prompt about your reasons for wanting to join government and personal suitability for the job

The group simulation exercise, no longer used by IRCC but standard for GAC, involves several candidates in a session that assesses analytical and communications skills, ability to work under pressure, teamwork, and common sense.

A short writing exercise using varied formats has been included in the past by IRCC and sometimes GAC either before or on interview day.

The interview assessment board evaluates overall potential based on intellectual, verbal and interpersonal skills known as “competencies”. International affairs knowledge questions are not part of the interview.

Our Services

The key to your success is knowing what to expect on tests and how to approach the behavioural interview process effectively.

The PSEE study materials for the online and in-person tests [click here] provide current, comprehensive information to help you focus your preparation, save time, and perform well.

For candidates who succeed on the tests, one-on-one Interview Coaching [click here] is accessible across Canada and abroad.

Our Clientele

Our clients range from undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in all disciplines to individuals already in the work force, including many professionals and government employees interested in switching careers.

Why Trust Our Services?

  • Outstanding Success Rate
    The success rate of our clients in obtaining Foreign Service and related international positions is more than triple that of those who do not use our help. In real numbers, over 850 former clients work in Global Affairs and IRCC.
  • Established Reputation
    No service offered by government, universities or the private sector—past or present, in North America or abroad—matches our expertise or coaching record over the past 25+ years. Please take the time to read the testimonials sent to us by clients and supporters displayed under Client and Supporter Comments [click here].

For additional information on what we do and why we know how to help you, see our List of Standard Programs and Services [click here], About Us [click here], and the Profile of our Director [click here].

Get the Edge on the Competition

Save time and significantly improve your chances to be selected for the diplomatic service or related international career. Contact Us today [click here]. The advice and help we provide to you will be invaluable.