13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2014 6:50 AM by tcbene

    need help for government job interview


      I had recently applied for government job for the position of "service desk" and fortunately have been selected for an interview, this is the first time I've reached to this stage and I am very nervous as I understand government interview are comparatively tough. I cannot afford to miss this opportunity as this is after several years of attempts and I wanna be well prepared in advance. I would be really grateful if anyone can help me with this or can share or advise if they've have experience with government job interviews. I know from bit of research that the questions are mostly behavioral and would focus mainly on selection criteria's but for my case as there's only two selection criteria I don't think the questions will be only based on them and there might be some technical questions as well. Please kindly advise me if anyone has some ideas on what's kind of questions or areas should I focus and prepare myself ?

      Any suggestions or advise would be highly appreciated.



        • Re: need help for government job interview

          First, a funny story about government jobs that shows that the very fact that you were screened into the interview process is a good thing.


          A few years ago I applied to work for the federal government here in Canada.  At the time I had about 12-13 years in the industry and was working as a IT consultant and senior technical analyst.  I had extensive experience with a variety of technologies and held current certifications from Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, etc. etc.  After applying for an entry-level job (just trying to get in the door and move up quickly) I received a form letter letting me know that I did not have the necessary qualifications.  While I don't usually share when I apply for a job with my co-workers, we all had a good laugh about that rejection letter!


          Now, as for your interview.  I expect it will contain two components.  The first will be a series of technical questions ranging from "Tell me how you would handle..." to "Have you have had a situation where X happened?  What did you do to resolve it?"  The other questions will be assessing your ability to work within a team, how you give and handle feedback from peers and managers, etc.  Even the simple question "What do you do outside of work?" is an assessment of your contributions to community, your focus as a lifelong learner, etc.


          Last story.  I had just finished my first year in the IT industry and was tired of travelling 80%+ of the time.   I had applied to work for Chrysler as a contractor in one of their manufacturing facilities doing IT support.  It was the first time I had been interviewed by a committee.  I spent the entire interview listening to questions about technologies that I had no idea about and having to explain that I had no experience there but was will to learn, or trying to connect that technology to something similar. In the end I thought it was hopeless so I threw a Hail Mary pass and closed with this statement. "I know that there are many technologies that are critical to your business that I don't have experience with yet, but I would love to learn about them if you would be willing to teach me."  I left without even a glimmer of hope that I had a chance at getting the  job.  Within 24 hours I received a call extending me the job!  It was a heck of a learning curve when I started, but I ended up spending nearly 7.5 years (between two different stints) working in manufacturing facilities in both Michigan and Ontario.


          Parting advice:  Be honest in your interview.  Demonstrate a knowledge of the work that you will need to do and why it is important to the larger organization.  Show a design to learn.  If you do all of those things, even if you don't get the job, you will leave a lasting impression that will pay dividends down the road.

          • Re: need help for government job interview

            Been there, done that.  I have been selected.  lol.  I agree with Joshua on the type of questions you will be asked.  They may ask about a clearance or if there is anything that would prevent you from obtaining one.  There will probably be a board of 4 or 5 people.  They will be staring you down, most likely.  Try to look them in the eyes and if you can't do that try to look at a spot on their noses or foreheads.  Look at each of them, especially the one asking the question.  If you don't understand the question or miss a part of it, ask them to repeat it.  Smile.  Answer the questions fully, but don't ramble on.  If you think you are saying too much, ask if you have provided enough detail.  It is a customer service position.  Make sure your answers are customer service friendly.  You like being on the phone, you enjoy helping people, you strive for customer satisfaction, you work well with others and on teams.  You available after hours, weekends, etc.  You arrive early and work late if needed.  You may be asked where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years.  You need to strive for growth, you need to talk about continuing education/certifications to stay current in ever-changing IT field.  Be thorough with the how would you, what would you do, and describe a situation where you did this.  They will ask you if you have any questions.  You should have at least 2 questions to ask them about the position.  Have a pen and pad to write on.  Write on it if you need to.  Have the questions on it.  It shows you are prepared.  You can also jot on it anything that you want to say in your interview.  When you are answering to can look at it to ensure you don't forget anything.  Just don't read answers from it.  Only read your questions from it.  lol.  Use the yes sir and yes ma'ams.  Start with the good morning or good afternoon ....   End with thank you for the opportunity to interview for this position.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Hope this helps.  Good luck!

            • Re: need help for government job interview

              You've got some really good advice in these posts.  One note I'll add:  I work for a mid-size local governmental entity (in the US).  We have a really horrible interview process.  Even the people running it (and I've done that too) don't like it.  It's just the process we have to follow.


              Point is, if you end up in a weird committee-type interview with weird questions and rules, don't get unnerved.  Chances are the people on the other side of the table don't like it either.  Just do you best, realizing that all the other candidates are going through the same process.

              • Re: need help for government job interview

                This is not specific to any industry/sector, but there are interviewers (including myself) who will intentionally ask questions above the technical skill set of the job. The idea is to see where the edge of your knowledge and/or experience is. We expect you to not know some of the answers. In fact, an applicant who can answer every question will not get the job because they are over qualified and I wouldn't expect them to stick around long before they get bored and find a better job. Keeping this in mind has really helped me a lot to not get aggravated or frustrated and to enjoy the interview.


                Good luck!

                • Re: need help for government job interview

                  thankyou all for all the suggestions,really appreciate it..

                  • Re: need help for government job interview

                    How much does it pay and how many breaks do you get.

                    And tell them you want to be a union rep.

                    • Re: need help for government job interview

                      Another thing with Government Job Interviews is that they have to ask all the candidates the same questions and are usually fairly vague.  When they ask you a question try to relate past experience, successes, and accomplishments to the question.  It will signify that you have actually done the work before and can do it again as well as they are getting an experienced employee at a good rate.