5 Tips for public sector interviews
Tip 1: Find out everything you can about the specific position
The better you understand the position and the employer’s needs the more effectively you can show how you’ll benefit their organization. Read the job ad thoroughly – it will often tell you some of the employers major concerns.
Tip 2: Practice introductions
The decision to hire is often made in the first thirty seconds. Make a good first impression: Practice opening a door, coming into a room, offering your hand confidently, smiling and introducing yourself. Use your left hand for carrying, leaving your right hand free for the handshake.
Tip 3: Practice General Interview Question Responses
Practice responses to interview questions – but don’t try to memorize them. Being yourself is essential to interview success. Responses need to feel and sound natural.
When you’ve thought through how you can add value to a specific employer, you’ll be able to easily add examples of how in the answers you provide.
Tip 4: Know how to answer the questions “Why do I want this job?”
Employers aren’t just looking for bodies to fill in vacant positions. They want people who can bring something new and valuable to their business.
The only way you can prove to an interviewer that you’ve got what it takes is to show that you know exactly what his/her organization does. Find out as much as you can.
When you really know the answer to “Why do I want this job?” you’ll be able to answer some important interview questions such as:
- How did you become interested in this field?
- Why did you submit your application to our company/organization?
- What are your general career interests?
- What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Tip 5: Know how to answer the question: “What do I have to offer?”
Employers want to know why they should hire you. To find out, they ask a variety of questions to help them find out who you are and what you can do. To be prepared, review your experiences at work, at school and in volunteer activities.
- Keep a mental list of your accomplishments.
- Think about challenges you’ve faced and how you dealt with them.
- Remember times that you’ve been a problem-solver.
- Consider mistakes that you’ve made as learning experiences.
Other important things you need to know
One of the final questions you’ll be asked in an interview is: “Is there anything you would like to know about the organization or the job?”
Answering “No” sends the wrong signals–that you’re not really interested in the organization, don’t know what’s important to you in an employee/employer relationship, or lack confidence and assertiveness. Here are some questions you should be prepared to ask.
- About the job
- What is the size of the department/branch/section?
- Do you have a training program? Could you please describe it?
- What are my opportunities for advancement?
- What is the salary range for this position?
- About the person you would be working for:
- Who would I report to directly?
- How long has he/she been with the company?
- What is their background?
Text provided by Service Canada, http://www.jobsetc.gc.ca
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