To be considered for a government job, you have to go through several processes. From written and physical tests to interviews, starting your career as a civil servant is a long, tedious journey.
Once you’ve attempted the civil service exam and scored a high grade, your name is added to a list of applicants who’ll be contacted for a job interview. While you wait, it’s best to take the time to prepare for the interview and make sure you prove to the interviewer that you’ve got what it takes for this coveted position!
Take a look at this list of frequently-asked interview questions most recruiters ask during interviews:
What Interested You In Our Department?
It’s no secret that the government offers an abundance of jobs to interested candidates. With so many options available, the field of work you pick is entirely up to your preference, skills, knowledge, and expertise.
In most job interviews, recruiters are interested in learning about what prompted you to choose their Department. The reasoning for this question is simple; they want to know what you’re in it for and why you’re passionate about pursuing this position.
Before we delve into what you should say, there are a few things you should never bring up during your interview. The first thing to remember is that you shouldn’t go on about the salary benefits the job has to offer. While it’s true that the compensation and perks prompt many candidates to opt for certain positions, highlighting this may make it seem like that’s all you’re interested in. As a civil servant, organizations want to make sure you’re seeking the job so you can contribute to the greater good.
Through this question, recruiters attempt to understand your goals and how much you know about the Department’s services. Now would be a great time to explain what aspects of the role are enticing to you and how you can use your skills and knowledge to excel in the role. Adding in examples of your previous work experience and how it’ll aid you in this job is a good way to demonstrate your capabilities.
How Do You Feel About Dealing With People On A Daily Basis?
A government sector job is designed to help the general public. This means conversing with citizens to understand their concerns or even helping resolve tension between people. Even if you’re not on the field every day, civil servants are often working to serve the people of the city or state.
When asked about your capabilities, a simple yes or no answer will not suffice. The recruiter isn’t merely asking you whether you possess the appropriate skills, but also expects you to convince them that you do.
The best course of action would be to outline communication strategies and skills you’re aware of that’ll help you in this role. You can also expand on your past experience and how you possess people skills that make you right for the job.
What Changes Can You Bring To Our Department?
Government job recruiters seek employees who are willing to take the lead whenever needed. Passion and proactivity are at the heart of civil service jobs and that’s what you have to exhibit at this stage.
When asked about what changes you can make, your employer is trying to gauge your leadership and critical thinking abilities. This is where all your research about the Department comes into play. You don’t want to suggest a ‘change’ which is already regular practice in the Department; this would only make you look under-prepared for the job.
Instead, you should research extensively on the way the Department functions. Then, you should suggest ways to add on to the current system to benefit the employees and the general public. Your suggestions should in no way criticize the Department or its employees, but simply add on to their already functioning system. This approach ensures that your answer is diplomatic, but still value additive.
Why Should We Hire You Over Other Candidates?
Every civil service exam session, thousands of test takers attempt the exam with only a select few making it forward for the interview stage. So, it’s no surprise that recruiters want to know what makes you different from the hundreds of other applicants who are interested in the job. In fact, this question can genuinely help you plead your case.
A common mistake interviewees make when answering this question is focusing too much on what the other candidates lack as compared to highlighting what they possess. This can reflect poorly on you since it shows that you’re not a team player who wants to help empower others.
Instead, focusing on your personal strengths makes for a more distinguished answer and shows that you’re passionate about pursuing this career. Discuss your work ethic, how the job aligns with your passions, what skills and expertise you offer, and the work experience you possess.
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