Preparing for a government interview is one of the most important aspects of an interview. To fair well in your interview, it is necessary to assess your skills and knowledge, collect information about the employer (government entity), and prepare with some difficult questions. Once your interview is confirmed, find out what type of government interview you will be attending, then follow the steps below to succeed in the interview.

Analyze the government job description:

The initial step of the interview preparation is to completely analyze the government job description of the applied position and emphasize the qualifications and primary responsibilities of the job. By doing this, you will clearly understand how to exhibit yourself in the interview. If you are not clear with the nature of the job, visit the government agency’s website (or review similar job requirements) and try to gather more information.

Research about the government entity and area:

Do a thorough study about the government entity (employer) including the governments services, history of the community, and current challenges facing the area. Interviewers are greatly inspired with pubic sector candidates who do prior research in learning more about the history of the community and past success (and failures) of government initiatives and how best they can apply their skills and public sector experiences for the success and development of government services.

Review & exhibit your experiences:

Consider all your work experiences that are a perfect match with the roles and responsibilities of the government job applied. Even if do not possess the required experiences, try to relate the experiences that are closely aligned to the job. Review your work experience, education, volunteer activities, academic projects, coursework and internships (for fresh graduates) and professional skills. Many skills are transferable from one setting to another. Showcase your experience which has prepared you to immediately contribute to a government organization.

Practice/Mock Interview:

“Practice makes a man perfect”. As the saying goes, it is always better to practice yourself in front of a mirror with the potential questions and appropriate responses. Discuss with a career counselor or one of your friends and have them conduct a mock interview. Please take the feedback from them about your presentation style (rate of speech, voice quality, eye contact and level of confidence).

Questions for employers:

Prepare a few questions that can be asked to the interviewer in the final session of the interview. The questions should be professional and relevant to the government position/organization. Below are few regular questions that can be asked to the interviewer(s):

  • What is the turnover rate for government officials (both merit and elected)?
  • If hired, would I report directly to you or someone else?
  • The status of local elected officials (i.e. number of terms, end of term, etc.)
  • What are past goals for the positions in prior years?

After the Government Interview

Once the interview is complete, it’s time to starting thinking about the next move. Learn how to follow up after a government interview.