All job interviews are competency-based but - to ace your job interview, you need to be able to adequately present your experience and skills during the interview, highlighting previous achievements to showcase how you would be able to contribute and add value to the business.
Preparation prior to any interview is absolutely vital but even more so for Government related roles so we are able to put our best foot forward during a job interview and to demonstrate your understanding and capabilities for the role
That being said, there are industry and sector specific requirements that interviewers look out for in a job interview. Below are tips to help those looking to secure career opportunities in Government or Government-linked sectors.
1. Personal Values to Organisational Vision / Mission
Each government organisation/agency exists with a defined mission. For example, to contribute to nation-building, national security, societal improvement, and many more. These organisations focus on talent that really identifies with their vision / mission statement. So when preparing for an interview with a government organisation, it is important to research what they stand for and identify how your personal career goals would align with their organizational vision/mission. For example, for an IT expert, you could highlight how you wish to develop technical skills to continuously contribute to the nation’s digital security.
2. Money never comes first
It is commonly acknowledged that money is a necessary evil in our modern society and without it, we wouldn’t be able to lead the lifestyle that we want. However, it is important to know that when you are interviewing for a government-related role, money should never be the focal point during the job interview.
Whilst most government organisations have competitive compensation and benefits schemes, and good performers are rewarded well, the fundamental aim of these organisations is not commercial. If your main motivation for money precedes your aspiration to contribute for the greater good, you may want to reconsider your career options.
In essence, the topic of compensation expectations can be discussed but not highlighted as a motivation for applying for a role in government.
3. Preparation is Key for Attending Government Job Interviews
a) Panel Interview
Be prepared for a panel interview when considering a government role – government organisations are generally very careful in making hiring decisions and have multiple individuals assessing a potential talent. When interviewing with a panel, be sure to direct your attention to everyone, making adequate eye contact with each of the panelists so they know you are speaking to all of them. Make sure you address the panel if they have any outstanding questions or need further clarifications on your skillsets. Remember, providing examples is key to showcasing your abilities.
b) Behavioural-based questions
Government interviews often follow a behavioral interview format as hiring managers and human resources want to envision how you will fit into the role if you were hired. They will also have a vested interest to direct questions that measure your moral grounds – be it integrity, trustworthiness or humility. It is important to provide specific examples when preparing for such questions, and don’t shy away from reiterating your beliefs / personal take on upholding such values.
c) Study your resume
Allow some time to study your resume and go through your career history on specific examples you would like to highlight during a job interview. Government organisations are highly detailed and accurate in their endeavours to be accountable for public money, so they will expect the people they hire to have a desired level of meticulousness. Having a tight grip on your experience and achievements will convince them you are the right candidate for their job.
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