Tips for Preparing for a Government Agency Job: Finding a job might feel like full-time work in and of itself, so you may think that the hard part is finished after you secure an interview with a government agency.
However, this is not the case. Don’t believe everything you’ve heard. It’s not the same as selling something to a customer or another firm, but government institutions, like private enterprises generally, have an established objective. Before an interview, educate yourself about the agency’s goals and how they assess performance, especially if most or all of your work experience has been in the private sector.
It’s never too early to start practicing for your government agency job interview, and these six techniques will help ensure that you shine in front of potential employers.
Look into the company. Stability and strong perks make many individuals think of government employees as an ideal position. It’s important, though, that you be able to demonstrate that you can fit in with the agency’s unique goals in order to get the job. Things to keep in mind include the following: Exactly what is the company’s name? In terms of abbreviations, do you know what the acronyms or abbreviations mean? What are the agency’s primary responsibilities to citizens? The greater context of the city, county, or state must be taken into consideration. If you’re interviewing with one of these organizations or its leaders, you can be asked about how they accomplish their missions within the community to which they belong. As a result, do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the company by reading the website from top to bottom, following them on social media, and conducting online searches and networking (whether in person or virtually via LinkedIn). You’ll be a better applicant for the job if you know where the agency thrives and what issues they’re presently dealing with.
Observe the ad carefully. Hopefully, the job description piqued your interest before submitting your CV or application, but it’s important to go back and review it once you’ve been invited in for an interview. Identify all the methods in which you have successfully completed similar tasks in your past work experience by studying the responsibilities and job criteria specified in the job description. The best way to prepare for an interview is to find out how this function fits into the overall company if that information is not included in the job description. Be prepared for the assessment metrics if they are included in the section on how to be assessed. The best way to know what to expect and how you can best prepare is to speak with your point of contact at the agency about the criteria.
Do your homework on the people you’ll be interviewing and learn everything you can. Make every effort to learn the names and titles of the people you’ll be meeting during the interview. Inquire about the format of the interview as well. If you’re meeting with a group, find out how many individuals will be on the panel and what their responsibilities are within the company. Make a mental note of each person so that you can do some preliminary research on them. Look them up on LinkedIn after you have their first and last names. Make sure you’re connected to each other on LinkedIn first. It’s worth reaching out to a common acquaintance if you’re able to get any extra information. It’s possible to discover a lot about someone by looking at their LinkedIn page, even if you don’t share any mutual connections. According to how effectively their profile is completed, you may learn more about their present job, previous employment, educational background, and extracurricular activities. Before the interview and during the interview, you may use these morsels of information to assist you to construct your talking points and identifying common ground through informal discussion.
Prepare a narrative of your work history and education. Consider how your prior experience connects to the requirements of the function and of the agency as a whole, and then tailor your resume accordingly. You should be able to cite concrete examples of your achievements, problems, how you overcome them, and so forth, in order to impress the interviewer. Demonstrating your ability to save an organization time and money while also meeting deadlines and performing well under duress is an asset. A good interviewer will ask you about your career path and how it lead you to this position. It’s especially important if you’ve worked in the private sector because the interviewer wants to know how your expertise and talents may be applied to the agency’s mission.
Check to see if your online presence is spotless. Before conducting an interview or employing a new employee, government authorities typically investigate the candidate’s social media accounts. Public sector personnel serves the community, therefore if you’ve got anything too inflammatory or vulgar on any of your social media accounts, you may be disqualified before you’ve ever had a chance to apply. Make your accounts private or delete previous postings that don’t reflect you in the best light.
Dress to impress. A conservative-colored suit and dark-colored shoes with males wearing ties are appropriate interview attire for management or senior-level positions in government agencies. Most other positions call for business casual attire, including blazers, dress pants or khakis, skirts no longer than the knee, blouses, and collared shirts.
In his role as a pioneer in the development of cloud public sector human capital management solutions, John Calderon works with Governmentjobs.com and NEOGOV. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has worked as a marketing professional and writer for more than a decade.