If you’re equipped with the right knowledge, preparation for a federal government exam or interview is a simple and straightforward process.
In order to use all information provided by the hiring department or recruiting agency, there are simple things to consider:
- Review the statement of merit criteria. The statement of merit criteria is the document by which the recruiting department or agency describes the eligibility criteria. These criteria are usually listed as follows: education, experience, competencies/abilities, personal suitability, asset qualification, operational/organizational needs, conditions of employment and/or other conditions of employment.
- Review, search, practice and study all that is relevant to this position.You will want to read-up on the recruiting body, review your experience in relation to the position, search and understand how the recruiting body assesses knowledge and competencies in an interview or written examination.
- Understanding the competencies listed on the statement of merit. Understanding the type of level of competencies for the job you are applying for will save you lot time and help you in written exam. Using concrete examples, prepare answers for your exam demonstrating how you meet each merit criteria based on your past experiences. If you clearly respond to these pre-screening questions, your application will draw attention and you will be given the opportunity to be invited to an interview.
- Understanding the different types of interviews and interview questions.
- The federal government generally uses structured type interviews: a structured interview is a formal interview which generally has more than 1 board member and where notes are taken in response to your answers.
- Various types of interview questions are used by a selection board when assessing candidates:
- Open ended questions: e.g. Tell us what you like about your current job;
- Closed questions: e.g. What department is responsible for the application of the Public Service Employment Act;
- Behaviour based interview questions: e.g. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example;
- Situational questions: e.g. You disagree with the way your supervisor says to handle a problem. What would you do;
- Personal questions: e.g. Tell us about yourself and what it is that you think you bring to this position.
- Other methods used in the selection process:
- Written exams: these tests generally assess the applicant’s knowledge, abilities and competencies;
- In-basket exercises, role-playing and case method exercises.