Fortunately for job seekers, there are thousands of government jobs filled every year. That doesn't mean, however, that they're easy to land. You have to be prepared to jump through some hoops for these gigs. Should you get one, however, be prepared for a few unique perks....for example, the Pentagon has its own, private Best Buy inside! Essay service help is the best service.
Getting a choice Federal or state government job is the holy grail for some. Up until recently, layoffs were something the other guy had to worry about, the benefits were darn good, and the work, well it wasn’t all that tough. That’s changed somewhat with the advent of the new economy, but governments everywhere are still hiring, and if you’ve got the call for an interview, you should prepare diligently for it. This will reveal what steps to take in preparation for a civil service job interview.
Competition for government work has always been fierce, due to the aforementioned advantages, but never has that been truer than today. With the decline in government job totals on both the federal and state levels in many areas, and the relatively high unemployment in the private sector (9% nationally as this is written) you can bet you’ll be up against some well-qualified people in your quest to land a government position.
Your best defense here is to ace the civil service test and interview, and here are some powerful techniques to make sure you’re the last one standing when the dust settles. Yes, you’ll want to take many of the same steps you would interviewing at a private firm, but be ready to take things a few steps further.
First of all, be able to pass a security clearance check. You may not need one for every federal government position, but in many cases, you’ll need at least some level of security clearance. Since 9-11 and the gulf war, many heretofore unencumbered agencies have much stricter security protocols than in the innocent past. The DOJ will send people around to check you out, to the extent of asking friends and neighbors about you, should you be seeking a high enough clearance.
Determine if the job you’re after is one of those you’ll require clearance for, so you can get your ducks in a row, although if you’ve had some real skeletons in your closet, you’re probably out of luck; unless you’re running for Congress. That government job still takes about anyone, judging from some of the characters you’ll find roaming the halls there.
It’s The Same, But Different
Next, you’ll want to do everything you would do for a private sector interview; arrive early, dress professionally, shake the interviewer’s hand firmly and look in the eye when you meet. You’ll also want to bring an air of confidence to the meeting, and have the bearing of someone who can handle the position with aplomb. Practicing for the interview, just as you would for any other job interview is a great idea, and can really help make things flow easily.
One note on arriving early; remember that going through security at some government agencies is akin to getting to the gate at your local airport. It can take a while to get through the checkpoint. After passing through, you may have to be escorted to your interview site, so it may take you some time to get there. Plan head for that, because arriving late is arriving late, no matter that there was a 50 person tour ahead of you at security.
Be ready to field some difficult questions. While it’s not unusual for private sector employers to ask why you want to work for them, you’ll have to be more convincing with a government interviewer. They are well aware that talented individuals can normally command a better compensation package in the private sector, and they’ll want to know what draws you to civil service work. Replying “I hear it’s real tough to get fired here.” is not a good idea, even if, in fact, that is one of your primary motivations for seeking government employment.
Do Some Digging First
You may have to pass a pre-interview before you get to do the real thing, so be ready for this. This initial screening is just a weed-out process to allow the interviewer to concentrate on the better-qualified candidates. That is why knowing as much about the agency and position you’re applying for is paramount. Check up on everything as much as possible, or you may not even make out of the pre-screening process. In addition, for mid level managers on down to entry level jobs, you may be screened over the phone, and not even have to go on the site.
Luckily, there is an abundance of information at your fingertips about almost every federal or state government agency, so your task is much easier than with some small or even larger, privately held private companies. There are entire agencies at the federal government dedicated to nothing more than outputting copious quantities of information on the agency in question. Use this, because the hiring managers expect it, and will question you accordingly.