Government & Military

What to Expect in Your Government & Military Interview

When you arrive for your government or military interview, assume that the interviewer has reviewed all your information and is aware of your education, employment history and background. What government interviewers want to see from you above all is a thorough understanding of the position you are applying for and your potential contribution.

You may be asked questions that test your comprehension of the mission and goals of the position you are interviewing for. Prepare by meticulously reviewing the job description and learning how it fits into the overall vision of the organization. Be ready to articulate the ways in which your skills and personal qualities will not just enable you to fulfill the requirements of the position, but to advance the mission of the agency.

Tips to Remember

While government and military employers want to see typically sought-after skills such as reliability and attention to detail, they also emphasize flexibility and a willingness to go above and beyond. Remember that for each skill you present, your interviewer is likely to ask you for an example from past employment showing how you used that skill. To optimize your interview preparation, focus on the following tips:

· Be ready to talk about your competencies, such as seeing the big picture of organizational goals and being able to motivate a team.

· Be aware that government interviews are often performed by a panel instead of a single interviewer, and prepare to face questions from various directions and even abrupt changes of topic.

· If you do not have previous government or military experience, illustrate the ways in which your existing skills and experience can be utilized in this new context.

Research the goals and parameters not just of your position, but also of the entire organization. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a thorough understanding of how your skills and duties will fit into the overall framework.

General Skills to Highlight

When interviewing for a military or government job, keep in mind that there are some skills whose value is especially emphasized. Be ready to showcase the following skills:

  • Flexibility – Working for an organization that is often constrained by a limited budget, you should be ready to adapt to changes quickly.
  • Conscientiousness – Both the government and the military are guided by many specific rules and regulations that you will need to understand and follow to the last detail.
  • Vision – show that you understand and are prepared to further the overarching mission of the organization.

Show your interviewer that you have put time and thought into understanding your prospective position and what you can bring to it. With preparation, you can face your government or military interview with confidence.

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