There are many resources to help job candidates prepare resumés and countless tips on how to do well in a job interview. These tips are specific to the New Brunswick Public Service and are designed to help you prepare for a job interview with us.
Find out about government priorities
For example, read the most recent Budget and Speech From the Throne. These documents tell you a lot about the environment in which the public service is operating.
Explore the issues facing the department you want to join
Find out about the issues that are front-and-centre. Be able to talk about your interest in this area of public service. Visit the website of the department and don’t forget the news release section. This will provide you an idea of current departmental priorities, issues and initiatives.
Expect a board of interviewers
There are usually three people who will conduct the job interview. Don’t be thrown off by the fact they are continuously writing notes. They have to document the responses of each candidate. Don’t wait for them to finish what they are writing – keep talking unless instructed otherwise.
Think about why you are the best person for the job
What is it about you and the education and experience you have that makes you an appealing candidate? Think about how your strengths and skills are a good “fit” for the job. Look carefully at the competition posting including the competencies required and the list of qualifications. The interview will be based on this information.
Describe past experiences in terms of what you learned and accomplished, not just what you did
When citing past job experience, talk about the outcomes you achieved and how your own learning and development was enhanced. Try to quantify your experience if you can. Don’t assume that everyone knows what a teaching assistant does, for example. How much responsibility did you have? Did you tutor students, hold seminars, mark papers? How many?
Structure your answers for maximum impact
Keep your responses concise and structured, based on the questions. Be prepared to answer what are called Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) questions where you are asked how you handled certain situations or how you have met certain challenges. For example, a question might start: “Tell me about a time when you…” Make sure that you clearly state your role in the example you use and not just what the team you may have been part of did.
Think outside the box
Don’t forget about your experiences that aren’t directly job-related. You may have served on a volunteer board, run a club, coached a team, or contributed to your community in some other way. What did those experiences teach you?
This will show your interest and reveal that you have researched and prepared for the interview. Don’t be shy to ask for clarification. Make sure that you understand the question in order to demonstrate how you are the best person for the job. If you are struggling to formulate a response to a question, you may ask to come back to it at the end.
Bring references with you
References are a way for the interview board to confirm what you have told them and to ask additional information about you. Use the names of current and former supervisors who are able to provide qualitative information about your employment history.