Interview tips


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January 2014 version

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  • Welcome to the Government of the Northwest Territories presentation on “Interview Tips”.We want to help candidates prepare for an interview with the GNWT, or any employer for that matter. We know that interviews can be a little scary and intimidating so we want to provide as much information on the process and what you can expect, in order to make you more comfortable.It always good to be prepared!
  • The goal of this presentation is to provide you with a little information on the hiring process and some tips that should help when you are preparing for an interview with the GNWT.
  • FACTS:The NWT has approximately 42,000 people in 33 communities spread over a land mass of 1.7 million square kilometres.Yellowknife is the capital of the NWT and has approximately 20,000 people.The GNWT employs approximately 5,0000 people.The GNWT has 28 departments and boards/agencies.Note: All of the steps in the hiring process that apply to term and indeterminate opportunities may also apply to casual opportunities.
  • The GNWT is committed to a competent public service that is representative of the people it serves. To achieve this, the GNWT uses the Affirmative Action Policy to provide priority hiring to candidates belonging to eligible designated groups.
  • The process used for all job competitions with the GNWT is:Once the competition closes, the submitted resumes are screened against the job requirements which were listed on the job poster.After the resumes have been screened, the affirmative action policy is applied.Depending on requirements of the position, the hiring committee may chose to test the selected candidates through a variety of mechanisms to ensure they have the required skills. Options for use are: pre-tests, written assignments, presentations, etc….Once the testing phase has been completed, the interview process begins.When the hiring committee has identified a successful candidate a VERBAL offer of employment is made. No formal written offer of employment can be made until the appeal period ends.All candidates who have appeal rights will be notified that the competition has closed and that a successful candidate has been chosen. Should the candidate feel that a process error occurred that made it impossible for them to be successful in the competition, they can complete an appeal application.
  • You have applied on the job….you have been screened in and offered the interview….now to increase you chance of success at this stage, you should:Make sure that HR is aware of any accommodation you may require during the interview process;If you have indicated on your resume or your application that you have a disability, your Human Resource Officer will ask you if you require any accommodation during the staffing process. This may, for example, mean doing the interview in a different way. Perhaps you need additional time to complete the interview or you need to have the questions presented to you in a written format.Review the interview tips and prepare yourself for the interview.
  • When you are preparing for the interview, keep in mind that the interview process is not all about the employer getting to know you but it also gives you an opportunity to ensure you are a good fit for not only the position but also the organization. This is your opportunity to determine if this position, in this particular department, board and/or agency is the right fit for you. This also the chance to “sell” yourself in a way that a resume doesn’t allow. The selection committee has the facts, they know you have the education and experience required to do the job BUT now the question is, are you the right candidate for this organization and this particular position. It is important that you make sure the selection committee is aware of all your strengths and skills, and that your responses to the selection committee focus on those things that directly relate to the position.Remember that interviews are not all about the technical aspects of the job but typically also have a behavioural component to them. Be ready for the “human” side of the interview.
  • Once you have gathered all the related/relevant information, you should take some time to anticipate the kinds of questions you could be asked and then prepare responses. Think about:technical questions; these are questions about the “how” to do the job, and are usually based on the requirements of the position.behavioural questions; these are questions about your attitude, work ethic and approach to the job.And……..prepare examples where you did things similar to what will be required in the job.Even though you may never actually be asked the exact questions you prepare, just having practiced will provide you with some extra confidence.
  • Listen & Understand the Full Question - Make sure you understand the question by listening to the entire question. Write Down your Questions When a questions has more than one part to it, jot down notes onof each “part” so that you don’t forget to answer the question in full. Ask for the question to be repeated, if necessary.Return to Questions As you are answering the questions, there may be a question that you think you have answered but could expand on or you would like some time to pull your thoughts together. Note the question # on a sheet of paper and ask to go back to it at the end of the interviewand provide that additional information. Watch your TimeAt the beginning of the interview, you will be told how much time you have to complete the interview and how many questions there are. It is important to stay within that time. Focus on strengths and your real life experiencesWhen you are answering the questions always remember to tie your own strengths back into the answer and use real life work experiences where possible to demonstrate when and how you dealt with similar situations and/or issues in the past.
  • When the selection committee puts together the interview questions they also develop an “expected response”. The expected response is what the selection committee is looking for as, “the right answer”. When the committee evaluates your response, they evaluate it against the expected response. A PASS is 60%. In order to achieve a 60% you need to score a 3 on EVERY question you are asked. In other words, you need to provide an answer that closely resembles the suggested response.You have to get every question correct to pass the interview. In order to score higher, you would have to provide answers that expand upon the suggested response.
  • Remember the scoring system from the earlier slide.The committee has set expectations about what is an acceptable response. EXPAND on your answers to get extra marks.
  • It is important to prepare your referees so you get the best result. If your references are not positive you may not be considered for the position. In order to ensure that your references are positive, prepare your referees BEFORE they get a call. Ask them if the reference will be positive. If your reference has some concerns about your work history with them that they plan on sharing with your prospective employer, you need to be able to respond to that when questioned by the staffing committee. If you expect to receive a poor reference you may even want to discuss it with the staffing committee before references are conducted so they are aware of any issues. Never badmouth a previous employer. Ask them to verify their contact information and ask about their availability; are they going on vacation any time soon? And for how long? You want to be prepared with this information so if you need to find a back-up you are not caught off-guard. Tell your reference what the position is you have applied on, even provide them a copy of the JD if they are willing to accept it. This will ensure that they are able to speak to your skills in reference to the specific job you have applied on.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide proof.  Proof may include: birth certificate; medical certification for disability; diplomas and/or degrees;certificates of completion;licenses and/or copies of membership/registration with governing bodies:copy of treaty, Métis or beneficiary cards; signed affidavit/statutory declaration confirming applicant is a descendant from Dene, Inuit or Métis people, indigenous to the present boundaries of the Northwest Territories; orproof of residency from utility bills, mortgage statements, bank statements, pay stubs, employment letters from previous/current employers or letters from divisional education councils/school boards indicating where they attended school, etc.
  • The GNWT does keep eligibility lists for 6 months. If a similar position becomes available within that 6 month timeframe and the hiring manager chooses to hire using eligibility, there is an opportunity for your name to be moved forward to another competition. You may be asked to repeat the interview process to ensure suitability.
  • HR offers applicants the opportunity to debrief/review their interview results and performance; this is an invaluable opportunity that should be taken advantage of. This session can provide you with:Information on the interview process including the marking scheme;feedback about your performance; suggestions to improve your performance in future; and/or a mock interview.****The goal of these conversations is to help you do better next time.
  • If you are interested in employment with the GNWT but have not been able to secure a full-time permanent position, you may want to consider a casual opportunity. Casual employment is a great way to gain work experience and gives you an opportunity to network.Note: All of the steps that apply to term and indeterminate opportunities may also apply to Casual opportunities.
  • If you still have questions, feel free to contact us through our Human Resource Helpdesk.If your questions cannot be answered by the support personnel then, your inquiry will be logged and forwarded to an expert in the area for follow-up.Thank you for taking the time to view this presentation on interview tips. We hope that you learned something and we look forward to interviewing yousoon.
  • Interview tips

    1. 1. Interview Tips Government of the Northwest Territories Leadership | Innovation | Quality
    2. 2. The goal of this presentation is to…. Provide you with some interview tips to improve your chances of success in finding employment with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)! Leadership | Innovation | Quality 2
    3. 3. Opportunities The GNWT employs approximately 5000 people in a wide range of positions, in all communities of the Northwest Territories. Career opportunities exist in diverse areas such as: • • • • • • • Health care Education Finance Justice Communications Engineering Resource Development Leadership | Innovation | Quality 3
    4. 4. Opportunities The opportunities at the GNWT are limitless, you can work in front line roles and interact with the public on a daily basis or work behind the scenes in vital supporting roles. No matter what your area of interest, the GNWT has an opportunity for you. Check out our website at: Leadership | Innovation | Quality 4
    5. 5. Affirmative Action Policy The GNWT is committed to a competent public service that is representative of the people it serves. To achieve this, the GNWT uses the Affirmative Action Policy to provide priority hiring to candidates belonging to eligible designated groups. It is an applicant’s responsibility to declare their affirmative action status if they want it to be taken into account during the hiring process. For more information on this policy visit: Leadership | Innovation | Quality 5
    6. 6. Process • Job closes • Screening of resumes is completed • Testing and/or assignments • Interview • Job offer • Appeal (for more information visit Leadership | Innovation | Quality 6
    7. 7. Increasing Your Chance of Success • Let us know if you require an Accommodation • Review these Interview Tips Leadership | Innovation | Quality 7
    8. 8. Assessment Phase After screening is complete, the Assessment Phase begins. The Assessment phases is meant to assess applicants for the job through an interview and possibly an assignment. How are you going to prepare for the interview? Leadership | Innovation | Quality 8
    9. 9. Interview Preparation • The selection committee gets an opportunity to gather information about your knowledge, skills and abilities as they relate to the job and your ability to do the job. • You get an opportunity to ask questions about the job and to “sell” yourself to the selection committee. • You will likely be asked a blend of technical and behavioral based questions. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 9
    10. 10. Interview Preparation When preparing for the interview you should review: • the job description; and • the hiring department, board and/or agency website. Be certain you: • Understand the position; • understand what the department, board/or agency does and it’s purpose; and • understand the program and the area the position works in. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 10
    11. 11. During the Interview • Listen carefully to the question and be sure that you understand what is being asked. Ask to have the question repeated if necessary or ask to come back to a question later in the interview. • Write down questions that have multiple parts to them so that you do not miss part of the question. • Watch your time. • Make a note of questions you may wish to add to or return to if you have additional time at the end of the interview. • Focus on your strengths and how they relate to the position. • Demonstrate how your past experiences relate to this position. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 11
    12. 12. Interview Scoring GNWT interview responses are scored on a scale of 0-5. The scale is as follows: 0 1 2 3 4 5 Provides no response Very little understanding of the subject matter Provides an answer that satisfies only part of the question Provides an answer that closely resembles the suggested response Provides an answer that expands on the suggested response Provides an impressive response that greatly exceeds the suggested response Leadership | Innovation | Quality 12
    13. 13. Interview Scoring Even though the selection committee is now familiar with your education and your work experiences from having reviewed your resume or from knowing you outside of the interview process… Answer ALL Questions Fully! Points are awarded for each question and are based only on your responses for that question. If you do NOT say it, it will not be considered towards your interview score. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 13
    14. 14. References At the end of your interview, the Human Resource employee will ask you for 3 references, if you have not already provided them. One of these references must be your current or most recent direct supervisor. **If your references are not positive, you may not be considered for the position.** Reminder….. • ask your references before you list them on your resume if they are willing to provide you with a positive reference; • make sure your references are available and that the contact information you have for them is accurate; and • make sure you let them know what the position is you are applying on, it may be helpful to provide them with a copy of your resume. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 14
    15. 15. Verification Applicants to GNWT positions may be asked to provide verification of their: • • • • Affirmative Action Status; Education; Certificates; and/or Disability. Be prepared to provide these, if applicable. If you are unsure what would be considered as verification (proof), speak to a Human Resource representative. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 15
    16. 16. Eligibility Lists Keep in mind that the GNWT may make use of eligibility lists. An eligibility list is a list of candidates that were successful in the competition process but were not offered the position. If you were successful in the process, but were just not the top candidate, you may receive a call about your interest if another, similar vacancy comes up within 6 months. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 16
    17. 17. Post Interview Tips Take advantage of the opportunity to book a post Interview debrief with a Human Resource Officer. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 17
    18. 18. Casual Employment Opportunities Don’t forget about the opportunity to work with the GNWT in a casual position. The GNWT has an ongoing need to fill short-term employment opportunities in a variety of different fields. Casual employment is a great way to get your foot in the door and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate and showcase your skills and abilities, and to gain valuable work experience. Visit for more information. Leadership | Innovation | Quality 18
    19. 19. Other Employment Opportunities The GNWT also has programs for post secondary students and northern graduates of post secondary studies. For information on these programs, please visit our Employment Opportunities page Leadership | Innovation | Quality 19
    20. 20. Questions? Thank you for taking the time to view this presentation on interview tips. We hope that you learned something and we will be seeing a copy of your resume soon. Contact us at: Human Resources Helpdesk Phone: 1-867-678-6625 / 1-866-475-8162 (tollfree) Email: Leadership | Innovation | Quality 20