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Public sector interview tips

So, you have refreshed your interim management CV for the job of your dreams, and your consultant has just come back with the news that you have landed an interview and now you need to prepare. We’ve put together some useful tips to help you get that perfect role.


Competency-based interviews

Public sector interviews are usually very structured to make them fair and potentially avoid any bias that may occur. Usually, public sector organisations will conduct competency-based interviews which involve asking you a set of questions where your answers will be scored against a pre-determined criterion.  Your score will indicate how effective your abilities are for the role. These competency questions usually relate to the job specification so you can prepare your responses using this. The consultants here at Imperium Resourcing have years of experience and industry knowledge, meaning they will be able to help you prepare by giving you some examples of the specific questions that the hiring managers may ask, and help you to feel more confident in your ability to provide concise and well-thought out answers under pressure.


Answer questions using the STAR technique

This is the easiest technique to use to answer competency-based questions as it gives you a perfect structure to present examples of when you have demonstrated certain skills and abilities.



Describe the context of the situation or problem that you faced, but don’t spend too long on this part.



Describe your responsibility within that situation and the task you were given to do



State the action(s) you took to complete the task



State what happened as a result of your action(s) and what you have learned from this experience as well as if you were to approach the task again what you would do differently.


Review the job specification and practice using the STAR technique to demonstrate a few of the skills required by the employer.


Examples of questions that may be asked in a public sector interview

  • Has there been a time when you had to consider competing workloads when scheduling a project?
  • Describe a time when you made a decision but then changed your mind.
  • How would you deal with colleagues who do not stick to work policies?
  • Why would you like to work in the public sector?



Need further career advice and tips? Check out our blog post all about how to refresh your interim CV here. Get in touch with us now if you’re looking for an interim role within the public sector, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us via email at [email protected] or view the latest vacancies on our website here.

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