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Are You Prepared When You Land that Federal Interview?

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By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Daphne Houston

It’s your dream come true right? You submitted that perfect federal application and got the call from HR saying, “We’re interested, you’re referred and we’d like you to meet the hiring official.” But, what if they would like you to meet with a group of managers by phone first? How confident are you at that point you could do what it takes to land that federal job?

Most candidates are so focused on the Resume and KSAs they give little thought to “the rest of the process” and assume if they got the interview they would get hired, but my experience with candidates as a coach, recruiter, HR leader and as a hiring manager has shown me that’s not necessarily the case.

Here are 4 tips to incorporate in your interview process:

1. Prove Your Success

Most federal applications are part application and part interview. If you are referred for the next phase the interviewer is going to dig deeper into the key skills and abilities you were asked to demonstrate. Do you have a portfolio or any supporting materials you can share with your interviewers? Make sure you can give concrete success stories.

2. Do Your Homework

Do you have questions that position you as someone who has successfully done what they are asking of you in the job, that you clearly understand the role and have an idea of what to do to go forward in the first 30, 60, 90 days on the job? Map out your 30,60, 90 day plan on the job and ask strategic questions to complete the assumptions made in addressing the plan.

3. Ask for the Job

Are you ready and willing to ask for the job? Do you have the confidence to ask for the job? Is your career confidence up to par? Your interview can range from an exhilarating experience to a confidence jerking nightmare. Sometimes hiring managers don’t always ask the right or best questions. That means you have to take control without appearing overbearing and make sure you leave with the points emphasized that clearly show you are the best and right fit for their investment in you. Don’t leave just having had a conversation but no real issues addressed. Go with a plan and leave knowing you did well.

4. Seal the Deal with Follow-up

An interview does not end when you leave the building or hang up the phone. Be sure to use your thank you letter as a chance to follow-up and emphasize the points you scored in your interview, and address any you feel need strengthening. A strong follow-up has helped many candidates land that federal job or even kept them in mind for other opportunities if they were the runner up.

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CAREEREALISM Badge [Articles]CAREEREALISM Expert, Daphne Houston has been in the careers and employment business for over 15 years, helping hundreds of government and non-government clients land jobs and thrive in successful careers. Her certifications include: Certified Federal Resume Specialist, Certified Federal Job Search Trainer, Certified Federal Career Consultant, Certified Job Search Specialist, Certified Performance Based Hiring Expert, and Professional Human Resources.

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