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Interview: Tips & Advice (graduates)

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What kind of candidates does your firm look to hire? What tips and advice would you offer potential candidates? How would you recommend candidates best prepare for the interview?

2015

"The selection process involves psychometric testing, a presentation and a competency based interview. My advice to applicants would be to think clearly about past examples where they have demonstrated the relevant competencies, no matter how big or small."
Civil Service Graduate Development Programme,
"There is a questionnaire style written application where preference was indicated for stream and local authority area. Candidates should break down the job spec into its constituent parts and be as thorough as possible in fitting your work/study experience to date around the requirements. Also, pay very close attention to the competencies required of the job."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"Prepare the competencies that the Public Appointments Service are looking for, as this is the most important part of interview preparation. My interview was structured very closely around these. Get a good idea of how local government works too."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"Research the role of local authorities: it is vast and covers more areas than I previously taught. Research the competencies that they require for the role and prepare examples of where you have demonstrated these competencies previously."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"When I applied I had reasoning tests at home, which were followed by a presentation and an interview. Focusing on the relevant competencies and how your experience fits with them is very important."
Civil Service Graduate Development Programme,
"It is a very fair and transparent process. Spend time preparing material around your competencies but also expect to have some unexpected questions emerge over the course of the interview. Think clearly about why you want the job and how you would be suitable for it."
Civil Service Graduate Development Programme,
"I had to complete online assessments and verbal and numerical aptitude tests, and then went forward for an interview. I would recommend knowing your CV from top to bottom, including details of all of your courses and course projects, and duties/projects from jobs you worked in many years before."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"There are three steps to the application process. Step one is a detailed application form. It is hugely important to get someone to read over this to a) check for typos b) ensure you have answered the questions asked. The next step was a test of economic ability and finally I had an interview. The application form was referred to in detail at the interview."
IGEES, Graduate Economist Development Programme,
"The interviewers I had were very friendly: they made me feel relaxed and were trying to get the best out of me at the interview. You should know your specialised area and your employer, and bring something extra to the table."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"Read up on the Civil Service, what it does (generally), what challenges it has faced and continues to face (as a result of the recession). Have specific examples for each of the competencies (which can be found online for all grades) that you can confidently discuss, explain and expand upon. Have an open mind and show a desire to commit to the Civil Service."
Civil Service Graduate Development Programme,
"When applying know the structure of the council and the roles of the councillors, the different departments within the council and the many different roles the council plays besides from the obvious ones. Also show an interest in your community and city and a passion to want to help it. Come with fresh new ideas and energy to work, too."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"I would advise applicants to read up and everything about the specific council they are applying for but also on local authorities as a whole, try and understand how they work and what they do. I would probably talk about the council's work/role in the community."
Local Government Graduate Development Programme,
"Read the latest figures on the Irish economy, to be sure that you are up to scratch with these."
IGEES, Graduate Economist Development Programme,

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