Debra Fitzwater

Hi Daron and congratulations on landing the interview! You will most likely be interviewed by a panel of interviewers—don’t be alarmed. I always tell people to use common courtesy and be prepared. I know this seems pretty basic but you would be amazed at the ill-prepared. Here are a few pointers…

Prior to the interview:
1. Preparation is key! Do your homework. If the position is apart of the Department of Defense or the Intelligence Community–understand the bigger picture. Understand the bigger picture regardless. Who answers to who…who does what… and what are the hot/current issues that may relate directly to the position that you are interviewing for?

2. Understand the position for which you applied to. Review the vacancy announcement and your responses the night before. Think of ways that you could have been more thorough in your responses.

3. Be on time–be early. Map out where you need to be in advance. Is there security protocol that may delay you for which you need to give yourself additional time?

During the interview:
1. Dress the part (suit it up); shake hands confidently, and smile.

2. Bring a notepad and take notes. If you need to write down questions (because often, they come in packages), do so. Don’t be timid to ask for clarity of the interview questions or if you just need them repeated.

After the interview:
1. Prepare to answer some of the basic questions and one’s that are relative to the vacancy announcement and the needs of the organization. You wouldn’t believe how many people screw up here. When you answer a question, always tell the full story… and interesting story! Use the CCAR method. What is the Context of the situation? What was the Challenge? What Action did you take to mitigate/ improve, etc. the situation, and what was the Result of your Actions? Basically, what did you or will you bring to the table? Talk about past employment experiences as they pertain to the question. What makes you better than all the other candidates that will be interviewing for the same job?!

2. When it’s time to ask questions, ask questions! Make sure they are relative to the position and the agency for which you are being interviewed for. Don’t talk salary at this juncture. Try to find out the “inside scoop” and think of existing challenges and what you have to offer. Come with your questions in tote and a copy of the organizational chart. This will give you an extra point or two depending how good your questions are.

3. Shake hands and let them know how interested you are in the position. This is the last chance to bring it home.

4. Lastly, make sure you have the interviewers names and contact information incase you decide to follow-up with a thank you note!

Best of luck and remember, there are a lot of folks who would love to be in your shoes right now. Please keep us posted on how well you did.

Debra Fitzwater
PreEmpt Career Solutions, LLC
It’s Not a Job. It’s a Federal Career.
Office: 540-327-7527
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/boxer1
Company CV: http://www.visualcv.com/boxer1