Job Interview Preparation for the Public Sector 

In today’s job market where the competition for good jobs is usually challenging, getting an interview is already a great step towards your goals. However, job interviews are always anxiety-inducing. Whether you’re a seasoned interviewee or a beginner, your nerves always play a significant role in how well the interview goes.   

Interviewers can sense your nervousness and it can work against you. Why is preparation important to get the job you want? Because the more you prepare, the more confident you will be when the time of the actual interview comes. And the more confident you feel, the more likely you will succeed.  

Reliable career guidance for adults can help land you the job you want. When it comes to preparation, one of Irelands leading interview coaching firms H-Training, offers guidance to boost your confidence and prepare you for whatever challenges you might face during your interview. This will help you to remain calm and confident even under pressure. So, what are some tips that you need to know? 

Interview Preparation Tips  

1. Review your CV.   

Recall your career by reliving your history in your mind. Keep in mind the details of the claims and events you’ve included in your CV so you can easily answer potential interview questions that may arise. 

2. Get to know the organisation.   

Do some research on the company or firm you have the interview with. Search for news articles and familiarise yourself with information like company history, culture, locations, number of employees, and share price.  

3. Anticipate topics.   

You can try to think of common questions they might ask, but it would help if you wrote down the important topics and situations that they might inquire about.   

4. Think about how you fit in with the job.   

An important part of interview prep is reviewing the qualifications that make you suitable for the position you’re applying for. Look at the job posting and the responsibilities it entails and practice how you can fulfil the responsibilities effectively.  

5. Take note of the questions you want to ask.   

Prepare some questions that will clarify anything you want to know. Asking relevant questions will make you seem more interested in the organisation and the position.  

10 Most Common Interview Q&A in the Public Sector

If you’re looking to work in the public sector the entry level is a Clerical officer, the Gardai also plan a lot of recruitment in 2022. The latter involves an aptitude test, interview, and sometimes an emotional intelligence assessment. To qualify for a position, you must ace your interview and the aforementioned tests. Effective interview panel training for yourself is to try to answer the following most common questions. These 10 questions are how to prepare for an interview effectively.   

1. Why do you want the role for this organisation?  

Do you think you will be good for the job? Do you enjoy this type of work? Do you think you will learn or grow in this role? Let the interviewer know your genuine motive.  

2. How does your experience make you a good fit for this job?  

Review the key skills you’ve learned that are suitable for the position. Include your interpersonal skills, organization, data collation, correspondence, and time management skills.  

3. What is the computer software that you’re familiar with?  

Make a list of the software you use and rate your level of expertise. Present your skills concerning the job requirement and be clear on how they can assist you.  

4. Have you worked with data management systems?  

Explain the systems you’ve used before and express which ones you think are most effective and accurate. Provide details on how much experience you have with the various systems.  

5. How did you keep sensitive information confidential in your previous job?  

Give details on the steps you take to keep private data confidential, from using the right filing systems and encryption to effective storage, monitoring, and retrieval.  

6. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated our values in your previous role.  

Learn the values of the organisation you want to apply for, and provide the details on the actions you took to show such values. If you have your eye on Garda recruitment in 2022, the values include honesty, accountability, respect, professionalism, and empathy.  

7. Do you have experience in handling money?  

Express your expertise in handling money including banking transactions, money collection, disbursement, payroll processing, or bookkeeping.  

8. Describe a time you dealt with a customer complaint.  

Highlight your patience and effectiveness in addressing a complaint or correcting a mistake. Emphasise your listening and communication skills, as well as your sound judgment to resolve a conflict.  

9. Describe your busiest work situation.  

This question is designed to find out how effective you are in working under pressure. Describe the situation and the actions you took to handle all responsibilities in a prompt and organised fashion. Talk about the deadlines you face and your methods on how to meet them promptly. Try not to talk negatively about being busy, instead express how pressure motivates and challenges you to push yourself to be better.  

10. What are your strengths?  

Match your attributes to the responsibilities of the role and the values of the organisation to emphasise your compatibility with the role. Some of the most important qualities companies look for include communication, diligence, organisation, adaptability, flexibility, problem-solving, sound judgment, integrity, and initiative.  

Preparation for a public sector job can be very challenging. But are the rewards worth it? Check it out for yourself. Below is a table of clerical officer pay for all grades of the role.  

Clerical Officer Pay Scale  

Being a clerical officer is a great start for a career in business, public service, or civil service. On average, a clerical officer in a private company in Ireland earns about € 25,084 per year. A standard clerical officer in public service makes €485.60 to €795.40 weekly while a higher clerical officer can make €540.07 to €811.68. According to the the following pay grade is expected for clerical jobs in the public sector:  

Grades  Salary scale PPC  Salary scale non-PPC  Weekly/  Annual  
Senior Clerk (Higher)  €53,817 – €66,121  €51,220 – €62,911  Annual  
Senior Clerk (Standard)  €50,848 – €64,038  €48,426 – €60,927  Annual  
Junior Clerk (Higher)  €34,531 – €54,903  €33,081 – €52,249  Annual  
Junior Clerk (Standard)  €31,698 – €52,894  €33,081- €50,352  Annual  
Clerical Officer (Higher)  €540.07 – €811.68  €521.79 – €773.38  Weekly  
Clerical Officer (Standard)  €485.60 – €795.40  €462.79 – €757.97  Weekly  


Why is Preparation Important?  

Practising a mock interview can do wonders for your confidence, your ability to maintain your composure, and your ability to keep control of what you say and how your brain functions during a stressful time.   

Career coaching sessions can help you walk through all the scenarios that could happen in an interview. You can also experience interview panel training and corporate group interview training that can help you in speaking in front of a group of people, which can be stressful if you’re not prepared for it.  

Work with Career Experts to Land the Job You Want

H-training provides unmatched career guidance for adults that can help you blaze through the career path of your dreams. Whether you are a corporate job seeker, or you’re looking for a job in the public sector or civil service, H-training provides comprehensive interview training among other services.  

Corporate job seekers can benefit from our sales training or emotional intelligence assessment. We also offer competency-based interview coaching that can help any job seeker for any grade or position. We also offer more specialised guidance like HEO competencies training and ESB Apprenticeship Preparation Course.   

Whether you’re looking to climb the Garda pay scale ladder or you have your eye on a private corporation, get in touch with the H-Training team today for high quality and professional interview coaching. Our interview coaching and training programs are expertly curated to level up your interview skills to get the job you want. Visit our Book Now page to secure your place now. 


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