City of San José
3.2 of 5 47 reviews
www.sanjoseca.gov San José, CA 5000+ Employees

City of San José Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 31, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

91%
8%

Interview Experience 

50%
10%
40%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
11 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Plan Check Engineer At Planning and Building Code Enforcement Interview

Plan Check Engineer At Planning and Building Code Enforcement

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at City of San José in March 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online. The first interview consisted of an in-person panel interview where technical, scripted questions were asked. Such questions consisted of knowing the chapters of the building code and listing the seismic irregularities of a building.

They will also ask you unscripted questions such as whether I would take a pay cut to below $70K a year. The panelist told me that structural requirements of buildings are reviewed less than 40% of the time, so it makes the public wonder whether they really value the safety of their citizens. Guess their "Green Code" consists of collecting more review fees han sustainable buildings.

My second interview consisted of a phone interview. The city was insisting I take time off from my job several hours away to schedule it. Instead of scheduling it to the candidate's convenience, they decided on a phone interview. The head building official was so unprofessional the phone interview lasted only four minutes! The city of San Jose admitted their pension plan and health insurance benefits suck. He was even more upset when it was broadcasted on a speakerphone. In essence, they made the interviews fit the candidate they wanted, so what's the point in fairness like the city of San Jose claims they are? It sounds like the PBCE is like a Jim Jones cult where everyone drinks the Kool-Aid!

Interview Question – Would you take a pay cut? (This was from the initial paid salary range they advertised.)   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Parks and Rec Leader Interview

Parks and Rec Leader

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at City of San José.

Interview Details – Applied online and the application was very long. Had to plan a 3 hour day with children. I then got an email I was moving on to the next step which was an interview. In the interview it first started with a group project and after it was a one on one interview asking various questions about your education and experience.

Interview Question – Your co-worker called and said she will be late so you're on your own. How would you react to a parent wanting to know more information about the program, having a child who just bumped their head, and two other children at a playground when they aren't allowed to go.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – none

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Accountant Interview

Senior Accountant

Interviewed at City of San José

Interview Details – I would like to share my experience to everybody. I applied the senior accountant job online and received a e-mail a month later. it wrote that I am not qualified and cannot go for next step of hiring process. I wrote an e-mail back to the HR and asked for explanation. I mentioned that your ad. required 2 years bookkeeping or accountant experience and need high school graduated. And I had over 8 years experience and Bachelor degree with passing all sections of CPA exam. 4 days later, HR called me and said I only had two months bookkeeping job and it's not long enough. I asked her on the phone how about another accountant job I worked for 8 years. She said IT WAS A PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANT JOB AND NOT QUALIFIED FOR ACCOUNTING CLERICAL JOB. I answered her "WHAT??? THIS IS MOST RIDICULOUS EXCUSE I NEVER HEARD. I NEED A WRITTEN EXPLANATION AND SEND TO MY E-MAIL BOX PLEASE. Then I hanged up the phone. A minute later, a phone rang, it's the same lady informed me I am qualified for this job and need to take a exam next day.. What a Bxxx Sxxx place. I didn't show up the exam next day. I refuse to work in such place.

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Assistant Environmental Services Specialist Interview

Assistant Environmental Services Specialist
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at City of San José in June 2013.

Interview Details – I was asked to come in for an interview via email. The interview consisted of a panel of three people, each a person in a management position within a different division looking to hire for my position. I was asked into the conference room and told that I only have 30 minutes to answer the questions. They had taped a list of the questions to the table in front of me. The person heading the interview simply asked if I was ready to begin and then she read me the first question and waited for me to respond. The first question was very open-ended - "Tell us why you are a good fit for this position". I was concerned about time (since I still had 5 questions to answer) so I hit the main points and didn't go into much detail. The rest of the questions were not very opened ended and did not require much detail, so I wish I would have spent more time on the first question. Some of the questions were strange - one of them was along the lines of "If you could tell the CEO's of major companies one thing, what would it be?". I remember one other question was, "tell us about a time you had to work with a variety of people with different personalities". After I answered the questions they said, "That concludes the interview questions. Is there anything you would like to add or ask us?" I re-iterated why I was good for the position and asked a few questions. After they answered my questions they shook my hand and ushered me out the door. All in all it was the most strange and awkward interview I have ever experienced. The questions were all over the place. I did not get the job.

Interview Question – If you could tell the CEO's of major companies one thing, what would it be   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Library Page Interview

Library Page
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at City of San José in June 2009.

Interview Details – The hiring process consists of a panel of 2 or 3 people that will ask you various questions and scenarios related to how you would succeed in accomplishing the task. They will put you in a scenario of how to provide the best solutions in a case that you are unable to provide the correct information to the customer and they will evaluate how you respond to the situation.

Interview Question – None I can think of.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There weren't any negations in terms of salary or hourly wage. After the interview you were given the option to choose which Library branch that you would like to work at and the hour that you were available to work. If they chose you as a candidate to work, you'd get a call from them a few days or a week after the interview that you received the job.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Engineer Trainee Interview

Engineer Trainee

I applied online and interviewed at City of San José.

Interview Details – 1 interview.
submit resume to city website
get call and do interview
wait for call for position

Interview Question – Why are manholes circular and not square or triangular   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – How many hours can you work?

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Accountant II Interview

Accountant II
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at City of San José in August 2008.

Interview Details – Queried City of San jose jobs online in Finance/Accounting. Applied on-line via an application with resume and cover letter attached. Employer (Environmental Services Department) called me to set up an interview. A panel of 4 people interviewed me - each one would ask a multi-part question and the remaining people would listen and watch for body language. The panel was composed of the following people: the supervisor, a consultant, and two managers from other departments.

I feel it was unfair asking multi-part questions in a stressful situation like this. It was hard to remember the sub-questions when the whole question was very lengthy. It would be better if they would give me a written copy of the questions that they were reading from so that I could do a better job of answering them.

Interview Question – Please tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult person, such as a customer, co-worker, or someone from outside the organization. What were the issues, how did you handle it, and what was the outcome?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Plant Mechanic Interview

Plant Mechanic
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at City of San José in July 2008.

Interview Details – I was interviewed by a panel of 3 people and asked questions that should show the ablility to perform duties of the job.

Interview Question – Tell me your experience working in a waste water plant.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I would not take any job with the city with out getting as much up front because next year you will be forced to give up some thing to solve the budget or to make it better for some one else.

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Executive Analyst Interview

Executive Analyst

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at City of San José in August 2010.

Interview Details – I was interviewed by the senior executive analysts. My interview was very short. They asked very general questions about customer service. Also questions about my experience at my current employer. They didn't ask the basic of tell me about yourself type of questions. The office was quiet. No follow ups from the place even after sending thank you letters to them. Dress up for the interview. They met me with blazers and button up shirts.

Interview Questions

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Assistant Environmental Service Specialist Interview

Assistant Environmental Service Specialist

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at City of San José in June 2009.

Interview Details – It was an 8-person panel from the same department but the these 8 people were from different divisions. Each person asked a only a couple of questions regarding the experience I had related to the position I applied. They also described briefly the duties for each division

Interview Question – Describe your experience related to environmental service field   Answer Question

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