Government of Canada

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Government of Canada Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 4, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

60%
35%
4%

Interview Experience  

61%
19%
19%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
30 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Clerk Interview

Clerk

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Government of Canada in April 2009.

Interview Details – Well organized interview, common sense questions.

Interview Question – Behavioural and situational questions   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Summer Student Interview

Summer Student
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Government of Canada in April 2010.

Interview Details – Three interviewers were in the panel. Most of the questions were behavioural. Only one technical.
Interview started with simple questions like whether I am eligible to work in Canada, whether I would return to school after the summer job. And then there were situational questions:
1) When was the last time you went beyond the call of duty?
2) How did you deal with a stressful time?

Interview Questions

  • Have you given any presentations? How did you prepare for it?   Answer Question
  • Was there a situation when you suggested better ideas to your supervisor?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Communications Officer Interview

Communications Officer
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Government of Canada in December 2010.

Interview Details – I was given one hour to prep a presentation on a topic relevant to the department I was interviewing with. They provided the material to prep it from, which was mostly off their website, and I had studied the site before hand. I was marked on oral communication skills, presentation skills, my usage of and skill with MS Powerpoint and comfort speaking about the topic at hand.

Interview Question – I was given one hour to prep a 15 minute presentation on topic X.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – no negotiations for salary, as pay is already set and stated in the job posting,


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Technical Specialist Interview

Technical Specialist

The process took 2 days - interviewed at Government of Canada in May 2008.

Interview Details – Step one was a skills test, basic 90 minute, read paragraph comment on it, math, write a report.
Step two was a 3:1 interview that lasted 30 minutes or so, followed basic government questions, panel wrote down how you were doing as the interview progressed.
Be prepared as to past experiences, how you dealt with a difficult situation, what is a weakness of yours, etc.
Didn't get the job though was put on list for future consideration.

Interview Question – Describe a situation that you had to deal with a difficult fellow employee, how did you handle the situation?   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Data Base Entry Interview

Data Base Entry

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Government of Canada in November 2008.

Interview Details – Applied online and received email asking to come in for a skills and background test. Participated in a group test. Received word thru email that I passed the test, but no further contact was received from employer.

Interview Question – Questions like exact date of entry into Canada. Original copies of written references had to be presented.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Engineering Interview

Engineering

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Government of Canada in April 2008.

Interview Details – 1 interview, planned on phone first


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Executive Services Officer Interview

Executive Services Officer
Toronto, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Government of Canada in January 2010.

Interview Details – The only way in is to apply online to internal postings on the job board. If you're applying for executive services officer jobs, be prepared for a long wait, lots of screening, and waiting some more. The interview is behavioural/situational. They will ask things like "Tell us a time when you demonstrated..." about each specific skill they are looking for.

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. You get paid standard government AS-02 rate, with a raise every year.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Data Warehouse Architect Interview

Data Warehouse Architect
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Government of Canada in January 2008.

Interview Details – I attended an Interview for a DataWarehouse or BI/OLAP Architect

As I have worked for over 20 years in this area as a Prinicpal Consultant & Troubleshooter for the Software Vendor whose DataWarehouse and BI products were actually the prime ones being asked for.

Despite having actually written (AND given) some of the Training and Certifcation courses for the Software Vendor themselves, I was asked why I had NOT while as an EMployee - not been sent on such courses.

When I replied that I had been fully -billable for the Software Company Involved and since it was the policy to only send Staff on Courses when Opportunity permited, I had not had chance. I had also been advised that I didn;t need it and such a Certification was not mention as one of teh Qualifiactions for the Job.

It seems that they we so hung up on this that, despite the fact that I clearly demonstrated vert strong techical, communication and teamwork skills during the Interview (according to Feedback I later recieved), I did not get the Position. Apparently, ONE person (who was NOT going to be associated with the Job itself), got really hung up about the Certification - which came completely out of left field -from the viewpoint of the other two people conducting the Interview.

Since the dissenter was Superior in Government Rank to the IT Specialist and IT Manager interviewing me, then their veto, effectively won.

I only heard months later about what had happened when I happened by change to meet the IT Specialist who'd Interviewed me, at a DataWarehousing Conference in the USA.

I was also apparently, not suffciently Bi-lingual, for the Senior Civil Servants Satisfaction. (This despite my having lived and worked in Paris and regularly working with French speaking clients.

This was my first experience of dealing with Central Government from an Employee applcant viewpoint and to say I was somewhat disappointed at the Process, is a reasonable conclusion..

Hopefully, this is an isolated example of an Interview for a Job with the Government.

Interview Questions

  • Why do you not have a Certication in <Vendor_name> Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence?   View Answer
  • Why have <Vendor_name> sent you to a lot of non-Canadian clients?   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Computer Programming Interview

Computer Programming

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Government of Canada in January 2008.

Interview Details – Typical interview, where they asked the behavioural questions. They have situation questions. Just be yourself and know all your previous skills and experiences very well before you go into the interview. There was only 1 interview and after they gave me an offer. The interview was typical, around 30 minutes or so.

Interview Question – Describe a situation where a teammate wasn't pulling their weight. What did you do?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Creative Services Manager Interview

Creative Services Manager
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Government of Canada in August 2007.

Interview Details – My application went in early in April. This was the standard online application used for Government positions, wherein it's so important to use all the keywords you can to be screened in.

About two months later, I received a phone call inviting me to an interview. The interview was to be 2 weeks later, though it got rescheduled at the last second to be another week after that. I still don't know if this was a flexibility test or not!

The actual interview was attended by the manager of this position -- a director -- and his manager, a Director General. Upon arriving I was given a sheet of the questions they would ask, and was put into an empty office to review those and make any notes. After 20 minutes I was taken to the interview room, which was another office.

The interview was actually fairly casual, in tone, though it was a formal scored interview. In government interviews the questions are pre-determined, and the answers are scored based on whether candidates touch on the necessary points or not. Interviewers spend a lot of time writing and scoring. I was given constant feedback throughout the interview, however, indicating when I had answered in enough detail, or prompting for more.

I gave a sheet with my references (as had been requested) and left. Three months later, having heard nothing more at all, I got a call indicating that they would be checking my references within the week. Three weeks later, they did check the references. Three weeks after that, I got the call that the job was mine if I was still interested. This was a slow and arduous process -- worse than the typical post-interview process in government.

Interview Question – Questions along the line of "can you tell us about a time when..." because it's always so hard to remember a good example, instead of just the first thing that comes to mind!   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation as I was already a Public Servant. I could negotiate start dates, that's it.

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