San Mateo County

www.smcgov.org
Employer Engaged

San Mateo County Interview Questions

Updated Nov 19, 2014
Updated Nov 19, 2014
13 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

50%
33%
16%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

70%
20%
10%

Interview Difficulty

3.2
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

Candidate Interview Reviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty
  1.  

    OFFICE SPECIALIST Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at San Mateo County in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    Robotic at best. Take a test that any 5th grader should pass and then be invited for a panel interview. The panel asks 5 canned questions and they hire based on the canned questions, not on your resume. You are not allowed to elaborate on your skills.

    Interview Questions
    • Why do you want to work for (insert agency name here). This was the first question from the panel and there was no overview of what the job would entail, who the manager would be and what department it was in. How do you answer that?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Appraiser Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Initial screening with a test, then several rounds of interviews. The 1st interview is in front of a panel of 3 supervisors with laptops and notes; serious business. Interview was formulaic and stern. They want to see how well you can verbally explain your experience with analytical work and customer service. I didn't make it past the first imterview, so I'm not sure how the 2nd one is like.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe a work experience that required analytical thinking.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Communications Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at San Mateo County.

    Interview Details

    Your application, resume, and supplemental questions will be given a point score according to how many of the agency's criteria you meet. Only those who score above a certain threshold will be invited for an interview. In the next stage of the process--the interview--you go before a panel and they ask you 6 questions, rapid-fire style, and your ability to move forward in the process is based SOLELY on how they feel you have answered these 6 questions...at this point, your resume, your long, detailed answers to the supplemental questions and everything else you've done up until now are irrelevant. This creates a huge disadvantage for anyone who is an introvert or not a strong public speaker, despite what his/her qualifications may be, and creates a slightly unfair advantage (in my opinion) for those who might be extroverted and/or very good at public speaking, despite potentially lacking in other important areas of the position (such as writing or technical skills--which would be key in this position). It seems that it would make more sense and be more fair if they could combine the application score with the interview score, or also offer a skills-based test to interviewees in order to even the playing field and ensure they get the best candidate(s).

    Interview Questions
    • The questions themselves are pretty fair and they are relevant to the position--no ridiculous ones such as "What is your greatest weakness" or "How would your friends describe you"...but expect a few behavioral/situational questions about your work history, especially regarding working with other people, etc.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Most Clerical Jobs Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through other source – interviewed at San Mateo County.

    Interview Details

    Standard civil service test, panel interview , then department interview

    Interview Questions
    • Typical interview questions, asked about experience, nothing really difficult   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Criminal Records Tech Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed at San Mateo County.

    Interview Details

    Application, test, interviews, background check

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Acctg Assistant I/II Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at San Mateo County.

    Interview Details

    Was a waste of time. There were three interviewers two of whom were very unwelcoming and unfriendly. If you can provide canned answers that is all they want to hear. This tells nothing about the candidate except that the candidate is good at mimicry.

    Interview Questions
    • Give five words to describe yourself. (One of the most stupid questions ever; one would have to be a narcissist in order to come up quickly with the five words-tells nothing about anyone in truth)   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    OFFICE SPECIALIST Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Civil service interview. Panel Interview that range from about 10-30 minutes long depending on the position. General set of questions that will be asked to all other candidates. After the questions, you will get a chance for a closing statement where you can summarize your skills and qualifications. After interviews, raters tally up scores and a numerical list is created. Top candidates move on to departmental interview.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Health Equity Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Mateo, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Mateo, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at San Mateo County in August 2012.

    Interview Details

    Had 1st interview with prospective supervisor within 1 week of submitting application via e-mail, and had 2nd interview with prospective supervisor and their supervisor (the office manager) within 2 weeks of the 1st one. Both interviews were no more than 30 minutes. I was offered the internship 2 days after the 2nd interview. The whole process took 4 weeks.

    No unexpected questions. During the 1-on-1 interview, they gave me a list of the questions to review before we started. I was then asked about: my interest in the field, this particular internship, and its potential projects; my career goals; qualifications; skills I'd like to use; how my past experience could be applied to this internship. During the 2-on-1 interview, I met the office manager, and they asked me questions similar to the 1st one as well as to elaborate on why I was interested in certain internship projects.

    Interview Questions
    • How do you go about researching a topic you know little about?   Answer Question
    • What has been your experience working with diverse communities? What strategies have been successful? What has been challenging, and how did you address it? What has been rewarding?   Answer Question
    • How is your work in _____ relevant to community mental health, health disparities, cultural competency, and this internship? What are the similarities between _____ and public mental health work?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Employment Services Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redwood City, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redwood City, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at San Mateo County in September 2009.

    Interview Details

    Positions are listed on County of San Mateo HR website. The classification Employment Services Specialist II (they don't hire ESS I's only II's?) are exclusively contained within the Human Service Agency (thus can't really transfer to another County Dept within that classification) either CalWorks Dept, Vocational Rehab Dept. or Workforce Investment Agency. You complete a standardized county employment (they take fingerprints and do background check against criminal record and drug test but not credit checks) application. As part of the application you will be required to complete supplemental questions usually 4-6. Based on your relevant work experience and how well you answered the questions you will be invited to move forward in the process. Next step oral interviews with a panel of 3 interviewers they are often called Subject Matter Experts but they most often are not just a supervisor that did the job previously if your lucky. If not it maybe a individual who holds a supervisor classification but may oversee a program outside the one you are interviewing for. Preference point are added to your overall score if you are a veteran or a current county employee. It is really hard to out score people with these preferences but it is possible if you have a fair amount of private sector experience in a closely related field like HR or a recruitment background. Lastly, the candidate scores are ranked 1-25 or group 1, group two. regardless of how they share the rankings if you are not in the top 7 you almost never offered a job. The gid news is that the list is only good from 6monts to a year so once a year you should able to retry for the list and the process and often the querstions will be very similar if no the same so SAVE YOUR Work!

    Interview Questions
    • All county employment reardless of classification utilizes situational based interview questions like "please describe a time when you provided excellent customer service to difficult client".   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    not really there is range based a steps A, B, C, D. E. You get a step increase to the next step once a year independent of performance. Request a C step if you feel like you are qualified if not be happy with the A step. they almost never volunteer starting at anything other than A. So ask, it can't hurt the worse that can happen is they can say No. but you still get the job.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Elections Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    The process took a dayinterviewed at San Mateo County in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    The initial application process was simple. I filled out an online questionnaire which included 5 essays. I was contacted with an interview date about three weeks after the closing date. I spent about 1-2 days preparing for the job interview mainly by reviewing the job announcement, my resume and preparing sample questions and answers for the interview.

    I spent about 5-10 minutes discussing the interview with an HR representative before I was brought into the room. They asked me five questions and gave me an opportunity for a closing statement. After my closing statement I engaged in an extended conversation with the hiring official.

    A week after my interview, I was contacted by email and told that I ranked in the top 5 based on my interview score. Two weeks later I was notified by HR that the position had been filled and another candidate selected.

    Interview Questions
    • As per the rules you are not allowed to disclose interview questions.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

Work at San Mateo County? Share Your Experiences

San Mateo County

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.