Anyone any advice on county council intereviews for CO. Specifically what questions about the council are generally asked. The rest will be competency based but would like some guidance about what may come up under role and working environment (i.e. Council).
Its Galway Co Council. Not too optimisitic about it as Im terrible at inteviews but would like the practice
For CO / entry level roles, I think they would expect you to have a broad overview of the Council, so things like the structure (who are the various stakeholders, the role of the Councillors, what other committees and groups does the Council collaborate with, etc) and what kind of work they do around Galway would be important. Generally once you have an idea of things like what the various sections are (i.e. housing, planning etc.), the overall budget (what their main income & expenditure is), any big plans that Galway have in the pipeline, that should be about as much as they'd expect of a CO candidate. I think showing that you have an understanding of the scope of work that the Council does would help - everyone knows that the Council sort out roads and footpaths, for example, so it would be good to talk about the wide variety of other services that they provide, from museums to libraries to swimming pools etc, pick things that are prevalent in Galway and drop them into your answers so that the interviewers can see that you have a good grasp of the diversity of the Council. And be enthusiastic about it all, AFAIK all interview boards are made up of Council staff, a lot of whom might be retired, and a lot of them are really passionate about public service, so an easy way to stand out is to be positive and enthusiastic about what Galway Co Co does for the people of Galway.
Read what's on the Council website, and check social media / the local newspaper so that you're up to date with any current relevant events, and I would say that should be enough really to get a spot on the panel - I say that, and of course it depends on how many people you're in competition with - it'll probably be quite a few to be fair, but once you have your examples well rehearsed for the other competencies (use the STAR technique and be very self-promoting, it's not a time for modesty! Say "I" about all the examples you provide of successful past experiences, not "we") you should do well. The interview board will basically be ticking boxes, so you have to ensure that you're using words that clearly convey that you have the competencies they are asking about.
brilliant thank you. Im a public servant already so not sure if that helps. Im doubtful I would make it onto the panel even though I have a lot of experience but I would be happy to do a reasonable interview. Thanks again
I'm in the same boat as you, applied for a CO role in the Limerick Co Council recently. Currently working in the civil service for the last 7 years but fancy a change. I had the interview, didn't feel it went particularly well but I still made the panel, albeit the late 50's. I'm hopeful of being called within the next year.
I had studied the councils website and picked out various projects that were going on, made sure I knew who my local councillors were etc....but they never asked anything like that, they stuck to the application form and my experience.
Have had a couple Co co interviews down the years.
Straightforward STAR type.
Some stickie ones, as above, off their website.
Along the lines of "what is our mission statement". "what is our environmental statement" etc
ah wow congratulations. Ive 17 years behind me but always find it hard to articulate. Competency interviews are very structured. If I made the panel I would be delighted but Im sticking to seeing this as practice only. Thanks for the reply