After you have submitted your application for consideration, you never know when a call could come from an agency. Some agencies send e-mails to kick off the interview initiation process (for example, ("You have been selected to interview for position x; please call this number or respond to this e-mail to arrange a time for your first conversation with our agency"). Others will give you a congratulatory call to announce you’ve made it to the interview part of their process. If you receive a call for an interview, you still have work to do. Be sure to write down the following information before the caller hangs up:

- The name of the caller
- The agency that caller represents
- The return phone number
- Confirmation of the job title (if you applied for multiple jobs)
- Time and date of the interview (or at least tentative dates/availability)
- Location (this is in case some error occurs and you don’t receive additional location information for a promised follow-up or if the follow-up information requires you to do some additional research)
- Any other items you need to bring (such as writing samples) -
Additional assessments you may need to go through while you’re there (for example, a writing test)
- You should also attempt to gather the following information either over the phone or via e-mail from the person arranging your interview:• The name(s) of interviewer(s)
• The interview format
• Security/access requirements and the time required for getting on site (it often takes 15 to 20 minutes to get through a Federal building’s security process-sometimes longer)
• Parking or transportation instructions
• How long the interview session is expected to last


It may be tempting, after making it through the online application process and being scheduled for an interview, to think that your government job is close to being in the bag. Sure, take a moment to celebrate making it through the first round (it’s a feat worthy of celebration), but keep your eye on the ball; interviews are exceedingly important for closing the deal. Consider it the last stage of the assessment process.

While Federal government interviews vary in length and format. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Know the mission of the agency you are being interviewed for. Understand who the agency is, what mission they seek to accomplish and how you can serve with your skillset. This can give you an edge by showing the interviewer you have done your research and have interest in participating in the mission and goals of the agency.
  • Keep on hand the questionnaires or KSA’s (knowledge, skills and abilities) that were asked in the job announcement. This will be covered in the interview process. So keep in mind your answers to the questions.
  • Be professionally dressed. Keep eye contact with your interviewer. It shows confidence. Be open, friendly and professional. If you are nervous, it’s o.k. to admit it to the interviewer. They will already have noticed it and will appreciate your acknowledgement of it.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Knowing the address to the location of the interview and what manner of parking is available, will help you avoid unforeseen problems.
  • Have a copy of your job announcement package.
  • Know the name, job title and function if possible of the person who is conducting the interview. Address the person by their name when possible. It establishes a deeper connection.