Government Job Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 1 September 2022

Published 1 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most jobseekers may find working for the government more preferable than working for private firms. Government jobs directly contribute to the growth of a nation and offer many benefits to the people, meaning securing a government role can be highly competitive. Making preparations for the face-to-face interview can make a big difference and help you secure a job offer. In this article, we review some regular government job interview questions; offer you sample answers to a few and provide tips to help you get ready.

Related: How To Get A Government Job (With Interview Tips and FAQs)

General Government Job Interview Questions

Listed below are some general government job interview questions that interviewers might ask you:

  1. Please tell us about yourself.

  2. Where do you live?

  3. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

  4. Which causes are you passionate about and why?

  5. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?

  6. Can you tell me a little about your family?

  7. What do you consider as your biggest regret and why?

  8. What do you do in your leisure?

  9. Can you describe your hometown?

  10. Which do you think is more important—time or money?

  11. Name one thing you wish to change about yourself.

  12. Which book made the most impact on you and how did it change you?

  13. What inspires you?

  14. If you can choose anybody to mentor you, whom do you choose?

  15. What are your three greatest weaknesses?

  16. What do you have that others might not?

  17. Which is more important—fearlessness or courageousness?

  18. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

  19. Are you a religious person?

  20. Name any three of your strengths and qualities.

  21. If someone granted you three wishes, what do you choose?

  22. Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

  23. If you can change anything in history, what is it and why?

  24. What quality do others have that you do not?

  25. What is your pet peeve?

  26. Name the qualities that you think are necessary for becoming a leader.

Related: How to Succeed in Your First Interview

Behavioural Interview Questions

In-depth or behavioural questions allow you to show your problem-solving ability and demonstrate your expertise, attitude and perspective in various circumstances. Here are some common behavioural questions that interviewers might ask you:

  1. Describe an incident where you got frustrated at work.

  2. How do you handle failure in your professional life?

  3. What was the most fulfilling experience of your career so far?

  4. Can you think of a time when you think you got unjustified criticism for your work? How did it make you feel and how did you handle it?

  5. Give us an example of a time when your supervisor made a mistake. How did you manage the situation?

  6. Can you describe a time when you went through a difficult situation in your personal life and how it affected your professional life?

  7. How do you resolve disagreements in your workplace?

  8. Describe a situation when you had to collaborate with a peer with significantly different character traits and working style from your own.

  9. Can you describe a time when you committed a mistake and what you learned from it?

  10. What do you do if you were to find yourself in an uncomfortable situation?

  11. Tell me about an instance when you had an especially hectic schedule to manage. How did you handle it?

  12. Describe an instance when you successfully fixed a difficult problem at work or in your personal life.

  13. Tell me about a time when you had to defend your principles.

  14. Share an example when you had to explain a complex subject to someone who did not understand it. How did you ensure that everyone understood you?

  15. Give us an example of when you made an unpopular decision and how you executed it.

  16. When you work in a profession where you complete routine tasks, how do you stay focused and motivated?

  17. Give an example of how you motivated a subordinate, your colleagues or a team.

  18. Share an incident where you were unable to handle an emergency at work.

  19. Tell me about an instance when you assigned duties to your team successfully.

  20. How can you turn your weaknesses into strengths?

Related: Highest Paying Government Jobs (With Salary And Duties)

Job Interview Questions About Background And Experience

Here are a few sample questions related to the new role, past work and education:

  1. What were the primary responsibilities in your previous job?

  2. Can you go over your CV with us?

  3. Why do you want to work for the government?

  4. Do you hold any additional skills apart from your academic qualifications that you think might be useful for this position?

  5. Do you possess any technical skills? If yes, what are those and how can they help you in your career?

  6. Did you like your previous job? What did you like most about it?

  7. Which college and university did you attend?

  8. Which subjects did you study in college and how did you decide on a major?

  9. Why did you quit your last job?

  10. Why do you want this job?

  11. Hard work, efficiency or top scores—which of these is the better criterion for the selection of a candidate?

  12. Which do you think is the more valuable quality—efficiency or creativity?

  13. What made you choose this organisation?

  14. Do you want to ask any questions?

  15. What makes you well-suited for this position?

  16. What do you regard to be your most significant achievement?

  17. What do you think is more important—following the letter of the law or the spirit of the law?

  18. Who is your role model and why?

  19. This job might involve living in remote locations across the country. Are you comfortable with this?

  20. Are you willing to move to a different country if required?

  21. Can you tell me about your first role as a public servant?

Related: The Best Government Jobs After Graduation For Freshers

Sample Government Job Interview Questions With Their Answers

Listed below are a few examples of questions and their answers:

Why do you want to work in government?

Recruiters want to identify the reason you want to work for the government in particular, rather than other sectors of the economy. Consider focusing your response on the main purpose of any governmental agency rather than the benefits.

Example answer: "I feel that working in a service-related sector is the most fulfilling. Knowing that my work is part of a greater effort to support and improve public life motivates me. I do not think there can be a better way for me to make a difference."

Related: Free Online Certificate Courses In India By The Government

Are you comfortable with the responsibilities that we might expect of you?

An interviewer might often ask this question to assess how comfortable you are with the role and how well you understood the position and its responsibilities. Your response can reflect that you are familiar with the job title and its functions.

Example answer: "I am quite confident that I possess the abilities and qualifications required for this role. I am well-versed in government rules and regulations and hold about five years of customer-oriented service expertise. I have won praise and recognition for my work in public outreach initiatives."

Related: Government Jobs For Commerce Students After High School

This role involves a lot of interaction with concerned citizens. Is that something you can see yourself doing daily?

This question assesses your commitment to working in a citizen-focused role. Be confident and informative in your response and describe why you want to do this type of work.

Example answer: "I am someone who enjoys interacting with others. It is the thing about working for the government that appeals to me the most. I have gained a set of abilities unique to managing customers while serving in several customer service positions in previous companies. I can determine the most effective approaches and solutions while keeping them relaxed and making sure they feel appreciated and heard."

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How to Get the Job

What changes do you want to you make to our agency and why?

An interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your knowledge of their organisation. This can be an opening for you to display your inventiveness and leadership potential.

Example answer: "I want to see the cultural festival held each winter reach more people. I learned about the revenue generated each year and I think we could reinvest some of that money into the festival's operations. We can extend the festival for two weeks. We may also develop the festival's marketing strategy to raise awareness not only in the neighbouring states but on a global platform and get funds for tourism initiatives."

Tips To Help You Prepare For An In-Person Interview

Here are some tips that may help you in the final interview:

  • Research the organisation, the job title and the responsibilities.

  • Demonstrate your dedication and integrity to the recruiter.

  • Practice answers in front of an audience.

  • Attend mock interviews.

Related: What To Wear: The Best Job Interview Attire

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