An interview is one of the most widely used techniques in the recruitment and selection process. Interviews for roles in local government are usually competency based and are carried out in line with agreed interview board procedures. 

How the interview will run 


  • You will often be told when invited for interview how long the interview is expected to last, who will interview you and what competencies are likely to be assessed at interview. 
  • You may be interviewed by an interview board of between two and five people, depending on the position you are applying for, but three interview board members would be the most common.
  • One interview board member will usually act as Chairperson and you can expect to be questioned by all interview board members. 
  • At all stages the interview board will try to make sure you understand what is happening during the interview. You will be given a clear welcome and introductions at the beginning of the interview. Each area of questioning will also be introduced clearly. Remember, the interview board are there to help you; they want to make sure you have the best opportunity to show you are a suitable candidate. 
  • Typically, an interview will be structured around your experience and knowledge to date and how they relate to the skills and qualities required for the position. 
  • The interviewers will take notes throughout. Don’t be put off by this! These notes are used to help the interview board with their assessment at the end of the interview


Preparing for interview

  • The interview is about evaluating your competency for the job, your relevant experience, skills and qualifications and your record of achieving results in your previous roles.
  • The areas covered and the questions asked during the interview will be based on information in the job description, person specification and competency profile. You will have received these in advance, so you have a good guide to help you prepare. 
  • Using that information, you should prepare clear examples of past achievements, successful projects and initiatives relevant to the role and competencies required.  
  • As well as being asked about past experience, you may also be given a scenario situation to examine how you would perform in the role. Read the job description carefully and prepare as best you can for these likely scenarios. Think about times in the past when you faced a similar situation. 
  • In order to prepare for the interview, you should find out as much as possible about the job and the local authority you are applying to. The local authority website is a good place to start and you can also search for the authority in the media or read the minutes from recent council meetings. 
  • We have a tendency to be modest about our achievements, but an interview is not the time for that - you wouldn’t hold back your performance during an exam, don’t hold back in an interview. 
  • To build confidence, practice what you would say in the interview in advance.
  • Check the location and time of your interview and plan your journey there to make sure you arrive in good time and without unnecessary stress. 

After the interview 

You will be informed of the result of your interview as soon as possible after the interview, however this could take some time. 


  • Your performance at interview will be marked by the interview board.  
  • The candidate with the most marks will be offered the job or placed first on the panel if a panel is being formed. 
  • The rest of the panel will be formed based on the order of marks awarded. There will usually be a minimum number of marks you will need to receive in order to be placed on the panel. 
  • You may receive details of your marks and placement on the panel when you are informed of the result.
  • You can seek feedback on your interview following the conclusion of the recruitment process. If you were not successful on this occasion, seeking feedback may help you to improve for the next time.