Two people discussing NSW government interview questions

Preparing for NSW government interview questions

In recruitment, questions asked during an interview differ from role to role. However, there is an exception: the NSW government.

In recruitment, questions asked during an interview differ from role to role and business to business. However, there is an exception: NSW government interview questions.

If you apply for a position with the government, standardised interview questions will form a part of the process. We’ve already tackled, ‘How to answer government job interview questions‘. Here we discuss the types of NSW government interview questions you may be asked as well as the general recruitment process.

Types of NSW government interview questions

Behavioural questions are typical of a NSW government interview. These types of questions help the interviewer gauge how you would fit into the current team, how you might respond to certain situations and your overarching strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a good measure of self-awareness, growth, self-reliance and how much of a team player you are.

Types of behavioural questions include:

  • Describe a situation where you disagreed with your manager. How did you approach the problem?
  • Give me an example of when you successfully led a team.
  • Explain a time you took initiative to deliver a project.
  • What tools, techniques or approaches do you use to solve problems?
  • Have you worked on many types of teams? What type of team did you work the best in?
  • Describe a time you didn’t meet your goal and how you took steps to correct the issue.

Office where NSW government interview questions are asked

Psychometric testing

Many government departments will also require you complete psychometric testing to validate your interview questions. A psychometric test looks at your capabilities as well as internal personality traits. It will draw conclusions to questions like:

  • Are you a natural leader?
  • Do you require clear instructions or rather solve a problem yourself?
  • Can you handle pressure and still deliver results?
  • Do you thrive with support or autonomy?

Psychometric testing is made up of two components: abilities testing and personality profiling. Abilities testing will test your ability to solve problems, usually with both written material and numbers. The tests are more known as verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. They are typically timed and multiple-choice.

Verbal reasoning might look like this:

Select two statements that prove: Paul has brown eyes.

  • Paul is 20 years old.
  • Peter has brown eyes.
  • Paul has brown hair.
  • Peter and Paul have the same colour eyes.

Numerical reasoning might look like this:

Identify the missing number at the end of the series. 5, 12, 19, 26, ?

  • 31
  • 32
  • 34
  • 35

Personality profiling informs interviewers about your behavioural style, motivators and how you handle stress. Tools that are commonly used to profile personalities include DiSC or 16personalities (based on Myers and Briggs). The tests will often ask the same types of questions in different ways to determine your workplace and internal priorities as well as how you might best be managed. (See: DiSC styles and working from home: How to manage your team.)

Person being briefed on NSW government interview questions

The recruitment process for the NSW government

There are a few assessment stages you will move through during a recruit with the NSW government. Expect two to three assessments, which can be completed at one time or over multiple sessions. Once you have completed the various interview stages, the recruit will follow a typical process:


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