The assistant chief position attracts many applicants when advertised by the Public Service Commission because most can meet the requirements.
Assistant chiefs and chiefs are the government’s representatives at the grassroots level.
The mandates entrusted to them include maintaining law and order, solving local disputes, and educating the community on government programs.
Applying for the assistant chief job may be easy, but you need thorough preparation for the interview if you get shortlisted.
The interview plays a significant role in determining your suitability for the job, hence the need to familiarize yourself with the questions to expect and the answers to give.
Anxiety and nervousness can cost your interview when you have no clue of the questions to anticipate and accompanying responses.
Here is a roundup of questions, advice, and answers in preparation for an assistant chief’s interview in Kenya:
Question 1. Tell Us about Yourself
Avoid getting carried away with words when describing yourself.
A summary of your work and education will do.
Also, let them know that you have an exciting personality by sharing the one thing you are most passionate about.
Socializing can be a good example since the assistant chief profession requires someone who can relate well with people.
I love peace and like it when people co-exist like brothers and sisters, and I have always believed good leadership can help with that.
That is why I enrolled in a public administration course which has enabled me to be entrusted with leadership roles in various community-based groups (can be a water project group, etc.).
This position would be an excellent opportunity to foster peace and unite my people.
Question 2. How Did You Hear About This Position?
Be truthful but avoid mentioning hearing about the post from a friend or relative who works at the Public Service Commission, as it would be perceived as canvassing, and you may end up disqualified.
I’m always looking for job adverts on the internet, social media, and in newspapers related to my profession.
I came across this position’s advert from the PSC’s official Facebook page and immediately applied for the job.
Question 3. What do You Have to Offer in This Position?
This is an opportunity to explain why you deserve the position rather than the other candidates.
Mention why you are better placed to become the new assistant chief.
You would gain some points by mentioning failures from the previous administrator and how you intend to rectify them.
I love serving people and offering solutions within my capacity.
Most people in my community barely keep up with government initiatives at the grassroots level because of poor communication from the administration, something I intend to improve on.
Question 4. How do You Approach Conflicts?
The interview panel wants to hear if you know about conflict solving since assistant chiefs often deal with such cases in their areas of jurisdiction.
Let your answer touch on how to respond or approach conflicting parties professionally without taking sides.
The panel also intends to find out if you know when to involve the police.
I understand that handling conflicts are part of an assistant chief’s role.
I would start by learning the source of the conflict, listening to each party’s side of the story, and finding a way to resolve it amicably without involving the police.
I also understand that some disputes require police intervention, and I wouldn’t hesitate to contact them in such circumstances.
Question 5. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employment?
Give an honest answer, but avoid negatively painting your current or former employer.
My current employer has helped grow my profession, but this new position offers me an opportunity to elevate my career further and exploit my full potential without limitations.
This position will also enable me to interact and connect with people, earn their trust and encourage them to come forward when there is an issue my office can help to solve.
Question 6. How Can You Describe Your Leadership Style?
The panel would like to know if your leadership strategies depict a courageous, visioned, and skilled leader.
Reply using an example of how you have successfully exercised leadership before.
I like being available for the people I serve and not making it seem like I am doing them a favor by serving their interests.
Working closely with people gives them the confidence to approach you on all matters, and it helps as a leader to understand issues affecting them and find remedies.
There are cases where the assistant chief’s office remains closed on weekdays, yet people need the services daily.
My leadership will purposely ensure that my community can easily access me (through my phone or at the office) unless there is a compelling reason to remain closed.
Question 7. Describe Your Greatest Strength
Define a strength that goes in hand with the job and how you intend to demonstrate it if given a chance.
I am a good listener and accommodating, making it easy for me to interact with people.
Anyone aspiring to be a leader should not be intimidating but approachable, and being a listener will make it easy for me to discuss various issues with my people.
Question 8. Describe Your Weaknesses
This is tricky and can prompt you to lie and say you got none, but interviewers know too well that nobody is perfect.
Be honest but mention the effort you put into overcoming or managing it.
Sometimes, I tend to multi-task, which affects my focus, and instead of getting all things done, I underperform in some areas.
I have, however, found remedies to fight the urge to do different things simultaneously, including writing down a to-do list for each day and assigning each task a time frame.
Question 9. What Are Your Thoughts on the Public Service Commission?
The panel wants to know if you are well-informed about PSC and what it seeks to accomplish through the advertised job.
Visit their website before the interview and read what they are about, their mission and vision, press releases, and other information relating to the assistant chief job.
Mention their current achievements and project their milestones in the coming years.
The PSC has helped the national government achieve its developmental goals by deploying qualified task forces in various departments.
It would be an honor to serve my country under the commission as it seeks “To Reform and Transform the Public Service for Efficient and Effective Service Delivery.”
Question 10. Do You Have Experience Related to This Job?
The panel wants to determine if you are competent and the right candidate for the job.
Mention your previous accomplishments that align with the job you are interviewed for.
I have exercised power since my primary school days all the way to high school and college, where I was entrusted with various leadership roles.
Those leadership opportunities helped me envision myself as a community leader and beyond.
I can confidently and effectively run a public leadership office like this one because I have successfully done so in the past and recent years, and my references can attest to that.
Question 11. What Are Your Career Goals?
The panel is interested in knowing if you are a visionary and would like you to project long-term or short-term career goals.
Highlight your career objectives in the coming 5 or 10 years, and remember to mention the employer in the plan.
I have adequately served in the private sector and would like to transition to the public sector for new challenges and growth.
This position would be a perfect place to start advancing my career.
Question 12. How Can Your Boss Describe You?
This is not an opportunity to heap yourself with unrealistic praises but a chance to spew facts.
If you are hired, the hiring team will call your immediate boss to confirm your character allegations.
That shows how fast tables can turn if you are found lying.
I am a team worker because I know a team’s effort can achieve more than an individual’s.
I know that assistant chiefs have much to deal with and cannot deliver without help.
I also understand it’s within an assistant chief’s jurisdiction to employ a person or persons to help them carry out their mandates as required by the law.
Question 13. How do You Approach Stressful Circumstances?
The panel is keen to determine if stressful circumstances affect your productivity.
Do you have a strategy to navigate stressful situations and resume working like nothing happened?
Mention your tactics, and if possible, give an example of how you managed a stressful situation in a past scenario.
This demanding career has its fair share of stressful situations, and I’m prepared for such.
I usually take deep breaths to avoid the temptation of reacting immediately after getting triggered.
I approach the situation head-on professionally and positively after I have calmed down.
Question 14. What are Your Salary and Benefits Expectations from the Government for this Job?
The panel will ask this question to discover if potential employees understand PSC salary and benefits for their specific jobs.
You need to prove that you are well-versed in the government’s compensation for the role you will be undertaking.
Familiarize yourself with the salary range and benefits like health coverage, pension, paid leaves, etc.
Not having a clue will paint you ignorant and less interested in the position because the salary is the first thing most ambitious candidates look at when applying for a new job.
An assistant chief’s average remuneration falls between 26,000 and 47,000, determined by experience.
The allowances can amount to 7,000.
I’m also aware that the job is permanent and pensionable and comes with benefits such as health coverage and paid leaves.
Question 15. Got Any Questions for Us?
Most interviews are not one-sided, and the interviewer would like to know if you have any questions.
One or two questions are enough, but you can ask more if they insist.
For instance, you would like to know how long it would take to get feedback from the panel after the interview.
How long does the recruiting process take?
Or What’s next after this interview?
You may also want to check: PSC Interview Questions and Answers