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PSC Interview Questions and Answers 

The Public Service Commission is responsible for employing several government employees in different departments.

It advertises many job opportunities yearly, attracting hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants.

You must polish your interview skills to stand a chance in PSCs coveted job positions.

Most Kenyans waste their employment opportunities after getting shortlisted for not answering the interview questions correctly.

This guide will help you familiarize yourself with the questions to expect during a PSC interview and how to respond.

1. Tell Us about Yourself

Advice:

The panel would like you to describe your career background and achievements in the simplest way possible.

Don’t subject them to lengthy narrations about your personal life but rather a summary of your education, past employment, and something about yourself that makes you a suitable candidate.

Example Answer:

I am Mark Kiplagat, a Computer Science graduate from the University of Nairobi.

This is my 4th year working as an IT consultant. My recent position involved developing, installing, and maintaining IT systems, facilitating a smooth working environment.

I love my profession because it helps organizations increase productivity and achieve goals, and I intend to accomplish the same with this position.

2. What is your greatest strength/ weakness?

Advice:

Your honesty is critical when answering this question.

Mention your most outstanding personality and how it helps you perform in your profession.

Additionally, highlight your weakness while letting the panel understand your efforts towards overcoming it.

Admitting that you have a weakness proves to the interviewer that you are not egocentric and makes you appear humble.

Also, avoid mentioning a weakness hiding in strength, for example, “I spend most of my time working and rarely spare time for a needed rest.”

Example Answer on Strength:

I am a problem solver. The IT area is prone to functionality issues that frustrate those using it.

Unexpected breakdowns can affect productivity hence need to resolve them faster.

I stand in the gap, determine where the problems stem from, and provide solutions so those relying on the systems can return to work.

Example Answer on Weakness:

My weakness is failing to accommodate other people’s opinions when making significant decisions.

I often feel like I have everything figured out hence not creating a room where my juniors or colleagues can share their thoughts.

I’m aware of this shortcoming and strive to consider input from those working around me on various issues because togetherness achieves greatness.

3. What are your short/long-term career goals? And where do you see yourself five/ten years from now?

Advice:

The panel is interested in knowing if you have goals, how you intend to achieve them, and if they align with the job.

You should exude confidence when answering the question, leaving no room for doubt about your determination to achieve the goals.

Example Answer:

My short-term goal is to meet the expectations of this job field once entrusted with the role.

I also look forward to gaining extra knowledge in my line of duty.

My long-term goal would be to play a significant role in the organization’s overall growth.

I look forward to being entrusted with critical responsibilities and tough decision-making, enabling me to exploit my full potential.

4. Why do you want to work for the Public Service Commission of Kenya?

Advise:

The panel indirectly wants to know if you know a thing or two about the commission and the position being interviewed for.

Your answer should revolve around the job by detailing how your services will benefit the commission in achieving its vision and mission.

Visiting their official website before the interview can help you familiarize yourself with its ins and outs.

Remember that the panel will ask other candidates this question, and it will do you good to sound knowledgeable about PSC.

Example Answer:

 I have worked in the private sector for five years and always looked out for an opportunity to expand my experience in the public sector.

The PSC has provided job opportunities for Kenyans from all walks of life, and some have served me to my satisfaction in various capacities across different government offices.

It would be an honor to join the PSC task force in helping Kenyans access government services with ease. 

5. What experience(s) qualify you for the Public Service Commission of Kenya? 

Advice:

The panel wants to determine if your former position relates to your current job.

Briefly mention an experience or two from your recent job that resonates with the PSC’s position.

The answer you give will help them gauge your competence, so capitalize on this moment as it could play a huge role in granting you that position.

Example Answer:

I am a problem solver. My previous workplace relied on my IT expertise to solve critical issues affecting their performance.

I always find an instant solution when systems misbehave and seek to bring that into this role.

Potential candidates queuing to drop their CVs for PSC job vacancies

6. Are you aware of the benefits of being a PSC employee?

Advice:

PSC or employee benefits boost or motivate them to be more productive.

Besides salary, the PSC panel would like to discover if you are informed about employee benefits such as paid leaves, wellness programs, flexible working hours, tax benefits, and pensions.

Your answer will determine whether you know your self-worth or are just after being a government employee. 

Example Answer:

 I understand that PSC looks after the welfare of its employees by offering a range of benefits such as paid holidays, maternity leaves, pensions, health cover, and flexible working days and hours.

This is one of the motivating factors that led me to apply for this role.

Such benefits prevent employees from being overburdened and create a great working environment, reducing the chances of mental health issues like stress, absenteeism, and depression.

7. What will be the most stressful part about working for the Public Service Commission of Kenya?

Advice:

The question establishes how quickly you adapt to a new working environment.

There is no harm in being honest as long as you admit the steps you will take to overcome the stressful situation. 

Example Answer:

The most stressful part about working for the commission would be dealing with difficult colleagues.

Almost every workplace has such a person/s, but I’ve learned to address such people positively and stay focused on my work.

8. How committed are you to service for the under-represented?

Advice:

Women, youths, and the disabled are some of the under-represented groups in the country.

Their voices are barely heard, nor are they prioritized in service delivery.

The panel would like to know your purpose in serving such groups if given a chance.

Example Answer:

The commission leads by example by championing equal employment opportunities and facilitating workplace diversity and inclusivity.

The same mindset is expected of workplace employees, serving people equally and prioritizing those with special cases like the elderly and the disabled.

That has been my tradition since I started working, and it will continue in this position.

9. What was the time you exercised leadership?

Advice:

Here, the panel seeks to know if you can demonstrate leadership if given a chance.

Highlight situations you found yourself in charge of a project, organizing an event, or being entrusted with a role that involved guiding other employees. 

Example Answer:

I was tasked with training new employees to operate the office’s gadgets in my previous workstation.

I would do the same to other employees whenever the office upgraded the technology devices.

I carried out the training enthusiastically and ended it when all my colleagues understood how to operate different devices. 

10.  What’s a time you disagreed with a decision at work?

Advice:

The panel wants to know your approach to workplace disagreements involving co-workers or supervisors.

They also want to know your maturity level when dealing with workplace conflict resolution.

This question also showcases the interviewee’s communication skills when approaching delicate issues at work.

Did you take offense and throw tantrums or handle the matter calmly? 

Example Answer:

There was this scenario when my immediate boss was adamant about purchasing office supplies from a supplier who didn’t meet quality standards, according to my assessment.

My boss argued that his supplies were cheaper and could save our company some company.

I knew I would have a hard time operating and maintaining the devices if the deal went through, and this would affect productivity at the office.

I sat down with my boss and explained that we could risk losing more than we could save by purchasing cheap over quality.

 It finally made sense to him, and he involved me in the search for a reputable supplier.

11.  Tell us about a difficult experience you had in your previous work setting and how you overcame it. What would you do differently in the future?

Advice:

Every workplace poses challenges to the employees, and the panel would like to know how you handled one of them.

Describe the scenario, how you overcame it, and how to go about it if something related or similar happens again.

Example Answer:

I experienced gender prejudice during my first days in my previous workplace.

Some male colleagues didn’t buy the idea that I was equal to the task in a seemingly male-dominated career.

I didn’t bother engaging them and decided my work would talk for itself, and by the second week, I had earned their respect.

However, I vowed to address the issue if it occurs again instead of proving my qualification through work.

This is because issues like gender prejudice deserve to be called out since most people suffer in silence, which affects their self-esteem. 

12.  What are your salary requirements?

Advice:

Most advertised PSC jobs indicate the accompanying gross salary.

It would shock the panel if you failed to quote your expected salary within the provided range.

 If the position advert does not have salary details, research about the same by, for instance, checking the SRC website for a clue. 

Example Answer:

The job I’m applying for falls in Group L, whose salary ranges between Ksh35, 910 and 45,000.

The range meets my salary expectations, and I hope to grow to higher job groups through experience and hard work.

13.  What do you think the Public Service Commission of Kenya could do better or differently right now?

Advice:

Feel free to advise the PSC on what they can do better.

Instead, this is a chance to prove that you know the commission inside and out enough to learn areas that need improvement.

You can base your opinion on your experience with the commission that didn’t go well with you. 

Example Answer:

The commission is doing all it can to fulfill its mandate to Kenyan citizens, but it can do better in some areas.

I wish the commission could impose stringent measures on service delivery and deal with staff laxity in all public offices.

I have personally experienced poor services in several public offices where, for instance, the staff spends more than two hours for a tea break or lunchtime, leaving some citizens unattended when closing hours lick in.

14.  What do you think is the future of the Public Service Commission of Kenya?

Advice:

When projecting the future of a government agency like the PSC, start by looking at its past and current achievements.

You need to sound knowledgeable regarding the commission and how it would make you proud to be among those who will help it accomplish future goals. 

Example Answer:

The commission always has Kenyans’ best interests and is devoted to efficient service delivery.

The commission will remain focused on facilitating competent service delivery by hiring qualified talent and foreseeing the provision of adequate resources in government offices.

This will ensure that Kenyan citizen continues to receive quality services.

The commission is also committed to ending the corruption menace in public offices, and Kenyans will not need to part with some cash to push for services they deserve for free.

15.  Why should we select you over all the other candidates?

Advice:

Your confidence matters a lot when responding to this question.

Avoid giving a generic answer, and get specific in proving that you are the trophy candidate.

Mention qualifications, qualities, and anything else placing you at an advantage.

The panel is also not looking for a storyline but a short yet compelling reason they should pick you over the other candidates.

Example Answer:

This position is vacant because you need someone who can provide technical assistance in one of the government’s Huduma Centers.

 Huduma center is a hub of processing requests, requiring systems to stay operational for quick turnarounds.

 I have enough computer maintenance experience that helps me to provide instant solutions and train colleagues how to operate new technology helping everyone stay productive.

I’m also keen on noticing when the current equipment or software requires an upgrade to streamline service delivery.

16.  What is something interesting about you that is not on your resume?

Advice:

Sometimes, interviewers want to know you beyond your resume details hence this question.

Pick a personality, passion, or attribute that aligns with the role you’ve applied for.

Strive not to over-share or talk for too long. 

Example Answer:

I ended my contract with the company I was working for three months ago, leaving me with plenty of free time.

 I discovered that my local primary school had just equipped a newly constructed computer room but needed to recruit a trainer.

Then it occurred to me that this was a chance to give back to the community and stay active while job-hunting. 

I met the head teacher and volunteered to tutor the pupils as they actively sought a hired trainer.

I could see the joy in the head teacher’s eyes as he welcomed me to the school.

 I have bonded with the pupils, and I can say that teaching is fun.

The experience has fulfilled me, and I intend to keep in touch with the pupils even after securing this position.

17.  Do you have any questions for us?

Advice:

Most interviewees do not see this question coming because they perceive that the interview is about them satisfying the panel.

Those caught off-guard by this question tend to reply “no,” coming off as uninterested in the role.

The interviewers expect potential candidates to be curious about the work environment they are about to join; therefore, a question or two can do the trick.

Example Answer:

Why is this position available?

What do you expect from me after onboarding?

Which metrics do you use to measure individual performance?

You may also want to check: Kenya Assistant Chief Interview Questions and Answers

Kenyalogue Contributor

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