Job Seekers

Being a job seeker can be hard work. There is a lot of advice, some of it conflicting, on just about everything from covering letters to negotiating contracts! Below you will find a number of articles written by our consultants about getting a job in the public sector.

The Johnson Group Manager JANE REDDIEX recently spoke to the NZ Herald about how contractors have moved into permanent or fixed-term roles as work slows and cuts to the public service loom…

Giving generalised answers: It is important to be specific in answering questions about your behaviour. Examples you give should be concrete examples from the past. Using ‘we’ rather than ‘I’: When you say “we” it can cause uncertainty about your role in the situation you’re describing. When you say “I”, it seems more authentic and the interviewer […]

Competencies-based (also called ‘behavioural event’) interviews are based on the idea that past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour. Generalised or hypothetical answers are not suitable! Competency-based interviews are often used in government interviews, so we recommend that your answers take the STAR format. S-Situation: Set the scene. You need to describe the wider context […]

There are a few things you can do before your government job interview to ensure that things go smoothly. Preparing ahead of time will also mean you’ll enter the job interview feeling much calmer and confident. Review your resume The first thing to do is to review your resume. It is an outline of your […]

There really isn’t any consensus on how to make the best eye-catching resume. Different organisations will want different things, so usually it’s best to have a few different versions of your resume on hand—a long version and a short, bullet-pointed version would be a good start. Still, there are some things that everyone wants to […]

Managers and team leaders are ‘the glue that binds a policy team together’—they manage policy groups and other analysts. The number of staff a manager or team leader will lead depends on the size of the government department and the team’s structure—it can mean anything from two to 20 people. Day-to-day, managers and team leaders […]

Information and data analysts are concerned with quantitative research and putting explanations around the bare numeric facts. They normally have specialist knowledge in predictive statistical software such as SAS (Statistical Analysis Software), SPSS, Excel or Econometrics. The data they ‘crunch’ can range from financial data to school enrolment data, and they can then use this […]

Simply, policy analysts develop government policies and provide advice and briefing to Ministers and Senior Management. They do this by evaluating, researching and consulting with stakeholders, which will then inform the best advice for the government to adopt. As a result they must be excellent problem solvers, capable of weighing up the pros and cons […]

The term ‘researcher’ is fairly self-explanatory—as you’d expect, researchers are responsible for doing the research to underpin government policy. This research can take a wide variety of forms. A researcher may work on public surveys or focus groups, talking directly to people about their concerns. An example of this might be a researcher who is […]

There’s often some confusion about the difference between an advisor and a policy analyst—and for good reason, because the two jobs often have a lot of overlap. However an advisor usually works on the periphery of actual policy making, and may have a more operational focus. They are normally more concerned with the functional and […]