california state job interview questions

Preparing for a government job interview is probably one of the most important steps you can take towards building the career you want. Regardless of how much experience you have or how great a conversationalist you are, you should absolutely take time before a job interview to think through how youd answer some basic questions.

To help job seekers get a leg up during the interview process, we asked hundreds of public sector HR professionals to share their favorite interview questions they use to gain better insights into candidates. Heres a list of their top interview questions when theyre evaluating someone for a government job at their agency.

State Hiring Workshops, Part 3: Test & Interview Tips

Interviews for Top Jobs at State of California

MVR Interview


I applied online. I interviewed at State of California


The panel of interviewers were very organized with their set of questions and makes the interviewees very comfortable not to get nervous. They give you more time for you to think further and they explain more clearly with what they are asking. If they thinka they are not satisfied with your answers, they give you examples for you to give more accurate answers if they are not satisfied with your answers.

Interview Questions

  • Describe a situation with an upset customer and how did you handle the situation.

IT Student Assistant Interview


I interviewed at State of California


The process took about three and a half months but was simple. One interview with a panel of three that was mostly personality based and I got an offer one week later.

Interview Questions

  • Explain a time you gave excellent customer service.

Information Technology Interview


I applied in-person. I interviewed at State of California


The feeling of the interview depended on who was on the panel. When I interviewed, they allowed you to review the questions ahead of time. Interview consisted of an average of three interviewers.

Interview Questions

  • How do you solve a problem?

How candidates received their first interview at State of California

  • Contacted State through an advertisement in a Nursing Journal

    Shared on September 4, 2019 – Health Facilities District Manager II – Oxnard, CA 93036
  • By applying on state website

    Shared on March 20, 2019 – Office technician – Soledad, CA
  • Applied, job application

    Shared on October 24, 2018 – Communications Operator – Patton, CA

What advice do candidates give for interviewing at State of California

  • Work on your mental fortitude

    Shared on September 4, 2022 – Office Technician – Chino, CA
  • Be on time, answer questions with confidence and read up on b the agency your interviewing with.

    Shared on August 1, 2022 – Information Technology Associate – Sacramento, CA
  • Pretty awesome

    Shared on March 10, 2021

What candidates say about the interview process at State of California

  • I went on an interview for the Office Technician in Norwalk, CA for the CCC department. My interview consisted of an Excel test, a short written exam, and then an actual interview. The interview was v…

    Shared on August 26, 2019
  • A little intense and back ground check

    Shared on December 27, 2017 – Correctional Officer – Folsom, CA
  • First you must take a State issued test for all of the different positions. Then you must have an interview with a group of staff.
    My last position was a written test, interview and then a 6 week aca…

    Shared on November 20, 2017 – Correctional Officer/Youth Counselor – Chino, CA

16 questions about Interviews at State of California

Does the State of California call applicants they are proceeding to hire after their interview? If so, does that occur before the candidate names are sent to Sacramento?

Yes they do especially if you rank in the upper 3 levels of your job exam and qualifications.

How did you get your first interview at State of California?

Contacted State through an advertisement in a Nursing Journal

I have an interview with the department of motor vehicles. Is there more than one interview How long will it take to get hired after the first interview

It depends on your position and your ranking after your 1st interview. the process could last months if selected depending on your background check.

I m applying for state job from over 6 months ony got 1 interview. How log does it took.

Generally it is a long process in getting a state job.

Staff service analyst interview

Great required face to face

Interview questions for tomorrow personnel specialist

Be sure to read up on all aspects of the job including duties, responsibilities and the purpose of the department. Just be sure to know how you relate to what is expected of you. Nobody fits a job perfectly or feels like they do! Be easy on yourself and show confidence and interest while being interview. Be sure to ask solid questions, Google good questions to ask on an interview. Good Luck!

What questions did they ask during your interview at State of California?

They asked about relevant experience for the job, difficult experiences/challenges in past work, if I could work an 8-hour day, and about specific duties of the job and applicable experience.

What tips or advice would you give to someone interviewing at State of California?

Work on your mental fortitude

What is the interview process like at State of California?

I went on an interview for the Office Technician in Norwalk, CA for the CCC department. My interview consisted of an Excel test, a short written exam, and then an actual interview. The interview was very straight forward. They have me a list of 8 questions, allowed me a few minutes to look over the questions and prepare, and then asked me the questions word for word. I interviewed with a panel of 2 people. Some questions they asked me were:

Should you send follow up email after an interview?

If you have their email address. I sent a physical letter.

How To Ace A State of California Job Interview So, you’ve found your perfect State of California job. You meet the minimum qualifications, you’ve submitted a great

  • All jobs you apply for should have a duty statement attached to the job posting. If there isnt one, you can request it from the department advertising the job. Read the duty statement and identify how youve completed these tasks in the past. The questions in the interview will be directly related to the type of work described in the duty statement. Remember to think broadly about when youve done the type of work listed. It can be from school and volunteer work as well as regular employment.
  • Provide a resume to each of the panel members. The people conducting the interview will likely be your supervisors if youre selected for the job. You can submit a resume when you first apply for a job, but the Human Resources analyst evaluating your application packet might not even look at it. If they do, theyre likely not in a position to make any hiring decisions. You want your resume in the hands of the people doing the interview and that have a direct impact on whether or not youre selected. Give panel members a resume in the interview and it will have much more of an impact. For a more detailed description of what a great State of California resume should look like, check out our post on How To Write a Great State Resume.
  • Dress nicely. Although the States hiring process is designed to be neutral and merit-based, its impossible to remove biases completely from the process. First impressions count, so look sharp. You feel more confident when you look good too, and confidence is important for interviews.
  • Smile, make eye contact and be friendly. The people on the interview panel will most likely be your supervisors or co-workers if youre selected. The content of the interview and your ability to perform the job are important, but panel members are looking for somebody they can see themselves working closely with five days a week. Pay attention to presenting yourself as someone that is easy to get along with. You want to present your accomplishments and ability well but remember that they wouldnt have invited you for an interview if they didnt already know you were qualified.
  • Be prepared with answers to some of the more general interview questions, like: “What would your last supervisor say about you,” “Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses,” “Tell us about yourself.” Questions like these come up in interviews and State employers often like to pepper them in with the more technical, job-related questions. Have positive answers ready to go.
  • Its OK to take a pause and think before answering. When youre on the spot the silence may seem awkward, but its not. Interviewers know it is a high-pressure situation and appreciate people that have the composure to gather their thoughts and provide clear, on-topic answers.
  • Have questions you want to ask, and a closing statement written down before the interview. In uncomfortable situations like job interviews, people tend to forget the things they want to say. Its usually OK to take a notebook or a portfolio with notes written down into a job interview.
  • Have a start date in mind. If the interview panel asks when youd be available to start if youre selected, make sure you have a firm date in mind. They dont want to hear you say that you dont know.
  • Have a closing statement ready for the end of the interview. This is a good opportunity to tell the panel why their department is special and why you want to work there. You dont have to gush, but interviewers like to hear that there is a special reason for why you want this job. If you tell them that this is just one of 10 interviews youve had this week, it makes them fear that youre always chasing another opportunity. Tell them the reason youre going after this particular position. Itll make you seem grounded and the kind of person that is going to stick around for the long-haul.
  • Think of interviews as an opportunity to grow and improve. When youre actively looking for a job with the State of California, you might have to go on 15 interviews before you get a job offer. This is normal. Dont be discouraged by rejection letters. Think of interviews as a chance to perfect your skills. Interviewing is a universally hated practice, but you have an opportunity to get better and more confident with each one. Stay positive, think of each unsuccessful interview as a chance to hone your ability. Itll work out eventually.
  • Sample Questions You Could Ask

  • How would you describe the ideal candidate?
  • What are the main problems/challenges facing the person in this position?
  • What are the performance criteria? How will I be evaluated? How often? By whom?
  • What is the departments environment/culture like?
  • When will you make the hiring decision?
  • Common Interview Errors

  • Arriving late
  • Going off on tangents/not answering the question
  • Answers that are too long or too brief (answering “yes” or “no” is too brief an answer! Two minute responses are a good average.)
  • Lack of research on the position, the organization, and your fit
  • Inability to relate career goals to the position
  • Dressing too casually
  • Lack of enthusiasm/energy
  • A limp handshake
  • Forgetting to smile and having a pleasant attitude (people skills count!)
  • Sample Thank You Letter

    2913 Baxter Rd. La Mirada, CA 90709

    Mr. Foster Walker Senior Auditor L.A. County Auditor – Controller Division 1220 Warwick Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90601

    Dear Mr. Walker:

    I want to thank you very much for interviewing me yesterday for the accounting position at the L.A. County Auditor – Controllers Office. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your research and design work.

    My enthusiasm for the position and my interest in working for were strengthened as a result of the interview. I think my education and internship experiences fit nicely with the job requirements, and I am sure that I could make a significant contribution to the agency over time.

    I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and your staff. You provide the kind of opportunity I seek. Please feel free to contact me at (818) 685-5555 or [email protected] if I can provide you with any additional information.

    Again, thank you for the interview and your consideration.

    Websites online where you can obtain salary information:

    Attend the Salary Negotiation workshop offered by the Career Center. Check CSUDH Handshake to RSVP for all workshops and events.

    A successful salary negotiation is one where both the prospective employee and the hiring organization come away satisfied. Negotiation requires planning and preparation.

    Keep expectations in line with reality. Many entry-level positions are structured and non-negotiable. Additional factors, including benefits, work schedule, and salary review date may be negotiable, and can be considered if a firm offer is low. For an entry-level position, dont overlook the benefit of gaining experience if you feel it is a job you will enjoy and learn from.

    Do not give details of a previous salary or mention salary requirements on a resume. If the employer has requested this information, state it at the end of the cover letter. Include special factors, such as the position was part-time while attending school or was in a different field. State salary requirements as “open” or “negotiable.” Many cities and states (including California) have made it illegal for employers to ask about your previous salary. If you are seeking a position in a state which still allows the questions, always be honest, as salary information can usually be easily verified, but you can also include information regarding benefits to increase the total value of your compensation.

    It is very important to do your homework before meeting with a prospective employer. By researching the organization on the Internet and by talking with others, you can obtain information useful in salary negotiations. Research what your worth is, based on your education and experience. There are many tools available to explore salaries in your field, such as O*Net Online,, or Salary.Com. Talk to individuals doing the same kind of work, taking into consideration geographic area and current supply and demand.

    Determine your ideal salary and the minimum salary you will accept based on your research.

    Wait for the employer to bring up compensation. Focus on what you bring to the organization while learning more about the position. If they are interested in hiring you, they will eventually discuss salary, possibly at a second interview. The individual who mentions a figure first generally has less power in a negotiation. If you are asked for your salary requirements, you can ask about the range they had in mind. If you cannot avoid answering the question, stay close to your high figure, since you can negotiate down but not up. Keep in mind your minimum figure (which you dont tell the employer); if the offer falls below this, you will need to decide whether benefits and career potential make up for the difference.

    After a firm offer is made, you need to determine if you want to accept. If you would like time to consider the salary or other factors, it is acceptable to ask for some time to make your decision. Most employers will not expect you to accept immediately. After thinking about it, if you feel you want to make a counter offer, you can do so, but the employer may say no. Do not accept a position where salary or other factors leave you very dissatisfied, as you will have a negative attitude. If you are considering another position in which you have more interest, you will then have to make a decision whether to accept the firm offer. Once you have accepted, any negotiations with other employers should be terminated. If you accept the position, ask the employer to give you the offer in writing, including benefits. If you reject the offer, write a letter to the employer thanking him/her, in addition to gracefully turning the offer down verbally.


    What are the questions asked in Ca interview?

    Chartered Accountant Interview Questions
    • Which accounting software tools are you familiar with?
    • What were some responsibilities in your previous job in accounting?
    • Why do you think giving accurate financial advice to clients is important?
    • Can you describe a situation when you helped improve accounting processes at work?

    How do I prepare for a state government interview?

    Follow these tips to make a good impression during your next government job interview:
    1. Do your research. …
    2. Prepare specific examples. …
    3. Expect unique questions or tasks. …
    4. Direct your attention to everyone. …
    5. Review the agency’s rules. …
    6. Align your vision and goals. …
    7. Practice with a friend. …
    8. Study your resume and cover letter.

    What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for?

    Top 10 Interview Questions and Best Answers
    • Tell Me About Yourself. …
    • Why Are You the Best Person for the Job? …
    • Why Do You Want This Job? …
    • How Has Your Experience Prepared You for This Role? …
    • Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job? …
    • What Is Your Greatest Strength? …
    • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

    How can I prepare for CA interview?

    How to crack CA campus interviews?
    1. Prepare thoroughly- …
    2. Good communication skills- …
    3. Be clear and confident with your choices- …
    4. Prepare well for the Group Discussion- …
    5. Build a strong resume- …
    6. Know your interviewer well- …
    7. Dress well- …
    8. Be punctual-

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