May 18, 2023


You have finally received a call regarding a job interview! Congratulations on this exciting news! After investing countless hours in applying for federal jobs, you’ve successfully scored an interview for a position with one of your top picked agencies. However, you might be thinking to yourself, “I don't have any accomplishments documented!” or “What if they inquire about my previous boss?” or even “Where can I find more information about the organization I’m interviewing to join?”

For many job seekers, a job interview can be the most difficult part of a job search. Many feel anxious before and during an interview, which could completely derail their performance.

Although job interviews can be daunting, they present a unique chance for you to demonstrate how your knowledge, skills, and abilities can greatly contribute to the position you are being interviewed for. Use this opportunity to shine and show the value you can bring to the table.

This blog aims to equip you with three invaluable tips to effectively present your best self during a job interview. By following these recommendations, you can enhance your performance and increase your chances of leaving a lasting impression on potential employers.

Take Time to Prepare Before the Interview

In line with Confucius’ wisdom, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.” This principle holds true when it comes to preparing for an interview, particularly for a federal job. It is essential to invest time and effort in acquiring in-depth knowledge about the agency, its mission, values, and priorities. By doing so, you position yourself for success and demonstrate your dedication to the role. In fact, author of How to Land a Top Paying Federal Job and career coach Lily Whiteman recommends reviewing “websites [of the organization], paying particular attention to recent strategic plans, press releases, annual reports and annual budgets.” Whiteman also suggests conducting Google news searches and reviewing your target agency’s standing in the Partnership for Public Services Annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings.

Shine Like a Star by Using the STAR Method

During a job interview, you have ONE single chance to impress the interview panel by professionally and compellingly showcasing your significant achievements. This crucial opportunity with the organization calls for a well-crafted presentation that captures their attention and leaves a lasting impact. To achieve this, I strongly recommend that you master the STAR method. The STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, is a powerful framework that helps you effectively communicate your accomplishments and skills during a job interview. By using the STAR method, you can artfully articulate your experiences and showcase your ability to handle challenges, take initiative, and achieve tangible results.  

Dress for Success

Whether your interview is conducted face-to-face or virtually, the significance of creating a positive first impression cannot be understated. Your choice of attire plays a crucial role in showcasing your professionalism and attention to detail. In fact, author Brian Zeng of, says that “you might be the most talented, experienced, and brilliant applicant your potential employer has ever met, but there's a chance those factors won’t be enough to land your dream job. Even if you’re perfectly qualified for a position and nail every interview question, you might not get the job if you’re not dressed right for the occasion.”

So, make sure you present your best self during a job interview, be sure to prepare for the interview by becoming familiar with the organization, use the STAR method to showcase your significant accomplishments, and dress for success by wearing the appropriate attire for the interview.

About FCC, Inc.

Federal Career Connection, Inc. is an all-volunteer program. It consists of a cadre of federal insiders and workforce development experts, including hiring managers and trainers, whose mission is to increase awareness and participation of public, national, military, or other federal service professions for individuals who have a calling to serve.

To stay up to date on FCC, Inc., please visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and sign up for our events and much more through our partner organization Career Network Ministry’s Meetup page. You can also help out by donating or volunteering with us.


About the Author: Alex has a passion to help individuals in career/vocational transition. He is a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) and Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), as well as a member with the National Career Development Association. His passion for community service led him to turn Federal Career Connection, Inc. into an educational non-profit organized to provide individuals in career transition with the best insights on how to search and apply for fulfilling careers in public, national, and military service. Alex also spearheaded the development of the Richland County Young Marines and an internship program between the U.S. Army and three universities in Seoul, South Korea. He served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War.


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