From the Managing Editor’s Desk – First Half of 2023

2023 IRS Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program


Internal Revenue Service

USAJobs – Job Announcement

Open & closing dates

01/17/2023 to 02/16/2023

How to Excel in a Senior Executive Service (SES) Job Interview

You may have heard that job interviews cause people more stress than any other aspect of the application process. If you are one of those people, you are certainly not alone.

Within the federal government, interviews tend to be even more rigorous, and at the SES level, the application and interview processes are widely regarded as very challenging.

Over the years, we have had incredibly accomplished government, military, and corporate leaders share this same sentiment with us.

After supporting many individuals and training groups of job seekers on interview preparation, we have found that most applicants fall into one of the following three levels:

MODERATE: You give minimal time or thought to preparing, perhaps just reviewing the job announcement, and doing some basic research into the agency. But you mostly rely on your natural abilities to come up with responses at the time of the interview, and just go for it.

HIGH: You set aside 10-20 hours of time to deliberately prepare for the interview. You do significant research on the agency’s website and social media to understand the mission, vision, current and emerging challenges. You also analyze the job announcement, and use your findings to determine some potential questions you are likely to be asked. You use your Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) narratives and the Challenge/Context-Actions-Results (CCAR) format to prepare talking points for a dozen or more specific, recent examples of your abilities and potential.

You then use these examples to rehearse. You maybe even invest in some training or coaching, which includes mock interviews with feedback. You also do some introspection and become more aware of your interpersonal dynamics, including pace of speech, eye contact, body language, and overall executive presence. Finally, in the days and hours before the interview, you focus on adequate sleep, hydration, diet, and relaxation techniques to be as calm and clear as possible when the moment arrives.

ULTRA: You do all the same things as someone who prepares at a high level, but spend even more time and energy on each aspect.

While each person shows up with different communication skills, backgrounds, training, education, and experiences, here is the reality: you can learn to improve your interviewing skills, and the more you prepare, the more relaxed and confident you will be during the interview.

You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and if you’re considering an SES position, this is likely the capstone of your career. It will impact your work, your life, even your family, and will be part of your professional legacy.

So, which level of preparation will you choose?

Featuring one of our world class writers

This week we are featuring one of our most seasoned and accomplished writers, Michelle C.!

Michelle has been with CareerPro Global for over a decade, personally assisting hundreds of clients in achieving their career goals. She can do it all – from concise private sector resumes to her specialty, Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) narratives for aspiring government executives.

In order to write these impactful documents, she first coaches her clients masterfully through understanding the best practices, analyzing their target job or specialty, and then providing the most relevant stories and materials possible. She then revises, repurposes, and assimilates all this rough draft content into highly effective and compelling resumes and executive narratives.

Michelle served on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force for seven years and specialized in HR Management, where she oversaw a range of HR programs affecting tens of thousands of service members at installations in the U.S., Southwest Asia, and South Korea. In addition, she wrote, reviewed, and edited hundreds of military performance reports, awards packages, and letters of recommendation.

After her time in the Air Force, she went on to work as an English teacher to those who were learning English as a Foreign or Additional Language. Her knowledge of English grammar, syntax, and verbiage not only served her well as an English teacher (and, eventually, as head teacher), but also helped her job-seeking students garner highly sought-after executive positions.

Since Michelle joined our team here at CareerPro Global, her writing talent and coaching abilities have been consistently recognized by people across many government/military agencies and career fields. Over the years, she has built a substantial client base and receives numerous referrals for her knack in earning them “best qualified” ratings and interviews.

We are so very grateful for the hard work and customer-focused attitude Michelle demonstrates every day!

You can read a full team bio and learn more about Michelle and her specialty areas here. If you’d like to work with us, you can visit our website and ask for Michelle (or another writer) personally:

Michelle Czyz

About the author:

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