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How to Apply for a County Job and Prepare for a Job Interview with Montgomery County. Presenter: Joe Adler, Director Montgomery County Office of Human Resources Job Search Workshop and Information Fair Sponsored by Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Councilmember Nancy Floreen

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how to apply for a county job and prepare for a job interview with montgomery county

How to Apply for a County Job and Prepare for a Job Interview with Montgomery County

Presenter: Joe Adler, Director

Montgomery County Office of Human Resources

Job Search Workshop and Information Fair

Sponsored by Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Councilmember Nancy Floreen

November 14, 2009


objective of this presentation
Objective of this presentation
  • Information will help you understand the process of applying for a position or a promotion with Montgomery County, including
      • Your application for a county position
      • Application process, job application materials, and rating process for your online application
      • Preparation for your job interview
presentation topics
Presentation Topics
  • Career Paths
  • Job Postings
  • Application Process/Preparing a resume
  • Resume Tips
  • Preferred Criteria
  • Applying on line
  • Rating/Selection Process
  • Interviews
  • Staying Informed
  • Job Offers
career paths with montgomery county
Career Paths with Montgomery County
  • Clerical/Administrative
  • General Professional
  • Health Care/Social Services
  • Information Technology
  • Managerial/Executive
  • Public Safety
  • Trades/Labor
types of county job postings
Open Continuously

open throughout the


no closing date

numerous vacancies

Open Until Filled

no closing date

hard to fill positions

here today/gone tomorrow

Closing Date

applicants must apply by midnight of advertised closing date

minimum posting of two week

Deadline requirement job posting is the most common type of job announcement

Types of County Job Postings
application submission process
Application Submission Process
  • Montgomery County uses on-line recruitment process with three application submission options
      • Resume Builder to create your resume
      • Upload your existing resume/cover letter
      • Cut/paste your resume/cover letter
  • After you save and submit your resume, you may reuse your resume for future job applications
  • You can make changes to your online resume/ application information up to the closing date.
  • No additional information is accepted after the job position closing date
resumes should include
Resumes should include -
  • Name, address, contact phone numbers and an e-mail address
  • Objective: a brief statement describing your desired position or highlight your abilities
  • Education level
    • number of credit hours earned if no degree was earned
    • name of the institution and number of years attended
resumes should include8
Resumes should include -
  • Work History
    • Title of position held
    • Month and year started and ended position
    • List of duties and responsibilities associated with each position on the resume
    • Positions listed in reverse chronological order
  • Trainings, Licensure, Certifications, Multilingual level
sample resume
Sample Resume

Interested Applicant

1234 Montgomery Road

Rockville, 20850

Cell: 301-123-1234 Home: 301-567-5678

Objective: to obtain a position using my skills in training and recruitment


University of Maryland 29 credits

Graduate studies: Reading & Secondary Ed 09/93 – 05/96

American University BA

English & Secondary Ed 09/88 – 05/91

sample resume cont d
Sample Resume – cont’d

Work History:

Human Resources Specialist 12/03 – Present

Office of Human Resources Part-time (25 hrs/wk)

  • Conduct recruitments for assigned departments
  • Prepare advertisements, job postings and advertising strategies
  • Provide technical guidance with regard to employment laws, Personnel Regulations and best practices to department contacts
  • Conduct New Employee Orientation as part of a team
  • Administer entire promotional examination process for public safety departments

Certifications: Professional in Human Resources, since 2005

resume tips
Resume Tips
  • Review minimum qualifications for each position you apply for
  • Most jobs require a minimum amount of experience. To receive proper credit for your experience you must specify the beginning and ending month and year of each employer. Without this information, we may not have sufficient information to accurately credit your work experience
  • To receive appropriate credit for part time work and for volunteer work, include the number of hours worked and the dates of employment and/or volunteer service
resume tips cont d
Resume Tips – cont’d
  • Job Recruiters cannot make assumptions about your application such as your resume and other information. If work experience, professional licensure or other work related information is not listed, job recruiters will determine that the candidate does not have the work experience, license or work skills
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!! Pay attention to typo’s, grammar errors and ensure information is accurate
  • Review the job announcement/job requirements and highlight your experience that is relevantto the position you are applying for
  • Customize your resume. Using the same resume for different jobs may save time, but can cost you the opportunity to be competitive for the position
application process cont d on line application submission
Application Process – cont’d On Line Application Submission

For every position you are interested in, you must submit an online application for each job posting

  • Your resume and cover letter (optional) should be in the same document to be successfully uploaded
  • There is a 90 minute time limit when you use the County online application system. After 90 minutes you will time out from the online application and you will need to start over. Remember to save your information in your files for future reference or to cut and past your information into the online application.
create an account
Create an Account

First time users of the County online application system will be asked to create an account.

Go to

  • Click on “Careers”
  • Click on “Current Job Opportunities”
  • Click on Sign In to create an account or to access application status, saved documents or job search agents
job application steps
Job Application Steps

To Create your personal account:

  • Enter your personal information on page 1
  • You can update any changes in your personal information here if you have previously created an account
after you create your personal account
After you create your personal account

Select a position you want to apply for

  • When you prepare your application information, remember to:
    • Tailor your resume for the position
    • Document that you fulfill the minimum qualifications required for the job position
    • Document that fulfill the preferred criteria required for the job position.
    • Check that you provided all information requested in the application documents
  • Click on “Apply Now”
preferred criteria ksa
Preferred Criteria = KSA
  • KSA’s are the job related knowledge, skills and abilities above and beyond the minimum qualifications that a hiring manager is seeking
  • KSA’s are specific to each position
  • You have an opportunity to demonstrate your level of competency in each of the KSA areas by the thoroughness of your answer
  • The highest rated candidates will possess education, training and experience in those areas
address the preferred criteria stated for the position you apply for
Address the Preferred Criteria stated for the position you apply for
  • Be concise- don’t confuse describing your employment accomplishments with creating an autobiography
  • Describe the context in which KSA was addressed
  • Describe the factors that contributed to the challenge of a particular KSA
  • Describe the actions you took when answering the KSA
  • Describe the results of your actions-
    • Use numbers to highlight accomplishments when possible
stages of applying page 3 cont d
Stages of Applying – Page 3 - cont’d
  • Choose a method to include your resume
    • Use Resume Builder: Candidate enters answers to questions in blocks provided
    • Upload existing Resume and Cover letter:
      • Cover letter is optional
      • Resume and Cover letter MUST be in the same document for successful upload
    • Type or Paste Resume and Cover letter: Resume can be pasted from an already open document
stages of applying page 4
Stages of Applying – Page 4

Preview your resume submission

  • Be sure your contact information is correct
  • Look for typos/spelling errors and fix them
  • Your online application will be the first time your introduce yourself to a hiring manager

 Make it look good!

stages of applying page 5
Stages of Applying – Page 5
  • Equal Employment Opportunity [EEO] Data is requested on this page
  • Information requested for EEO Data is optional
confirmation e mail
Confirmation E-Mail

Dear Ms. Interested Applicant

Thank you for your interest in employment with Montgomery County. You should print and retain

a copy of this notice as confirmation that your resume was received.

  • You can check the status of your application at any time by logging in to your account or by contacting the Montgomery County Office of Human Resources at (240) 777-5000. Further contact regarding your application will only be made if you are scheduled for an exam or an interview.
  • Your application materials will be reviewed to assess the extent of your qualifications relevant to the position for which you applied. If you are selected as one of the most qualified candidates, the hiring department will contact you directly to schedule an interview. If you applied for a position designated for Montgomery County Employees Only and you are not an employee or if your resume was submitted after an announced closing date, you will not be considered for the position.
  • If you are not selected for an interview, please consider Montgomery County Government for future career opportunities. Our employment needs are constantly changing, so we encourage you to visit our website at
  • It is the policy and practice of Montgomery County to select new employees and to promote current employees based on qualifications only, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, ethnicity, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or disability. Each applicant appointed to a merit system position must meet all the requirements of that position. Such requirements may include successful completion of an oral or written examination, a medical examination, and confidential investigations, including the submission of certain documents.
recap resume and preferred criteria tips
RECAP: Resume and Preferred Criteria Tips
  • Pay attention to KEYWORDS
    • Think about what words you want to highlight
    • Review the job description and find the words that are frequently mentioned
    • Look for buzzwords
  • Support what you write
    • Don’t just cut and paste - quantify your own experience
  • Do not plan to use the job interview to address the preferred criteria. Your application should do this. If you did not address the preferred criteria on your application, you may not have an interview opportunity.
  • You may be the most qualified applicant, but unless you tell us what you’ve done, no one else will know
  • Print a copy of the confirmation e-mail

 It is your receipt for your application submission!

job application recap
Job Application RECAP
  • Make sure you review advertisement to confirm:
      • Closing date
      • Minimum qualifications
      • Preferred criteria
      • Special licensing requirements
      • Language requirements
      • Testing requirements
      • Background investigations
      • Medical protocol
      • Candidates in the well-qualified category will be eligible for an interview
  • REMEMBER- Resumes are reviewed based on the minimum qualifications and preferred criteria for the job position
  • About the:
    • Resume submission?
    • Preferred criteria?
    • How to create an account?
    • What to keep?
after you submit your application the rating process
After you submit your application: The Rating Process
  • Positions that have a written test as part of the selection process will not have preferred criteria
  • Candidate resumes that meet the minimum qualifications will be forwarded to subject matter experts for a review of the preferred criteria
  • Based on the resume review or examination process, applicants may be placed in the rating category of Well-Qualifiedor Qualified
  • Typically, only candidates in the Well-Qualified category will be eligible for an interview
tips after you submit your application
Tips after you submit your application
  • Prepare for the interview
  • Print a copy of job description to know which jobs you might be called for an interview (sample attached)
  • Learn about the job you applied for:
    • Print the classification specification from
    • Ask questions of people who work in that type of job
job interview
Job Interview
  • Usually, only the highest rated candidates are eligible for an interview
  • Hiring Managers are not obligated to interview every candidate in the highest rating category
  • Hiring Managers should utilize job related criteria to determine which candidates to interview
  • Interview questions should be job related
  • Information that is not job related should not be discussed or disclosed
  • Notify the EEO office if inappropriate questions are asked
job interview questions
Job Interview Questions
  • Ask yourself questions that might be asked in an interview setting
  • Even if they aren’t the questions the hiring manager will ask, being prepared to answer questions under the pressure of an interview is important
  • What type of questions might be asked?

Job Interview QuestionsSource:The 150 Typical Job Interview Questions

Fifty Six Sample interview questions to help prepare for a job interview.

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What specific goals have you established for your career?
  • What will it take to attain your goals, and what steps have you taken toward attaining them?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success? Give me an example of one of your successful accomplishments.
  • What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
  • Are you more energized by working with data or by collaborating with other individuals?
  • How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • Would you describe yourself as goal-driven?
  • Describe what you've accomplished toward reaching a recent goal for yourself.
  • What short-term goals and objectives have you established for yourself?
  • Can you describe your long-range goals and objectives?
job interview questions cont d
Job Interview Questions – cont’d

14. How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?

15. Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor or instructor? How did you resolve the conflict?

16. Tell me about a major problem you recently handled. Were you successful in resolving it?

17. Would you say that you can easily deal with high-pressure situations?

18. What quality or attribute do you feel will most contribute to your career success?

19. What personal weakness has caused you the greatest difficulty on the job?

20. Describe the characteristics of a successful manager.

21. What are the most important rewards you expect to gain from your career?

22. How would you define "success" for someone in your chosen career?

23. What qualifications do you have that will make you successful in this department?

24. What skills have you acquired from your work experience?

25. What have you learned from your experiences outside the workplace?

26. If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for?

27. How would you describe your leadership skills?

job interview questions cont d39
Job Interview Questions – cont’d

28. Which is more important: creativity or efficiency? Why?

29. What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work?

30. What was the toughest challenge you've ever faced?

31. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?

32. Some people work best as part of a group -- others prefer the role of individual

contributor. How would you describe yourself?

33. When given an important assignment, how do you approach it?

34. If there were one area you've always wanted to improve upon, what would that


35. When you have been made aware of, or have discovered for yourself, a problem

in your work performance, what was your course of action?

36. What kinds of things have you done on the job that were beyond expectations?

37. What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining

successful business relationships?

38. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully

convince someone to see things your way?

job interview questions cont d40
Job Interview Questions -- cont’d

39. Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

40. By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.

41. Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.

42. Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.

43. Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across.

44. Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.

45. Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.

46. Describe the most significant or creative presentation that you have had to complete.

47. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

job interview questions cont d41
Job Interview Questions – cont’d

48. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

49. Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.

50. Give an example of how you applied knowledge from a previous position to a project in another position.

51. Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?

52. Describe a situation in which you found that your results were not up to your supervisor's expectations. What happened? What action did you take?

53. Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?

54. Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.

55. What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?

job interview questions cont d42
Job Interview Questions – cont’d

56. We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example(s) of how you have done this.

  • In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?
  • Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem arose. What was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How did that make you feel?
  • Recall a time when you were assigned what you considered to be a complex project. Specifically, what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? Were you happy with the outcome? What one step would you have done differently if given the chance?
  • What was the most complex assignment you have had? What was your role?
  • Tell of some situations in which you have had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control. What was the impact of the change on you?
  • Compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard.
  • Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?
job interview tips
Job Interview Tips


  • Get Ready

Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the interview. Include a pen and paper for note taking.

job interview tips cont d
Job Interview Tips – cont’d
  • Be On time

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early.

If needed, take some time to drive to the office ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get to the interview location.

job interview tips cont d45
Job Interview Tips – cont’d

Stay Calm

  • During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible
  • Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer
  • Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention - you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!
job interview tips cont d46
Job Interview Tips – cont’d
  • Be prepared with questions to ask the hiring manager:
    • What is the work schedule?
    • What is the work location?
    • What are the expectations for this position?
  • Any other questions that may be appropriate for the job interview session.
for internal department candidates do s don ts
For Internal Department Candidates Do’s & Don'ts
  • Do not assume your department or division know about your accomplishments
      • Write them on your resume
      • State your accomplishments during your interview
      • Demonstrate expertise
  • Don’t get too casual if you know members of your interview panel
  • Keep it professional - You are still competing for a job
stay informed
  • After submitting an application, applicants will be notified via email that their application materials have been received
  • You should keep a copy of the email confirmation
  • Throughout the process you will be notified via email about any change of status in your application
  • In the event of questions, call the Office of Human Resources at 240-777-5000 to speak with the HR Specialist handling the job vacancy and your application
job offers for job positions
Job Offers for Job Positions
  • The Office of Human Resources Specialist will make a formal job offer to the applicant contingent upon medical clearance, background investigation, multilingual examination, and licensure/education verification (depending on the requirements of the position)
  • There may be different medical and background process for different positions
ohr contact information
OHR Contact Information
  • County job posting website
  • Jobs are posted to the website based on job vacancies that occur in county departments
  • For information contact: Office of Human Resources

(240)777-5000, TTY (240)777-5126 at 101 Monroe Street, 7th Floor, Rockville, Maryland, 20850

Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

questions answers
Questions & Answers
  • Montgomery County Government is

committed to achieve an inclusive

County workforce

  • Join a winning team with Montgomery

County Government!

  • Thank you for participating in today’s


  • Much success to you in your career!