Interview after the NYC Sanitation Exam

Top 3 Civil Service Interview Questions in 2022 

The written exam is arguably the most important part of the DCAS exams. A good interview may not increase your chances of recruitment, but a bad one can disqualify you. While you’re taking prep classes for your NYC Sanitation Exam, it’s worth taking some time for the interview to ensure everything goes smoothly.

This article discusses some of the most common questions asked in civil service interviews and the intent behind those questions. We also explain how best to respond to these questions, so you come off as an ideal candidate.

Before we get into the questions, let’s take a moment to understand the role of the interview in the recruitment process.

The Interview and Its Role in The Recruitment Process

The recruitment process for all civil service departments is designed to be as impartial as possible. The exam has little to no prerequisites to give everyone an equal chance. Applicants are chosen purely based on their scores, and higher-scoring candidates are hired earlier. The point is the process is highly systematic to ensure no one has an unfair chance based on any biases or connections in the department.

An NYPD officerThe interview is the only non-systematic part of the process. To further give an equal chance to everyone, the interview can’t affect your test score positively, but it can disqualify you if the board doesn’t see you as a viable candidate.

The interview may be tougher, depending on the department. For example, you’re called for an interview right after the NYC Firefighter Exam because it’s a significant part of the assignment in the FDNY. On the other hand, you won’t be called for an interview immediately after the upcoming DCAS NYC Sanitation Exam 2060. An interview will be conducted at the time of recruitment. This can take months or even years, depending on how well you did.

Regardless of the department, the interview is an important part of the process, even if it doesn’t affect your score. The interview adds a human element to the process and evaluates you as a social being. With this in mind, here are the most common questions asked in civil service interviews.

1- Why do you want to join this department? 

The interviewers ask this question to determine your motivation for joining the department. This question is more forgiving for some departments than for others. For the NYC Sanitation interview, you can get away if you answer “competitive salary and benefits.”

However, other departments such as the NYPD and the FDNY need more. You need a certain level of passion for the job itself. An ideal candidate in these departments wants the job so they can save lives and decrease crimes in the city.

The best way to respond to this question is to find something you’re passionate about and connect it to the position. If you’re passionate about saving the environment, you can say you want to improve the DSNY and lower the city’s carbon footprint. An answer that’s actually personal to you will seem more sincere than making something up. The same goes for all the other interview questions, for that matter.

A firefighter and an FDNY truck2- Where do you want to see yourself in five years?

The interviewers ask this question to learn about your life goals and if they align with the department’s philosophy. The ideal answer to this question also depends on the department. For the NYC Sanitation Department, the ideal answer is that you want a higher position in the department. However, be sure to elaborate on why. Explain what areas you want to improve and how you’d improve life in the city.

For the NYPD, it’s completely acceptable to want to be promoted to a detective or any other position that gives you more control over solving crimes. You can also say you want a higher position to be able to contribute more to the city. However, the ideal answer to this question for the FDNY exam interview is a bit different.

The FDNY recruits people passionate about firefighting, fire safety, and saving lives. If you say you want to see yourself promoted to a Deputy Chief as soon as possible, you’re not an ideal firefighter. Instead, answer the question with achievements in the job. Say, “I want to have saved a hundred lives,” for instance.

An NYC Sanitation worker3- Why did you leave your previous job?

The interviewers ask this question to see what you find attractive about government jobs. They may ask similar questions about your work and volunteering experience to determine the same thing. If you worked in a company, you could answer by listing all the common problems with the private sector. Try not to bring up any specific disagreements you had at the previous job; it may make you seem less sociable.

An alternative answer is to talk about the positives of the job you’re applying for instead of the negatives of the one you left. This way is particularly better for the FDNY interview. As a firefighter, you’ll need social skills to work effectively with the team. Ranting about your precious workplace may make you look harder to work with.

You’re Good To Go!

Most of the questions revolve around these three aspects: your motivation to join the department, what you aim to do after you’re hired, and how well you’ve worked at your previous jobs. With what we’ve learned so far, it’s hard to discuss any other questions without repeating ourselves.

The interview is the easy part. What really determines your success is the DCAS exams. Enroll yourself in preparation classes at Civil Service Success today and secure your position. We’re starting our NYC Sanitation Exam prep classes this August. We’ll also be having prep classes for the Suffolk Police Exam and the NYC Firefighter Exam.

Want to score competitively high in your next DCAS exam? Get in touch now!

  • Scroll to Top