Some County positions require that candidates pass an oral examination. Oral Examination is an interview where candidates are asked job related questions and a panel of subject matter experts evaluate the responses and scores the candidates in a number of critical dimensions (knowledge, skills and abilities).

Typically, the oral examination is the last selection process used before establishing the eligible list, and may follow a written examination or a screening process.

How to Prepare for the Oral Examination

  • Review the job duties as well as the knowledge and skills required for the position as outlined by the job bulletin.
  • Some questions will require you to give examples that demonstrate your knowledge, skills and abilities. Think of examples from current or past employment experiences that best demonstrates these skills.
  • Prepare an effective closing statement that highlights your abilities as it relates to the position your interviewing for.

During the Oral Examination

  • A representative from Human Resources is usually present to set the tone before your interview. The representative will discuss the process with you prior to meeting the panel board and may ask follow-up questions during the interview.
  • The panel usually consists of two to three raters who are subject matter experts in the field being tested.
  • The panel will be asking every candidate the same questions. Based on your responses, they may ask follow-up questions.
  • Most oral examinations have a time limit. All candidates are given approximately the same amount of time. You will need to be short but concise with your responses.
  • Panel board members may take notes while you are talking. Don’t let this distract you. The panel board will use these notes when rating you.
  • At the end of the interview, you will be given an opportunity to make a brief closing statement. Use the closing statement to summarize your background and experience or to share important information about your skills that you think was not discussed during the interview.

After the Oral Examination

  • After you leave the examination room, the panel board begins the rating process. Each panel board member independently assesses your performance on each of the critical dimensions being rated.
  • Human Resources will notify you of your examination results within ten working days. Your notice will usually include your final grade and placement on the eligible list.
  • Passing the oral examination does not mean you will be offered a position. It determines what rank you are on the eligible list. Depending on your placement on the eligible list, your name may be sent to the department(s) with vacancy and be considered/interviewed for the position.