How to Prepare

How to prepare for an assessment

The assessment is a crucial part of the selection process. It’s your opportunity to convince the hiring manager that you have what it takes. This is your opportunity to shine and to demonstrate the added value that you will bring to the team.

This section provides helpful tips to prepare for any assessment and introduces the CNSC Key Behavioural Competencies (KBCs) that successful candidates must demonstrate.

Here are some tips that will set you up for success:

Before the interview

  • Analyze the job advertisement to identify what will be assessed.
  • Think of past accomplishments that could be used to illustrate your readiness for this job.
  • Visit the CNSC’s website and familiarize yourself with key CNSC documents (e.g., Departmental Plan, governance and structure) in the context of the job you are seeking.
  • Talk to people who are knowledgeable about the position, if possible.
  • Anticipate potential questions and prepare for the assessment based on the CNSC Key Behavioural Competencies
  • Think of examples that showcase your strengths and competencies.

The interview

  • If given preparation time, take notes; this will help you structure your responses.
  • Listen attentively to questions and ask for clarification if you need to.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic while still being yourself.
  • At the end, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Be curious!

The written test

  • Read the instructions carefully. 
  • Before you start writing, skim through the entire package and allocate timeframes for answering questions. Highlight key words.
  • Jot down key words to incorporate into your answer; this will help you to organize your ideas.
  • Start with the questions that are the easiest for you – don’t lose track of time.

After the Assessment

Once the assessment is complete, the board members will reconvene to evaluate all candidates. The hiring manager may check references to validate and complement the competencies being assessed.

TIP: If you are asked to provide references, be sure to contact your references beforehand so they will be prepared to speak about your experience!

Among all qualified candidates, the hiring manager determines the right fit for the position based on current and anticipated needs.  The name of other qualified candidates is kept for possible consideration to fill similar positions.

Final steps before the letter of offer

  • Security: Effective July 2015, the Government of Canada requires that all employees obtaining, renewing or upgrading a security clearance be fingerprinted. Booking an appointment in a timely manner will assist Security Services in expediting your clearance update (if required).
  • Official languages: If the position is bilingual, you may have to be tested if you have no valid second language evaluation (SLE) results, if your SLE results are expired or if the position requires a higher level of proficiency. (Note: SLE results are valid for five years.)
  • Medical: Some positions at the CNSC require a medical examination due to the nature of the work and to ensure the safety of all workers. The HR assistant will provide you with details in order to schedule your appointment with a physician.
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