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  • CA oral board format question

    I'm reposting this in a better spot.

    I had my first oral board with a department in CA, and it was nothing like I expected it to be. It was a three member panel, and I was asked five questions. However, my questions were timed, and there was no interaction between the panel and I. They asked the questions one by one and took notes as I responded. There were no scenario questions, no challenging my answers. It took me by surprise and made me nervous, but I still think I did pretty well.

    I know that for other state jobs in CA they use the same format and grade your exam based upon how many keys words you use in your response that they are looking for. I'm not saying this is a bad way to exam, I just never expected to see it in an oral board. So I guess my question would be, is this common? If so it will change my preparation? Thank you

  • #2
    I assume from your post you applied with a state agency and got what's called a "simple oral."

    In a simple oral, state agencies submit a list of proposed oral board questions to the State Personnel Board for review and approval. For each question the agency must show:

    1. Relevance to duties of the job being tested for.
    2. What an acceptable answers is.
    3. Why a particular answer is acceptable.
    4. What elements must be met to form that acceptable answer.
    5. What response is an automatic fail to the question.

    An agency may submit 15 proposed questions and get five back that are acceptable to the SPB.

    When you answer the question the panel members are listening, taking notes and checking off boxes to determine which elements of a given question your response addresses. How many point you get for each question depends on how many elements your answer addresses. Scores from each question are then combined to give you a total oral score.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      It was for a city in the bay area, but the process described seemed very similar. Also unexpected was that there two HR people in the panel and only one officer. The HR people took a lot more notes than the officer, which made me nervous.

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