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Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL)—Application & Interview Coaching

The following descriptions explain our comprehensive services to help candidates succeed at each stage of the 3-part Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) program of the government of Canada. You register separately for and proceed through successive preparatory activities with us as you advance in the competition.

Application Preparation

The Recruitment of Policy Leaders program is a highly competitive initiative to staff advanced-level policy positions across the federal public service with a cadre of well-educated individuals from various academic and work backgrounds. To be considered for the initial interview, your application must express your background in a manner that satisfies detailed government screening procedures based on criteria unfamiliar to most candidates, and never adequately explained in the online job posting and accompanying materials.

To help you advance and excel in this heavily subscribed recruitment campaign, we work with you personally to: interpret government language and requirements underlying the process; identify and structure your obvious and hidden assets to answer open-ended application questions.

Application Coaching Breakdown

The 4-hour program of pre-work and tailored personal counselling covers all aspects of the complex application procedure. You will receive:

  • A walk-through of the RPL outline on the government website to explain what is really needed to apply successfully
  • An exploration of your background to identify information that bolsters your candidacy in answering the application questions about your scholarly, policy, leadership experience and degrees
  • A proven method to frame, articulate and conclude each answer briefly and precisely to help assessors understand how you match RPL criteria
  • A final review of your completed application before the submission deadline

First Interview Preparation

The initial screening interview for the Recruitment of Policy Leaders program is a critical step for candidates hoping to advance in this elite federal government competition. Irrespective of their intelligence and credentials, candidates are often caught off guard by the format, tone and substance of this challenging interview unless they have done their homework and are fully prepared to deal with an assertive Interview Board.

To help you perform your best, we relate your experience, education and credentials to government requirements, and coach you using a highly effective step-by-step process. You will learn how you will be evaluated, what background readings are essential to success, and how to handle government-specific questions unique to the RPL interview.

Click here to see the Table of Contents for the RPL Interview Preparation.

Interview Coaching Breakdown

The 5-hour program entails an advance analysis by us of your original application material to determine strengths and weaknesses specific to RPL evaluation. This is followed by three face-to-face or telephone meetings that cover all aspects of the interview-to-hiring process. You will receive:

  • An overview of the origin, purpose and execution of the RPL program, the Board composition and the atypical interview format
  • An explanation of "competency-based" and "knowledge-based" elements, and institutional values and culture which underlie the interview
  • Help to present, if required, the pre-interview briefing note you submitted online before the actual interview
  • A briefing on specific government materials you must read to answer knowledge-based interview questions in an informed, sophisticated manner
  • Conceptual frameworks showing how to respond briefly and effectively to hypothetical situations, the role play scenario, or possible past-experience questions
  • Coaching on how to craft and deliver a personal "sales pitch" touching on your key skills, qualities and experience to make a favourable impression
  • Practice on sample questions used previously in RPL first interviews
  • A step-by-step method to prime your referees so they can deliver support for your candidacy in a way that can be understood and easy to mark

Our Clientele

Clients we have worked with since 2004 for RPL applications and interviews include: Rhodes, Commonwealth, Governor General, Trudeau, Fulbright, NSERC and SSHRC scholars; other graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students in Canada and abroad from a wide range of faculties and disciplines; NGO/NGI policy analysts and program managers; private-sector executives; lawyers in law firms, corporations, and multilateral institutions.

Our Reputation and Supporters

Referrals of candidates come to us from serving and retired government executives up to and including the Clerk and Deputy Minister-levels (including former successful RPL clients), lawyers and international business executives, and university faculty and administrators familiar over the years with our experience and focused coaching and materials.

Why Use Our Services?

We are the only career coaching firm that specializes in helping candidates understand and advance in government, multilateral organization and international NGO hiring and promotion competitions—from entry level to executive level.

No service offered by government, universities or the private sector—past or present, in North America or abroad—matches our expertise or placement record over the past 25 years. The success rate of our clients in institutional hiring and promotion processes attests to the high quality training we provide. Please take the time to read the testimonials sent to us by clients and supporters displayed under Client & Supporter Comments [click here].

For additional information on what we do and why we know how to help you, see our List of Standard Programs and Services [click here], About Us [click here], and the Profile of Our Director [click here].

Fees and How to Register

All services provide one-on-one coaching in person or by telephone:

Application Preparation (includes coaching and materials)

  • Clients in Canada $650 Cdn + applicable taxes
  • Clients in U.S. or Abroad = $650 Cdn (no tax)

Interview Preparation (includes coaching and materials)

  • Clients in Canada $850 Cdn + applicable taxes
  • Clients in U.S. or Abroad = $850 Cdn (no tax)

Long distance consultations are carried out only on calls placed by clients. Times can be arranged to take advantage of discount rates, international time zones, and client availability.

Further Information

Please Contact Us [click here] to provide your career history and discuss how we can help you in the RPL competition. Because of the complexity of all stages of the RPL process, and because one question typically begs another, a telephone call will enable you to get timely, detailed answers responding to your needs.




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Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) Policy Officer Recruitment Program (PORP) Advanced Policy Analyst Program (APAP)
Government Application & Resumé CoachingPresentation Skills Reference Selection and Coaching
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