ALJ Structured Interview

Also recommended for Immigration Judge (IJ) candidates
and others seeking Executive Branch adjudicatory positions

Congratulations to everyone invited to participate in a Structured interview!

ALJ Structured Interview Prep with Audio Recording

Recommended for ALJ & IJ candidates and others seeking senior Executive Branch attorney and adjudicative positions

Congratulations! You have earned an invitation to OPM’s ALJ Structured interview (part of the ALJ exam), a subsequent SSA interview, an IJ interview, or other another Agency interview for a specific judicial or senior attorney position! Across government, the Structured Interview is founded on the premise that recent past behavior is the best predictor of future performance in similar circumstances. A Structured Interview consists of carefully planned, job-related questions that are scored systematically to identify highly qualified job candidates. You will be scored on your Structured Interview based on your specific answers to the competency and situational questions.


An expert federal interview trainer will prepare you for this type of interview, giving you the insights and confidence you need. This service is conducted in person or by phone. Training is completed in two sessions (150 minutes, total). Your fee covers additional time needed for the instructor to review your resume, narratives, employer materials, and other documents as needed.


  • Sample Structured Interview Questions for ALJ and other judicial candidates
  • PowerPoint Slides on Structured Interviews
  • If also preparing for the ALJ proctored exam, includes helpful materials for preparing for the multiple-choice Logic Test and Written Demonstration (past exams and specific coaching NOT available)
  • Extract from ALJ Writing Guide, 2nd Ed., by Nicole Schultheis, which includes definitions of the 13 ALJ Core Competencies and Tips on Structured Interviews
  • Additional Structured Interview resources, including links to websites and video materials, are recommended for practice and insight!


SESSION 1 – Prepare, recognize accomplishments and ALJ Competencies (or IJ Quality Ranking Factors), and other job qualifications: The first session will focus upon your relevant accomplishments and the message you want to present in your interview. Your coach will prepare a full set of questions for the second session, which will be a scored, mock Performance-Based Interview.

SESSION 2 – Practice with recording, feedback and tips to improve your stories and overall presentation: The second session will include individual question feedback, and tips on how to improve your overall presentation. The mock interview session and critique will be recorded and provided to you afterwards in mp3 format.

Specific topics include:

  • Understand the interview structure and the scoring process, which evaluates behavioral benchmarks
  • Discuss how the 13 ALJ Competencies, 6 IJ Quality Ranking Factors, and/or other required job qualifications are addressed in the interview
  • Create a framework for responding to questions such as “Tell us about yourself,” “What makes you a good applicant for this position?” and “Why do you want this job?”
  • Prepare representative accomplishments for your recorded practice session
  • Map your accomplishments by qualification, competency, or other specialized skill, and use a proven method for developing a narrative response to the interview questions
  • Connect your answers to the mission and strategic objectives of the organization
  • Learn a framework for responding to hypothetical questions
  • Practice your responses in a recorded mock interview, answering performance-based questions tailored expressly for you
  • Question-by-question critique plus an overall review of the mock interview, to gain insights for improving interview performance
  • Understand how to answer the unscored supplemental interview “fit” questions
  • Access your session recording after the second session, so that you can review your performance and improve your interview skills
  • Follow appropriate post interview etiquette

We need at least one week to schedule the two appointments for this service.

Two-part Structured Interview: $580  Order now

One-hour brush up: $225
(For those who would like further help for a subsequent interview) Order now

Get Federal Resume Help!
Our FREE newsletter gives you awesome advice on writing your best federal resume and mastering the USAJOBS application.
Sign up now!