‘It’s just a game, a game you can learn how to play and succeed in.’
My delegates often hear me say this about the National Police Assessment Centre, however, once you are through this stage you will probably have a final police interview. This is where it gets real and where the only ‘game’ to play is to be the real, confident and authentic you.
So, how do you achieve this?
There’s no escaping form the fact that you will need to have some life experience, which will enable you to answer some tough ‘competency based’ questions. Would you be able to answer these questions with an answer that spans more than the five minutes you’re allowed at the assessment centre?
- Can you tell me about a time when you have promoted and supported organisational change?
- Can you tell me about a time when you have gathered information from a wide range of sources before making a difficult decision?
- Can you tell me about a time when you have offered a high level of service by tailoring it to an individual or group’s needs?
- Can you tell me about a time when you have worked in partnership with others to solve a problem
- Can you tell me about a time when you have had to defuse a conflict situation?
- Can you tell me about a time when you have challenged inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour?
Typically a final interview can last anything from 45-60 minutes and there will only be 6 or so questions. Do the math, that’s up to 10 minutes per answer!
So, how to put some detail into your answer? Use the STAR format, that’s what they are expecting, but add an L to it, what did you learn from the situation you dealt with?
Right from the outset you should be describing how you have done something not just what you did. Typically my delegates will tell me how they had a ‘chat with someone,’ ‘discussed something with someone’ or ‘managed to calm them down.’ This isn’t enough, you’re just describing a ‘what’, the interviewers want the detail of ‘how.’ You can do this by describing how you found a space where you wouldn’t be disturbed, how you listened to the person concerned and paraphrased what they had said to check you had understood what they had said and how you asked probing open questions to gather information. I’d go as far as giving examples of the type of questions you asked.
Of course there’s more you can do to flesh out your answer with high scoring detail – my previous blogs go into much of this. And if you’d like to become a more confident interviewee with high scoring answers my coaching services still have some limited availability (I have no 1-day one to one coaching slots available until December!) with the one-hour Skype sessions. See this link for more information.
Time to get ready for the interview of your life – where you will be the real, authentic you who can demonstrate an ability to deal with complexity.