Over the past week I’ve had some curious messages sent to me by one of my Twitter followers who is also a serving police officer. His son is trying out for the police and it sounds like he has just failed the initial Northumbria Police Online Assessment Tests.
And so he gave them a go, and promptly failed!
This was followed by a Detective Sergeant with 24 years service, a Detective Constable with 28 years service and a Special Constable with 2 years service all sitting the same online assessment process. The result, they all failed.
And so my Twitter follower gave it another go, this time putting his best ‘thinking like a recruit’ head on, and he failed again. ‘Best not give up my day job,’ was his verdict after getting this result.
Police forces increasingly use online assessment instruments to whittle down the initial numbers, and like any of the assessment instruments they use up to the final interview (when it becomes far more serious and real), the online assessments are also a game with a set of rules that govern them.
I decided to see what all the fuss was with the Northumbria process for myself. Unsurprisngely the online Behavioural and Situational Judgement Tests they use are the same ones used by other forces and I passed first time.
The thing is, I know how to play the game for this stage of the recruitment process – the serving officers didn’t. All you need to do is to make sure you know exactly what they are looking for in your answers. All of the questions are based on the Personal Qualities for the rank of Police Constable. In the guidance document I provide as part of my police application form checking service I break these competencies down into what all forces are looking for at this stage.
Here’s a sneak preview from The Serving the Public competency:
Serving the Public
Are you the sort of person who:
Is open to others viewpoints?
Can stay positive?
Maintains a belief in serving the public, focusing on what is important to them?
Can recognise the needs of others and put those before your own?
Can get others within communities / organisations involved?
Is comfortable speaking to groups of people?
Can explore the viewpoints of others even when you might not agree with them?
Through your belief in public service is prepared to go the extra mile even when it might not be your responsibility?
Can carry out instructions given to you by your supervision even when you might not agree with them
Can take responsibility for the initial management of a problem even if it’s not your direct responsibility
Don’t be like a serving police officer – make sure you know how to play they game!