Are all Law Enforcement interviews the same? If you have done well at an interview with one policing or law enforcement agency, does that mean you will do well at another one?
The answer to both of those questions is “No”. Not all law enforcement interviews are the same. For instance, some police forces, such as Halifax Regional Police, conduct a Competency Based Interview. These interviews assess specific competencies, using a Behavioural and a Situational based model, to ascertain if you have the desired qualities to become a Halifax Regional Police officer. Conversely, the Ontario Provincial Police conducts an interview that assesses your qualities, achievements, credentials and motivation, to establish if you meet their criteria. Some organizations, such as CBSA, incorporate a role play within the interview.
So, how do you know how to prepare and what type of interview you will be attending? There are a number of ways to approach this.
- I have said this before when it comes to preparing for an interview, and it’s worth saying again. Most policing agencies have all of the interview information that you will require right on their web page. Often times, they will lay out exactly what they will be assessing, and then it is up to you to prepare accordingly.
- Most large police forces will have a Recruiting Session or an Information Session that will provide valuable information on many of the stages of the application process. You may obtain information here that you won’t be able to access in other places.
- Speak to other police officers who have recently been successful going through the process, to get a more realistic feel for what it will be like. Although, most organizations require you to sign a Confidentiality Agreement prior to the interview to ensure the integrity of the process, so be careful not to put anyone in a compromising position when speaking with them.
Prepare your Stories
- If you know there will be a behavioural based interview, start preparing your stories now. Don’t wait until you get invited to the interview. That doesn’t always give you enough time. Start identifying past experiences that target each of the specific competencies.
- Once you come up with your stories, you must then practice delivering them in a clear, concise and organized manner. You can practice at home in front of a video recorder so you can play back and observe your performance. Once you establish what the police agency will be assessing, and what type of interview it will be, that’s when you start to work on your interview skills. Practice, practice, practice.
If you still need help preparing for this all important interview, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can get you going in the right direction. You could find someone who is experienced in conducting policing interviews, i.e police officers experienced in recruiting. Or you can engage the services of a Certified Professional Career Coach experienced in conducting this type of interview to help you work through the process.
Do you know someone who is faced with this challenge? Feel free to share this post by using the share links at the top of this page. Also, if you’d like more interview tips, feel free to check out the interview resource page.