RCMP Right Fit Interview Competency 3 – Problem Solving
As I continue my series breaking down the eight RCMP Right Fit Interview Competencies, we are going to focus on Problem Solving. As I stated in my previous post, going through the RCMP Application Process and getting ready for the “Right Fit” Interview can be one of the most challenging stages of the process, and one not to be taken lightly.
At the RCMP Right Fit Interview (formerly the Regular Member Selection Interview), you will be asked behavioural and situational questions that will be used to assess if you meet this competency.
Taken from the RCMP Preparatory Guide for the Right Fit Interview, the definition for this competency is:
“Systematically analyzes and breaks down problems, risks, opportunities and issues into component parts. Identifies appropriate solutions and makes timely decisions and actions. Understands cause and effect chains and relationships.”
Problem Solving for Behavioural Based Questions
The behavioural question will target your past experiences that demonstrate that you have the ability to think through a problem and come up with a solution.
For example, the interviewer might ask you a question about a difficult or complex problem that you had to solve and how you gathered the required information to establish an effective solution. Or they might ask about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to solve a significant problem.
When you are preparing for the “Right Fit” Interview, think about all of the situations when you had to come up with a solution to a problem. Use examples where the problem is yours to solve, and where there were a factors to consider and options for a solution. If your problem has only one solution, then the interviewer will not get a true sense of your ability to think through a specific problem, analyze the information available, and come up with a solution. And as I have said previously, this doesn’t just have to be work related examples. You can use volunteer time, sporting events, or periods during your education. As long as you have several stories prepared that you can use during the interview that demonstrate that you have the ability to solve problems.
Remember, when answering these questions, you will articulate your example using the S*T*A*R principle.
Problem Solving for Situational Based Questions
The situational question is a hypothetical scenario that will assess how you would handle a certain situation.
The interviewer will provide you with a scenario and ask what you would do. You will respond by stating the action that you would take if faced with that situation, why you would take that action and what factors you considered. This is called the A*R*C principle.
You might get a question that asks what you would do if you discovered a co-worker was using the computer for non work related activities. Or if you were on your way to an interview and your car broke down and you were running the risk of being late.
Situational questions can be somewhat lengthy, so you have to be careful to pay attention to the entire question and focus on the parts that are relevant. Think about the action as a series of steps, then state why you would take those steps. Then, articulate what you considered when deciding your action.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when focusing on this one competency. I can’t stress this enough. You must be prepared. Have your examples ready and practice delivering them using S*T*A*R. Come up with sample scenarios on your own and practice answering them using the A*R*C principle.
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