With diversity high on the police agenda, it should be no surprise that much of your board interview is likely to focus on your understanding and exposure to race and diversity.
Forces face many obstacles when it comes to diversity. Firstly they have a shortage of officers from under represented groups, this causes obvious language barriers when trying to communicate with those who do not speak English. With a lack of language skills comes expensive interpreter fees, often budgets in their £millions per annum are required for each force. Minority officers also bring sensitivity when it comes to making arrests. It is very rare that arrests would take place in buildings of worship such as mosques, this is because such action would be deemed highly insensitive and would any hinder progress made in reducing the perception of racism in the service.
Not only should you be aware of the problems listed above, it is worth noting that you should have some idea of what minority groups your chosen force actually police. For example, is there a Chinese community or perhaps a Somalian community? You should also know exactly where they exist in your chosen force area – this demonstrates a full understanding of the force area and it’s make-up.
You should also research what actions your force is undertaking to address these problems. Neighbourhood policing is one aspect, but it would be useful to try an obtain a copy of your chosen force Diversity Action Plan – this normally sits with Human Resources or with a Diversity and Equalities Officer.
More information on the police board interview can be found at: http://policeassessment.co.uk/2009/09/police-interview-advice/
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There are just over a handful of forces in England and Wales that in addition to the structured interview as part of your assessment centre, they also require to complete a further interview (sometimes before your assessment centre).
This interview is NOT part of the National process, so rejection at this stage does not mean you have to wait a further six months to reapply. You can simply transfer your assessment centre scores to another force (that does not have an additional interview) and you begin where you left off (normally security vetting, medical and fitness test to complete).
If you are one of the unlucky candidates whom is also required to pass an additional interview, here is some useful advice:
Prepare answers for each of the core competencies. It is best not to use your application form answers (Q1-Q4), interviewers like you to give further evidence of the skills.
- You have yet to be tested on Personal Responsibility, a typical question is to ‘provide an example of when you have used your initiative’. This basically means a time when you undertook a task without being asked. Why? Because you take pride in your work, you are enthusiastic and you don’t like to see the team others/team down.
- Source the name of the Chief Constable of your chosen force. This is sometimes a trick question.
- What tasks do you expect to be undertaking as a police officer? You can refer to Question 7 in your application form to answer this question.
- What research have you undertaken? It is always best to say you have spoken to the recruitment team to source information about the process. You have spoken to serving officers about the role. You have also researched the role on the police could you website. If you can give names of the people you have spoken too, this provides evidence of genuine answers. BEWARE: Avoid making reference to internet forums.
- Research Neighbourhood Policing and the Policing Pledge. Your chosen force website should have details about Neighbourhood Policing.
- Undertake a search on the Home Office website for the phrase ‘Citizen Focused Policing’ – this should return several documents about the new way of policing – which the needs and expectations of local communities are reflected.
- Do you have any questions to ask the interviewers? Of course you do! How about? When will I start? Can you tell me where I can get more information about the training process? What is their posting policy – do they post officers to where they live?
That should be plenty to help you pass…
Thanks for checking out my blog.
Recruitment Director – policeapplication.co.uk