A tip on completing the Police Officer application form…
Completing the application form may not be a science, but it is certainly a tick box exercise. Forces are looking for predetermined and keyphrase answers that tick all the necessary boxes.
Where most candidates go wrong is:
a) They try to produce answers with the WOW factor. Unfortunately words such as WOW, exciting, stimulating, high-energy are not keywords or phrases that they are looking for.
b) Candidates simply don’t answer the question
Let’s take a look at question 2 (Team Working) for example:
Question: Provide an example of when you worked in a team and you were willing to share in less attractive tasks.
(i) Tell us what had to be done
(ii) How was it you became involved
(iii) What did you do and others do?
(iv) How was it decided things were going to be done?
(v) What did you do to ensure the team were able to get the result it wanted?
(vi) What benefits were there for yourself (if any)
Given the question above: what is the most important quality they are looking for?
HERE IS THE ANSWER: Your willingness to share in less attractive tasks. This means in sub question (iii) – you clearly describe a less attractive task (using these exact words) that you undertook. AND, you tell them about the tasks that your colleagues performed – It”s not all about you!!!
In sub question (v) where you are asked what did you do to ensure the team got the result it wanted? What do you think needs to be mentioned here?
HERE IS THE ANSWER: You were willing to get involved in less attractive tasks and support your colleagues no matter how trivial the task may be.
In sub question (vi) what benefits were there for yourself (if any)?
HERE IS THE ANSWER: The main benefit was to see the team perform well together and for the team to get the result we wanted. There was no personal benefit.
TIP: When answering questions, use the same words that feature in the question (mirroring) – that way you can ensure that you are providing exactly what they are asking for…
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