Further advice for those required to pass an additional police board interview

Diversity has been high on the police agenda since the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. It should be of no surprise that much of your board interview is likely to focus on your exposure to race and diversity.

The police service faces many hurdles when it comes to making inroads on diversity. Minority officers  bring sensitivity when it comes to making arrests – it is rare that arrests would take place in buildings such as Temples, as this would be deemed insensitive and possibly insulting. Certainly any progress made on diversity is likely to take two steps back if this were to happen.

Not only should you be aware of the problems identified above, it is worth noting that you should have some idea of what minority groups are located in your force area, and exactly where they exist

You should also research what actions your chosen force is undertaking to address the problems above. Neighbourhood policing has been in place for the last few years, so research this – but it would be useful to try an obtain a copy of the forces Diversity Action Plan – this normally sits with Human Resources or with a Diversity and Equalities Officer/Dept.

One way to really impress the panel would be to undertake a language course, focusing on a particular diversity group found in your force area…

Advice for candidates required to attend an additional board/panel interview

There are approx 7 forces in England and Wales that in addition to the competency interview as part of your assessment centre, they also require to complete a further board/panel interview.

This additional 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  transfer your assessment centre scores to another force 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.

* What do you know about ethnic minority communities in your chosen force? i.e. what communities exist and where exactly?

* 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 this stage of the process. Remember, be polite and smile – these types of interview are more about your personality rather than your skills.

Recruitment Director – policeapplication.co.uk