Following an intensive selection process, Garda Trainee interviews are currently taking place in Dublin. It’s both an exciting and daunting time for applicants as they navigate competency based interviews, often for the first time!
If you haven’t been called yet for interview here are some tips to help you prepare for the competency based panel interview.
Core Competencies for An Garda Síochana
The Interview Panel will be looking for specific and relevant examples under the following competencies;
Works well as part of a team, committing to team goals and contributing fully. Develops effective working relationships with others. Communicates clearly and confidently. Is respectful and polite, valuing all members of the community. Has an authoritative presence when required.
Judgement and Decision Making
Can quickly get up to speed with a situation, understanding a wide range of information. Uses judgement to make timely and balanced decisions.
Can cope effectively with difficult and challenging circumstances. Maintains composure in the face of aggression etc. Can maintain effort over sustained periods of time.
Delivery of Results
Takes personal responsibility for tasks and actions. Plans and prioritises tasks effectively and is flexible and open to change. Is action orientated in approach.
Motivation to be a Garda
Is committed to a role in An Garda Síochána. Appreciates the potential impact of the role both in terms of training in Templemore and the ongoing requirements of the role of Garda.
Garda Interview Tips:
My advice is to list all these competencies and then think of several examples for each. These examples should show how you behaved in a way that demonstrates the competency being examined. Typically your examples will be generated from three areas; your work, your college studies, and your extracurricular activities particularly sport. The more examples, the better, as you’re going to whittle them down.
Now narrow down the examples to two really good, compelling ones for each competency.
If you have trouble remembering specifics, go back through your work documentation. Look at previous performance reviews. Also review your Application form and your CV for inspiration.
Structuring your Examples
Structure your examples in a way that makes it easy for you to discuss and most importantly easy for the Interview Panel to evaluate.
Use the well deployed STAR structure.
Situation: Outline the context in a couple of neat sentences – what problem or situation were you faced with that you had to overcome?
Task: What was your task or objective? What did you have to do?
Action: What exactly did you do? Each sentence should encapsulate a succinct point of action you undertook that helped address the situation.
Result: What happened as a direct result of your action? Was the result favourable and did you learn anything?
Concise, informative, concrete
Ensure your examples and summations are very concise but informative. You will most likely be invited to elaborate and expand by the Interview Panel anyway.
Make sure that each example has a very clear correlation to the competency you want to demonstrate, and make sure you use your own words – it should flow naturally with practice. Make sure your examples deal with concrete facts, not theoretical or philosophical ideas. In other words the example must be based on past experience.
Garda IP can help you ensure you perform at your very best on the day. We will help you develop and prepare very compelling examples in support of each competency.