Garda Trainee Recruitment 2024 – The Stage 2 Competencies

In advance of being called for your Stage 2 Competency Interview here are my expert tips to help you prepare for the Panel Interview.

Core Competencies for An Garda Síochana

The Interview Panel will be looking for specific and relevant examples under the following competencies;

Interpersonal Skills and Service Ethos

Is motivated to serve others / the public, is helpful and engages with others in a positive and constructive way that facilitates relationship building, underpinned by respect and a sensitivity to others’ needs.  Possesses sound social skills such as sensitivity to the situation, the ability to listen and understand a range of perspectives and needs, and respond with appropriate language and actions.

Exercising Authority

Demonstrates the ability and willingness to take a clear and credible lead, having the self-assurance to make rapid, well-judged and potentially unpopular decisions, executing them and standing by them.


Operates diligently, honourably and proactively, getting work done to the required standards and putting in effort.  Demonstrates professionalism and persistence, being motivated to do the right thing and seeing tasks through to the end, despite adversity.


The ability to cope with a demanding workload and to deal calmly and objectively with difficult situations, crises and trauma. Demonstrates a desire for continual learning and self-development, seeking and accepting feedback from others.

Using Information & Problem Solving

Demonstrates strong problem solving skills with an ability to effectively assimilate and evaluate information from a range of sources to support good quality decision-making and generate solutions that meet the needs of a given situation or wider objective.

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
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

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

Stage 3 Interview - things to note

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.

GardaIP 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. Contact us today to book a one-to-one Interview Preparation session




  1. Fionuala Mc Guinn

    I’m interested in interview skills training, where are you based?

  2. Shane Canty

    Hi I have my interview in late Jan for the gaurds. I am hopeful to meet with you to discuss and get advise off you, so when the time comes I feel confident in my ability to do well.

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