Garda Trainee Stage 3 Competency Interview – Exploding the Myths!

Batches of Garda Trainee applicants are being called forward for the Stage 3 Competency Interview since August 2022. Typically a new batch is called forward each month.

For those still in the ‘Waiting Room’, remember that the results of Report Writing is assessed simply as a Pass / Fail result. Candidates will get their results in the sequence of their OOM from Stage 1. So a candidate with an OOM of 363 from Stage 1 will receive their result quicker than a candidate with an OOM of 784.

So now is a good time to explode some of the myths about the Stage 3 Competency Interview. Here’s my Top 5:

1. I must memorise two examples per competency, then I’m all set for the Interview. Absolutely not! You must prepare diligently but memorising a response is poor advice. The Interview is not a fixed conversation – it’s a fluid exchange between you and the Interview Panel. Approaching the interview with the idea that the Panel will not interrupt you and ask you probing questions related to your response is madness!

2. I only need to focus on the 5 Competencies for my Interview. Wrong again!! The Interview is largely based on the content in your Interview Form. The Panel will ask you questions about your work experience, college studies, voluntary work, and other interests – this is all included on your Interview Form. These questions will be linked to the 5 competencies. So for example it could be something like; “I see here on your Form that you worked as a Barman for 3 years – can you give me an example of when you had to make difficult decision whilst working a shift?” Or “You mentioned that you play football at a good level, how do you deal with criticism from your management and team mates on your performance – can you give me a specific example of how you dealt with that criticism?

3. The Interview Panel are really tough and will purposely put me under pressure. Another myth! The Interview Panel is not out to get you! The role of the Panel is simply to select the right candidate. Remember, the interview is a two-way discussion where the panel wants you to perform well. They may indeed up the ante and hit you with probing questions which may make you feel uncomfortable and under attack. The most important thing here is not to take the tone personally and to focus on the question.

4. The Interview follows a very strict format. Yes & No! Yes, you will be scored on your understanding and the quality of your response to questions under each Competency. No, the interview will not flow in a perfect sequence. Often it’s quite chaotic with little time to formulate a response. Therefore, understanding the Garda Trainee role, the characteristics needed go succeed (i.e. the competencies), and the demands of the role is essential preparation.

5. It’s a Zoom Interview – sure that’s more informal than a face-to-face Panel Interview. Thread carefully here! Approach the interview as if you are meeting the Panel in person. Dress Appropriately – wear business attire. No compromises here. Address the Panel members formally too.

Feeling underprepared for the Stage 3 Interview? We’ve got you covered. The good news is that GardaIP’s reputation and success rate in preparing candidates for the Stage 3 Interview is unrivalled. Former Superintendent Noel McLoughlin has a unique understanding of what is required to succeed – he was a key member on the Interview Panel for Garda Trainees for over 10 years! Check out our testimonials here.

Don’t leave your performance on the day to chance. Book a prep session with us here.

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