This is a short but really important blog in order for you to perform at your best at an interview or assessment centre.
As part of my business, I often assess at assessment and selection centres for corporate clients whose candidates, like police officers, are put through competency based processes in order to be promoted or secure a new job.
I am constantly amazed how many of the candidates I assess don’t follow the instructions given to them during the course of a selection process. This is particularly prevalent during the competency-based interview, with many candidates totally failing to answer the questions I ask them. Over the last few months it has been above 80% of candidates. In my experience this trend is mirrored by police officers of all ranks.
So, a critical piece of coaching I can give you is to remember ALF.
You must listen carefully to the question to understand exactly what it is that the panel is asking and what competency they are assessing before you answer.
In other words you must;
Answer the question that you have been asked
It is not good enough to just shoehorn a pre-prepared answer in, even if you have spent hours working on it. You will most likely fail the interview part of the process. Yet this is clearly a very common problem.
Indeed this week I have been running assessment centres for a corporate client and during the set up of the competency based interviews I specifically stated that they must listen and answer the question in order to have any real chance of passing that part of the process. However, on numerous occasions I had to pause the candidates’ response and remind them of the question being asked. They were clearly not listening to me and simply giving a pre-prepared answer that in no way corresponded to the question I asked them.
ALF is hardly rocket science I know, but it is clearly a very common mistake not to listen. Nothing frustrates assessors more than candidates responding “XYZ…” when they have been asked about “ABC…”. This approach will not earn you many (or any) marks and will put you at risk of failure.
So give yourself a fighting chance – ALF and ANSWER THE QUESTION!