Any assessor will tell you that authenticity is a quality which is highly valued, but lacking in the vast majority of promotion candidates. In fact, most organisations brief candidates ‘to be more authentic, not an interview robot. Let the panel see the real you’.
In our police promotion preparation model, ‘The 5 Key Elements of a High Scoring Answer’, we discuss authenticity in the fifth stage – Ethics and Values.
So what is authenticity and why is it important?
Authenticity is demonstrated in what we say and do. It is about demonstrating humility and building trust through not only what we do (or did), but understanding why we acted or behaved in such a way. This links to our values – what motivates us to behave the way we do and the behaviours we expect in others. Of course, in the assessment context it is important we can demonstrate our own personal values align with those of the organisation.
And the good news is there is no ‘right or wrong’ answer here. No prescribed script. That’s the whole point – be you!
Unsurprisingly we don’t tend to warm to people who are false or we don’t trust – and this applies as much in an interview or assessment exercise as in any other walk of life, but with potentially disastrous consequences for your scoring!
Candidates who are authentic in their delivery break the ‘interview robot’ monotony and stand apart from their peers. They better demonstrate their leadership qualities and how they will actually behave in rank.
Here’s four simple steps to make-sure your preparation is authentic and you deliver at your very best – when it counts!
1. Prepare for the rank, not just the promotion process!
The Competency and Values Framework (CVF), Met’s Leadership Framework and other local Force equivalents have not just been designed for the promotion process. These are the behaviours expected in all officers all of the time. They should link to appraisals and how you develop yourself and others. Think about how you demonstrate these behaviours in role, not just in the interview. Which are important to you and why? How do you set standards to ensure others meet these behaviours?
2. Describe the challenges you faced and how this made you feel.
Remember, you will only be assessed on what you say – don’t miss out important detail. Describe difficult people and difficult situations, how this made you feel and what you did to overcome these challenges. If there is no feeling in your response it’s going to be a dull story!
3. Take your time – you are permitted to pause for breath and think!
If you rattle off a pre-prepared example the moment the interviewer has asked you the question it is likely to lose impact – and chances are you aren’t answering the question anyway. Take your time throughout each response to think about what you are saying.
4. Smile! You’re not a miserable sod in the workplace (hopefully), so don’t be one in your interview or interactive assessment.
Our ‘3 Pillars of Promotion Success’ programme is designed to ensure nerves don’t take-over and adversely affect candidate’s performance. #deliverymatters! It’s hard work being an interviewer or assessor, so make-sure you are the one candidate that day, or week, which brings some energy and passion into the room. It’s hard not to smile back to someone who is smiling at you!
Take a moment to think about these four steps and you will deliver far more authentic responses and differentiate yourself from the crowd.