In our Police Oracle police promotion series so far we have covered an overview of the police promotion process, different assessment types and the key elements of a high scoring answer. In this article we cover the importance of effective and confident delivery. #deliverymatters!
We started this series by introducing you to bselected’s ‘3 Pillars of Success©’ – Content, Structure and Delivery.
Your Content must be relevant, no matter how interesting you think your response may, or more likely may not be. We are concerned with what is relevant to the assessor – are you scoring quickly or are you waffling?
Structure is essential for each assessment stage to ensure your content is focussed and relevant. A powerful and effective structure builds confidence and helps manage nerves. However, effective content and structure alone are not enough. They must be delivered with confidence and impact. This is about creating energy, which in turn positively influences your assessor.
Interview nerves can be debilitating. They can cause us to fluff up and waffle an otherwise well-prepared and strong example. Despite the broad range of assessment types common in many police promotion processes the interview still remains the main cause of concern for most candidates.
This is the opportunity for you to ‘sell-yourself’. The interview is often the final hurdle to achieving promotion success.
But powerful delivery is not just confined to the interview, it applies to the application form and any interactive exercise (role play, briefing etc.).
The good news is you’re not alone. In fact, nerves affect most other candidates and the interviewer expects this. The difference however is that some officers may be better able to control their nerves and therefore deliver a stronger performance.
Whilst there are various causes of nerves, including past interview experiences, one of the most common factors is a lack of confidence and self-doubt. You must remember that you are already qualified and supported for the rank and by interview stage will have likely passed an initial sift.
In any case, the new National Policing Promotion Framework (NPPF), covering Forces in England and Wales, introduces a period of work-based assessment post local selection leading to substantive promotion.
One of the main assessment dangers with a lack of confidence is that it shows – affecting delivery and negatively influencing your assessor. It’s important to recognise this and plan ahead. Here’s three simple ways to help, the ‘3 P’s’:
- First you must prepare – preparation prevents poor performance! We call it ‘knowing what to expect, how to prepare and how to deliver’. The better you understand the assessment process the better your preparation will be. A lack of preparation is widely regarded as the single biggest cause of assessment failure. It’s not that candidates haven’t put enough time aside to prepare, it’s that they don’t know how to prepare properly and focus on what really matters.
There shouldn’t be any surprises. You must know what to expect for each assessment stage. Whilst there are plenty of colleagues on hand to give well-intentioned advice, more often than not this leads to greater confusion.
- Secondly, control your pace. Controlled delivery for any interactive exercise is important for a number of reasons, but critically it allows you to think more and fluff less! It is often the realisation half-way through an answer that you are not answering the question, if you still remember it, and have veered off into waffle mode – when our nerves kick into overdrive, inevitably leading to more waffle and ultimately disappointment.
If you speak fast normally remember this will increase when nervous. Use techniques to slow down your pace, control your breathing and take control of the interview.
- Finally, pause. In a normal conversation you wouldn’t talk non-stop for 6-7 minute without taking breath or pausing, so don’t do that in an interview.
Just as important as controlling your pace, you must learn to be comfortable with the use of pauses. Think about your answer and don’t fire out a pre-prepared robotic response. Insert natural pauses throughout your delivery to help your response flow, also helping your assessor to catch up with their notes and stay engaged.
You’re in a dangerous place if your interviewer can’t keep up and follow what your saying, no matter how good you think your answer maybe.
In our Masterclasses we use the bselected ‘passionometer’ to coach officers on more authentic and engaging delivery. Passion and authenticity are terms that any promotion candidate should be comfortable with. They can make the difference between a mid-range ‘effective’ mark to a high score and success!
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. The opportunity for promotion is an important time in your career so don’t let a lack of preparation and poor delivery effect the outcome.