Friday, May 30, 2008

Essential Competency Comprehension

I'm fast tracking this article because a lot of you are applying now and will soon be having this interview, I'm literally going to go through every single competency and address each of them to make sure you understand them! Please, email: if you're having difficult and as always I'm going to recommend contacting myself at (905) 516 4981. The material I'm covering here is very similar to what I talk about during the Test Ready Pro workshop however, in one-on-one mentoring sessions I offer a far more comprehensive look at the competencies and work on the actual questions with you in addition to developing your interview answers with you to prepare you for the interview.

There are eight unique essential competencies which you must know and fully understand. Although the names of each competency seem self explanatory I’m going to break each down and relate how they’re each perceived specific to policing and your potential to fit the skill set necessary for a future career in policing. I also feel that it’s necessary to include a disclaimer here, I will not release the specifics of my own interview questions that I was asked and answered during my Essential Competency and Developmental Competency interviews or any services specific interview questions. I will however guide you through understanding each competency and give you examples of how to go about articulating an answer. Keep in mind my answers may seem goofy at times but they follow our prescribed technique for answering behavioural questions. Also, note that my questions here are often answered with non job, school or volunteer related experiences. During your own interviews with any Police Service you must use examples from work, school or volunteering.

Analytical Thinking is the ability to analyze situations and events in a logical way, and to organize the parts of a problem in a systematic way. Analytical thinking is a competency demonstrated during your OACP Stage One testing, the Police Analytical Thinking Inventory (PATI). I do not suspect you will ever be asked a question on this competency.

Self Confidence is described as a belief in your own abilities and judgement, and recognition of personal limitations and development needs. Lets break this down, a belief in my own abilities: I believe I can do something, recognition of personal limitations: perhaps I bit off more than I could chew. Lastly, development needs: I know I need help here, I’ve recognized what’s wrong and will ask for assistance.

Example: I’ve always to build my own computer from scratch. This past spring it was cold out and I found myself not taking part in as many activities as usual so on May fourth I made the decision to go out and start buying the parts to make my own computer. I had some help researching which components were compatible through a few of my friends and felt confident that the only tools I needed was a single screw-driver. After getting home from collecting everything I needed I was excited and couldn’t wait to start working on my new project. I spent four hours carefully unpacking each part, reading the documentation that came along with it and hooking it all up together. Finally it came time to proudly press the On button. To my dismay when I plugged the computer in and press the power button nothing happened, I waited a few seconds and began to smell something burning, I knew at once it was the computer as it was the obvious scent of burning plastic. I was curious and couldn’t imagine what was going on. I quickly unplugged everything and opened the computer case up to see where I went wrong, I couldn’t figure it out. For fifteen minutes I checked each wire to make sure it was connected properly and in the right place, I checked each screw making sure they weren’t in too tight, cracking the casing… I just couldn’t figure it out. By this time it was well after eleven at night but I had to call my computer savvy friends and get their input on what I could do, I spent a half hour on the phone and no one could give me any idea of what was wrong, I was frustrated but I began to have a sick feeling in my stomach when my friend Matt told me the burning smell could have been the motherboard or power supply frying, I felt like all this money was spent on nothing, just totally wasted. I set my alarm for early the next morning so I could get to a computer repair shop first thing when they opened. I had a hard time sleeping that night. When I finally brought the computer in I found that problem wasn’t with how I connected the wires but that I didn’t use a spacer between the motherboard and the case, this was causing friction amongst the metallic parts which did not allow for the computer to power on. Only a few hours later I was out the door, back at home and set-up with my new that I had practically built all myself. I learnt something new that day and I kept the repair shops number and knew in the future I had one more resource at my fingertips if I needed technical support for my computer.

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