Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Essential Competencies Continued

Communication is the ability to demonstrate effective listening, verbal and written communication. Here is another easy one as you’ve already done a written communication test and your B-PAD also touches on this competency so I think it’s safe to say that you will not be asked to articulate a time where you demonstrated the communication competency during your essential competency interview.

Flexibility is the ability to adapt your approach in a variety of situations. Flexibility makes sense as far as being a Police Constable is concerned however, some people just don't seem capable of compromising or trying things a different way. Flexibility competency questions are usually answered with a simple answer that seems obvious so trust me, you don't need to rack your brain here. When it comes down to it you're just trying to show that just like in self-confidence you can realize your own limitations or maybe the short comings of the method you're using. Here is an example my recruiter used to love for flexibility and was usually his introduction example to understanding behvaioral questions, the hot dog story.

I was at a game with a friend of mine, Paul. Paul asked if I wanted a hot dog while he was going up to the concession and I said "yea, I'd love one." When Paul came back with the hot dog it had mustard, relish, ketchup, onions and all sorts of other dressings on it. I didn't say anything to Paul because I didn't want to offend him so I ate the hot dog. Usually, I'm a mustard and relish guy only. I don't like all the other condiments on my hot dog. To my surprise I really liked onions, I don't think I would get the ketchup again but I'm definetly going to get my hot dog with onions next time.

A very simple answer, I know. Notice though how there is a follow-up and my feelings of aprehension about eating the hot dog are evident.

Valuing diversity is the ability to work effectively with a wide cross section of the community representing diverse backgrounds, cultures and socio-economic circumstances.

This is a really hard competency for some, no one likes to think of themselves as a racist so opening up about such deep feelings let alone during a job interview can be tough. An alternative route to answering this question could be using peoples with handicaps as an example, I know for me personally I was very surprised to learn how independently blind people live. It wasn't until I was in high school when there was a school for the blind across the road that I really saw that blindness barely inhibits anyones life! Another alternative, perhaps you grew up in an upper class neighborhood or away from poverty, what were your predetermined thoughts about the needy, did your ideas ever change? Now, that is the most important part about this competency, perhaps how your perception changed to understand that your preconceived notion of who or how a certain group of people were was wrong.

Goodluck with your interviews, I'll have more for you next week!

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